ALISHA THOMAS CROMARTIE

Executive Director, Rena Carter Foundation

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Alisha Thomas Cromartie is executive director of Rena Carter Foundation, an organization focused on combatting poverty by increasing financial literacy and access to opportunity among first-generation college students.

She made history at age 23 by becoming the first African American elected to the Georgia House of Representatives. Thomas Cromartie served six terms representing residents of Cobb County and sat on the Education, Appropriations, and Health and Human Services Committees. In addition to her work in the legislature, Cromartie was superintendent of Ivy Prep Academies, a network of all-girls public schools. In that role, she increased academic achievement. Specifically, the Kirkwood campus nearly doubled its state performance score from 43 to 85, and across the network of schools, the teacher retention rate went from 20 to 80 percent. Thomas Cromartie also overhauled the network’s operations and worked to strengthen its financial position.

An alumnus of the second cohort of the Future Chiefs leadership development program, Cromartie has a master’s in educational leadership from Kennesaw State University and a bachelor’s from Spelman College. She is a a national board member for the Joseph and Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights and a national advisory board member for Pathways in Education. Cromartie participated in the Broad Superintendents Academy and is the author of No Apologies: Powerful Lessons in Life, Love and Politics.