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Gerald Richards is the chief executive officer of 826 National, a network of creative writing and after-school tutoring centers located in seven cities in the United States. Winner of NewsCorp's 2016 Murdoch Community Hero Award, Gerald has more than twenty years of management and development experience at national nonprofit organizations, and certificates in nonprofit management and leadership from Harvard University and Babson College. His nonprofit career includes positions with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), University of California, San Francisco, the J. David Gladstone Institutes, Chicago Panel on Social Policy, and The Cradle Foundation. Gerald is a respected trainer and sought after speaker on topics of youth and education access. He is interviewed regularly on these topics and has appeared on NBC?s Nightly, CNN, Inc. Magazine, and The Michael Eric Dyson Show. He currently serves on the boards of the Academy of American Poets, Newbury College, Thousand Currents and My Path, and serves on the program advisory board of Voice of Witness (VOW). Previously, he was a member of the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and Ed Steps Curiosity and Creativity workgroup in Washington, D.C.; an inaugural fellow in the California Leaders of Color Fellowship Program; and a member of the 2009 class of Leadership San Francisco. Gerald has an MFA in writing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BA in film studies from Wesleyan University. He is a Fellow of the 16th class of the Pahara - Aspen Education Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.