Prioritizing the Need for Diverse Leadership in Education
as of March 2023
as of March 13, 2023
The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.
Founder & President
Carmita Semaan is Founder and President of The Surge Institute. Her career started in corporate America; however corporate could not contain her desire to lead high-impact initiatives that benefit urban youth and transform urban communities - so she blazed a trail within the nonprofit sector. Carmita’s commitment to empowering our country’s most underserved young people by providing them with pathways to excellence through education and holistic supports led her to a decade of executive service, driving results for visionary leaders including Alma Powell, Gen. Colin Powell and Arne Duncan, the former US Secretary of Education.
Carmita holds an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Academy for Urban School Leadership, Marwen, and America’s Promise Alliance. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her thought-leadership and service.
Number of employees
Source: IRS Form 990
Surge InstituteOfficers, directors, trustees, and key employees
SOURCE: IRS Form 990
There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.
Surge InstituteBoard of directors
as of 03/15/2023
Board of directors data
Charter School Growth Fund
Term: 2015 -
Paula A Sneed
Phelps Prescott Group LLC
Ana Martinez Shropshire
The Opportunity Trust
Margarita Florez Vasconcelos
Board leadership practices
GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.
Board orientation and educationDoes the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
CEO oversightHas the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
Ethics and transparencyHave the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
Board compositionDoes the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
Board performanceHas the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No
Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.
The organization's leader identifies as:
Race & ethnicity
Equity strategiesLast updated: 05/04/2021
GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more
- We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
- We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
- We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
- We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
- We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
- We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
- We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
- We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
- We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
- We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
- We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.