Nicole Camp: Brooklyn bright may be White House bound (38449)

One of two New Yorkers among the 30 finalists for the White House Fellows Program is a Brooklyn native. Nicole Campbell, 30, grew up in East New York with her Jamaican-born parents.

As vice president of Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, Campbell has developed and executed the foundation’s education investment strategy. She created the Teachers as Leaders Program, which partnered with the Schott Foundation for Public Education and CUNY in an effort to increase the number of Black male teachers who teach in the New York City public schools. Most recently, she has created College Ready Communities with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to facilitate partnerships between housing developers, local education advocacy organizations and public schools to improve academic outcomes in low-income neighborhoods across New York City.

“My professional career has been very personal for me,” says Campbell. “Growing up in East New York and leaving to get an excellent education was supposed to mean that I had made it. Instead, my journey reinforced my sense of responsibility to ensure that all of our young people grow up with high expectations and support that allow them to be a part of our nation’s economic and social fabric. I have spent my early career trying to figure out how I could use the skills I continue to develop to impact the communities that I have been a part of, as well as communities I have not experienced first hand.

The common denominator has been an acknowledgement of the extreme discrepancies in the opportunities that exist and finding ways to address them. This has been a fundamental part of my life.”

White House fellows spend a year working as assistants to senior White House staff, the vice president, cabinet secretaries and other top-ranking government officials, where they gain first-hand experience in how the federal government works. Campbell thought about applying to the program for over a year and says the new White House administration is what further prompted her to apply.

Campbell will complete the final round of interviews during the week of June 15. If she is selected as one of the dozen fellows, she would like to be placed in the White House. “What I’m interested in is this reinvigorated sense of leadership that is causing many Americans to reengage in our political process. To address the most important challenges we currently face–education, climate change, healthcare and technological innovation– we will have to find new ways to leverage our nation’s financial, human and social capital…The challenges have been articulated and I am looking forward to being a part of the creation of sustainable solutions,” said Campbell.

Campbell is a graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy, Amherst College, and Harvard University, where she received a master’s in Public Policy.