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Kwame Owusu-Kesse took over as Chief Executive Officer of the Harlem Children’s Zone on July 1, 2020. Prior to assuming this role, he served as HCZ’s Chief Operating Officer for six years.

Kwame grew up against a backdrop of poverty, single parenthood, and family struggles. However, he was fortunate to have opportunities as a young boy to receive a high-quality education and reach his academic potential. He went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Harvard University and then began his career at Morgan Stanley as an analyst. During his third year with the bank, he was chosen for an externship at HCZ. After completing this externship, Mr. Owusu-Kesse returned to Harvard to receive a Master’s in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School and a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Kwame Owusu-Kesse speaking to young people in a lecture hall

In his role as COO of Harlem Children’s Zone, Mr. Owusu-Kesse was a key liaison among the organization’s programming, financial, and administrative functions and ensured that all were aligned. While he was laser-focused on the organization’s data, he was also keenly aware of the importance of the people those numbers represent, acting as a mentor and counsel to students and staff.