The GreenLight Fund Names Ali Knight as Chief Executive Officer

BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The GreenLight Fund, a national nonprofit funder with 13 sites across the country, today announced the appointment of Ali Knight as Chief Executive Officer, effective May 20, 2024. Bringing over two decades of experience in public service, primarily in leadership roles in the nonprofit sector, Knight has dedicated his career to balancing his passion for justice with an integrated approach to people leadership and community transformation. 

Most recently, Knight serves as the CEO of Fresh Lifelines for Youth (FLY), a nationally recognized, San Francisco Bay Area-based nonprofit that partners with young people to transform lives, communities, and systems. After nearly 10 years at FLY, Knight has helped the organization reach enormous programmatic scale and impact across the Bay Area and lead reform across the state of California through its advocacy work.

“I am incredibly honored to join the GreenLight Fund as its next CEO. I’m excited to work with the Board, the staff, our portfolio organizations, and most importantly the communities we serve to build on a legacy of bringing proven solutions to American cities with the greatest needs and the opportunity for impact,” said Ali Knight, GreenLight Fund’s incoming CEO. “I am eager to carry forward the momentum of blending innovation with equity in ways that continue to reduce disparities and create greater opportunities for all. Finally, I am excited to continue GreenLight’s vision of partnering with more cities, and deepening impact in existing communities all in service of reducing poverty across the country.”

The appointment follows an extensive search process after co-founder Margaret Hall’s 20 year tenure as CEO, leading and building the organization alongside her co-founder and Board Chair, John Simon. Since GreenLight’s founding in 2004, Hall has grown the team from two to more than 50 passionate individuals, and from one site in Boston to 13 cities across the country. With investments in 54 portfolio organizations across those communities, GreenLight is reaching hundreds of thousands of children and families annually, making an impact across a range of focus areas including early childhood literacy, college access and persistence, food security, health and wellbeing, community safety, family income and asset-building, and youth aging out of foster care.

“After two decades of incredible leadership from our co-founder Margaret Hall, and building the organization from the ground up, we’re delighted to have Ali step into the CEO role to guide GreenLight into its next phase of growth and impact,” said John Simon, co-founder and Board Chair of the GreenLight Fund. “His deep social sector experience, community-focused orientation, and commitment to removing barriers, creating opportunities, and unlocking the potential of those most under-resourced, makes him an excellent fit to lead GreenLight.”

Prior to FLY, Knight has held senior leadership roles at the Institute for Justice and Opportunity at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and at the Vera Institute of Justice, both in New York City, and in various youth-serving nonprofit organizations in New York City and the Bay Area. He holds a Master of Public Administration from New York University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Knight lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two children.

About GreenLight Fund

GreenLight Fund is a national nonprofit with a local focus that partners with communities to create opportunities for inclusive prosperity. The organization, in each of its sites, facilitates a community-driven process that matches local needs of individuals and families not met by existing programs, to organizations with track records of success elsewhere. Founded in 2004 by Margaret Hall and John Simon, GreenLight has grown from its original location in Boston to a network of 13 locations across the country (Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Denver, Detroit, Kansas City, Greater Newark, Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay Area and the Twin Cities). This past year (July 2022 – June 2023), GreenLight’s 53 portfolio organization investments reached nearly 400,000 children, youth and families experiencing poverty, 79% of whom are people of color. The tremendous impact of these portfolio organizations is bolstered by $259M of additional non-GreenLight funding they’ve received to date.