LENA Director of Growth Strategy Jess Simmons

Jess Simmons

Director of Growth Strategy at LENA

Jessica Simmons is the Director of Growth Strategy at LENA and is thrilled to work with organizations across the country to support parents, children, educators, and communities in closing opportunity gaps. She brings over 14 years of experience in program design and replication, fund and partnership development, and program operations.

In her recent past, Jess helped Reading Partners grow from eight locations to over 15 locations nationally and launched new program designs for Outward Bound across the Rocky Mountains. Jess has regularly consulted with local and national organizations on how to build systems to scale operations and increase impact. From her experience as a classroom teacher in North Carolina and Maine, she knows firsthand how important it is for children and parents to have access to resources and tools that enable them to reach their fullest potential.

Jess was a Presidential Fellow at Guilford College and inaugural coordinator of the Lipman Family Prize at the Wharton School of Business. She graduated with a BA in Multi-Cultural Curriculum Development and a Master of Science in Social Change Leadership from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and the Wharton School of Business. When not working, Jess can be found at home tending to her urban farm, hiking and exploring with her family, and having hundreds of conversational turns with her young daughter Mazie.