Gautam Thapar will found and lead a college-preparatory charter school in Richmond, CA.

Gautam did not plan on a future in education. On a whim, he responded to an email seeking tutors for elementary students and as a result found his true passion, purpose, and joy for helping children. His journey in education began when he joined Teach For America as a Corps member. Gautam then went on to teach US History at Leadership Public Schools, and most recently served as an educational circle member and Director at the University of Michigan Social Venture Fund. “My four years as a teacher were the most trying and transformative of my life. I failed regularly, but I always failed forward.” Learning and growing from his mistakes, Gautam aims to become the kind of leader parents would entrust with their children’s education.

Outside of the classroom, Gautam assumed a number of other leadership posts, including running a schoolwide program in meta-cognitive studies, serving on his charter network’s Board of Governors, and joining his school’s Instructional Leadership Team.

As a school founder and leader, Gautam wants to push the boundaries of what is possible for urban youth, creating and fostering opportunities for each student to be challenged, take ownership and responsibility over their learning, and be proud of their scholastic achievements.

Gautam holds a B.A. in International Security Studies, Political Science, and Government from Stanford University and an MBA from the University of Michigan.