Cofounder, President, and Chair of the Board
Alan Safran is the cofounder, president, and chair of the board of SAGA Innovations, a nonprofit, charitable organization founded in 2014 with a national mission to support urban public school students through personalized instruction embedded in the regular school day. SAGA currently serves approximately 3,000 students a year in Chicago, New York, and Washington DC, and consults in the Netherlands, with plans to scale dramatically. SAGA has garnered national support from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Gates Foundation, the Overdeck Foundation, and others. In 2019, SAGA was awarded a three-year AmeriCorps grant, the second largest among all 74 first-time grantees in the US.
Safran has more than 25 years of experience working in public education, including nine years at the Massachusetts Department of Education as deputy commissioner, and more than twelve years working at Match Education in Boston, a charter school network with its own graduate school of education. During his time at Match, he helped create the Match Corps, the first of its kind urban education fellowship in which recent college graduates tutor a personal caseload of students full-time, in the school day. He then carried the idea from charter schools into traditional districts in Houston, Texas; Lawrence, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; and Stamford, Connecticut. When Match determined that its role as an incubator of innovation in this area would end in 2014, Safran joined with Antonio Gutierrez – a graduate of Match High School in Boston – to cofound SAGA Innovations to continue to develop and grow this work.
Prior to entering the education field, Safran worked as the spokesman for two foreign policy committees in the United States Senate and later served as a senior prosecuting felony attorney in New York City. He received his law degree from George Washington University and his undergraduate degree from Princeton University. Safran and his wife have three children.
Safran will participate in the closing session at the On Board New York conference.