Simone Hardeman Jones '98

Simone Hardeman-Jones - Executive Director - GreenLight Fund Twin Cities
Simone Hardeman-Jones was named Founding Executive Director of GreenLight Fund Twin Cities in August 2020 a new organization that will partner with community, industry, entrepreneurial and philanthropic leaders to bring social innovation solutions to the Twin Cities that fill unmet local needs, help break down entrenched barriers, and address deep-rooted disparities in order to create opportunities for children and families to thrive. 

With fifteen years of policy, partnership and advocacy experience, Simone has a deep understanding of the role that systems play and the impact they have in the lives of some of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in our communities and has committed her career to dismantling them. Most recently, Simone served as National Director of Policy and Partnerships at Educators for Excellence (E4E) a national education non-profit where she set the vision and strategy for E4E’s policy priorities and deepened relationships and collaboration with policymakers, advocates and education leaders at the federal and local levels.  Simone served in the Obama Administration for nearly four years in a variety of roles, including Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs at the U.S. Department of Education. In this role, Simone served as a key advisor to two U.S. Secretaries of Education, and helped to lead the Administration’s efforts working with Congress and the education community to reauthorize the overdue Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Simone also spent six years as a policy advisor to two United States Senators, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and the late Senator Kay R. Hagan (D-NC), roles required her to serve as a strategic advisor on a variety of federal, state and local policy and political issues. Simone has also spent time working on multiple political campaigns including as Director of African American Outreach for Senator Klobuchar’s 2006 Senate race. 

Born and raised in Minneapolis, Simone currently resides in Golden Valley  with her husband and toddler son. She serves on the boards of the Minnesota Alliance With Youth, Ed Allies and is a member of the Breck School Alumni Council. Simone holds both a Bachelors and a Master’s degree from The American University in Washington, D.C.

Reason for participating in the Alumni Council:
Breck is a unique community that I have been excited to re-engage in when I moved back to the Twin Cities a couple of years ago and as my niece now in 2nd grade began her Breck career as a preschooler a few years ago. My experience at Breck  contributed to the career path I have chosen today and my hope through the alumni council is to connect with other alum who feel the same way and want to create the same experience for current students.