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Janet Knupp


FitMinds USA

Janet M. Knupp is a business executive, venture philanthropist and thought leader in education who has spent her career starting up, turning around and leading companies and organizations that markedly improve performance outcomes for school districts, teachers, and students. As CEO of FitMinds USA, Janet works to provide customized cognitive coaching to improve quality of life, enable meaningful relationships with family and friends and build cognitive resilience for seniors. Janet is the founder and former President and CEO of the Chicago Public Education Fund. Janet established the Fund in 2000, and launched three successful investment funds, raising nearly $50M and leveraging in excess of $177M in public and private dollars.

Janet has led the successful transformation of a series of organizations and has always aligned herself with mission-driven organizations. A natural collaborator, Janet thrives in settings where she can use her influence and insight to develop a clear mission, assemble exceptional boards, attract significant capital, and move people beyond the status quo by delivering ambitious, measurable results. She served as a consultant to successive CEOs of the CPS, and aligned teachers, principals, and unions to drive positive outcomes.

Janet built the only venture philanthropy in the United States focused on a single urban school district, which served as a catalyst and strategic investment partner for Mayor Richard M. Daley and four Chicago Public Schools (CPS) administrations. Under Janet’s leadership, The Fund was one of the first in the nation to bet on teacher and principal talent as the most powerful lever to accelerate student achievement. Its portfolio of programs raised the bar for principal and teacher quality across the city and benefited Chicago’s 600+ charter and public schools.

Invest in Chicago's Principals

Principals have an out-sized impact on their schools and communities. Any amount can make a difference.

Support Our Work

We aim to serve more than 600 principals and 360,000 students by 2023, with an emphasis on the schools that most need support.

Celebrate School Leaders

This October, school communities, city officials and corporate leaders will join together to lift up the great work of principals and their APs.