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Kelly McManus

Vice President of Higher Education

Headshot of Kelly McManus
Todd Spoth

Kelly leads Arnold Ventures’ Higher Education team, driving our efforts to increase the return on investment in our higher education system for both students and taxpayers. Under Kelly’s leadership, the team manages a portfolio of research, policy, advocacy and litigation investments to create lasting policy change in higher education. Kelly brings more than 15 years of education policy and advocacy expertise to this role, consistently working to expand opportunities for access to a high-quality education for all students, and especially for marginalized students.

Prior to joining Arnold Ventures, she served as the Director of Government Affairs for The Education Trust, directing strategy and legislative advocacy across early childhood, K-12 education, higher education, and appropriations issues. Before coming to DC, Kelly worked extensively in state-level education policy and advocacy in Arizona. She also served as a middle school English teacher with Teach For America in Philadelphia.

Kelly earned a master’s from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor’s in political science from Wake Forest University. She lives in Washington, D.C.

Headshot of Kelly McManus
Todd Spoth
Meet the Team

Higher Education


Arnold Ventures funds projects to understand problems and identify policy solutions.