Lisa Johnson Nutter is president of Philadelphia Academies, Inc., a nonprofit youth development organization that works in Philadelphia’s public high schools to provide career-based learning, college readiness supports, and supportive adult networks that motivate young people to stay engaged in school.
Nutter’s diverse professional background includes work in the fields of education, community organizing, human services, community development, and arts and culture. Her experience in communities nationally as a practitioner, researcher, and consultant shaped her work with youth and belief that education is a central factor in individual and community economic stability. In her work, she has focused on asset-based approaches to understanding how to best support young people particularly in their transition to adulthood. As a result, she has advocated for, and her organization implements as part of its model, youth programming that links learning to the real world and promotes resiliency.
Her background as an organizational development specialist has also influenced her practice significantly, leading to her to develop practical organizational strengthening tools that are used to support organizational learning and reinforce reflection, self-assessment, and planning practices among non-profit organizations working toward social change.
Nutter has a B.S. in Psychology from the Pennsylvania State University and an M.A. in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. In 2005, she completed a year-long fellowship in the Emerging Leaders Programme which is administered by the Centre for Leadership and Public Values at the University of Cape Town (South Africa) and Duke University.
She is actively engaged locally and nationally in issues related to social change and youth development and presently serves on the board of directors for the Women’s Community Revitalization Project, Big Picture Philadelphia. She also serves on the Advisory Council for the Pennsylvania Conference for Women.