The Washington Post

In Fairfax, schools chief hires new nonprofit leader, seeking closer bonds to private sector

Seeking to make stronger connections with the private sector, Fairfax County public schools chief Karen Garza announced that the administration’s nonprofit foundation had hired its first full-time executive director.

Michelangelo Infurnari, a three-decade veteran in nonprofit fundraising, will serve as executive director of the Foundation for Fairfax County Public Schools, Garza said.

“We will be working with the Foundation board to develop a plan for engaging the business community in new and strategic ways,” Garza said in a statement. “I believe that there is tremendous untapped opportunity with our business, corporate and philanthropic communities for support of our schools system.”

At a recent school board meeting, Garza said that during Infurnari’s 30 years of experience in the field he had helped raise about $450 million. In his most recent position, Infurnari raised $4.8 million in 15 months for the WateReuse Research Foundation. Earlier in his career, he served as a consultant working with universities and school administrations to raise money for renovations and scholarships. He also once served as the director of development for schools for the Buffalo, N.Y., catholic diocese.

The Fairfax schools foundation was established in 2010 as a 501(c) (3) partnership with the county’s chamber of commerce. Infurnari, a 20-year Fairfax resident, will be the foundation’s first full-time executive director.

Past donors to the foundation include Verizon, Northrup Grumman, ExxonMobil, Deloitte and Kaiser Permanente. The foundation has helped support school field trips, essential items and school supplies for homeless students, and teacher grants.

T. Rees Shapiro is an education reporter.

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