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Hense, Donald

Founder and CEO, Friendship Public Charter Schools


Donald Hense is Founder and Chairman of the Board of Friendship Public Charter Schools in Washington, DC. Friendship is the largest chartered public school in the nation serving more than 4,000 students on six campuses. Additionally, Friendship manages one DC Public School (DCPS) and four schools in Baltimore, in partnership with Baltimore City Public School System.

Mr. Hense is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He attended graduate school at Stanford University and completed all requirements for the Ph.D. except the dissertation. He was a Rockefeller Intern in Economics at Cornell University; a Merrill Scholar to the University of Ghana; a Ford Foun dation Fellow at Stanford and a Lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley. Mr. Hense has served as Vice President of the National Urban League; Director of Development of the Children’s Defense Fund; Director of Governmental Relations at Howard University, Boston University and Dartmouth College. He is former Vice President of Prairie View A & M University of the Texas A & M System. He is co-founder of the Bridges to Friendship Initiative which provided the early impetus for the revitalization of the Navy Yard and was recognized by Vice President Gore as a model community initiative.

Mr. Hense was in the 2011 class of inductees in the National Charter School Hall of Fame. He is listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World and recently received a distinct honor of serving as the 2012 Convocation speaker at Morehouse College.