Nicole Harris-Crest joined BES as Senior Director of External Relations & Philanthropy in May 2022. Before joining BES, Nicole served as an employment litigator, advising clients about their employment rights and representing clients in legal disputes with their employers. As a fierce advocate for underserved individuals and communities, Nicole has dedicated her life and career to serving others. She also served as Chief of External Affairs to the Office of the States Attorney for Baltimore City (“SAO”), where she advocated for victims and witnesses of crime, educated the community regarding the criminal justice system, and created preventive measures to reduce crime. Under Nicole’s leadership, the SAO doubled residents’ use of support services and increased funding and partnerships for youth and victims of crime. Before joining the SAO, Nicole served as the Executive Director of the Maryland Alliance of Public Charter Schools (“MAPCS”). Her work with MAPCS included advocating on behalf of school system policies and state laws to provide more Maryland students with quality educational options. As the inaugural Executive Director of MAPCS, Nicole advocated before the Maryland legislature to thwart legislation harmful to charters and championed policies to increase facilities funding and autonomy for charters. As Nicole believes education is the cornerstone to success, she is excited to return to work in the education sector and join BES in its mission to build strong schools with strong school leaders. Nicole holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Baltimore and a bachelor’s degree in Rhetoric and Communications and Leadership Studies from the University of Richmond.