Experienced Leader Continues Her Commitment to Harlem Community at Harlem Grown

Nicole Engel

Nicole Engel
Executive Director, Harlem Grown

Searching for a leader committed to the Harlem community

Harlem Grown, an independent, non-profit, inspires youth to lead healthy and ambitious lives through mentorship and hands-on education in urban farming, sustainability, and nutrition. Founded in 2011, it operates local urban farms, increases access to and knowledge of healthy food for Harlem residents, and provides garden-based development programs to Harlem youth. The organization sought a committed leader with an established allegiance to Harlem youth. 

The right candidate for the job 

Nicole Engel epitomized the type of leader Harlem Grown needed. Engel began her career as a Teach for America Corps member teaching kindergarten students in Harlem. She was also Chief of Staff at Harlem Village Academies (HVA), a high-performing K-12 public charter school network, perfectly positioning her as Harlem Grown’s new Executive Director. 

“We needed a leader who understands the core needs of our community. We’re thrilled to have Nicole as our new Executive Director helping us further our mission to inspire youth through our urban farms.”  

Expanding programming to develop Harlem Grown further mission 

In this role, Engel will lead Harlem Grown as it continues to scale and serve the Harlem community,  focusing on operational excellence, financial stability, and leveraging talent across the organization. 

“Dismantling systemic racism and food justice go hand-in-hand,” said Engel. “I look forward to developing new programming for Harlem families to empower youth to live healthy and ambitious lives.”


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We believe equity isn’t a box to check. It’s a daily action. Someone’s unique identity isn’t something to overcome–when paired with the right opportunity, it becomes one of their greatest professional assets. We exist to empower social impact organizations to recognize and overcome unconscious bias, racism and sexism so they can build a workforce that reflects and strengthens the communities they serve.