Simone Hardeman-Jones

Board Member

Executive Director, GreenLight Fund Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN

Simone Hardeman-Jones is the founding Executive Director of GreenLight Fund Twin Cities. Using a community centric and resident-led approach to philanthropy, Simone builds momentum and facilitates game-changing collaborations so community residents in the Twin Cities, especially those historically impacted by systemic racial and economic inequities can thrive.

Simone has a deep understanding of the role that systems of inequity play in the lives of those most underestimated in our communities and has committed her career to dismantling them. Her innovation and ability to build partnerships is demonstrated through her leadership of GreenLight Fund Twin Cities. In response to the voices of Minneapolis community residents, in 2022, GreenLight Fund Twin Cities announced a  $1.4 million public-private partnership to implement an innovative evidenced-based program – Let Everyone Advance with Dignity, a public-health approach to community safety focused on the Lake Street Corridor of Minneapolis. 

Simone began her career in public policy, serving in a variety of policy roles including in the Obama Administration as a key advisor to two U.S. Secretaries of Education and policy advisor to United States Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and the late Senator Kay R. Hagan (D-NC). Frequently tapped as an education policy expert particularly on issues related to diversifying the education workforce, Simone’s work has been shared nationally through partnerships with organizations like the Education Trust and the National Council on Teaching Quality. She has served on numerous national committees and advisory groups on the subject. Simone has also served on multiple political campaigns including as Director of African American Outreach for Senator Klobuchar’s 2006 Senate race.  

Born and raised in Minneapolis, Simone currently resides in the Twin Cities with her husband and five year old son. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, and the City of Lakes Chapter of Jack and Jill of America. Simone sits on the boards of Children’s MN, the Minnesota Alliance With Youth, and EdAllies. Simone holds both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from The American University in Washington, D.C.

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