Ali KnightPresident and Chief Executive Officer
Ali has a Masters of Public Administration from New York University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. Ali has an integrated approach to youth leadership, systems change, and community transformation, grounded in nearly 20 years of public service.
Throughout his career, Ali has held increasingly impactful roles in policy, program administration, research evaluation, and organizational development. His commitment to supporting young people who are disconnected from school and work or are involved in the systems to become community leaders is spurred by his own childhood experience as a former foster care youth.
For six years, Ali was the Chief Operating Officer at FLY and he served as the Acting CEO during Christa Gannon’s sabbatical in the spring of 2019. During his tenure as COO, FLY successfully expanded into Alameda County, the agency’s budget grew by nearly 80%, and Ali was instrumental in the launch of a new strategic plan, Imagine 2030, which provides a clear road map for FLY’s future.
Prior to joining FLY, Ali served as the Chief of Programs at Youth UpRising, an East Oakland nonprofit that provides services and programs to increase the physical and mental wellbeing, community connection, educational attainment, and career achievement among youth members. Prior to that position, Ali served as the Chief Program Officer at Groundwork Inc., a nonprofit that applies a family and community empowerment approach to help get youth through school and into college.
Earlier experiences include serving as the Interim Executive Director of the Prisoner Reentry Institute at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and working for the New York City Department of Small Business Services to design and develop criminal justice programs aimed at increasing employment opportunities for individuals with criminal records. He has also held program leadership roles at the Vera Institute of Justice. Ali lives in Alameda with his wife and two children.