Carmita Semaan

Carmita Semaan
Founder, The Surge Institute
Carmita Semaan joined CURE: Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy as Chief Executive Officer in 2010. She has described her position with CURE as, “an amazing calling as well as a critically important opportunity.” Semaan, whose mother passed away in 2001 after suffering seizures, has been charged with leading CURE in an exciting new phase of growth and development. 
 
Prior to joining CURE, Semaan served as Chief Strategy Officer for America’s Promise Alliance, a youth development organization founded by Gen. Colin Powell and currently led by Alma J. Powell. Previously, she served as the Chief of Staff of the Chicago Public Schools Office of High Schools and High School Programs. In this position she managed all high school operations and administrative services supporting 120 schools in areas including budget, human resources, data systems and communications. 
 
Before her transition into the non-profit sector, Semaan served in global marketing, strategic planning, and engineering/operations management roles in several Fortune 500 companies, including Procter and Gamble and Danaher Corporation. 
 
Semaan holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and received her undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan. She has been recognized as a 2009 Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow and a 2010 Aspen/NewSchools Entrepreneurial Leaders for Public Education Fellow. 
 
Semaan resides in Chicago with her husband, Damon. They have a mutual love of sports, international travel and films. Carmita has tremendous passion for urban education and the arts and dedicates significant time to those efforts. She is a member of the Board of Directors for Marwen (Chicago-based arts education organization), the Academy of Urban School Leadership (AUSL) and America’s Promise Alliance. 
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