Gary Z. Linnen, Chief Executive Officer
Gary Z. Linnen is the CEO of PeerForward following its original co-founders. Mr. Linnen has steered PeerForward’s programs for more than a decade, cultivating deep experience in youth development, program innovation, and organizational leadership. He has contributed to virtually every function of the organization, from designing and facilitating workshops for educators and students to fostering school, community, and funder partnerships and engaging program alumni. Mr. Linnen shaped PeerForward’s current model, which elevates PeerForward’s unique method of structuring and leveraging peer influence to achieve meaningful schoolwide outcomes. Independent research has found that the model has proven to result in up to 26% higher financial aid applications in partner schools than in similar schools without the program. His lifetime commitment to creating pathways to higher education for students in under-resourced communities also drives his participation as a member of the governing board of the New York City Public Schools. Before PeerForward, Mr. Linnen served as a director of tutoring and K-12 operations for The Princeton Review. Mr. Linnen has a bachelor’s degree in Government from Cornell University and is the first in his family to graduate from a higher education institution.