Our Founder

Natalie Smith, Ph.D.

Founder and CEO

Natalie Smith, Ph.D. is the Founder and CEO of Global Citizens School. Previously, Natalie served for three years as Head of School at Sela Public Charter School, a Hebrew and English language immersion charter school in Washington, DC. She developed Sela’s dual-language, academic and social-emotional programs and increased student growth by over 50% in literacy and math, earning the school a Tier 1 ranking from the D.C. Public Charter School Board.

Natalie earned a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction and an M.A. in human development from the University of Maryland, College Park. She also has a B.S. in marketing and management from Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business. Natalie is endorsed as a New Leaders Principal and is a National Board-Certified Educator.

Our Board

Taura Smalls – Chair

Taura is a legislative affairs specialist at the District of Columbia Department of Housing and Community Development. She brings accounting, legal, and policy expertise to the board. Taura earned a B.A. in political science from the University of Pennsylvania, a J.D. from American University, and a LL.M. in taxation from Georgetown University.


Raven Freeman, Treasurer

Raven is a partner at EdFuel, a national nonprofit that helps education organizations recruit and retain top talent at all levels. She brings finance, operations, human capital, and governance expertise to the board. Raven earned a B.S. in computer science from Spelman College and an M.B.A. from George Washington University. She is a Ward 8 resident.


Sara Arranz, Member

Sara is Dual Language Specialist at District of Columbia Public Schools. She brings dual language immersion and teaching and learning expertise to the board. Sara earned a B.A. in English as a Second Language in Early Childhood and Primary from the University of Valladolid, Spain.


Robert Crosby, Member

Robert is a managing director at the Flamboyan Foundation. He brings program design, instructional leadership, community engagement, and teaching and learning experience to the board. Robert earned a bachelor’s degree in strategic communications from the University of Missouri and a master’s degree in early childhood education from George Mason University. He is a Ward 8 resident. 


Elfreda Massie, Ph.D., Member

Elfreda is an executive coach for the National Institute for School Leadership, a part of the National Center on Education and the Economy. She brings a wealth of general management, professional development, and teaching and learning expertise to the board. She is a former superintendent, chief of staff, deputy superintendent, and assistant superintendent in the District of Columbia, Baltimore, and Montgomery County. Elfreda earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education for the University of Pittsburgh, a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from Johns Hopkins University, and a doctorate degree in education policy and administration from the University of Maryland, College Park.