Joe Nail

Co-Founder & CEO

Lead for America

Joe Nail is the CEO & Co-Founder of Lead For America (LFA). LFA works to ensure that every American neighborhood and community has the moral, representative, locally-rooted, and long-term committed leadership necessary to address its most critical challenges. In its first two years, LFA has raised $5 Million to launch the civic leadership careers of more than 300 young people nationwide in more than 80 communities. Nail is determined to train and equip a generation of Americans––1 million by 2040––to be outstanding civic leaders in the communities they call home, including 50,000 through LFA’s flagship Fellows program. LFA has been profiled nationally by outlets including the Washington Post and NPR, and was awarded Fellowships from Summit and Praxis.Nail’s call to public service comes from his family. His Dad works for the military and his mom is a nurse. It was during his father’s deployment to Afghanistan that Nail saw the profound impacts that government could have, from the lack of support at the hyper-local level for his sister who has a severe intellectual disability, to the challenges at the international level with America’s foreign entanglements. After college, Nail wanted to return to his home state of Kansas to serve, but found there were few established pathways to do so in communities like his own. He decided to create Lead For America to solve that problem and ensure that our highest-need communities will have a chance to attract and retain their most capable young civic leaders. Nail previously co-founded a national college access nonprofit that helped hundreds of low-income and first-generation students be accepted to and attend college, and served one year as a Congress Bundestag Scholar in Germany. Nail graduated Phi Beta Kappa with highest distinction from UNC-Chapel Hill as a Morehead-Cain, National Merit, and Coca Cola Scholar. He is also an avid outdoorsman and competes in triathlons and ultramarathons.

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Joe Nail

Joe Nail
program
2019 Nonprofit Accelerator