David C. Banks is the President and CEO of the Eagle Academy Foundation and the Founding Principal of The Eagle Academy for Young Men, the first school in a network of innovative all-boys public schools in New York City. David’s visionary approach to the education of young men of color emphasizes a partnership between schools and communities based on the guiding principles of academic excellence, leadership and character development. The Eagle model has been adopted in schools throughout all five New York City boroughs and Newark, with replication of the model expanding nationally through the Eagle Institute. As Eagle Academy students achieve outstanding high school graduation and college matriculation rates, the Eagle model proves that a high quality, college preparatory education for young men of color can be provided in a public-school setting.
The first Eagle Academy for Young Men was established as part of New York City’s high school reform initiative in partnership with One Hundred Black Men, Inc.
David’s successful approach has been covered in numerous news outlets including CBS This Morning. The Eagle story was chronicled in The Infamous Future, a visionary documentary on the positive transformation of young men through their time at Eagle Academy.
National leaders and leading educational voices endorse the Eagle Academy model including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, whose borough has adopted the Eagle model in nine schools as part of the Eagle Demonstration Project. In 2018, Secretary Clinton co-wrote an op-ed with David on Eagle’s philosophy. City & State, the premier political outlet covering New York State, ranked David in the top 75 most powerful education leaders in New York State in 2020.
In partnership with Scholastic, Inc., David helped curate the Rising Voices Library, a collection of nonfiction, biographical and fiction books celebrating Black and Latino boys. The library provides students in grades K–5 with high-interest, culturally-relevant texts that give context to what they’re experiencing in the world around them.
David is a graduate of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey and received his Juris Doctorate from St. John’s University School of Law. In 2014, David Banks was chosen as one of seven Black Male Achievement Social Innovators nationwide by the Leadership and Sustainability Institute for demonstrating tangible results in improving the life outcomes of African American boys and men. David was a member of the Board of Directors for the International Boys’ Schools Coalition. In May 2014, David was awarded an honorary Doctorate degree from Wheelock College.
David resides in New Jersey. He has four adult children: Jamaal, twins Aaliyah and Ali, Malcolm Rashaad, and two grandchildren, Hayleigh and Nomi Jae.