Neil Coffee.jpg

Neil Coffee

Job Title
Chief Technology Officer
E-Risk Services
Columbia University
University of Maryland—College Park
Corps Year: 
Corps Region: 

Career Path

Consultant, Kwasha Lipton
Prior to joining the corps, Neil was a benefit plan consultant.
Teach For America: Baltimore Corps
At Mount Royal Middle School, Neil taught 8th grade math, was the 8th grade team leader, and coached football at the local recreation center.
University of Maryland, College Park
Neil earned a Masters Degree in American History with a focus on sports, race and gender in twentieth century America. He served as a Teaching Assistant for one year.
MultiFamily Property Management
Neil managed the preparation of monthly and quarterly reports for each property owned and filed them with the appropriate Federal agency.
Chief Technology Officer, Partner, E-Risk Services
E-Risk Services is dedicated to providing innovative, comprehensive, top-quality underwriting services. Neil was among the first handful of employees and has been CTO for more than 17 years.

Q & A

How is being a teacher similar to being a leader in the business world?

As a teacher, you are the leader, manager, whatever you want to call yourself, in the business that is your classroom. If you misstep, there are 30 students that are affected—it’s not just you. It’s an amazing management responsibility that you carry with you wherever you go.

What skills do you employ in your current career that you developed in the corps?

I learned how to be creative, self-sufficient, resourceful, and manage others. It helped me learn how to take an amorphous goal—such as educating students—and figure out all of the steps I need to take to accomplish that goal. It taught me to manage and teach across lines of difference and work with people with diverse backgrounds. I carry that with me in everything I do.

What surprised you most about your corps experience?

I couldn’t believe the richness of the resources that were available to me. Everything you need to become a great teacher, TFA can provide. You have to seek them out, but they are there. And there were people to support me all along the way. I had heard that I’d be left on my own to teach. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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