The Indianapolis office of Teach for America named Amar Patel, a former corps member and native Hoosier, as its new executive director today.

Patel will lead the organization’s efforts to recruit, train and place new teachers in Indianapolis schools, according to a statement announcing his appointment.

Patel previously served as the managing director of development for TFA’s Chicago-Northwest Indiana region, where during his five year tenure he helped raise $65 million for the region’s work with students. Before joining the development team, he taught high school chemistry and biology, and coached baseball in Chicago.

“Amar brings a deep commitment to our mission and expertise of the organization,” said Lisa Sablosky, TFA regional board chairwoman in a statement. “His personable approach to people and his work, along with his leadership experience and excellent work ethic will be a huge asset to our region as we move forward.”

A native Hoosier, Patel was born and raised in Terre Haute before attending Vanderbilt University, where he graduated with a degree in biomedical engineering. His wife Amelia was also a 2007 TFA Chicago-Northwest Indiana corps member.

“I’m thrilled to come home and lead in this work alongside countless dedicated and passionate partners,” Patel said in a statement.

TFA came to Indianapolis in 2008 and places teachers in more than 50 traditional public schools and charter schools. In the last year, the group placed 158 corps members as teachers in the city.

With more than 550 Indianapolis-based former and active corps members, several TFA alumni have become influential players in the city’s education community, with several working in key education policy posts such as former Deputy Mayor Jason Kloth and Indianapolis Public School Board member LaNier Echols.

Former executive director Rebecca Thompson Boyle stepped down in May after three years.