Catapult Greater Pittsburgh is on a roll. The nonprofit ELDI founded in 2021 to foster minority homeownership opportunities in the neighborhood and ensure that local, existing businesses were getting the support they needed to stay competitive in the fast-growing market, is now leading the charge in creating generational stability for individuals and families in Pittsburgh and beyond. Today, the organization offers a wide range of services focused on advancing economic justice — from its business incubators to its homeownership and financial education programs. The Catapult team has been growing rapidly along with its offerings, with the organization recently bringing on several new employees, including a new director of operations, Lingaire Njie.

We spoke with Njie to learn more about her background and what she will be doing at Catapult. In our next post, we will introduce some of Catapult’s other new team members as well.

Catapult’s new Director of Operations Lingaire Njie

Where are you from?

I was born in The Gambia, West Africa, but I was raised in Pittsburgh. My dad is Gambian and my mother is from Homestead.

Can you tell us about your background and how that’s prepared you for your role now?

I am a social worker by training, so I have been fortunate to have various roles with nonprofits as well as with a large public school district (Pittsburgh Public Schools). My background includes case management, counseling, program development, community organizing and advocacy, partnership management, and adult education. I think that serving as the Director of Operations at Catapult is a perfect culmination of all of these different roles. I understand all aspects of the organization, and I have a great appreciation for how it serves our community.

What led you to Catapult, and why do you feel motivated to work with them?

I lived and worked in Baltimore City for 10 years, and during that time I worked at a Catholic career school for women called The Caroline Center. Prior to Catapult, that was the position that had given me the most professional and personal fulfillment. While I value the almost eight years I spent at Pittsburgh Public Schools, I was looking to return to a role like the one I had at The Caroline Center; a role that would allow me to see daily impact on the community we are serving. I was already aware of Catapult’s stellar reputation, so when this position became available, I literally jumped at the chance to become part of the team.

What will you be doing in your new role?

I oversee our amazing team, support our dynamic Executive Director Tammy Thompson, and handle the daily logistics of a thriving nonprofit organization.

What is your personal connection to Pittsburgh and East Liberty?

I grew up here, and I am a proud graduate of Schenley High School. While I did not live in East Liberty, I lived in Highland Park and Stanton Heights, so I traveled through this community daily. I used to get my tennis shoes at David’s, we shopped at the Shakespeare Giant Eagle, I went to the Kingsley Center’s Camp Lillian Taylor, and I played tennis at the old indoor tennis facility. I spent time with friends who lived here, and I have seen East Liberty’s evolution over the past 40 years.

What’s something that you think more people should know about Catapult?

The team here is OUTSTANDING! Catapult is an organization that truly believes in stellar customer service. We are trauma-informed, innovative, and culturally responsive, and we are unapologetically committed to providing access to economic opportunities for the Black community.

Thanks for sharing, Lingaire!

➡ Learn more about Catapult.