BOSTON, MA—February 25, 2015—The Bridgespan Group announced today that former U.S. Department of Education Deputy Secretary James H. Shelton, III has been selected as a Bridgespan Fellow, and will begin a six-month appointment. The fellowship is designed to create opportunities for subject area experts to work with Bridgespan on research projects aimed to advance thinking and action for social change. Jim will be an advisor to a Bridgespan research team seeking answers to the question, “What would be the most powerful way to invest a billion dollars in alleviating poverty?” He will also advise a Bridgespan initiative on “Transformative Scale” which explores how social innovators can dramatically scale solutions that work.
As Bridgespan’s second fellow, Jim joins education journalist and researcher Paul Tough, who is working with Bridgespan research teams on social and emotional learning and post-secondary schooling.
Jeff Bradach, Bridgespan’s co-founder and managing partner who has led the firm’s work on Transformative Scale said, “We could not think of a better partner to co-investigate the role of “big bets” philanthropy in eradicating poverty and to advise our transformative scale collaborative. Jim has a wealth of practical experience, both at the DOE, including launching and managing the Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) and Promise Neighborhoods programs, and in his prior role as program director for education at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.”
According to Shelton, “I am honored to be part of The Bridgespan Fellows initiative, and
I am excited to be joining forces with Bridgespan in finding ways and means to shrink America’s poverty divide.”
Said Bradach, “The fellowship program underscores Bridgespan’s commitment to collaborating with leaders and experts to find solutions to society’s toughest challenges, and we are committed to making it an ongoing part of Bridgespan.”
About The Bridgespan Group
The Bridgespan Group (www.bridgespan.org
) is a nonprofit advisor and resource for mission-driven organizations and philanthropists. We collaborate with social sector leaders to help scale impact, build leadership, advance philanthropic effectiveness and accelerate learning. We work on issues related to society’s most important challenges and to break cycles of intergenerational poverty. Our services include strategy consulting, leadership development, philanthropy advising, and developing and sharing practical insights.
About James H. Shelton, III
James “Jim” Shelton is the former Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer of the U.S. Department of Education. In this role, Jim led a range of management, policy, and program functions in support of educational access and excellence for America’s children, especially those least advantaged. While in government, he served as the Executive Director of the President’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative and participated in multiple interagency efforts focused on poverty reduction, economic development, entrepreneurship, and increased opportunity. From these roles, he implemented new approaches to using technology, data, evidence, public-private partnership and collective action to increase impact in policies and programs including the Investing in Innovation Fund (i3), Promise Neighborhoods, and ConnectED.
Jim began his career developing computer systems, and later served as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company. After McKinsey, Jim joined Knowledge Universe, Inc., where he invested in and operated a range of education related businesses until he co-founded LearnNow, a company dedicated to providing high quality schools - “community academies” - in low-income communities. Shelton was also a partner at NewSchools Venture Fund and then the program director for education at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He has chaired numerous non-profit boards and led domestic and international social sector initiatives ranging from economic development to voter education in emerging democracies.
Jim holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from Morehouse College as well as master’s degrees in both business administration and education from Stanford GSB and GSE.