Partnership for Education Advancement Announces Board of Trustees


(New York, N.Y.) – The Partnership for Education Advancement (Ed Advancement), a non-profit focused on advancing socioeconomic mobility for students of color, first-generation, and low-income students by providing sustainable solutions that are operations and technology focused to minority serving institutions, including historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), today announced its Board of Trustees.

“The Partnership for Education Advancement is pleased to welcome a diverse group of nationally-recognized leaders in education, student success and finance to our Board of Trustees,” said James “Jim” Runcie, CEO and co-founder of Ed Advancement. “Their demonstrated commitment to supporting mission-focused institutions, like HBCUs, in their mission to get more students of color to and through college, combined with their collective expertise on a vast scope of higher education issues will guide and enhance our work in innovative and transformative ways.”

Members of the Ed Advancement Board of Trustees:

Hamilton “Tony” James, chair of the board, is co-founder of the Partnership for Education Advancement and chairman of Jefferson River Capital. He was previously executive vice chairman of The Blackstone Group, a global alternative asset manager and provider of financial advisory services. James transformed Blackstone from a private-equity shop into an investment giant with $731 billion in assets across numerous business lines. James is co-chairman of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and chairman of the finance committee at Mount Sinai Hospital System. He is also board chairman of retailer Costco Wholesale Corporation.

James “Jim” Runcie, is CEO and co-founder of the Partnership for Education Advancement. Prior to this role, he served for eight years in the U.S. Department of Education, seven as Chief Operating Officer, overseeing strategic and operational management of FSA (Federal Student Aid), which included regulatory oversight of Title IV postsecondary institutions, management of the student loan programs and portfolio, and the implementation of numerous higher education policy initiatives. While at FSA, Runcie helped to design and launch Project Success, which provides proactive aid and support to HBCUs and other minority-serving institutions to improve institutional performance and student outcomes. Previously, Runcie worked for 20 years in corporate finance, project and transaction management, and leadership with major domestic and international financial institutions including Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, Bank of America, and UBS Investment Bank. He serves as a board member of ECMC, Class Acceleration Corp., Skillpointe Foundation, and various local community serving organizations. He is also an investment committee member of the College Board. Runcie is a first-generation high school and college graduate. He earned an M.B.A. with distinction from Harvard Business School and a B.A. in mathematics from College of the Holy Cross.

Arne Duncan is the managing partner at Emerson Collective, an organization dedicated to removing barriers so people can live to their full potential; he also leads Chicago CRED, a nonprofit trying to achieve a transformative reduction in gun violence in Chicago. From 2009-15, he served as U.S. Secretary of Education as part of the Obama Administration, and before that he was the chief executive officer of Chicago Public Schools. Secretary Duncan is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy, and Co-chairs The Knight Commission. He also serves on the boards of Ariel Investments, Communities in Schools, Eat, Learn, Play, Edmentum, Education Advancement, ESS, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, National Association of Basketball Coaches, RingCentral, and Schoolhouse. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1987.

Dr. Beryl McEwen is provost emerita at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, the country’s largest HBCU. She joined the faculty in 1992, serving in several roles during her tenure, including chair of the Department of Business Education, dean of the College of Business and Economics, and vice provost for strategic planning and institutional effectiveness. From 2017-18 she served as the interim provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs before being confirmed as the university’s provost and executive vice chancellor. During her time as the vice provost, she oversaw North Carolina A&T’s accreditation efforts and led the university’s academic planning process. As the dean of the business school, she launched new M.B.A. and M.B.A. Online programs. In 2020, she was honored with the Association for Business Teaching and Research (ABTR) Leadership Award by the National Business Education Association (NBEA). McEwen holds a B.Ed. from the University of Technology, Jamaica, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Garrett Moran was, until recently, chair of the Governor’s Workforce Council in Connecticut after having served six years as the president of Year Up, a nonprofit organization that provides technical and life skills training to low-income high school graduates who are not employed or enrolled in an educational institution. Previously he served as the COO of Blackstone’s Private Equity Group, as president of MMC Capital, and as vice chairman and co-head of the banking group at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Garrett has served on several nonprofit boards, including 4CT, Middlebury College, The Posse Foundation, the Blackstone Foundation, the Connecticut Council for Education Reform and as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Brunswick School. He currently serves on the National Board of Directors for Year Up. Garrett received a BA from Middlebury College and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Verdun S. Perry is the Global Head of Blackstone Strategic Partners (“Strategic Partners”), Blackstone’s dedicated secondary fund manager, with over $66 billion of assets under management. Perry received a B.A. from Morehouse College, where he graduated magna cum laude and was elected Phi Beta Kappa, as well as an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, where he was a Robert Toigo Foundation Fellow. He is a member of the Morehouse College Board of Trustees, where he serves on the Financial Sustainability Committee, and also serves on the boards of The Blackstone Charitable Foundation and Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO). He founded Blackstone’s Diverse Professionals Network (“DPN”) in 2014 and chaired the network for its first six years. Perry was a member of the David Rockefeller Fellows Class of 2016. In 2021, he was selected as a Fellow of the fifth class of the Finance Leaders Fellowship Program and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.


About the Partnership for Education Advancement:
Founded in 2018 by Tony James, chairman of Jefferson River Capital, and Jim Runcie, CEO of Ed Advancement and former COO of Federal Student Aid (FSA), Ed Advancement is a non-profit that works collaboratively with HBCUs in support of their mission to advance socioeconomic mobility for their students. By providing highly individualized, sustainable solutions, Ed Advancement helps partner institutions serve their students and meet strategic enrollment, graduation, and advancement goals.