National higher ed policy expert, author and scholar joins social impact organization to advance Strada’s “Completion With a Purpose” mission focused on improving pathways between education and work

INDIANAPOLIS — Strada Education Network today announced that higher education scholar Ben Wildavsky will join the organization in early January as senior vice president for national engagement. Wildavsky, who brings three decades of experience as an award-winning writer and respected researcher, will oversee the social impact organization’s thought leadership, including collaboration with partners in the higher education, workforce development, government, research, and philanthropic communities to help individuals build more purposeful paths from education to employment.

“Ben is one of higher education’s most thoughtful observers, with a keen eye for translating research into actionable solutions for practitioners, policymakers, and philanthropists. We are thrilled to welcome him to our Network leadership team,” said William D. Hansen, Strada Education Network President and CEO. “Ben’s stellar expertise and experience is critical to our work as we continue to cultivate a network of innovative nonprofits and businesses working together with partners across education, employers and states to improve college-to-career transitions for all students.”

Wildavsky previously served as senior fellow and executive director of The College Board Policy Center, where he helped lead the organization’s work to convene top experts in postsecondary education, create high-impact publications, and expand opportunity for today’s students.

He began his career as a journalist at publications including the San Francisco ChronicleNational Journal, and U.S. News & World Report, where he was national education correspondent and later education editor.

“Strada Education Network represents a new breed of social impact organizations that are leveraging a unique blend of philanthropy, research, and entrepreneurism to address real-world challenges for today’s learners and earners,” said Wildavsky. “Building on Strada’s groundbreaking research on consumer insights with Gallup, Institute for the Future of Work, and unique network of innovative organizations, I look forward to helping bring together a diverse group of partners who can help us to advance our mission.”

Wildavsky has also held numerous leadership roles in philanthropy, research, and postsecondary education. He previously served as director of higher education studies for the Rockefeller Institute of Government at the State University of New York, policy professor at SUNY-Albany, senior scholar at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, and guest scholar at the Brookings Institution.

Wildavsky is the author of The Great Brain Race: How Global Universities Are Reshaping the World, and co-editor of Reinventing Higher Education: The Promise of Innovation and Measuring Success: Testing, Grades, and the Future of College Admissions. His articles have appeared in publications including the Atlantic, the Washington Post, the Wall Street JournalForeign Policy, and the New Republic.

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