Former Secretary of Education Named Executive Director And CEO of The Hunt Institute

September 29, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEHunt Foundation Board votes unanimously to appoint Dr. Javaid Siddiqi to lead nonpartisan nonprofit

DURHAM, NC – Former N.C. Governor Jim Hunt today announced the appointment of Dr. Javaid Siddiqi as Executive Director and CEO of The Hunt Institute, following the retirement of founding Executive Director and CEO, Dr. Judith Rizzo. His appointment will be effective October 1.

“The next 15 years will be critical for The Hunt Institute, and Dr. Siddiqi is the perfect individual for this challenge,” said Hunt, who chairs the Hunt Foundation Board of Directors. “He tactically built our Hunt-Kean Fellows program from the ground up and made it a terrific success. His passion for the Institute’s mission, paired with his transformational leadership, make him the ideal fit as we continue to mobilize on the education issues that matter to our nation.”

Dr. Siddiqi is the former Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Virginia. As Secretary, he assisted in the development and implementation of Virginia’s education policy and provided guidance to 16 public universities, the Virginia Community College System, five higher education and research centers, the Department of Education, and the state-supported museums. Siddiqi began his career as a high school biology teacher in Virginia and quickly progressed to principal. As a principal, Dr. Siddiqi took special care to create a school culture of collaboration and led the implementation of Expeditionary Learning – a nationally recognized school reform model.

Most recently, Siddiqi served as the Director of the Hunt-Kean Leadership Fellows, which partners with senior-level political leaders who have the knowledge, skill, and will to be effective, reform-minded education policymakers at the state level. The Fellowship—unlike any other in the nation—is named for two of the nation’s “Education Governors,” Jim Hunt (D-NC; 1977-1985; 1993-2001) and Tom Kean (R-NJ; 1982-1990). Under Siddiqi’s leadership, the national, nonpartisan Fellowship now boasts a network of 31 alumni and an incoming cohort of 19 Fellows, representing 35 states. The Fellowship has garnered praise from former governors—who desired such an opportunity when preparing for their gubernatorial careers—and generous financial support from major funders across the country.

“I am truly humbled to have been chosen to serve as the next Hunt Institute Executive Director and CEO,” said Siddiqi. “I have long appreciated and valued the wonderful support that this organization provides to policymakers across the country. I look forward to working with our Board and our outstanding professionals at the Institute to continue the mission of securing America’s future through quality education.”

Siddiqi is an Aspen Institute Fellow, Vice-Rector of the Radford University Board of Visitors, a member of the Chesterfield County School Board, and serves on the Virginia Chamber of Commerce Blueprint for Education Committee. In addition, he is on the board of Voices for Virginia’s Children and the advisory boards of the Virginia Home for Boys & Girls School and Patrick Henry Charter School. He was recently appointed by the Virginia Speaker of the House to serve on the Commission on Economic Opportunity for Virginians in Aspiring Diverse Communities. Siddiqi is a graduate of Richard Bland College, Virginia State University, and Virginia Commonwealth University where he received both his undergraduate degree and doctorate in Educational Leadership.

“I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about the appointment of Dr. Siddiqi as Executive Director and CEO of The Hunt Institute,” said former Rhode Island governor and Foundation Board member Don Carcieri. “He is a proven, charismatic leader who I am confident will take the Institute to the next level. If his success in leading the Hunt-Kean Fellows is any indication, there is an even brighter road ahead.”

About The Hunt Institute
The Hunt Institute is a recognized leader in the movement to transform public education. Marshaling expertise from a nationwide partner network, the Institute connects leaders with the best strategies for developing and implementing policies and programs to improve public education. The Institute is an independent, nonprofit affiliate of the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy.


Media Contact:
Tracie Ford
Associate Director of Communications


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