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Presidents Forum Announces First Executive Director

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- James Manning has been appointed as the new Executive Director of the Presidents Forum, an organization composed of presidents of higher education institutions, foundations, and academic support organizations that are dedicated to the continuous reinvention of higher education. Effective immediately, Manning's appointment to the role marks a new beginning for the organization.

Manning has been deeply involved in higher education issues over the past three decades. He held high-profile positions at the U.S. Department of Education, including Senior Advisor to the Secretary on Higher Education and Acting Under Secretary of Education. Manning is the former Deputy Chief Operating Officer and Acting Chief Operating Officer for the U.S. Office of Federal Student Aid. He previously served in the Department of Education during the administrations of George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. He was a member of Donald J. Trump's Presidential Transition Team as the Education Team Leader.

"I am delighted to join the Presidents Forum as Executive Director. The presidents and members of this outstanding organization are nationally recognized leaders in the transformation of higher education," said Manning.  "I look forward to helping them expand their efforts to drive continuous improvement and innovation in higher education—changes that will benefit students, their communities, and our nation."

In his new role, Manning will implement and execute a new vision for the Presidents Forum that seeks to transform post-secondary education through the implementation of "change" projects and innovative best practices in education. The Forum includes leaders from many of the most innovative institutions of higher education, foundations, and academic support organizations. 

"Jim has the experience, skill, and expertise to create exceptional opportunities for systemwide impact. Students deserve the innovation and change that Jim can spur. His appointment reflects our strong desire to transform the system of higher education to better serve students," said Scott Pulsipher, President of Western Governors University and a Director of the Presidents Forum.

"We are thrilled to welcome Jim to the Presidents Forum. His deep understanding of higher education will allow him to leverage the scale of the Presidents Forum for outsized influence on the system of higher education," said Dr. Joe May, Chancellor of the Dallas County Community College District and a Director of the Presidents Forum.

Under Manning's direction, the Presidents Forum will engage in project-driven innovation by partnering with like-minded entities. Upcoming partnerships with education, government, and foundation leaders will aim to improve and increase availability of student data, reducing burdens and improving the way institutions serve students. These partnerships will also work to better align higher education with workforce needs, closing the gap between talent and opportunity. To begin his tenure, Manning will meet with Presidents Forum members and top officials in Washington, D.C., to discuss key issues on Wednesday, Oct 2.

About the Presidents Forum
The Presidents Forum was established in 2002 as a collaborative convening body of accredited institutions and national organizations that embrace the power and potential to serve 21st-century students. The Presidents Forum advances innovative practice and excellence by convening institutions' leaders and stakeholders to share their knowledge, learn from others' best practices, and frame recommendations for national policy. While historically Forum members have primarily been institutions serving adult learners, membership now reflects the full spectrum of higher education institutions, especially as technology transforms access and quality of post-secondary education.

Media contact: Aimee Edwards
Communications Director
(801) 755-3085
Aimee.edwards@wgu.edu

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SOURCE Presidents Forum