Former Ed Dept. Official to Lead Facebook Education Initiative

May 5, 2016

James H. Shelton, former U.S. deputy secretary of education, will join the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to lead the philanthropic limited liability company's ed-tech efforts. Shelton, who served in a similar role for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, joins the initiative after a one-year stint as chief impact officer with the online program management company 2U. Zuckerberg unveiled the initiative last year, saying he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, will invest 99 percent of their Facebook shares (worth about $45 billion at the time) toward improving education, curing disease and protecting the environment, among other goals.

Chan, Zuckerberg and Shelton appeared during a live event streamed on Facebook, during which they discussed plans for the education initiative. Zuckerberg said the initiative will focus on personalized education (which he described as using technology to give every student an experience equivalent to working one-on-one with a tutor) and underserved communities. They did not make any mention of higher education.

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