Jim Shelton was appointed Assistant Deputy Secretary to run the Office of Innovation and Improvement at the U.S. Department of Education in April 2009. Previously, Shelton was Program Director for Education at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where, for nearly six years, he oversaw education programs, including Next Generation Models, School Replication, College Access and Scholarships, and numerous state and district partnerships.
Shelton began his career developing computer systems, and later became a senior consultant to CEOs and other for-profit and nonprofit leaders while working for McKinsey & Company. He transitioned into education full-time as a private equity investor, which led him to co-found and lead a company with the mission of opening and running high-quality schools in high-need communities. After selling the company, Shelton worked with Joel Klein, Chancellor of New York City Schools, leading the planning for his reform strategy — Children First — followed by launching the East Coast office of NewSchools Venture Fund, a nonprofit venture fund focused on education.
Shelton earned a B.A. in computer science from Morehouse College, and an M.Ed. and an M.B.A. from Stanford University.