Skip to Content

James Runcie

James Runcie’s professional career spans the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Mr. Runcie is currently the chief executive officer and co-founder of the Partnership for Education Advancement, a nonprofit organization committed to supporting social mobility by strengthening postsecondary institutions that serve low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students and families.

Before Education Advancement, Mr. Runcie was appointed by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to lead Federal Student Aid (FSA) as its chief operating officer. FSA manages the student loan portfolio, which currently has more than $1.6 trillion in assets and oversees more than 6,000 Title IV-eligible institutions. Mr. Runcie was responsible for an administrative budget of $1.7 billion and more than 13,000 staff and contractors. Mr. Runcie proudly served with a team of leaders that delivered numerous and significant accomplishments. These included top customer satisfaction scores (ACSI), substantial reductions in student default rates (20% decline), unprecedented expansion of Direct Loans and Pell Grants, and record FSA employee satisfaction levels (FEVS).

Mr. Runcie spent 19 years as an investment banker, delivering results at major domestic and international financial institutions including UBS, Bank of America, and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Mr. Runcie held various leadership and management roles in product and industry groups and on critical institutional committees. Mr. Runcie has originated or executed domestic and cross-border transactions, totaling billions of dollars involving capital raising, mergers and financial advisory assignments.

Mr. Runcie is a first-generation high school and college graduate and consequently believes strongly in the transformative power of education. Mr. Runcie has served on several nonprofit boards relating to education or youth development, which continue to be his passions. Mr. Runcie is a current board member of Follett Higher Education, Thrivent Mutual Funds, Skillpointe Foundation, Class Acceleration Corp., and the Student Freedom Initiative. Mr. Runcie also is an Investment Committee member of the College Board.

Mr. Runcie holds an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the College of Holy Cross.