Founder and leader to depart June 30; the Ballmer Group announces major investment in StriveTogether
CINCINNATI, OHIO — Jeff Edmondson, founder and executive director of StriveTogether, announced today that he will be leaving the organization to become managing director of The Ballmer Group, the organization created by Steve and Connie Ballmer to direct their philanthropic efforts. The Ballmer Group is focused on creating opportunity for low-income children and their families in the U.S.
In this new role, Edmondson will lead and implement a strategy that brings an increasingly national focus to the Ballmers’ efforts to support and partner with organizations and networks deploying innovative, scalable and data-driven strategies for improving economic mobility. A search for Edmondson’s replacement will begin immediately. StriveTogether Deputy Director Jennifer Blatz will serve as interim executive director starting July 1, 2017, until a new permanent leader for StriveTogether is identified.
During his tenure at StriveTogether, Edmondson facilitated the development and expansion of the national Cradle to Career Network, now reaching more than 70 communities in 32 states and serving more than 8.2 million students. The Network agreed upon a set of common outcomes they are tracking across the country — kindergarten readiness to college degree/certification completion — and a common method for organizing community partnerships to more efficiently and effectively identify and build upon what works. The work has become a national exemplar for the concept of collective impact and has helped shape how community partners work together to address the most complex challenges in education.
“Jeff not only helped shape the vision for the original work locally, but he has brought an energy and enthusiasm for community partnerships that has sustained consistent growth and driven impactful innovation in every corner of the country,” StriveTogether Board Chairman Nancy L. Zimpher said. “We will miss him dearly in his current role, but we know he will remain engaged in important and meaningful ways and will support this work at the national and local levels for years to come. On behalf of the Board and Network, we are committed to sustained growth and impact over the long term.”
The Ballmer Group has committed to make a significant investment in StriveTogether’s emerging five-year plan, supporting both the work of the national organization and local communities that have made demonstrable progress in fundamentally changing how local partners help children succeed. Details of this investment, which they hope will be matched by existing and new investors, will be shared at the October annual convening of the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network. In addition, Edmondson will remain on the StriveTogether Board to sustain his support for the organization and Network.
“Our national search for a managing director brought us into contact with an impressive array of leaders who are really committed to making a positive difference in the lives of others,” said Connie Ballmer, co-founder of The Ballmer Group. “We selected Jeff because his passions align with ours, and he has considerable experience working across public, private and governmental sectors. Jeff builds teams and partnerships, focuses on results, finds paths through complex problems and brings a national perspective from his work around the country.”
“I look forward to working with Connie, Steve and The Ballmer Group team to find new and creative ways to remove barriers to economic mobility,” Edmondson said. “I am eternally grateful to all those who continue to dedicate themselves to advancing opportunity for children and families across the 72 communities in the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network. Taking what we have learned together to the philanthropic sector is incredibly exciting, especially in a time when private resources are more important than ever for driving impact and innovation to inform public sector investment. I look forward to engaging with a broader circle of partners and advocates who are committed to fundamentally changing how systems work for children, families and communities.”
For more information on StriveTogether, contact Communications Strategy Lead Dawn Raftery at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the Ballmer Group, contact Christine Heenan at email@example.com.
StriveTogether is a national, nonprofit network of more than 70 communities that supports the success of every child, cradle to career. We provide coaching, connections and resources to local partnerships and work together to accelerate progress in education. Communities using our approach have seen dramatic improvements in kindergarten readiness, academic achievement and postsecondary success. The Cradle to Career Network reaches 8.2 million students, involves more than 10,800 organizations and operates in 32 states and Washington, D.C.