Student Freedom Initiative Inaugurates Launch at HBCU Campuses Across U.S. Read more.

Keith B. Shoates, PMP

Chief Operating Officer
Student Freedom Initiative (“SFI”)

Accountable to the Executive Director for the integrated planning, design, development, and approach to achieve and sustain the mission of SFI.  As interim Executive Director responsible for the research, modeling, analysis, and design of the four components of the SFI program.  Recruited core talent, secured historic National Council of Negro Women as headquarters, and achieved endorsement by the Business Roundtable (BRT), Advancing Racial Equity and Justice, education Subcommittee and the Walmart Foundation. Raised $100+M in 12 months to launch the program comprised of 2 public and 7 private Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across 8 states, 123 STEM majors and approximately 6,000 eligible students for the Fall 2021 academic year.  Leads the definition and implementation of the SFI longitudinal study and SFI Salesforce/PowerBI enabled Knowledgebase and Dashboard to ensure appropriate transparency of Program information.

Project manager for Robert F. Smith’s transformational gift to the 400 member Morehouse Class of 2019, responsible for coordinating with USDOE, Morehouse College, and students to facilitate successful identification of eligible students and satisfaction of intent of donor.    Responsible for integrating strategic planning, operations, corporate communications, and corporate initiatives in support of the Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners.  Retired Colonel (USAF), with 30+ years’ experience leading multi-disciplinary teams within the federal government, private sector, and nonprofit sector delivering integrated technical solutions to address challenging and dynamic customer needs. Led a team of subject matter experts in the provision of a secure, common virtual desktop for 60,000+ world-wide users across multiple federal agencies.  As project manager, led the planning, design, development, and deployment of a single $200M data center that consolidated multiple regional data centers supporting 10,000 worldwide users and missions of the highest national priority.  Graduate of Chapman University, Argyros School of Business & Economics (MBA), Air Command & Staff College (Master of Strategic Studies), and Cornell University, College of Engineering (BS-Electrical Engineering and Master of Engineering).