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President and CEO

Keith B. Shoates, PMP

Keith’s Journey to SFI

Accountable to the Board of Directors for the leading the development of culture, strategy, organization, plans, and strategic partnerships to achieve the Student Freedom Initiative vision of reducing the wealth gap through the lens of education for the students attending affiliated Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs).  Accountable to the President and CEO and as SFI’s Chief Operating Officer recruited the core talent, acquired facilities and technology, developed policies and procedures, and established the information infrastructure necessary to enable scaling across applicable program pillars to sixty-six (66) MSIs, including Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and other MSIs across twenty-two (22) states.  Prior to serving as SFI’s Chief Operating Officer, served as its interim Executive Director responsible for launching the program at the initial nine (9) MSIs across eight (8) states and leveraging the best practices learned from his implementation of the Chairman’s philanthropic gift to the graduates of Morehouse College.  Created the core tenets (e.g., student centered, evidence-based, collaborative, and holistic), pillars (e.g., Alternative to Parent PLUS loans; Internships and Certification; Student Supports; Institution Capacity Building), and initial strategic partnerships that provided the initial $260+ million to launch the organization.

Responsible for integrating strategic planning, operations, corporate communications, and corporate initiatives in support of the Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners.  Project manager for Robert F. Smith’s transformational gift to the 400 member Morehouse Class of 2019, responsible for coordinating with US Department of Education, Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, and students and parents to facilitate successful identification of eligibility and satisfaction of intent of donor.    

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.