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James Garner Ptaszynski, Ph.D.

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Senior Fellow, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Board Observer)

In education, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s mission is to ensure that more students are able to complete high-quality, affordable postsecondary credentials that lead to sustaining careers. As the Senior Fellow for Postsecondary Success, Jim focuses on digital learning and helps to further the Foundation’s mission of improving U.S. Higher Education for millions of low-income students by leveraging the power of technology and innovation.

Jim joined the Foundation in 2015 after 19 years at Microsoft having served most recently as the Senior Director for World Wide Higher Education Strategy.

Prior to Microsoft, Jim was worked for five years at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and then for 11 years as a faculty member and the associate dean at the Graduate School of Management at Wake Forest University.

Jim has served on the U.S. Secretary of Education’s Commission on the Future of Higher Education, the Middle East Institute for Higher Education as well as many other taskforces and as a trusted advisor to numerous educational organizations including serving on the Council of Senior Advisors to the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP).

Jim received his BA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, his Master of Science from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, and his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.