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A new chapter for the Lab: Bill Hughes is now President + CEO

Letter from outgoing CEO Kathleen deLaski

I am so pleased to mark today, August 1, 2022, by handing the management reins officially to Bill Hughes, new CEO of the Education Design Lab.

Bill has already enriched our lives since joining as President last October. He brings wide and deep experience in ed tech, digital transformation, organizational change management, and even micro-credentialing, which as a new field and a signature strategy for the Lab, is very lucky for us. And most importantly, he has a huge passion for rewiring the broken pipeline between school and work that has left 60 percent of American adults without the “golden ticket” … a college degree.

The timing is very good for this transition, as the Lab is at a crossroads. As I describe in my reflection essay, which charts the Lab’s first decade, we have ridden the reinvention-of-college wave from problem statement to ideation to prototyping to piloting and now, many, many groups have formed a movement in support of skills-based learning and hiring.

As the field matures, the Lab is growing and finding increased demand for our exploration design work as we learn with our partners that unbundling college is not enough. New paradigms are emerging that reshape the relationship between school and work, between instructor, coach, learner and technology, between learning institutions, employers, and public agencies. I am excited to still have a seat at the table as Board Chair and senior advisor, because I don’t want to miss the next chapters supporting Bill and our uniquely thoughtful and fabulous team, and our amazing partners and funders.

Letter from incoming CEO Bill Hughes

I am honored Kathleen has entrusted me to lead the Lab through this transition from groundbreaking start-up to an organization that fully realizes its potential for impact and transformation at the intersection of learning and work. I look forward to expanding and applying the Lab’s discoveries and learnings in an evolving skills-based ecosystem that is more important than ever before.

We must reimagine the pathways to opportunity in America, because neither citizens nor employers benefit from the status quo. There are too many talented yet underemployed or unemployed people, and too many unfilled jobs in growing industries. There are not enough affordable career pathways, and where they exist there are too many barriers to make them accessible for a large number of citizens.

As the Lab moves forward and expands our impact, we will continue to be the skilled and trusted innovation partner the sector has come to rely on. I look forward to helping write the next chapters.

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