Richard W. Riley, Co-Chair
Secretary Riley, one of the most lauded public education advocates of our time for his distinguished public service record and leadership in education reform, has served as co-chair of NCTAF since 2005. A former U.S. Secretary of Education (1993-2001), he helped launch initiatives to raise academic standards; improve instruction for the poor and disadvantaged; increase family and business involvement in education; promote afterschool academic enrichment programs; design schools as centers of the community; expand grants, loans and other programs to help students attend college, prepare for careers and citizenship; foster international education and lifelong learning; and enhance teacher training and practice. As the two-term Governor of South Carolina (1979-1987), he successfully developed, gained passage and implemented the Education Improvement Act of 1984, heralded then by the RAND Corporation as the most comprehensive education reform effort in the nation.
Now practicing as a senior partner in EducationCounsel LLC and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, Secretary Riley remains an ambassador for improving education throughout our nation. He serves with a number of education entities with that goal, including his alma mater, Furman University and The Riley Institute that is housed there. He has received many awards for his education and other public service. Among those, he has been inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame and, in 2010, TIME Magazine named him one of the Top Ten Best Cabinet Members in our nation’s history.