Student Success and Public Engagement Leader Joins Achieving the Dream


Silver Spring, MD (January 19, 2016) – Dr. Karen A. Stout, President & CEO of Achieving the Dream, today announced Dr. Paul Markham, a higher education professional with wide-ranging experience in student success, community partnerships, non-profit management and philanthropy, will join Achieving the Dream (ATD) as Vice President for Vice President for Strategic Partnerships and Development.

A member of ATD’s senior team, Dr. Markham will advance ATD’s mission and build organizational effectiveness and financial sustainability by raising funds from and developing strategic partnerships with corporate, government and foundation entities.

“Paul’s vision and hard work have created new constellations of high-impact partnerships between universities and their communities,” said Dr. Stout. “His experience brings important new capacity to the ATD staff and positions us to approach partnerships on a much deeper level.”

“I’m thrilled to join the ATD team,” said Dr. Markham. “I have long admired the focus, determination, and drive for success ATD brings to higher education. Community colleges are ‘anchor institutions’ throughout our country, bringing hope, opportunity, and partnership in extraordinary ways. I’m proud to play my role in this wonderful work!”

Dr. Markham comes to ATD from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where he was Senior Program Officer with a special passion for encouraging reforms to developmental education.  In that capacity, he led the Postsecondary Success team’s efforts to support developmental education redesign and the design and implementation of guided pathways.

Previously, Dr. Markham was Associate Professor of Education and Director of Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement at the University of Washington Bothell. There he also co-created and co-directed the Student Success Center, which serves as UWB’s “one-stop shop” for developmental education, retention and persistence.

Before his work at the Gates Foundation and UWB, Dr. Markham held several positions at Western Kentucky University, including Assistant Professor, Co-Founder and Director of the Institute for Citizenship and Social Responsibility. He was also Assistant Professor and Director of the ALIVE Center for Community Partnerships, transforming a community volunteer center into a center for community partnerships dedicated to building the capacity of non-profits to meet community needs.

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Achieving the Dream, Inc. is a national nonprofit that is dedicated to helping more community college students, particularly low-income students and students of color, stay in school and earn a college certificate or degree. Evidence-based, student-centered, and built on the values of equity and excellence, Achieving the Dream is closing achievement gaps and accelerating student success nationwide by: 1) guiding evidence-based institutional improvement, 2) leading policy change, 3) generating knowledge, and 4) engaging the public. Conceived as an initiative in 2004 by Lumina Foundation and seven founding partner organizations, today, Achieving the Dream is leading the most comprehensive non-governmental reform network for student success in higher education history. With over 200 institutions, more than 100 coaches and advisors, and 15 state policy teams - working throughout 35 states and the District of Columbia – the Achieving the Dream National Reform Network helps more than 4 million community college students have a better chance of realizing greater economic opportunity and achieving their dreams.

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