IOWA CITY, Iowa—ACT, Inc., has selected Parminder Jassal, Ph.D., to head the ACT Foundation as the founding executive director. Dr. Jassal will provide leadership and strategic vision to launch the Foundation with the objective of improving underserved students’ success in both education and the workplace.
Dr. Jassal previously served as a program officer supporting Postsecondary Success for low-income young adults at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Since 2008, and in her previous work, Dr. Jassal has demonstrated expertise in using innovation to create transformative change. Most recently, Dr. Jassal envisioned a new college operating model called Pathways to Credentials and Careers and led the “Learn and Earn” movement.
The ACT Foundation was formed and funded by the ACT Board of Directors in fall 2009 on the occasion of ACT’s 50th anniversary celebration.
The Foundation will solicit proposals for efforts aligned with its mission and strategic priorities. Initially, it intends to fund targeted efforts that focus on supporting both education and workplace success in the United States. In the future, the Foundation will have a broader reach, supporting global innovations in student education and workplace success.
“With the appointment of Dr. Jassal, our Foundation moves from the organizational phase to an operational status,” said ACT Chief Executive Officer Jon Whitmore. “We are very excited to welcome a founding executive director with a strong field presence and a proven track record.”
The Foundation’s initial grant focus will be specific to discovering innovative next-generation practices that build credential assets and career benefits for underrepresented student populations.
As executive director, Dr. Jassal will sit on the chief executive officer’s leadership team; have responsibility for creating, building and implementing the Foundation’s strategic vision; manage the organization’s staff, budget and resources; and cultivate innovative, strategic partnerships.
“I look forward to the challenges and the excitement inherent in launching a new foundation, but more importantly, in making a true difference for underserved populations,” said Jassal. “I am committed to ACT’s mission of helping students achieve both education and workplace success and am grateful for the opportunity to continue advancing this mission through the work of the Foundation.”