Building on
American Latino Success
To Forge A Stronger America

The Honorable James H. Shelton, lll

Deputy Secretary
U.S. Department of Education 

Jim Shelton is the deputy secretary at the U.S. Department of Education. In this role, he oversees a broad range of management, policy, and program functions.

Previously, he served as head of the Office of Innovation and Improvement at the Department, managing a portfolio that included most of the Department’s competitive programs, such as the Investing in Innovation Fund (i3), Promise Neighborhoods, and others focused on teacher and leader quality, school choice, and learning technology.

Earlier in his career as program director for education at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Shelton managed portfolios ranging from $2 to $3 billion in non-profit investments targeting increased high school and college graduation rates. Shelton has also been the East Coast lead for NewSchools Venture Fund, and co-founded LearnNow, a school management company that later was acquired by Edison Schools. After four years in Atlanta with McKinsey & Company advising CEOs and other executives on issues related to strategy, business development, and organizational design and effectiveness, he left as a senior manager to join Knowledge Universe, Inc. There he launched, acquired, and operated education-related businesses.

Shelton holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Atlanta’s Morehouse College as well as master’s degrees in business administration and education from Stanford University. Shelton currently resides in his hometown, Washington, D.C., with his wife Sonia and their two sons.