Washington, D.C. – January 23, 2013 – The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21), the leading organization advocating for 21st century readiness for every student, is proud to announce the selection of Dr. Steven Paine as P21’s incoming President and Dr. Helen Soulé as Executive Director. This new leadership team commands a wealth of knowledge and experience in both the private and public sectors.

Dr. Steven Paine, a renowned education advocate and Milken Educator Award recipient, served as West Virginia’s state superintendent of schools from 2005 to 2011. Under his leadership, West Virginia, a key 21st Century Leadership State, was nationally recognized for its 21st Century Learning Skills initiative, pre-kindergarten programs, school technology implementation, reading initiatives and teacher quality efforts. Dr. Paine often advises private sector boards and councils on educational matters.

Dr. Soule’s background includes teaching, as well providing educational leadership at the local, state and national K-12 level. She served as Executive Director for Cable in the Classroom, and has held leadership positions, including Director of State Partnerships and Interim Executive Director, at P21 for the last 4 years. In her new role, she will manage ongoing operations and state support work for P21.

“Dr. Paine is uniquely suited for this position,” remarked Frank Gallagher, P21 Chair and Executive Director of Cable in the Classroom. “He is an innovative, inspirational leader with the experience and ability to lead the 21st Century Skills movement.”

Dr. Paine will work in partnership with P21’s broad coalition of business leaders, education and nonprofit leaders, state partners and policy makers to continue to implement 21st century readiness for every student. Paine will also lead P21’s new collaborative efforts in 21st Century Exemplars, 21st Century Citizenship, and represent P21 at conferences and events.

“I have been a major advocate and friend of P21 for years,” said Paine. “It is an honor to be able to work with this organization that has been a catalyst for 21st century skills implementation. I look forward to helping lead P21 in the next phase of bringing the best and brightest minds in education to showcase 21st century learning and expand P21’s circle of influence.”

Dr. Soulé added – “I am excited to be able to continue supporting P21 in the role of Executive Director, and look forward to working with Steve to expand and deepen our very important work to support education in this critical time.”

About P21: P21 is a national organization that advocates for 21st century readiness for every student. As the United States continues to compete in a global economy that demands innovation, P21 and its members provide tools and resources to help the U.S. education system keep up by fusing the 3Rs and 4Cs (critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration and creativity and innovation). While leading districts and schools are already doing this, P21 advocates for local, state and federal policies that support this approach for every school.

P21 Members: Apple Inc., Cable in the Classroom, Cengage Learning, Cisco Systems, Inc., The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program (AP), Common Sense Media, Crayola, EdLeader21, EF Education, Education Networks of America, Follett School & Library Group, Ford Motor Company Fund, Goddard Systems Inc., Intel Corporation, JP – Inspiring Knowledge, LEGO Group, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, National Education Association, Pearson Foundation, Project Management Institute Educational Foundation, VIF International Education, The Walt Disney Company, and Wireless Generation.

P21 Leadership States: Arizona, California, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.

P21 media contact: Tatyana Warrick (tatyana@p21.org / 202-312-6430)

About the Author: