National Math and Science Initiative Names Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Jr. as New CEO

ABOVE: Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Jr.

Veteran astronaut and STEM education advocate Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Jr. has been named the new chief executive officer of the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI). Dr. Harris succeeds Matthew Randazzo who was recently named president and CEO of The Dallas Foundation. Randazzo will assume this role in mid-2018 and will remain a NMSI board member.

“We believe STEM education is a critical lever to advance equity and develop problem solvers for an evolving economy,” said Randazzo. “I’m enormously proud of the work we and our partner schools have accomplished and I look forward to remaining engaged as an NMSI board member.”

Randazzo appears to have left the organization in a good position for Dr. Harris to continue leading it into the future, according to the NMSI board chair.

“Bernard’s passion for STEM education and his experiences across industries will help NMSI continue to enhance existing programs and secure the right partnerships to eradicate STEM deserts,” said Ken Cohen, chairman of the NMSI board. “I’m grateful for Matthew’s leadership over the past several years and the work he has done to prepare NMSI for exponential impact in our country’s K-12 public education.”

The role of NMSI CEO is a natural fit for Dr. Harris, who is a physician, former astronaut and businessman. He is a founding member of the NMSI board and has served in that role for 10 years. His more than 20 years of business experience includes various leadership roles as CEO, president and chief medical officer of some of the nation’s leading companies and organizations. Dr. Harris is also the founder of The Harris Institute, a non-profit organization that supports math and science education programs for America’s youth.

“High-quality STEM learning for all students, particularly those from underserved and underrepresented communities, has never been more critical,” Dr. Harris said. “NMSI has done tremendous work in the past 10 years and has positioned itself to improve the education of many more students in the coming years.”

Launched in 2007, the National Math and Science Initiative increases students’ access and achievement in rigorous math, science and English courses through engaging programs that are rooted in local partnerships. The nonprofit organization is nationally recognized for providing programs proven to benefit students, teachers, schools and communities in 40 states and the District of Columbia.

NMSI is celebrating its 10th anniversary, and has partnered with more than 1,200 schools, provided training and support for nearly 50,000 teachers and has improved the educational experiences of more than 1.5 million students. It is working to enhance its existing education reform programs and recently announced a 10-year strategy to work with other organizations to identify and eradicate STEM deserts, where students have no access to rigorous math and science education.

To learn more about the National Math and Science Initiative please visit their website at nms.org.