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POWER & PROMISE
– The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Foundation has named Shelley Scherer as its new president and CEO.
Scherer was associate executive director for The Pittsburgh Promise, a post-secondary access and scholarship organization serving graduates of Pittsburgh's public schools. In that role, Scherer led staff operations, including fundraising, marketing, scholarship administration, and student outreach. Scherer also launched innovations to strengthen The Promise’s college and corporate partnerships, improve student outcomes, and generate multimillion-dollar gifts to benefit The Pittsburgh Promise Scholarship fund.
“Throughout her career in the private and nonprofit sectors, Scherer has built strategic collaborations and philanthropic support that will help to advance the Foundation’s mission to raise funds and build partnerships to increase student affordability,” said Lynn Miller, Vice Chair of the PASSHE Foundation Board and Chair of the Search Committee. “We are confident that Shelley’s holistic approach to education, workforce development and philanthropy will guide the Foundation to the next level and help ensure student success and support university excellence.”
PASSHE Chancellor Daniel Greenstein added, “Shelley Scherer has extensive experience in philanthropy and non-profit leadership and is a great choice to lead the PASSHE Foundation. Throughout the years, the Foundation has been a nimble and innovative partner with us. I look forward to working with Shelley in our shared mission to open doors of opportunity for PASSHE students and enable universities to change lives and create a stronger workforce for Pennsylvania.”
Scherer holds a B.A. in Economics, with a concentration in Science, Technology, and Public Policy from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota and an M.P.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Her graduate research focused on nonprofit leadership, philanthropy, and public-private partnerships.
“I am thrilled to be joining the PASSHE Foundation,” said Scherer. “I care deeply about advancing socio-economic mobility and am passionate about PASSHE’s mission to ensure accessibility and advance student success. With the ability to leverage system-wide collaborations, particularly around high-demand jobs, such as teachers and nurses as well as other essential workforce initiatives, the Foundation can advance systemic changes that are small enough to get done and big enough to make a difference.”
Scherer is an active community volunteer and nonprofit board member. She serves as Board Chair of Outreach International, an international non-governmental organization (NGO) that works in communities around the world to eradicate poverty.
Shelley and her family live in Pittsburgh.
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