Claire Belanger

Jane Swift, former Mass. governor, tapped to lead edtech nonprofit

Claire Belanger
Jane Swift, former Mass. governor, tapped to lead edtech nonprofit

Via Boston Business Journal by Gintautas Dumcius, 5/30/19

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Jane Swift, a former Massachusetts governor and state senator, starts on July 1 as president and executive director of edtech nonprofit LearnLaunch Inc. The nonprofit's board signed off on Swift for the role in a vote last week.

The new position comes after co-founders Eileen Rudden, a former Chicago Public Schools official, and Jean Hammond, a well-known angel investor and one of the earliest backers of car-sharing company Zipcar, had been running LearnLaunch, an umbrella organization that combines an institute that hosts conferences meetups with an accelerator program and incubator space for startups. Mark Miller, managing partner of M&A and strategy firm Good Harbor Partners, Hakan Satiroglu and Vinit Nijhawan have also founded the nonprofit, according to Miller.

Located on Summer Street in Boston’s Seaport District, the organization has a core staff of nine people.

Jane Swift is a national leader in the education field, with extensive experience in the public and private sectors,” Rudden said in a statement. “We are excited to bring her talents and vision to help expand the reach and impact of LearnLaunch and the entire edtech sector.”

A North Adams native, 54-year-old Swiftserved as as acting governor between 2001 and 2003, the first woman to hold the state's corner office. Lieutenant governor at the time when Gov. Paul Cellucci became U.S. ambassador to Canada, Swift declined to run for a full four-year term, choosing instead to move into the private sector. She recently served as CEO of Vermont-based education company Middlebury Interactive Languages from 2011 to 2017.

“Throughout my career in public service, and for the past 15 years in the private sector, I have been working with educators and entrepreneurs engaged in developing tools and strategies that advance student learning,” Swift said in her own statement.

“I believe LearnLaunch is the ideal platform, with the ecosystem to institute the programs, to forge the public-private partnerships and to cement the changes needed to achieve success and to allow our region to continue to be a national model for innovation in education,” she added.


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