FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jennifer Myers
Rajiv Vinnakota to Join Aspen Institute
Education Innovator Tapped to Head up New Youth Leadership Department
September 15, 2015, Washington, DC – The Aspen Institute announced today that Rajiv Vinnakota, co-founder of The SEED Foundation, will be joining its senior management team as executive vice president to establish a new department focused on youth engagement & leadership. This new venture will incorporate the use of the Institute’s innovative leadership development model to foster youth leaders in underserved rural and urban communities along with other entrepreneurial approaches to youth engagement in the issues of the day.
“Raj’s accomplishments and unique vision for the future of education in this country embody the values-based leadership fostered here at the Institute,” said Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson. “Under his direction, this work will have a significant impact on the next generation of America’s leaders.”
Raj’s new department will oversee and continue to develop programs at the institute focused on youth development including the Aspen Challenge, Teen Socrates and AspenX.
Raj co-founded The SEED Foundation with Eric Adler in 1997 to provide underserved children with a supportive and academically rigorous environment to achieve scholastic success. Today, there are three SEED schools and plans for further expansion. Over 90 percent of SEED graduates have enrolled in college, and they earn bachelor’s degrees at four-and-a-half times the rate of our nation’s lowest income students.
Raj attended Princeton University, from which he received a B.S. in Molecular Biology, as well as certificate of studies from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy. He is a member of the fifth class of Aspen-Pahara Education Fellows and a Fellow of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.
The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, CO; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org.