James “Jim” Shelton is Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Blue Meridian Partners.
In this role, Jim is investigating new areas where significant focused capital can help solve problems at scale and advising Blue Meridian. His primary areas of exploration include new approaches to economic mobility and racial equity; the roles of for-profits, policy and advocacy; place-based and regional strategies; and the potential to leverage targeted universalism to have broad impacts. Jim’s work to unlock our investees’ ability to achieve greater impact, scale and sustainability builds on his long experience investing in efforts to accelerate and scale innovation, including his prior work on “big bets” to boost social and economic mobility.
Jim is also a founding partner of Amandla Enterprises, Senior Advisor for Education at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and non-resident fellow at the Brookings Institute.
Prior to this, he served as President and Chief Impact Officer of 2U, Inc. and was deputy secretary at the US Department of Education (and head of its office of innovation and improvement) under President Obama. There, he served as the Executive Director of the President’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative and served on and led multiple interagency efforts focused on poverty reduction, economic development, entrepreneurship, and increased opportunity, such as the Investing in Innovation Fund, Promise Neighborhoods, and ConnectED. He has served as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company advising CEOS and other for-profit and non-profit executives and has experience as a growth investor, education entrepreneur and program lead for the Gates Foundation. He began his career developing computer systems.
Jim holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Morehouse College and master’s degrees in both business administration and education from Stanford University.