Strada Education Foundation Names Aristide Collins Jr. Its First CAO, Chief of Staff

Veteran higher ed leader will provide collaborative leadership to help Strada strengthen the link between education and opportunity in America
June 13, 2023

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INDIANAPOLIS — Strada Education Foundation, an organization dedicated to helping people achieve their career and life aspirations through education or training after high school, today announced Aristide J. Collins, Jr., will join the foundation as its first executive vice president, chief administrative officer, and chief of staff.

Collins brings more than 25 years of experience in higher education and nonprofit leadership to Strada, where he will provide strategic leadership and support to Strada President and CEO Stephen Moret and his leadership team, while overseeing several internal functions and ensuring progress on key initiatives. He joins Strada after recently serving as vice president, chief of staff, and university secretary at George Washington University, where he has been responsible for the alignment and coordination of the university’s senior leadership to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the institution’s key initiatives and priorities. He will start his position in early August and will be based in Strada’s Indianapolis headquarters.

“I am excited that Aristide will join our executive team. His collaborative leadership experience in higher education and proven track record will help us advance our mission to strengthen the link between education and opportunity in America,” Moret said. “With his deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing higher education, his extraordinary collaborative leadership approach, and his passion for Strada’s mission, he will be very well positioned to help us execute our new strategic plan.”

Collins spent 13 years at George Washington in a variety of senior leadership roles, including development and alumni relations and as secretary of the university before joining the president’s office as chief of staff. He was responsible for government and community relations and university events and venues, including the university’s commencement ceremony. As vice president for development and alumni relations, Collins led the public phase of the university’s “Making History” campaign, which in 2017 broke the institution’s fundraising records by raising more than $1.02 billion.

As chief of staff and university secretary, Collins was responsible for facilitating the university board of trustees’ relationship with the institution’s leadership, faculty, staff, students, and the broader community, and managed three presidential transitions. On behalf of the university president, Collins was responsible for the alignment and coordination of the university’s senior leadership to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the institution’s key initiatives and priorities. In 2022, he was elected by the National Academy of Public Administration to its academy fellows, a roster that includes former Cabinet members, members of Congress, governors, and other accomplished leaders.

“I am excited to join Strada because I feel a personal connection with its mission,” Collins said. “I have seen firsthand how access to education can change lives, and feel humbled to have had opportunities to help students experience its transformational impact through my work in university leadership. Now, I am thrilled to build on that work with Strada, where we can help more people across the nation experience and benefit from education’s promise.”

Before joining George Washington, Collins served as vice president for institutional advancement and university relations at Clark Atlanta University, as vice president for advancement and a member of the faculty at Pacific Oaks College and Children’s School in Pasadena, California, and in leadership positions over 10 years at California State University, Long Beach.

Collins earned his bachelor’s degree in political science with a special certificate in educational management from California State University, Hayward (East Bay), and a master’s degree in public administration from California State University, Long Beach. He also earned a doctorate of education in organizational leadership from Pepperdine University. He has been recognized with the Meritorious Service Award from Clark Atlanta University, and the Trailblazer Award from the Washington, D.C., chapter of American Fundraising Professionals. He recently joined the faculty of the Association of Governing Boards Institute for Leadership and Governance in Higher Education.

About Strada Education Foundation
Providing access to college degrees isn’t enough. That’s why Strada Education Foundation focuses on stronger connections between postsecondary education and opportunity in the U.S. and focus on helping people whom our systems have failed to serve equitably. We advance this mission through research, grantmaking, social impact investments, and public policy solutions. We collaborate with students, educators, employers, policymakers, and other partners to help create more equitable pathways to prosperity. Learn more at