WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 14, 2022) – Building Hope, the non-profit leader in charter school facilities, financing, and services, today announced its Board of Directors has unanimously chosen William D. Hansen to succeed S. Joseph Bruno as Building Hope Holdings, Inc. President and CEO. Mr. Hansen, who most recently served as President and CEO of the Strada Education Network, will begin Oct. 3, 2022. Mr. Bruno, who plans to retire in 2023, will continue as President and CEO Emeritus to ensure a smooth leadership transition.
“All of us at Building Hope are deeply grateful to Joe for the leadership he has demonstrated over the last 20 years and his unwavering dedication to ensuring access to quality Kindergarten through 12th grade education for all students,” said Sheila Ryan-Macie, chair of the board of directors. “We have found in Bill the qualifications and expertise that will allow Building Hope to continue to grow and deepen our capacity to create a lasting impact on students and families served by the charter school community. The Board of Directors and I are very pleased to introduce a leader of Bill’s caliber to the Building Hope family.”
Mr. Hansen comes to Building Hope with extensive experience in the corporate, government, investment, social impact, philanthropy, and policy sectors. While serving as President and CEO of the Strada Education Network, he created the $2 billion national social impact fund and organization that is dedicated to helping learners build more purposeful pathways to and from postsecondary education and into rewarding careers. Mr. Hansen was initially appointed as President and CEO of USA Funds, the nation’s largest guarantor of student loans, which he successfully managed and transitioned from its legacy business, and in doing so, created the platform to launch Strada.
During his 15 years in the public sector, Mr. Hansen was twice unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate to key Presidential appointments. He served as the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education under President George W. Bush, implementing successful education reforms for school innovation, accountability, opportunities for all learners, and improvement in student achievement. Earlier in his career, Mr. Hansen served as ED’s Assistant Secretary for
Management and Budget and Chief Financial Officer. Additionally, he was appointed to other key leadership positions at the Departments of Education, Energy, and Commerce.
“I’m honored and grateful to the Board for the opportunity to lead this exceptional organization and continue its mission to provide unparalleled facilities, financial, and operational services so that educators can devote their time and resources to educating students in underserved communities,” said Mr. Hansen. “Education in our country is at a pivotal moment, and Building Hope is uniquely positioned to be the leader in the promise of public education school choice – a leader that is committed to turning big ideas, innovative thinking, and hope for the future into reality.”
Mr. Hansen currently serves on the nonprofit boards of The Jackie Robinson Foundation and Youth For Tomorrow (founded by Joe Gibbs). He also serves on the board of Green Street Impact Partners and several other education-related corporate boards. Additionally, Mr. Hansen has served on four state education commissions in the Commonwealth of Virginia, was a commissioner on the National Commission on the Cost of Higher Education, and an advisory board member for the University of Virginia’s School of Education, Southern Virginia University, and BYU-Idaho.
Mr. Hansen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from George Mason University and attended Idaho State University. He has been recognized by both institutions as a distinguished alumnus.
In planning for his retirement, Mr. Bruno expressed his confidence in the Board’s choice and his appreciation for the opportunity to lead Building Hope. “It has been a great honor to have served as Building Hope’s founding president,” said Mr. Bruno. “I am exceptionally proud of the impact our team has had over the last 20 years. By completing hundreds of school projects, we have created new educational opportunities for hundreds of thousands of students. I know firsthand the value of education, and it has been a joy to create educational impact all across the country. I am confident in Building Hope’s bright future and in Bill’s leadership as we continue our work to ensure all children have access to a quality education that will set them up for future growth and success.”
About Building Hope
Building Hope is a non-profit foundation created to support education and public charter schools. Since 2003, Building Hope has created impact by investing in facilities, financial, and operational services for charter schools nationwide. With Building Hope’s support, schools can devote more resources to educating students in underserved communities. Building Hope has supported over 300 charter school projects and more than 150,000 students in 20 states and the District of Columbia, by providing more than $375 million in direct loans, credit enhancements, and equity investments to support more than $2 billion in school construction. For more information about how Building Hope helps charter schools nationwide with facilities, financing, and operational services, visit www.buildinghope.org.