Sponsors for Educational Opportunity said Monday that it has appointed Henry Kravis as chairman of its board of directors. Kravis is the co-chairman and co-CEO of KKR, which he also co-founded. Based in New York City, SEO is an organization that helps students from underserved and underrepresented communities gain access to quality educational and career opportunities.
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) today announced that business leader and philanthropist Henry Kravis, Co-Chairman and Co-CEO of KKR, has been elected Chairman of the board of directors of SEO, effective January 2014.
Mr. Kravis has been involved with the New York City-based organization for five years but one SEO program in particular—SEO Scholars—played a key role in his decision to chair the board.
SEO Scholars is an eight-year academic program that prepares low-income public high school students for admission to the nation’s most competitive colleges—and supports them through college graduation.
“We’re thrilled to have Henry Kravis’ leadership to expand SEO Scholars and help more low-income students break the cycle of poverty by obtaining a college degree,” said William Goodloe, SEO’s president & CEO. “He is deeply committed to the often-neglected students that SEO Scholars serves: those who are motivated to come to high school every day and wish to attend college. By providing intense support from 9th grade through college graduation to these students, there is a tremendous opportunity to transform not only individual lives and families, but also entire communities.”
Every student in SEO Scholars is accepted to a four-year college; 95% go on to graduate from college in six years and 80% graduate in four years. While in college, students receive ongoing one-on-one academic advising, personal support and career guidance. In high school, students in the program attend over 720 hours of Saturday, summer and after-school classes in reading, writing, grammar, vocabulary, and math.
Mr. Kravis, Co-Chairman and Co-CEO of KKR, stated: “SEO Scholars is a stellar model of what works, and it’s ready for expansion. The program’s nearly 100% college graduation rate is an incredible record of success. I look forward to helping advance its mission of ensuring that motivated, low-income students can succeed at four-year colleges.”
“Students who participate in SEO Scholars increase their performance on standardized tests substantially and, in effect, eliminate the Black-White and Hispanic-White achievement gaps,” said Michael Osheowitz, founder and chairman emeritus of SEO. “To have Henry Kravis as SEO’s board Chair will enable SEO Scholars to close the achievement gap for thousands more low-income students.”
Mr. Kravis has become increasingly involved with SEO since KKR became a founding partner of the SEO Alternative Investments fellowship program in 2009. He hosts an annual breakfast seminar for SEO Career interns and, in 2013, he and his wife Marie-Josée Kravis made a $4 million gift to SEO Scholars which will go toward doubling the number of incoming students served in the program.
“I could not think of a better person to succeed me in the role of chairman,” noted outgoing Chairman Walter Booker. An SEO Career alumnus, Mr. Booker held the position of Chairman for the past 18 years. He said, “Henry Kravis is passionate about education, the New York community and our impactful work, and his leadership is certain to make a tremendous difference.”
Henry Kravis will be the third chairman in SEO’s history, following Michael Osheowitz and Walter Booker.
ABOUT SPONSORS FOR EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY (SEO)
SEO was founded in 1963 with a mission to provide talented and motivated young people from underserved and underrepresented communities with access to superior educational and career opportunities. Today, SEO runs three programs: SEO Scholars is an eight-year academic program that prepares low-income public high school students for admission to the nation’s most competitive colleges—and supports them through college graduation; SEO Career is the nation’s premier summer internship and training program for underrepresented college students, specializing in banking, corporate leadership, law, private equity and non-profit; SEO Alternative Investments provides education, exposure, training and mentoring opportunities to talented professionals traditionally underrepresented in the alternative investments sector.
ABOUT HENRY R. KRAVIS
Henry Kravis co-founded KKR in 1976 and is Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Kravis currently serves on the boards of First Data Corporation and China International Capital Corporation Limited. Mr. Kravis is actively involved in the New York Community. In 1996, he established the New York City Investment Fund (now known as the Partnership Fund for New York City), a non-profit organization that works to create jobs and help small businesses in New York City. In 2011, he donated $100 million to Columbia Business School to fund the building of a learning center for entrepreneurs at the Manhattanville campus. He also serves as a director, chairman emeritus or trustee of several cultural, professional, and educational institutions, including Sponsors for Educational Opportunity, The Business Council, Claremont McKenna College, Columbia Business School, Mount Sinai Hospital, the Partnership Fund for New York City, Partnership for New York City, Rockefeller University, and Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management. He earned a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College in 1967 and an M.B.A. from the Columbia Business School in 1969. Mr. Kravis has more than four decades of experience financing, analyzing, and investing in public and private companies, as well as serving on the boards of a number of KKR portfolio companies. KKR & Co. L.P. is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:KKR) and “KKR”, as used in this release, includes its subsidiaries, their managed investment funds and accounts, and/or their affiliated investment vehicles, as appropriate.