Cornell President David Skorton has been elected chair for a two-year term (2008-10) of the Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF), a national organization of Fortune 500 CEOs and senior executives, prominent college and university presidents and foundation leaders working to advance innovative solutions to U.S. education challenges.
Skorton, who has been vice chair of the organization for the past two years, succeeds Herbert M. Allison Jr., former chairman, president and CEO of TIAA-CREF.
"I am fortunate to benefit from Herb Allison's legacy of leadership of this organization and am honored to succeed him as BHEF's chair," said Skorton. "Because this organization can leverage the combined strengths of business and higher education, BHEF is uniquely positioned to build a network of leaders who recognize that, in the 21st century, all students must be college- and work-ready and to advocate for the adoption of practical policies to help realize this vision."
BHEF's new leaders have been heavily involved in the two major initiatives currently being pursued by the organization. The College Readiness Initiative, which Skorton has co-chaired, promotes college readiness, access and success for underserved populations, particularly in science and math, harnessing the influence and resources of BHEF and its membership to address education issues spanning grade school to graduate school. The Securing America's Leadership in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics I nitiative seeks to double the number of college graduates in those disciplines by 2015 through research, programmatic and advocacy efforts.
A national leader in research ethics, Skorton is charter past-president of the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs Inc., the first entity organized specifically to accredit human research protection programs. He has served on the boards and committees of many national organizations and is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations.