Raymond C. Pierce

President and CEO

Raymond C. Pierce serves as the President and CEO of the Southern Education Foundation.  Pierce has a distinguished career in education, law, government and business and leads the Southern Education Foundation in its mission in support of access to quality public education in the southern states. 

Prior to joining the Southern Education Foundation Pierce served as Chief Education Officer of the Global Teaching Project a venture in the development of a digital education company focused on producing and providing Advanced Placement courses in secondary education. From 2005 to 2012, Mr. Pierce was Dean of the School of Law at North Carolina Central University, where he led the law school to achieve national recognition and number one rankings in educational programming and student achievement. Pierce served on the Council of Legal Education of the American Bar Association, which oversees accreditation of law schools in the United States. He is also a member of the American Bar Foundation and a permanent member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference.

From 1993 to 2000, Pierce served in the administration of President Bill Clinton as a senior executive and Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights where he managed the development of federal education policy and the enforcement of federal civil rights laws in education. Pierce directed the development and publication of the Federal Government response to the 1992 US Supreme Court decision in Ayers v Fordice resulting in major Federal Education and Civil Rights policy and guidelines on Higher Education Desegregation impacting publicly supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

While at the Department of Education Pierce also served on several federal task forces relating to the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education and Higher Education Acts, development of the Federal Communications Commission’s Universal Schools and Libraries Program (commonly known as the “E-rate”), the development of high standards education policies, and the advancement of charter school policy and extended learning programs. Mr. Pierce also served on the White House Domestic Policy Council task force that developed the Empowerment Zone/Enterprise Zone economic and workforce development initiatives.

Pierce has been a partner at the law firms of Baker Hostetler and Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough where his practice focused on corporate transactions, bankruptcy, banking, and education matters.  While at Baker Hostetler, Pierce was appointed by the Ohio State Attorney General to serve as Special Counsel for matters involving the Ohio State Teachers Retirement Fund.

Earlier in his career, Pierce was employed for seven years as an attorney in the law department of the LTV Corporation, a Fortune 50 steel, energy and aerospace defense company. While at LTV, he led the corporation’s workforce development initiatives in collaboration with organized labor and public education.  Mr. Pierce began his career as a civil rights attorney in Little Rock, Arkansas with the John W. Walker Law Firm.

Mr. Pierce is a past member of the North Carolina State Banking Commission, and currently is a director of M&F Bank and M&F Bancorp, where he serves on the audit and corporate governance committees.

Mr. Pierce earned a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and a J.D. degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

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