Richard W. Riley

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Richard W. Riley is a Trustee of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

"Richard W. Riley is the former Governor of South Carolina and the former U.S. Secretary of Education, serving the eight years of the Clinton administration. After winning national recognition for his successful education improvements in South Carolina during the 1980s, Riley was chosen by President Clinton in December 1992 to serve in his Cabinet as the nation’s chief education officer. During the president’s first term, Secretary Riley helped launch historic initiatives to raise academic standards; improve instruction for the poor and disadvantaged; expand grant and loan programs to help more Americans go to college; prepare young people for the world of work; and improve teaching. He also created the Partnership for Family Involvement in Education, which today includes more than 8,000 groups.

"During the president’s second term, Secretary Riley helped win a historic Federal Communications Commission ruling to give schools and libraries deep discounts for Internet access and telecommunications services (known as the E-rate) and promoted major improvements in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. He gained increased federal support to help all children master the basics of reading and math; make schools safer; reduce class size in grades 1-3 by hiring 100,000 more quality teachers; modernize and build new schools to meet record-breaking student enrollments; help students learn to use computers; expand after-school programs; foster college preparation and access for underprivileged students; make postsecondary education more affordable; and promote lifelong learning. Riley also focused national attention on the need for people of all ages in America to learn more than one language and for increased international education exchanges between the United States and other nations in order to take advantage of the opportunities presented in the global society of the 21st century.

"Since leaving his national post in January 2001, Riley has rejoined the law firm of Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, which has more than 300 attorneys in offices throughout South Carolina and North Carolina, as well as in Atlanta. He has also been appointed Distinguished Professor at his alma mater, Furman University, and serves as Advisory Board Chair of the Richard W. Riley Institute of Government, Politics and Public Leadership there. Additionally, Riley has been named Distinguished Professor at the University of South Carolina and Distinguished Senior Fellow at NAFSA: Association of International Educators. He also gives talks, provides leadership and serves in an advisory and collaborative capacity with many other institutions and organizations to promote education improvement in the United States and abroad.

"A native of South Carolina, he graduated cum laude from Furman University in 1954 and then served as an officer aboard a U. S. Navy minesweeper. In 1959, Riley received a law degree from the University of South Carolina. He served as a South Carolina state representative and state senator from 1963-1977, was elected governor in 1978 and reelected in 1982." [1]

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  1. About, World Justice Project, accessed April 27, 2008.

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