James Runcie’s professional career spans the private, public and nonprofit sectors. Mr. Runcie has advised and worked with numerous companies in a variety of industries including technology, education, financial services, consumer and others. Mr. Runcie has advised organizations located in the Americas, Europe and Asia on strategic capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, risk management and governance.
Mr. Runcie is currently the chief executive officer and co-founder of the Education Finance Institute (EFI), a nonprofit organization committed to supporting social mobility through the strengthening of postsecondary institutions that serve low-income, first generation and under-resourced students and families.
Prior to EFI, Mr. Runcie was appointed by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to lead Federal Student Aid (FSA) as its chief operating officer. FSA manages the student loan portfolio which currently has more than $1.5 trillion in assets, disburses loans and grants of $120 billion annually and is responsible for the oversight of more than six thousand Title IV eligible institutions. During Mr. Runcie tenure as the longest serving leader of FSA, he managed an annual administrative budget of $1.6 billion and more than 13,000 staff and contractors. Mr. Runcie proudly served with a team of leaders that delivered numerous and significant accomplishments including top customer satisfaction scores (ACSI), substantial reductions in student default rates (20% plus), unprecedented expansion of Direct Loans and Pell grants, and record FSA employee satisfaction levels (FEVS).
Mr. Runcie spent 19 years as an investment banker, delivering results at major domestic and international financial institutions including UBS, Bank of America and Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette. Mr. Runcie held various leadership and management roles in both product and industry groups and on critical institutional committees. Mr. Runcie has originated or executed domestic and cross-border transactions totaling billions of dollars involving capital raising, mergers and financial advisory assignments.
Mr. Runcie is a first-generation high school and college graduate and consequently believes strongly in the transformative power of education. Mr. Runcie has served on several nonprofit boards relating to education or youth development, which continue to be his passions. Mr. Runcie is a current board member of the Student Freedom Initiative, Class Acceleration Corp. and local community serving organizations. Mr. Runcie is also an investment committee member of the College Board.
Mr. Runcie holds an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the College of Holy Cross.