The Public Education Foundation (The Foundation) today announced that its Board of Directors has ratified a leadership transition which takes effect immediately. Judi Steele, The Foundation’s co-founder and CEO for the organization’s 30-year history, becomes CEO Emeritus. Rich Broome becomes CEO, and Kirsten Searer continues in her role as President. The Foundation said that the leadership changes will help the foundation focus its work to deliver the highest possible value for students, families and educators in two distinct areas: providing necessary education resources and support now while also promoting excellence and transformational change in public schooling.

The Foundation’s Board Chairwoman, Jan Jones Blackhurst, said, “Judi told the board last year that she was ready to implement her professional transition plan. The board decided the time was right, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, to thoroughly review the organization to determine how we could best serve our students, schools and communities in the future.”

Ms. Jones Blackhurst continued, “In light of our analysis, the board determined that we needed to implement a leadership transition that included someone with extensive organizational management experience to work alongside our education experts to position The Foundation for long-term success. Rich Broome brings to The Foundation 37 years of management experience in large organizations, including 4 1/2 years as a member of the senior management team at Caesars Entertainment. Rich will oversee organizational improvements indicated in our analysis working with the board and The Foundation’s senior management team. Rich will also work in tandem with Kirsten Searer, whose leadership experience with the Clark County School District (CCSD) will be instrumental as we strengthen our partnership with CCSD while at the same time engaging the private sector and other nonprofit organizations focused on providing necessary resources and support for our schools.”

She added, “Judi Steele’s legacy in our community, especially as it relates to The Public Education Foundation, is exceptional and will be enduring. I am thrilled that Judi will continue to lead The Foundation’s Leadership Institute of Nevada work, designed to further develop our top education professionals and help advance transformational changes in the ways our children are educated. We are fortunate that Judi remains as passionate as ever about exploring and promoting innovative approaches to public schooling.”