Jamie Merisotis

President and CEO, Lumina Foundation


Jamie Merisotis, an international leader in higher education, human work, philanthropy, and public policy, has been Lumina’s president and CEO since 2008. 

An innovator committed to increasing educational attainment in the United States, he focuses on realizing racial justice and equity through Lumina’s efforts to improve and expand opportunities for higher learning for today’s students. These adults increasingly are Black and brown, from low-income families, or the first in their families to go to college.

Frequently sought as a media commentator and contributor, his writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Journal, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Washington Monthly, Politico, The Hill, Roll Call, and other publications.

Merisotis is the author of America Needs Talent, named a Booklist Top 10 Business book of 2016, and Human Work in the Age of Smart Machines, an Amazon category bestseller released in 2020.

Previously, Merisotis was president of the nonpartisan, D.C.-based Institute for Higher Education Policy, which he co-founded. He also was executive director of a bipartisan federal commission on college affordability.

Merisotis is a trustee and member of the governing board of The Ditchley Foundation in the United Kingdom. He also serves on the board of ACT, Inc. He is past chairman and trustee emeritus of the Council on Foundations and currently leads a task force for the organization highlighting philanthropy’s ethical responsibility to the greater good. He also is a Council on Foreign Relations member.

Merisotis is a member of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership board as well as the boards of several start-up companies that rely on artificial intelligence and machine learning to address complex challenges related to work and learning. 

A distinguished graduate of Bates College, he has been awarded honorary degrees from colleges and universities worldwide.