Duncan’s first chief of staff, Margot Rogers, came from Gates; her replacement as of June 2010, Joanne Weiss, came from a major Gates grantee, the New Schools Venture Fund; Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights Russlynn Ali worked at Broad, LA Unified School District and the Gates-funded Education Trust; and general counsel Charles P. Rose was a founding board member of another major Gates grantee
But now Shelton's off to the corporate world, using his connections to sell technology to higher ed. He's been hired as 2U, Inc's (NASDAQ: TWOU) "chief impact officer" (whatever that is).
Pres.Obama had pledged to prohibit government employees from doing business with former employers. However, Shelton was granted a waiver to deal with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for which he worked for more than five years prior to joining the Obama administration.
At the D.O.E., Shelton led the Investing in Innovation Fund and a number of other grant programs. Before that, he was education program director at the Gates Foundation where he oversaw a portfolio worth between $2 billion and $3 billion. He also previously worked for the NewSchools Venture Fund and co-founded LearnNow, a school management company that later was acquired by Edison Schools. Before entering the education world, he worked at McKinsey & Company advising corporate CEOs.
Shelton's departure is just the latest in a wave of high-profile exits from the department as the Obama administration takes its final lap. Weiss, Ann Whalen, Carmel Martin, all of whom had a significant impact on the administration's education agenda, have moved in within the last year.
Whalen is off to join another Duncan deputy, Peter Cunningham at the Broad-funded Education Post. Weiss, who also came out of the NewSchools Venture Fund, was Duncan's Chief of Staff and directed his Race to the Top program. Now she calls herself, "an independent consultant". And Martin now serves as Executive Vice President for Policy at American Progress.