“Education Pioneers was a great discovery. The Fellowship gave me the opportunity to transition into an impactful role.”

If you knew Rich Billings, you wouldn’t be surprised that this mathematical economics major wound up taking an undergrad course called “Schools in American Cities.” Rich had always had an interest in social justice and for the first time realized that education was the civil rights issue that would shape his professional career.

“I knew that I would work in education at some point, but I wanted to explore the corporate sector first,” he says. Rich served as an economic consultant for Charles River Associates and PA Consulting Group, where he performed economic and financial analyses for Fortune 500 energy company clients and advised them on asset valuations and risk management strategies.

In his free time, Rich tutored disadvantaged kids in Washington, DC. After some soul searching, he made the decision to become a high school math teacher, his childhood dream. While connecting with kids and making a real impact on their lives inspired Rich, he felt that his skills could make a broader impact in administration.

Rich returned to school to pursue an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, where he discovered Education Pioneers.

  • Academics
  • Data & Analysis
  • Finance & Budgeting
  • Strategy & Planning

As a Fellow with Envision Schools, Rich revamped the organization’s financial model into something that was usable, scalable, and could drive strategic decisions, and he helped the organization secure an $8 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Following graduation, Rich joined Envision Schools full time as Director of Finance and Strategic Planning.

“The Fellowship gave me the opportunity to transition into an impactful role, to interact with a high-performing peer group, to be exposed to 30 to 50 other education organizations, and to hear from industry experts and leaders,” he says.

Currently, Rich serves as Chief Financial and Operating Officer for the Charter School Growth Fund and was previously the Chief Financial Officer for Rocketship Education.