Robert Runcie is CEO of Chiefs for Change. Under his leadership, the organization has increased its technical assistance for members and expanded leadership development initiatives to build the pipeline of talented educators ready to lead K-12 systems.

Runcie previously served as superintendent of Broward County Public Schools. The district is the sixth-largest in the United States. It has more than 260,000 students, 35,000 employees, and an annual budget of $4 billion. During Runcie’s tenure:

  • High school graduation rates increased by 18 percent to a historic high of almost 90 percent.
  • Achievement gaps closed as all groups improved on state and national assessments.
  • The district dramatically improved equity and access to learning experiences for all students, and it received national recognition for its county-wide focus on early literacy programs and outcomes.
  • The speech and debate program grew to become the largest in the nation; computer science expanded from less than a thousand to more than 50,000 engaged students; the district’s technical colleges doubled their locations; and Broward consistently led the state in industry certifications earned. In addition, students gained access to critical supports as the number of school social workers doubled and positions for mental health professionals increased.
  • Collective bargaining agreements with pay increases for teachers and non-instructional staff were approved and ratified annually by all bargaining units.
  • The district introduced performance management and process redesign as a strategic discipline for all departments and schools.
  • The district implemented numerous operational and financial improvements. It restructured debt to realize more than $70 million in savings; provided sound financial management, resulting in an improved bond rating and netting more than $100 million in premium paid for bond issuances; and changed the health care management model to secure $35 million of recurring savings. In addition, the district restructured and improved transportation services while reducing operating costs and initiated a supplier diversity study, which drove procurement policy changes to increase minority, women-owned, and small business participation in district contracts.

Runcie was recognized as Superintendent of the Year by Florida Association of District School Superintendents, National Alliance of Black School Educators, Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents, and Florida Consortium of Public Charter Schools.

His professional experience also includes founding a management and technology consulting company and holding several strategic leadership positions with Chicago Public Schools. Runcie has blended his two decades of private sector technology, management consulting, and entrepreneurship experience with 18 years of leadership in urban public schools to deliver innovation, organizational and systems change, and improved student outcomes. He is nationally recognized for his expertise in a wide range of areas, including technology and innovation, enterprise risk management, and building effective leadership teams.

Runcie knows firsthand how a high-quality education can transform a person’s life. Born in Jamaica, he moved to the United States as a young boy and became the first in his family to finish high school and graduate from college, earning his bachelor’s from Harvard College and his MBA from Northwestern University.

He serves on boards for several national organizations, including, KnowledgeWorks, and National Education Equity Lab.