The Leadership Conference Education Fund Welcomes James Rucker as New Board Chair

Uncategorized 09.30.20

Contact: Shin Inouye, [email protected], 202.869.0398

WASHINGTON – The Leadership Conference Education Fund announced James Rucker as its new board chair effective September 23. Rucker is a co-founder and board member of Color Of Change, who also serves on the boards of the Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund and He will replace Carolyn Osolinik who has served as The Education Fund’s board chair since 2019.

“James has been at the forefront of meaningful movements in this country for some time now, and we are tremendously excited for him to assume the role of board chair. Under his leadership, our board will continue to cast a vision and strategy that best positions The Education Fund for the 21st century civil rights fight,” said Vanita Gupta, president and CEO of The Education Fund. “The Education Fund’s work remains incredibly important in these ever-changing times, and we are excited for the future to which our board will lead us. We thank Carolyn for her time as chair and appreciate her willingness to continue to serve on the board.”

“I am honored to be selected by The Education Fund board to serve as chair,” said James Rucker. “Along with my fellow board members, we look forward to supporting and guiding the important work of the organization as it continues to advance the civil and human rights of all people in America during these challenging times.”


James Rucker is a technologist and software entrepreneur turned activist who has spent the last 15+ years seeking to use technology to strengthen the voice of everyday people in creating political and social change.

Rucker is co-founder of Color Of Change, an online community of over a million people dedicated to amplifying the political voice of Black America, in the aftermath of the failed governmental response to Hurricane Katrina, and led the organization from its founding in 2005 through the start of 2011. He is also co-founder of Citizen Engagement Laboratory (CEL), a home for people and projects working to shift culture and transform society. Previously, Rucker served as Director of Grassroots Mobilization for, playing a lead role in technology and organizing strategy.

Outside of his organizational roles, Rucker has led different independent initiatives, including serving as strategist and coordinator of multiple organizations in the fight to protect Net Neutrality, and putting in motion the effort to take down the Confederate flag at the state capitol in South Carolina, led by Bree Newsome.  Before working in politics and social change, Rucker worked in various roles in the software industry in the Silicon Valley. Rucker recently co-founded Springboard Partners, a home for launching social change efforts and aligned for-profit startups.

Rucker also serves on the boards of Color Of Change, Southern Poverty Law Center Action Fund, and  He grew up in Seaside, California and has a BS in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University.  He lives with his family in San Francisco.

The Leadership Conference Education Fund builds public will for federal policies that promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. The Education Fund’s campaigns empower and mobilize advocates around the country to push for progressive change in the United States. It was founded in 1969 as the education and research arm of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. For more information on The Education Fund, visit