Byron P. White, EdD

KnowledgeWorks Vice President, Executive Director, StrivePartnership

Areas of Expertise: higher education administration, equity and inclusion, research and writing

“As long as being a person of color or of modest economic means, or the child of parents who did not go to college, is deemed to be, first and foremost, an indicator of potential failure, the integrity of our proclaimed expectation of student success is undermined.”

Byron White serves as the executive director of StrivePartnership. He is responsible for leading both the staff and the Executive Committee of this unique, educational partnership that aims to be the nation’s best example of “collective impact” focused on sustainably improving outcomes for all children, cradle to career. Responsibilities include vision-setting, annual and multiannual
strategic planning, effective budgeting, fundraising, excellence in talent management and excellence in partner engagement. In addition, he is responsible for the reputation of the partnership, locally and nationally, including its ability to achieve and maintain the status of a StriveTogether defined “Proof Point” community.

Byron has spent his career as a journalist and administrator in academic, corporate, non-profit and public sectors facilitating mutually beneficial engagement between institutions and urban communities.

Byron was previously vice president for university engagement and chief diversity officer at Cleveland State University, where he was responsible for developing and overseeing strategies that advanced civic engagement, workplace engagement and inclusion and multicultural engagement on behalf of faculty, students and administrators.

Before joining Cleveland State, Byron was vice chancellor for economic advancement for the University System of Ohio, and associate vice president for community engagement at Xavier University in Cincinnati. He began his career as a newspaper journalist covering urban issues. He served as the editorial page editor of The Cincinnati Post and as an editorial writer for the Chicago Tribune and editor of the newspaper’s Urban Affairs Team. He later became the Tribune’s senior manager for community relations.

Between newspaper stints, Byron was executive director of the Conference of Walnut Hills Churches for Community Economic Development in Cincinnati and worked as a consultant with community-based organizations on Chicago’s West Side through the Asset-Based Community Development Institute at DePaul University, on whose national faculty he now serves.

Byron is a research associate at the Kettering Foundation, and serves on the Advisory Board of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and on the board of the Cleveland International Film Festival. He has a doctorate in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s in social science from the University of Chicago and a bachelor’s in journalism from the Honors Tutorial College at Ohio University.