Pioneering Scholarship Organization Selects Education Leader as Next Executive Director


Giuseppe “Seppy” Basili brings decades of experience as a cross-sector education executive to the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation; will lead organization’s work in support of exceptional, high-achieving students

Cooke Foundation Executive Director Seppy BasiliLansdowne, VA – The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Board of Directors announced today the appointment of Giuseppe “Seppy” Basili as executive director. A leading K-12, college readiness, and higher education expert, Basili brings 30 years of education industry experience to the role. His commentary and perspectives on college access and admissions have been featured by The New York TimesNPR, and the Today Show, among others. He has also served as director of strategic initiatives and chief operating officer at the Foundation.

“Seppy’s experience working to address educational access issues faced by high-achieving students with financial need enables him to extend the impact of our organization, and scholars, for years to come,” said Stuart A. Haney, President of the Cooke Foundation Board of Directors, “His commitment to our vision has been established through a record of service to the Foundation — and is reflected in an unwavering belief in the transformative potential of the exceptional students that we support.”

In his time at the Foundation, Basili spearheaded outreach efforts to identify the nation’s most exceptional middle school, high school, and community college students for the Foundation’s unique scholarship programs, which have awarded over $175 million in scholarships. In addition to the monetary award, Cooke Scholars receive comprehensive educational advising, significant cohort-based programming, and graduate school funding, as well as a thriving network of 2,300 fellow Cooke Scholars and alumni.

“I’m honored to continue working with this passionate and dedicated team to support the Cooke Scholar community and further the Foundation’s mission.” said Basili. “The importance of college affordability and access has, in many ways, never been greater.”

In recent years, Basili has shepherded the release of some of the Foundation’s most influential research reports; including “True Merit,” “Making College Affordable,” and the most recent edition of “Equal Talents, Unequal Opportunities.” Basili’s professional experience also includes early work in the development of curricula designed to cultivate college going aspiration in collaboration with major urban school districts as General Manager of Kaplan’s K-12 Learning Services. While at Kaplan, he also served as executive director of the company’s pre-college programs, which include their test-preparation programs, college admissions services, and publications for the SAT, ACT, and PSAT tests.

A graduate of Kenyon College, Basili holds a law degree from Emory University, and a Master of Arts in Educational Policy from the University of California at Berkeley. He succeeds former New York City Schools Chancellor Harold O. Levy, who led the Foundation for the past four years.

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About the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
The Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Since 2000, the Foundation has awarded $175 million in scholarships to more than 2,300 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive counseling and other support services. The Foundation has also provided over $97 million in grants to organizations that serve such students.

Media Contact: Amber Styles, 571-799-8063,