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Dr. Donnell Butler is the founder and president of Opportunity College. Opportunity College designs and builds career-connected postsecondary pathways to accelerate youth (ages 16-24) from lower-income households into careers in tech that lead to upward mobility.

Donnell has over 15 years of research and practice experience in identifying and enhancing individual capabilities and institutional actions that improve college student access and success. Most recently, he co-led the Next Generation Initiative, as the senior associate dean for planning and analysis of student outcomes at Franklin & Marshall College (F&M).  He is a Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow and member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Before F&M, he directed research and development of background survey questionnaires for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) at Educational Testing Service (ETS). Previously, he served as a joint American Education Research Association (AERA) and ETS postdoctoral fellow working primarily on the NSF-ITEST funded College Ambition Program at Michigan State University, project director in Princeton University’s Office of Population Research for the Ford Foundation-supported Campus Life in America Student Survey, evaluation specialist for the Princeton University Preparatory Program, coordinator of the Goldman Sachs Foundation-supported Opening Doors and Paving the Way Forum for increasing college access and success for talented low-income students, senior policy research analyst at APPRISE Incorporated, senior business advisory services professional at Ernst & Young, and intern with the White House’s Office of Communications Research.

He earned his B.A. in business administration and sociology from F&M and his Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University.

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