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About the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy

The Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy is a 501-c-3 tax-exempt non-profit organization based in Washington, DC.  As a coalition, it is an organization of organizations that share a commitment to advancing financial literacy among pre-school through college-age youth and working collaboratively toward effective financial education.

Today, the Jump$tart Coalition includes about 150 national partner organizations from the business, financial, non-profit, association, academic, government, and other sectors.  If your organization is interested in joining Jump$tart, please contact our national office for more information.  The coalition also consists of a network of 51 affiliated state coalitions and their local partners.  The grassroots coalitions are independently governed and operated, and linked to the national coalition through an affiliation agreement which fosters cooperation and support.  Follow these links to a complete list of our national partners and individual state coalition websites/web pages.

Jump$tart Leadership

Over nearly two decades, the Jump$tart Coalition has evolved into a well-respected national voice in, and resource for, the financial literacy effort—remaining steadfastly committed to its original mission of “financial smarts for students. Laura Levine took over as executive director in 2004 and was subsequently named president and chief executive officer. Laura leads a national team of staff and consultants, based across the U.S. Click here to learn more about our diverse and talented team.

2014 Executive CommitteeJump$tart’s national board is currently chaired by Ted Beck, president and CEO of the National Endowment for Financial Education.  Loretta Abrams, HSBC, serves as vice chair; Melanie Mortimer, SIFMA, as secretary (not in photo); and Mike Staten, Ph.D., academic director from the University of Arizona, as treasurer.  The Jump$tart Board includes representatives of many of the financial literacy community’s most prominent advocates and supporters.  View the full roster of Jump$tart’s National Board.

Jump$tart Today

In 2013, the Jump$tart Board and management team adopted a new strategic plan with refined mission, vision, and value proposition statements; reaffirming Jump$tart’s commitment to financial literacy and its focus on youth, while emphasizing its role in promoting collaboration, diversity, and effectiveness in the effort.

Presently, key initiatives include: the Jump$tart Teacher Training Alliance and Jump$tart National Educator Conference, designed to support and appreciate teachers of personal finance; the Jump$tart Clearinghouse and National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education, offering educators and others access to quality resources, while promoting effectiveness in education; supporting the use of personal finance content to meet Common Core State Standards; raising awareness about the importance of financial literacy and the need for financial education through Financial Literacy Day on Capitol Hill and other financial literacy month activities each April; and ongoing communication initiatives such as the Update, Financial Fridays, and State ¢ents newsletters, National Jump$tart Facebook page, the National Educator Conference Facebook page and our Twitter account @NatlJumpStart.

HistoryH. Randy Lively, founding chairman

The Jump$tart Coalition was founded late in 1995, based on an idea credited to William E. Odom, who was, at the time, Chairman and CEO of the Ford Motor Credit Corporation. The first meeting, organized by H. Randy Lively, then President and CEO of the American Financial Services Association, was intended to "develop a strategic plan for improving the quality and extent of curriculum modules for personal finance education in the nation’s schools, grades K-12.” The formation of a coalition was one of the action items that emerged from this meeting.

William E. "Bill" OdomDue to a family emergency, Bill Odom missed the first meeting of what was then called the “Partnership in Personal Finance and Consumer Credit Consortium,” held on December 1 and 2, 1995, at the Hyatt Regency in Reston, Virginia.  But, today, Jump$tart’s highest honor—the William E. Odom Visionary Leadership Award—bears his name. Mr. Odom remains a Director Emeritus of Jump$tart’s National Board.

Dara Duguay, First J$ Exec. Dir.By the end of 1996, the organization had evolved into the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. The logo and tagline “Financial Smarts for Students” was created with input from a focus group of students at Bladensburg High School in Maryland. Significantly, during this time, Dr. Lewis Mandell developed the financial literacy survey that would become one of Jump$tart’s hallmark endeavors and the guidelines that would evolve into the National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Education were introduced. Randy Lively continued to lead the organization informally, supported by his own staff at AFSA.

By 1997, the Jump$tart Coalition was incorporated as a non-profit organization with Randy Lively as its first president (later re-designated “chairman.”)  Dara Duguay was hired that year as Jump$tart’s first executive director, outlining her vision that the coalition be inclusive, not exclusive and launching a full-scale public awareness effort.  She led the organization until 2004. Mr. Lively served as chairman until 2009 and is now a Director Emeritus of the Jump$tart National Board.


Jump$tart Board Chairs

Randy Lively - 1995-2009 Neil Milner 2009-2011 Ted Beck 2012-present
Randy Lively ♦ 1995-2009 Neil Milner  2009-2011  Ted Beck  2012-Present 



The First Permanent Members of Jump$tart’s Board were:

  • American Financial Services Association Consumer Credit Education Foundation
  • Consumer Bankers Association
  • Cooperative Extension System of the USDA
  • Federal Reserve Board
  • Insurance Education Foundation
  • International Credit Association
  • Junior Achievement, Inc.
  • Mortgage Bankers Association of America
  • National Council on Economic Education
  • National Endowment for Financial Education
  • National Foundation for Consumer Credit
  • National Institute for Consumer Education
  • Securities Industry Foundation for Economic Education
  • Classroom Edition of the Wall Street Journal