THOMAS D. DRETLER

CEO & Co-Founder, Shorelight Education

Dretler, TomThomas D. (Tom) Dretler is CEO and Co-Founder at Shorelight Education, which funds and manages joint venture partnerships with universities to drive institutional growth, create new revenue streams, and expand options for students.

Previously, Tom was an executive in residence at Sterling Partners, a mission-driven private equity firm that invests in education, healthcare, and business services companies. Tom currently serves as a trustee at Mass Bay Community College, and as a director and advisor on several other corporate and non-profit boards. From 1998–2011, Tom was president and chief executive officer of Eduventures, Inc., where he built the leading information services company in the education sector. He also is the co-author of a recent Sterling Partners/Bain & Company white paper, The Financially Sustainable University.

Throughout his career, Tom has taken a leadership role in supporting business involvement in public sector issues. In the mid-1990s, he managed a Harvard Business School program on business involvement in public education, welfare-to-work, and urban investment. In the early 1990s, he served as a consultant to former President Jimmy Carter and was responsible for developing public-private partnerships in association with the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. From 2007–2011, Tom served as the founding president of the Alliance for Business Leadership (formerly known as the Progressive Business Leaders Network). In 2007, Tom was named one of the “40 Under 40” business leaders to watch by Boston Business Journal.

Tom is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Johns Hopkins University where he was a Rhodes Scholar candidate and a varsity athlete. He also holds an MBA degree from the Harvard Business School where he was awarded the Goldsmith Fellowship.