Shelton is unusual in that he is actually from Washington, D.C., although he has spent much of his professional career away from his hometown. "I'm a D.C. native and very excited to be back home with my wife and two sons," he says. Shelton, 45, has worked for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as program director and run a host of education nonprofit groups including the NewSchools Venture Fund, LearnNow, and Knowledge Universe. It made sense to slot him initially in to the "innovation and improvement" position at Education, where he has overseen many of the department's competitive grant programs such as the Investing in Innovation Fund (known as i3), Promise Neighborhoods, and others focused on school choice and learning technology. Shelton has two big goals—one relatively simple and one more complex. The first is to ensure that all children graduate from high school ready for college and/or a career and can successfully transition into jobs. That means focusing on the bridges between high school and college, and also on the transition from college graduation to a career. Shelton wants to accomplish this through his second goal: "to create a well-funded and enduring infrastructure for continuous improvement and breakthrough innovation" from preschool through college and graduate school. He has a bachelor's degree from Morehouse College and an M.B.A. from Stanford University.