Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Postsecondary Success

March 30, 2017

Episode 1: Innovation, Equity, and Excellence

In episode one of our podcast, To A Degree, Casey Green speaks with guests Dan Greenstein, Bridget Burns, and Deborah Santiago.

Segment 1: Dan Greenstein

In this podcast, Dan Greenstein discusses how the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s postsecondary initiatives have changed, lessons learned, and the challenges of scaling up. He also explains the metrics the foundation uses to measure success and his three wishes for the future of higher ed.

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Segment 2: Bridget Burns and Deborah Santiago

Bridget Burns of the University Innovation Alliance and Deborah Santiago of Excelencia in Education compare data-driven interventions and innovative initiatives that promote equity and excellence. They also discuss the importance of institutional collaboration in scaling innovation.

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Guest Bios

Dan Greenstein

Dan Greenstein is the director of Postsecondary Success at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where he works with partners to transform higher education so that more students – especially low-income and first-generation students – graduate at higher rates, with high-quality degrees or certificates at an affordable price. Follow him on Twitter at @dan_greenstein.



Bridget Burns

Bridget Burns is the founding executive director of the University Innovation Alliance where she helps institutions collaborate, scale, and diffuse student success innovation across the country. Recently named one of the “16 Most Innovative People in Higher Education” by Washington Monthly, Burns advises policy leaders on strategies to expand access and promote completion for all students. Follow her on Twitter at @BBurnsEDU.


Debora H Santiago

Deborah A. Santiago is the co-founder, chief operating officer, and vice president for policy at Excelencia in Education where she focuses on federal and state policy, financial aid, and Hispanic-Serving Institutions. For more than 20 years, she has led research and policy efforts to improve educational opportunities and success for all students. Follow her on Twitter at @ds_excelencia.


Moderator Bio

Casey Green

Casey Green, the moderator and co-producer of To A Degree, is the founding director of The Campus Computing Project, the largest continuing study of eLearning and information technology in American higher education. Check out his blog, Digital Tweed, and follow him on Twitter at @DigitalTweed.



To A Degree is produced for the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation by G2 Education.  Jinny Goldstein, the co-founder of G2Ed, is the executive producer of To A Degree.