BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--American Student Assistance®, a private nonprofit dedicated to eliminating finance as a barrier to education and the dreams education enables, today announced the retirement of President and CEO Paul Combe after 20 years of service to the organization. Effective July 15, 2016, John Zurick, ASA® executive vice president and president of ASA’s consumer literacy program “SALT®,” will succeed Combe as president and CEO of ASA.
Donald Reaves, chairman of the ASA Board of Directors, stated: “Paul leaves a legacy of outstanding accomplishments, including a tenfold increase of ASA’s student loan portfolio, delinquency and default rates consistently and substantially lower than the national average, and the launch of the consumer literacy program SALT. Widely recognized in the industry as a visionary and strong and persistent advocate for nonprofit education debt management and borrower advocacy services, Paul was the primary voice in forcing a national debate around the role of guaranty agencies in the federal student loan program and he paved the way for a new paradigm that shifted ASA’s mission from default collection to delinquency prevention. The ASA Board of Directors is deeply grateful for his leadership and for the many contributions that he has made, and we wish him all the best in retirement.”
Combe came to ASA in 1996, making him the longest-serving president in ASA’s 60-year history. He has more than four decades of leadership in the higher education financial aid and student loan industries, having served previously as the executive director of the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority and Knight College Resource Group, as well as the director of financial aid at Boston College, Framingham State College and Middlesex Community College.
“I am honored to have played a role in ASA’s distinguished history,” said Combe. “ASA’s strong student focus, its growing SALT movement for better informed education consumers, and talented management team all position the organization for continued future success. A successful nonprofit enterprise builder, John Zurick has overseen the creation and implementation of ASA’s strategy over the past year and I have every confidence he will drive the organization to continue to fulfill its important public purpose mission.”
Zurick joined ASA from his position as chief operating officer at Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, where he served for eight years as the sole strategic planning and business consultant, helping to guide RFK Human Rights through a period of financial growth and programmatic expansion. John brings to ASA a wealth of experience as the chief professional officer and strategy consultant to some of the social sector’s most distinguished organizations, working on change leadership, board and executive leadership development, strategic planning, financial management, social enterprise initiatives, revenue generation, and hands-on operational turnarounds. John has also worked in support of human rights advocacy and education in more than a dozen countries, and he has launched new nongovernment organizations in Switzerland, Italy, and the Czech Republic.
“I am humbled and honored to be selected to succeed Paul as ASA’s next president and CEO,” said Zurick. “Today, a college education remains the bedrock of the American Dream, and a college educated, financially competent workforce is more vital than ever to our nation’s economy and global competitiveness. I look forward to expanding ASA’s reach and impact as we continue our mission to empower education consumers with the information they need to make smart higher education finance and repayment decisions.”
About American Student Assistance
American Student Assistance (asa.org) is a private nonprofit dedicated to eliminating finance as a barrier to education and the dreams education enables. ASA helps people make better decisions about financing higher education and repaying student loans, so they can become confident, financially competent consumers. After working with millions of student borrowers as a federal student loan guarantor, ASA combined 60 years of knowledge and best practices into a powerful consumer literacy program called SALT®. Working with more than 300 higher education institutions, nonprofits, and corporations nationwide, SALT (saltmoney.org) provides the tools and resources students need to better understand how to pay for and pay back college costs.
© 2016. American Student Assistance. All rights reserved. American Student Assistance, ASA, SALT, Money knowledge for college—and beyond, and corresponding logos are trademarks or registered trademarks of American Student Assistance.