President Obama Recognizes The PhD Project for Commitment to Action as Part of White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics

Montvale, NJ. October 30, 2015- The PhD Project, an award-winning program to create a more diverse corporate America, is proud to join the nearly 150 public and private sector organizations who answered the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics’ 25th anniversary call to action. President Obama announced these Commitments to Action, with a collective investment of nearly $340 million, which will build on and accelerate federal, state, and local investments in high-quality education, from cradle-to-career, for the nation’s Latino community.


The PhD Project was also chosen by The White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics’ Bright Spots in Hispanic Education to be included in their National Online Catalog. The Initiative seeks to leverage these Bright Spots to encourage collaboration between stakeholders focused on similar issues in sharing data-driven approaches, promising practices, peer advice, and effective partnerships, ultimately resulting in increased support for the educational attainment of the Hispanic community.


“It is an honor to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and the Initiative’s 25th anniversary with the release of nearly 150 commitments to action that will help strengthen the educational outcomes and opportunities for the Hispanic community,” said Executive Director Alejandra Ceja. “These commitments will bring critical resources to Latino students and families across this country, are examples of meaningful investments being made in support of the largest, youngest and arguably the fastest growing minority community in the country and will help fulfill America’s future.”


As part of its Commitment to Action, The PhD Project will utilize its network of over 1,600 minority business faculty and doctoral students (this includes 423 Hispanic-American members) to enhance outreach to Hispanic-American students enhancing their completion rate. The PhD Project Committee on Hispanic Excellence, co-chaired by Dr. Cinthia Satornino and Dr. Rebeca Perren, will formally recruit Hispanic-American business professors to serve as mentors to these students with the purpose of facilitating the students’ successful completion of their undergraduate and graduate degrees through one-on-one mentoring. The Hispanic-American mentors will also “plant the seed” encouraging these students to consider a career in business academe, thereby creating a new generation of Hispanic-American mentors, and increasing the reach of the program exponentially each year.


“We are very proud to be chosen as a Bright Spot in Hispanic Education and one of the Commitments to Action. White House data projects that there will be 3.9 million Hispanic students pursuing Bachelor’s degrees by the year 2023,” said Bernard J. Milano, President of The PhD Project and the KPMG Foundation, co-founder and lead funder of The PhD Project. “It is of vital importance for collaborations such as these to aid students and create more opportunities for them to succeed.”


The PhD Project, a 501(c) (3) organization that the KPMG Foundation initiated in 1994, recruits under-represented minority professionals from business into doctoral programs in all business disciplines. Since its inception, The PhD Project has been responsible for the increase in the number of minority business professors from 294 to 1,299. Further, 309 minorities are currently enrolled in doctoral programs, and will take a place at the front of the classroom over the next few years. The Project attacks the root cause of minority under-representation in corporate jobs: historically, very few minority college students study business as an entrée to a corporate career.  Diversifying the faculty attracts more minorities to study business and better prepares all students to function in a diverse workforce.

The PhD Project has received ongoing support from its sponsoring companies, participating universities and organizations, and supply alliance members. Its founding organizations in addition to the KPMG Foundation, are the Graduate Management Admission Council, Citi Foundation, AACSB International. The leading corporations, foundations and associations funding it include:  300+ Participating Universities, AICPA Foundation, DiversityInc, Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP, Rockwell Collins, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., American Marketing Association, John Deere FoundationCIGNA, ADP, Edison International (on behalf of the California State University System), Lincoln Financial Group, Aerotek/ TEKsystems (operating companies of Allegis Group), American Accounting Association, The Hershey Company, Academy of Management, NASBA and OCWEN.


For more information on The PhD Project, visit: or contact Lisa King at 646-234-5080 or Connect with our members at (; Visit us on Facebook at; Follow us on Twitter at


The full list of Commitments to Action and online Commitment catalog will be featured at  

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