For Immediate Release: COABE Appoints New CEO


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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE), the nation’s leading advocate for the adult education field, has appointed as its first CEO Sharon Bonney, who has raised the organization’s profile and grown its membership to nearly 18 times what it was in 2009.

Bonney will assume the new position July 1, transitioning from the executive director role she has held with the organization since July 2015. In the new position, she will be responsible for growing and diversifying COABE’s funding sources and sponsors, while enhancing its relationships with longstanding supporters. She also will focus on establishing adult education as a gateway to higher education and employment, working to shift the perception that adult education leads only to a high school equivalency.

“Sharon has a long-standing history with COABE, and as a forward-thinking leader has been very instrumental in taking the organization to a new level,” said Kaye Sharbono, COABE president. “She not only has extensive knowledge of adult education issues, but she has a tremendous passion for ensuring adult education providers are equipped with the best practices and tools they need to deliver services on a broader scale and that America has the capacity to meet the needs of every citizen who needs a hand up and out of poverty.”

The timing is right in the field of adult education – and in the life of COABE – to appoint a chief executive officer, Sharbono said. Adult education is coming of age with new approaches to delivering services; increasing exposure of the brand and best practices; building new relationships and engaging other communities into the field.

“I am honored to be appointed the first-ever CEO for an organization and a cause I love,” Bonney said. “COABE has made great strides in bringing awareness to adult education and how important it is to families and entire communities. Much work lies ahead to raise still more awareness and increase funding to ensure more people have access to quality programs. I look forward to working with the Board, our members, and our partners on those efforts.”