arete leadership

Arete is fortunate to have a diverse and talented roster of staff and consultants to bring to our projects.


Dr. James Meier

Dr. James Meier, President of Arete, has long experience in education, policy, and evaluation. Prior to founding Arete in 1991, he served as First Deputy Director for the New York City school system's then $7 billion budget. In the 1970s he directed the multi-faceted East Harlem Block Schools. He was on the staff of New York State's Fleischmann Commission on education, served as Deputy Director of the Governor's Commission on Higher Education in Connecticut, and was Executive Director of a New York City Commission on redistricting community school districts. He began his career in the Peace Corps running the "Science Teachers Workshop" in India, leading to an overhaul of the entire science curriculum in Andhra Pradesh and helping to lay the foundation for the high tech boom concentrated in that state.

Dr. Meier is a member and immediate past Chair of the Board of Trustees for American Jewish World Service, and a member of the Board of Search for Common Ground. He is also an endurance athlete: eight-time gold medalist in the 100-mile Canadian Ski Marathon, twice skied across Finland in the seven-day "Border to Border" event, swam the 28.5-mile race around Manhattan Island, and in 2010 fought the English Channel for 11.5 hours before currents began pushing him back toward England.

Dr. Meier is married to Rabbi Judith Edelstein and has two adult children. He has graduate degrees in Urban Planning and Educational Administration at Columbia University, and a B.A. from Williams College.