The Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) announced today that James H. Steeley has been selected to serve as the Agency’s new President and CEO.
Mr. Steeley’s selection was presented to the PHEAA Board of Directors after recommendation by the Executive Committee, which conducted a national search and review of candidates, including face-to-face interviews, in order to select the most qualified professional to manage PHEAA’s complex business and public service operations.
Mr. Steeley joined the Agency in November 2015 as Chief Financial Officer (CFO). He
was also named Chief Operating Officer (COO) in February 2018 and was appointed by
the Board of Directors to serve as Interim President and CEO in July 2018.
Prior to joining PHEAA, Mr. Steeley was Senior Vice President, Corporate Controller,
and Chief Accounting Officer at Susquehanna Bancshares, Inc., the Assistant Vice
President of Finance at the Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union (PSECU) and
a Senior Manager in Financial Services Practice for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. He
is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and
earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting at Elizabethtown College.
As a large employer with such diverse national business operations that support public
services throughout the Commonwealth, PHEAA is one of the most complicated
agencies in state government,” said Representative Mike Peifer, PHEAA Board
Chairman. “It’s critically important to select a CEO who not only understands the
business, financial, administrative, and policy aspects of the Agency, but who also has
the confidence of the Board that provides oversight.”
“I am honored to be selected by the Board of Directors to continue serving as CEO,”
said James H. Steeley. “The best thing about working at PHEAA is knowing that our
efforts can have such a positive impact on the lives of so many Pennsylvania families. I
look forward to working with the Board and my colleagues at the Agency as we continue
to fulfill our public service mission for the Commonwealth.”
“We met with several impressive candidates. But, in Jim’s case, it was advantageous for
us to be able to see how he handled the job on a daily basis,” acknowledged Senator
Wayne Fontana, Vice Chairman of the Board. “The success he achieved as interim
CEO during such a challenging time for PHEAA highlights his capabilities as an
executive leader and fiscal manager.“
PHEAA was created in 1963 by the Pennsylvania General Assembly and has since
evolved into one of the nation’s leading student aid organizations. The Agency’s
earnings are used to support its public service mission and to pay its operating costs,
including administration of the Pennsylvania State Grant and other student aid
programs. This saves taxpayers millions of dollars each year while ensuring that every
dollar that is appropriated to a student aid program goes directly to support