Poly Trustee Joins Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities

Polytechnic University Board of Trustee member, Deborah Dvedjian, was elected to the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (cIcu) Council of Governing Boards’ Board of Directors. The election took place at the Council of Governing Boards Annual Meeting on November 30, 2006. cIcu is a statewide association representing the public policy interests of more than 100 independent (private, not-for-profit) colleges and universities in New York State.

Deborah Dvedjian is the founder and managing partner of Copernicus Learning Ventures and is a nationally recognized expert in the Education and Training industry. Devedjian established Copernicus Learning Fund, L.P., in July 2001 to invest in education and training (E&T) companies and to address the private equity needs of this under-served $2 trillion global sector. According to Devedjian, the sector is ripe for investment as it is undergoing four fundamental changes: demand for accountability, advances in science and technology, structural changes, and growth of the knowledge industry.

Before launching Copernicus, Devedjian worked for 18 months with Warburg Pincus, one of the largest global private equity firms, with $14 billion under management. She created and led the firm's Education and Training Investment Group, establishing Warburg Pincus as the world's leading investor in the field. The 12 companies now in the portfolio represent $250 million in investments in K-12, higher education, and corporate training and information.

Devedjian's professional background also includes: founding RoundTable Partners, Inc., an international venture finance and advisory boutique that incubates high-tech ventures and turns around middle market companies; co-founding a plant biotechnology company that sold the first commercial, genetically engineered plants for nonagricultural applications with repeat clients including DuPont, IT Corp., and the U.S. Army; and being the first American selected for the 10-member Transitional Team to write the business plan and launch operations of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (a $13-billion merchant bank founded by 55 countries to finance private-sector ventures in Eastern Europe and the former USSR).

A Philadelphia native, Devedjian holds a B.A. cum laude in economics and art history from Yale University (1984) and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School (1988). She has delivered or written more than 100 speeches and articles on venture capital, education reform, and international business.