Atlanta School Superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr.
ATLANTA -- Erroll B. Davis, Jr. has truly faced baptism by fire since he began the job as Interim Superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools a few weeks ago just as the CRCT cheating scandal hit.
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But, he's grabbed the reigns and impressed some observers with his take-charge attitude.
Davis served as president and CEO of Alliant energy for seven years and on more than a dozen corporate boards, including BP Oil prior to the gulf oil spill.
"They always say you can teach a leader to manage, but you can't teach a manager to lead. Well, in Erroll's case, he's a leader," said Bob Hope, of public relations firm Hope-Beckham, Inc.
Davis also served on the United States Olympic Committee.
For the past five years, he helmed the University System of Georgia as Chancellor, overseeing a $5 billion budget and a quarter million students at 35 colleges and universities.
"Chancellor Davis was one of a handful of African-American men to lead at higher education system in the United State of America," said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed during a speech at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church.
Davis was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and holds a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA in finance from the University of Chicago.
"He's dynamic, he's smart," Hope said. "He's been through the battles of learning education and the politics of education."