Meet the President and CEO

Meet the President and CEO

Donald M. Ruff, Jr.

Donald M. Ruff, Jr. is the President & CEO of The Eagle Academy Foundation (EAF). This nonprofit organization educates and mentors young men of color into future leaders committed to excellence in character, scholastic achievement, and community service and promotes these principles nationally.

Mr. Ruff is a charismatic visionary who works tirelessly on behalf of young people and their families to improve communities. He joined EAF   in 2007 as the founding Director of College Counseling, helping establish strategic partnerships resulting in $2million of in-kind support, including corporate collaborations, enrichment programming, internships, and travel abroad opportunities for Eagle students.

Mr. Ruff then served as EAF’s Director of College and Postsecondary Initiatives, supervising a team of postsecondary counselors across the Eagle network tasked with maintaining and enhancing the postsecondary readiness culture at their respective academies. He helped establish the “College Decision Day” celebration, now a staple event across the entire Eagle network. Mr. Ruff is also the architect and driving force behind EAF’s “All-Male College Fair,” which in its fifth year served over 3,000 young men of color across New York City, as seen here: Amsterdam News, CBS NY, and PIX11.

As a lead coach, facilitator, and presenter with the Eagle Institute – an initiative of EAF to support schools and educators across the country – Ruff has impacted over 1,000 educators and more than 29,000 students across 26 school districts and 65 cities. He is a leading advocate for bridging the racial wealth gap by setting up young men of color for career and financial success through education, penning an op-ed on how colleges can become a gateway to building generational wealth in the national K-12 education publication Chalkbeat.

Before joining EAF, he served as the Director of the Scholars Program at Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO). He helped lay the foundation for Saturday-based programming assisting public school students in gaining admission to and graduating from colleges and universities throughout the country.

In February of 2022, Mr. Ruff was selected by Crain’s New York Business in their esteemed Notable Black Leaders and Executives list, a recognition for talented and accomplished Black individuals whose professional and communal achievements enhance New York City and the lives of its inhabitants. In 2019, Mr. Ruff received the “Harlem Good Scout Award” from the Boy Scouts of Harlem in honor of his ceaseless commitment to his community. In 2014, the New York City Department of Education recognized him for “Outstanding Leadership in Education,” as did the All-Stars Project with the “Phyllis Hyman Phat Friend Award.” In 2009, 2010, and 2011, Mr. Ruff was recognized as the “Educator of the Year” by The Eagle Academy for Young Men staff and students.  Mr. Ruff has been a featured speaker at Harvard Graduate School of Education, the Urban Education Symposium, the Black Male Initiative Conference (CUNY), Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC), Service Unites: Conference on Volunteering & Service, and the STEM Diversity Conference at SUNY Farmingdale. He is credited as Associate Producer on “The Infamous Future,” a documentary that tells the story of the Eagle Academy and one of its students.

Mr. Ruff is a graduate of Oberlin College with a dual bachelor’s degree in History and African American Studies. He has also earned two certificates from the Executive Education program for Nonprofit Professionals at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business. Born and raised in Harlem, he lives in Westchester with his wife and two children.


Join our mailing list

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: . You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Contact Info