Paula R. Singer is the president of Walden University, which was founded to support adult learners in achieving their academic goals and making a greater impact in their professions and communities. In her role, she focuses on enhancing the end-to-end Walden student experience, expanding access to flexible degree program options, and ensuring student success through graduation and career growth.
Previously, Singer served in several executive leadership roles since joining Laureate Education in 1993, including chief of learning and innovation and becoming the first chief network officer (CNO). In these roles, she was responsible for extending collaboration, innovation, and best practices of faculty and staff throughout Laureate’s prior network of 80 institutions of higher education in 28 countries, which benefited more than one million students.
As president and CEO of Laureate Global Products and Services, Singer led its portfolio of international online institutions and offerings, U.S. campus-based institutions, and worldwide institutions in hospitality management and art and design. She also led all Laureate online postsecondary businesses and the company’s entry into the postsecondary education market with the acquisition of Canter & Associates in 1997. During her tenure with Laureate, Singer was instrumental in the launch of Torrens University in Australia – the first new institution of higher education approved by the government in over 30 years. She was among the university’s founding board members.
Prior to joining Laureate, Singer was the president of Sylvan Education Solutions (now Catapult Learning), where she led the educational support services division. She formerly held several senior positions at the American Learning Corporation, a subsidiary of Encyclopedia Britannica, including vice president of marketing, executive vice president of operations, and general manager.
In addition to her passion for higher education, Singer is the co-founder of the Maryland-based Nurturing Nest Montessori School, which is affiliated with the American Montessori Society, the International Montessori Council, and Montessori Schools of Maryland. Early in her career, Singer was a K-12 teacher and reading specialist focused on helping struggling students in inner-city schools.
Singer is currently an advisor for the Board of Directors of Business Volunteers Unlimited and was an advisory board member for the Johns Hopkins University School of Education. She served on the Goucher College Board of Directors for six years, was part of an advisory group for the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education, and was chair of the National School Board Foundation. She also served for six years as the secretary and executive committee member of the board of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Elementary School.
In 2004, Singer was recognized as one of five Enterprising Women in Maryland by the Baltimore Business Journal. She was named one of “Maryland’s Top 100 Women” three times by the Maryland Daily Record, earning her induction into the publication’s prestigious “Circle of Excellence.” She was also named one of the Girl Scouts of Central Maryland’s Distinguished Women of 2009 and is the recipient of a 2009 Leader Award from the YWCA of the Greater Baltimore Area. In 2013, Singer was named the University of Connecticut’s (UConn) “Outstanding Alumni of the Year.”
Singer is an active participant in the UConn Women and Philanthropy network, which unites visionary women who are passionate about women’s issues and donate their time, talent, and resources to serve as role models and enable UConn students to excel. She has also been a longtime advocate for the United Way, serving as a Leadership donor, which demonstrates a commitment to creating positive impact and lasting change in the lives of children and families.
Singer earned a BS in Education from the University of Connecticut, where she was the first education major to be selected for the prestigious University Scholar program. She received a Doctor of Humane Letters from Walden University in 2016 in recognition of her lifetime contributions to K-12 and higher education in the U.S. and beyond. She also holds an advanced certificate as a Montessori teacher from the American Montessori Society.