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RD3 was founded on the backbone of:
Relevant Research; Development of the student by Design; 3 Elements of Character.

These three Elements of Character provide the structure for how we support our students  and families.

The RD3 

We are here to support students, families, educational partners, teams & schools by helping to develop high-impact students of strong character and charting their educational journey toward a life of purpose, meaning, and impact.

With a wealth of experience and an impressive reputation within the industry, Ray Diffley spent over 25 years working in education and admissions, and also as a coach, serving as a leading advocate for research and examination of character & assessment in the independent school admission process. 

Ray has witnessed thousands of students navigate their growth and development, and his  journey has been marked by the diverse outcomes he's  seen and the profound insights he's gained along the way.

Ray is a firm believer in the transformative power of guidance and mentorship. It is his conviction that a little guidance can lead to substantial results, and full on coaching is the most powerful tool that can help unlock hidden potential by developing, encouraging, and believing in each student. Therefore he strongly advocates for students finding highly engaged educators, mentors, coaches, and advisers as part of their educational journey.

These core principles underpin RD3 Education and Advising Center's foundation, shaping the vision for the invaluable support and insight Ray aims to provide to students, families, schools, and educational partners.


Ray Diffley

Principal and Founder

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Ray Diffley is the Founder and Director of the RD3 Education and Advising Center.  RD3's belief that "partnership is the new leadership" led to an additional role with SNF Global Education (based in China) where Ray serves as Director of Character Education & Senior Educational Consultant . 

RD3 is dedicated to serving students and families worldwide developing students of strong character prepared to make an impact and lead meaningful lives, using their character strengths developed in part by their educational journey. 

As a 1991 Bowdoin College graduate, Ray has carved an impactful career in education and admissions, focusing on character development and assessment innovation. Before founding RD3, Ray held a distinguished 23-year tenure at Choate Rosemary Hall, with the majority of his time serving as the Director of Admission and Financial Aid. During his tenure, he received Choate's Johannes Van Straalen Award for distinguished teaching in 2016. His roles at Choate extended beyond admission, encompassing coaching ice hockey, dorm advising at all levels, and active participation in various School life committees.

Ray's commitment to education and assessment led him to complete his Master's degree at Wesleyan University in 2004, where he delved further into human assessment, including Dr. Robert Sternberg's theory of "Successful Intelligence." His expertise gained national recognition, earning him The Enrollment Management Association's Bretnall Award in 2014. Ray's involvement extended to leadership roles, including Chair of The Enrollment Management Association's Think Tank on the Future of Assessment and Co-Chair of the development of the Character Skills Assessment.

In July 2016, Ray left Choate to become the Director of AISAP's Center for Admission and Enrollment Management Leadership and delved into educational advising. Concurrently, he played a key role in helping to launch the Character Collaborative (a non-profit seeking to raise character's role in the college admission process), where he served on the Board until its acquisition by NACAC (National Association of College Admission Counselors) in 2023.


In addition, throughout his career, Ray has enjoyed coaching ice hockey at the youth A, AA, AAA, and prep school levels,  with experience training athletes for D1 & D3 College, Olympic and Professional.

Ray has consistently advocated for excellence in admissions, education, and sports, leaving an indelible mark on these fields through leadership, innovation, and a steadfast commitment to character-driven growth.

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