top of page


RD3 = Relevant Research-Development of the student by design-3 Elements of Character: displayed in the Character Venn Diagram.


After over 25 years of experience in schools, working with schools,  and most importantly working with and watching thousands of students go through the growth and development process, often with amazing and diverse outcomes, I knew it was time to share what I have learned.  As an Admission Director choosing students in a highly selective secondary school environment;  as a Leadership Center Director observing and working with hundreds of k-12 independent schools; as a coach of boys and girls from youth to college, and with great appreciation for the creative arts, I have gained experience and perspective  in many areas.  Working with and learning from some of the top researchers on intelligence and character, I believe it all loops back to character and the healthy growth and development of a student through the K-12 years. I believe a little bit of advice goes a long way and perhaps most importantly, highly engaged teachers, mentors, coaches or advisers can have both an immediate and lifelong impact on young people. These two notions are the foundation of this Center and what I hope to provide for families, schools and educational partners.


Ray Diffley

Principal and Founder

  • unnamed

After graduating from Bowdoin College in 1991 and gaining experience in the business world, Ray began his tenure at Choate Rosemary Hall. At Choate he had a distinguished 23-year career, all in admission. His travels across the country and abroad as an admission representative have given him a depth of perspective on education that he cherishes. He also served in multiple roles on campus including coaching, dorm advising and several committees from curriculum to residential life. He spent the last 12 years at Choate as Director of Admission and Financial Aid. In Spring 2016 he was honored to win Choate’s Johannes Van Straalen award for distinguished teaching, given by the Choate student council.


In 2004, Ray completed his Master’s degree at Wesleyan University, where he furthered his knowledge in human (or applicant)  assessment through his study of psychology and assessment tools, including Dr. Robert Sternberg’s “Successful Intelligence.” Along the way, he gained national recognition for his work in assessment and innovative practices, giving presentations around the country as well as internationally. In 2014 he was honored with The Enrollment Management Association’s Bretnall Award for significant contributions to the admission field. Ray has served as 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 while implementing unique assessments in the Choate admission process that sought to go beyond GPA and test scores. Ray’s admission passions led him to a seat on the Board of Trustees of the Association of Independent School Admission Professionals (AISAP) where he pursued raising the bar on all aspects of the role of an admission professional.


In July 2016, Ray formalized his role with AISAP and served as Director of AISAP’s Center for Admission and Enrollment Management Leadership while also serving as an Educational Adviser for VJB & Associates. In 2016 he also helped launch and support the Character Collaborative where he now is on the Board. In late Spring 2019, The RD3 Education and Advising Center was launched to serve both families and schools.  With its strong belief that "partnership is the new leadership" RD3 has relationships in and outside of the United States serving families worldwide. RD3's Exclusive Partner in China is Shang NancyFriends (SNF) where Ray serves as the Director of Character Education and in Mexico RD3 collaborates with Blue Ivy Coaching. Finally, Ray serves as the Director of CAP (Character-Attitude-Performance) for the Elite Hockey program in Connecticut, serving student-athletes from 8-19. All partners are committed at the highest levels to student growth and development.  

bottom of page