The two-term Democrat, who left office in January, is taking a part-time post with the Seattle-based nonprofit promoting his signature Learn and Earn program.
Started in 2004, the program aims to boost college graduation rates through a combination of online classes, special high schools that offer associate degrees and scholarships.
Easley will meet with leaders of other states and do other work to promote similar programs. Neither he nor the foundation would release his salary.
It is the first job announced for Easley since he left the Executive Mansion. He worked as a district attorney and state attorney general before being elected governor in 2000.
Adam Magnus, a spokesman for Easley, said he will also promote early childhood education programs through positions that have not yet been announced.
"He will be doing other work simultaneously," he said.
As governor, Easley worked with the Gates Foundation, set up by the co-founder of Microsoft, on similar education efforts. In recent years, the foundation donated substantial money to a nonprofit Easley created to promote Learn and Earn.