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Lumina Announces New Members of Executive Leadership Team

Today Lumina Foundation President and CEO Jamie Merisotis announced the addition of two new members to the executive leadership team. The expanded team will shape and amplify Lumina’s ongoing efforts to serve as a catalyst to help the nation reach Goal 2025—to have 60 percent of Americans with a high-quality postsecondary credential by the year 2025.

Debra Humphreys will join Lumina on October 24 as vice president of strategic engagement. Humphreys currently serves as senior vice president at the Association of American Colleges and Universities. She will draw from her unique skill set in higher education, communications, academic planning, stakeholder engagement, and public policy to lead the Foundation's stakeholder engagement and strategic communications work. As part of that work, Humphreys will provide direction for Lumina's thought leadership efforts as well as the substantive work on postsecondary education quality.

Courtney Brown has been promoted and will join Lumina’s executive leadership team as vice president of strategic impact. Brown joined Lumina in 2011 and will draw from her experience directing metrics and evaluation work to provide leadership in strategic impact and planning as well as in Lumina’s international engagement efforts.  She will ensure Lumina uses data and research to inform and continuously apply lessons to work across the Foundation and stays focused on the impact of its work on Goal 2025.

In addition to the two new members of the executive leadership team, two senior Lumina leaders will take on expanded roles and responsibilities.

Danette Howard has been promoted and will serve as chief strategy officer and senior vice president.  Howard will lead the Foundation’s integrated approach to implementing its strategic priorities, which includes continued leadership of Lumina’s state and federal policy work.

Holly McKiernan also has been promoted and will serve as chief operating officer and executive vice president. She will continue to oversee Lumina’s operations, talent, and legal functions, while also assuming leadership of IT and impact investing.

Merisotis says these enhancements to Lumina’s executive team are coming at a pivotal time for the Foundation and the nation.

“Later this fall Lumina Foundation will launch our 2017-2020 strategic plan. The breadth of knowledge and skills in this dynamic, innovative team will ensure that Lumina hits the ground running when the plan is finalized,” said Merisotis. “I am delighted that this team will play such a pivotal role in our national leadership efforts to help make Goal 2025 a reality.”

To learn more about Lumina’s leadership team, the rest of its staff and its work to reach Goal 2025 visit

Kate Snedeker
Stronger Nation 2017 demonstration
Stronger Nation 2017 demonstration
June 19, 2017

A Stronger Nation 2017 report uses Census data to track progress in degree attainment at several levels – nationally, in metropolitan areas, in all 50 states, and down to the county level. It also contains national data and state-specific estimates that show attainment of high-quality postsecondary certificates.