Danette Howard

Articles by Danette

Danette Gerald Howard, Ph.D. served as Lumina’s senior vice president and chief policy officer until Dec. 2021 overseeing several of Lumina’s key strategies to increase Americans’ attainment of high-quality postsecondary degrees and credentials, including strategic work in both state and federal policy and efforts to leverage states as the drivers of credential attainment. She led the Foundation’s Equity First efforts to embed racial equity and justice in all aspects of Lumina’s strategic work and operations.

Prior to joining Lumina, Howard served as Secretary of Higher Education in Maryland, leading the state’s postsecondary education coordinating agency, the Maryland Higher Education Commission.  As secretary, she oversaw Maryland’s statewide financial aid program, approved new academic programs and institutions seeking to operate in the state, and advised the governor and legislators on higher education policies and initiatives.

A nationally regarded analyst and thought leader, Howard previously served as director of research and policy analysis at the Maryland Higher Education Commission.  She also held positions as the assistant director of higher education policy at the Education Trust in Washington, D.C., as a researcher at the University of Maryland, College Park, and as a student affairs administrator and admissions counselor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Howard earned her bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Howard University. She also received her master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and her Ph.D. in higher education policy from the University of Maryland, College Park. In 2015, she was honored for her outstanding success and national distinction in the fields of education and policy with Howard University’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award.

Howard currently serves as a member of the Howard University Board of Trustees, and as a trustee of the Ascension St. Vincent Foundation.

More from Danette

Lumina’s policy agenda centers on helping states achieve racial justice and equity

Progress is about partnerships – in racial justice and education as surely as anywhere else. In Lumina’ case, as we embrace a national goal of ensuring that by 2025, 60 percent of working-age adults have a quality credential beyond high school, that means partnering with others and encouraging best practices across the country through our State Policy Agenda.

Our story: Lumina staff share their racial equity narratives in commitment to justice

At Lumina, we’re committed to racial equity as part of our drive to increase education and training beyond high school. But we knew we couldn’t just preach that message to others without doing our own work, or considering what it means to ourselves, so now we’re sharing the personal stories of our staff about their own journeys.