Holiday Hart McKiernan
McKiernan served at Lumina Foundation from 2003 to 2023

Holiday Hart McKiernan

Holiday Hart McKiernan, J.D., served as Lumina’s executive vice president and chief operating officer until her retirement in 2023. McKiernan oversaw operations, legal affairs, and board governance. She also served as acting CEO while President and CEO Jamie Merisotis was on sabbatical in 2019. Read her reflections on retirement: Leadership is about service first.

Her work has included exploring the Bologna Process and the implications this reform effort might have for U.S. higher education. McKiernan shaped Lumina’s approach to social-impact investing and has become a frequent speaker and thought leader in that area. She frequently speaks on governance, legal, and policy issues related to nonprofit organizations and higher education.

McKiernan began her career practicing law with a concentration on nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations. Before joining Lumina in 2003, she was executive director and counsel for Alpha Chi Omega, a national sorority, and advised universities on reducing high-risk behavior among students.

McKiernan has co-authored several journal articles, including “Making the Implicit Explicit: Demonstrating  the Value Added of Higher Education by a Qualifications Framework,” in The Journal of College and University Law. She wrote “Higher Education and the American Workforce” for Trusteeship, the magazine of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.

She serves on the boards of DePauw University, Christian Theological Seminary, and St. Vincent Foundation. She also is on Antioch University’s Board of Governors, and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy’s Board of Visitors.

McKiernan received her bachelor of arts from DePauw University and her law degree from Indiana University.