Holiday Hart McKiernan, J.D., is executive vice president, chief operating officer, and general counsel at Lumina Foundation, an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. McKiernan, who oversees operations, legal affairs, and board governance at Lumina, also served as acting CEO while President and CEO Jamie Merisotis was on sabbatical in 2019.
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 speaks frequently 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 how to reduce 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.