DENVER — Wednesday, Feb. 1,  2017 — Gov. John Hickenlooper announced today that Kim Hunter Reed, PhD., has been appointed executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education (DHE), effective Feb. 15, 2017.

“Kim’s knowledge of best practices in higher education and her extensive experience in innovative ways to make college more accessible - as well as her focus on student success - will benefit all Coloradans,” said Gov. Hickenlooper. “We are thrilled that such a dynamic national education leader will join our team and lead our post-secondary education efforts, and we know that her expertise will help ensure our ability to make a difference in the lives of our students and families.”

Reed, a former Louisiana higher education official, most recently served in President Obama’s administration as deputy under secretary at the U.S. Department of Education leading post-secondary diversity and inclusion work, supporting strong student and outcomes focused policies and aggressive national outreach efforts. She also led the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Prior to serving in the administration, Reed was a principal at HCM Strategists LLC, a public policy and advocacy consulting firm in Washington, D.C., focused on advancing effective solutions in health and education.

Reed has extensive higher education and government experience. She chaired Louisiana's higher education transition team in 2015 and has served as Louisiana's state policy director.  Reed previously served as chief of staff for the Louisiana Board of Regents and executive vice president of the University of Louisiana System. Prior to those roles, she served on the faculty at Southern University in Baton Rouge and was executive assistant to the president and interim vice president of student affairs at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond.

Reed received a doctorate in public policy from Southern University, as well as a master’s of public administration and a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Louisiana State University.

“I am grateful to the Governor for the opportunity to continue serving as an advocate for education and champion for students in such a dynamic state,” said Reed. “I look forward to collaborating with this talented team, education leaders and diverse stakeholders as we focus on strengthening outcomes and advancing talent development in Colorado.”

Diane Duffy has served as the interim executive director of DHE since November 2016, and will continue to serve the department as its chief operating officer.

“We are grateful for Diane’s work in serving as the interim director of DHE,” said Gov. Hickenlooper. “It’s obvious she cares deeply about education in Colorado, and we appreciate her stepping in and ensuring operations continued to run smooth. We look forward to her continuing as the department’s chief operating officer.”

About the Colorado Department of Higher Education (DHE)

DHE works to improve the quality of, ensure the affordability of and promote access to postsecondary education for the people of Colorado.