ACE today announced the appointment of Louis Soares as vice president for policy research and strategy and Joan Wodiska as vice president, chief leadership officer.
In his role, Soares will lead ACE’s Center for Policy Analysis and be responsible for further positioning the Council as a thought leader on emerging trends in higher education.
Wodiska will assume oversight of the Council’s suite of leadership development programming for higher education leaders, including the ACE Fellows Program, the ACE Institute for New Presidents, the Spectrum Leadership Development Program and the ACE Institute for New Chief Academic Officers.
“ACE is committed to offering its members cutting-edge research and state-of-the-art leadership development programs in order to help them meet the challenges facing their campuses and institutions,” said ACE President Molly Corbett Broad. “Louis and Joan both bring with them an array of experiences that will help ACE remain a vital resource for current and future higher education leaders.”
“ACE is well known for its benchmarking surveys on the college presidency, globalization and diversity in higher education,” Soares said. “I am excited to join ACE and direct our research resources toward issues on the cutting edge of policy formation and institutional strategy. This will allow senior college leaders and public policy makers to make compelling cases for emerging best practices that will help the nation achieve its education goals.”
“In today’s global economy, higher education is a powerful economic engine that helps ensure America’s prosperity,” Wodiska said. “Across the country and around the globe, higher education leaders are driving innovation, stimulating job creation and developing the next generation of leaders and problem solvers. I am excited to join ACE and be a part of its work to support leadership and grow tomorrow’s talent.”
Soares, who joined the Council in June after serving for several months as a special policy adviser to President Broad, most recently served as the director of the postsecondary education program and fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP). While at CAP, his research focused on community college reform, worker training, consumer information for college students, career and education counseling and the role of technology in higher education innovation.
Prior to CAP, Soares served as director of business development under Rhode Island Governor Donald L. Carcieri and as director of education and training for the Rhode Island Technology Council. Additionally, Soares was a small business consultant with the U.S. Peace Corps in Romania. He holds a master’s in public administration from Harvard University (MA) and a bachelor’s in business economics from Brown University (RI).
Wodiska will join the Council in August, following her departure from the National Governors Association (NGA), where she serves as director of the Education & Workforce Committee in the Office of Federal Relations. In that role, she oversees NGA’s legislative advocacy work on federal education, workforce and labor legislation. Previously, Wodiska served as director of federal relations for the National School Boards Association and assistant director of public policy for the American Counseling Association.
She is the past president of the Virginia School Boards Association and was elected to three terms on the Falls Church (VA) City School Board, where she served as both chair and vice chair. She was appointed as a member of the Virginia Board of Education in 2013 and is currently vice chair of the Governor’s Task Force on Local Mandates. Wodiska holds bachelor’s degrees in economics and political science from Concordia College (MN). She studied economics at American University (DC) and received a master’s in political management from The George Washington University (DC).
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