Louis Soares

Chief Learning and Innovation Officer

Louis Soares serves as ACE’s chief learning and innovation officer.

In this role, Soares incubates and scales ACE’s executive leadership networks, as well as catalyzes compelling research and innovation initiatives across the Council. Working with colleagues, Soares integrates the work of ACE’s leadership, research, and innovation teams to optimize membership value for colleges and universities by developing programs and services to advance the success of senior leaders, diversify the executive talent pipeline, and facilitate partnerships to enhance institutional performance.

Soares’ prior roles at ACE include vice president for policy research and strategy (2013–16) and vice president for strategy, research, and advancement (2016–18). He is the author of two landmark ACE papers, Post-Traditional Learners and the Transformation of Higher Education: A Manifesto for College Leaders and Evolving Higher Education Business Models: Leading with Data to Deliver Results, which advanced the public dialogue on adult student needs and the acceptance of innovative education delivery models.

With more than 20 years of experience in postsecondary education policy and practice, Soares is an accomplished policy analyst and thought leader on emerging trends in higher education. Soares has developed and successfully implemented innovative education and training programs both for and in collaboration with college, university, and employer partners for frontline workers, business executives, and higher education administrators. These innovative projects garnered support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Lumina Foundation, Russell Sage Foundation, TIAA Institute, ACT, Verizon Foundation, Fleet Bank, CVS, Bank of America, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Labor.

Prior to coming to ACE, Soares served as the director of the postsecondary education program and fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP), a premier Washington, DC-based think tank. Prior to CAP, he served as director of business and workforce development under Rhode Island Governor Donald L. Carcieri and as director of education partnerships for the Rhode Island Technology Council.

Soares was appointed by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to serve on the National Board of the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education from 2011 to 2014.

He holds a master’s in public administration from Harvard University and a bachelor’s in business economics from Brown University.