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About the American Council on Education

ACE, the major coordinating body for the nation’s colleges and universities, is a membership organization that mobilizes the higher education community to shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practice. Our strength lies in our diverse base of member institutions. We represent nearly 1,700 college and university presidents and the executives at related associations, and are the only major higher education association to represent all types of U.S. accredited, degree-granting institutions: two-year and four-year, public and private. Our members represent two out of every three students in all accredited, degree-granting institutions.

ACE Strategic Framework

Higher Education for the Nation’s Future


As approved by the ACE Board of Directors, and introduced to our members and the entire higher education community on June 20, 2018, this Strategic Framework will guide ACE’s work over the next three years. It conveys ACE’s vision and mission, core organizational values, and strategic commitments.


A vibrant democratic society that relies on postsecondary education to expand knowledge, equity, and social progress.


ACE is a membership organization that mobilizes the higher education community to shape effective public policy and foster innovative, high-quality practice.


We will demonstrate our core values in the way we work and serve our members.

  • Inclusion: Build a diverse community characterized by mutual respect, collegiality, and professional growth
  • Excellence: Deliver timely and consistently high-quality programs and services to our members and the higher education community
  • Innovation: Facilitate creative approaches to policy, practice and our work
  • Collaboration: Enhance ACE’s efficacy through strategic partnerships and alliances
  • Impact: Demonstrate the transformative power of our collective work through clearly defined metrics and outcomes


ACE will focus on the following strategic commitments over the next three years as we strengthen advocacy and leadership and more effectively engage our diverse membership in the areas of policy and practice. To accomplish this, we will:

Affirm and Strengthen Public Trust in Postsecondary Education

Deepen the public's confidence in higher education by communicating its impact as a powerful engine of economic opportunity, social mobility, and a flourishing democracy, and encouraging member action around meaningful change.

Champion Equity, Access and Completion

Promote public policies and institutional practices that provide affordable, high-quality postsecondary education opportunities for all and expand flexible pathways for completion through innovative learning.

Enrich the Capacity of Institutions & Leaders to Innovate and Adapt

Cultivate programs and services to advance the success of senior leaders, expand learning networks to diversify and strengthen the talent pipeline, and facilitate regional and global partnerships to address complex challenges.

Learn more about the impetus for the new ACE Strategic Framework and P​resident Ted Mitchell’s vision for the future.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

About ACE




2017 Annual Report 


Board of Directors


Barbara R. Snyder Chair
President, Case Western Reserve University (OH) 

Mark P. Becker, Vice Chair/Chair-Elect 
President, Georgia State University

Judy C. MinerImmediate Past Chair 
Chancellor, Foothill–De Anza Community College District (CA) 

Paul J. LeBlanc, Secretary
President, Southern New Hampshire University

Ted MitchellEx Officio 
President, American Council on Education


Board Members (Elected)

Term Ending March 2019

Ronald A. Crutcher, President, University of Richmond (VA)
Raynard S. Kington, President, Grinnell College (IA)
Elaine P. Maimon, President, Governors State University (IL)
Gail O. Mellow, President, LaGuardia Community College of The City University of New York
Judy C. Miner, Chancellor, Foothill–De Anza Community College District (CA)
Brian Noland, President, East Tennessee State University

Term Ending March 2020

Andrew D. Hamilton, President, New York University
Maria Harper-Marinick, Chancellor, Maricopa Community College District (AZ)
Paul J. LeBlanc, President, Southern New Hampshire University
Javier Miyares, President, University of Maryland University College
Carol Quillen, President, Davidson College (NC)
Barbara R. Snyder, President, Case Western Reserve University (OH)

Term Ending March 2021

Jonathan R. Alger, President, James Madison University (VA) ​
Mark P. Becker, President, Georgia State University​
Waded CruzadoPresident, Montana State University
Dianne F. HarrisonPresident, California State University-Northridge 
Timothy L. KilleenPresident, University of Illinois System
G.P. “Bud” PetersonPresident, Georgia Institute of Technology
Clayton SpencerPresident, Bates College (ME)

BOARD MEMBERS (By Designated Associations)

​American Association of Community Colleges
Jackson N. Sasser, President, Santa Fe College (FL)
Term Ending March 2020

American Association of State Colleges and Universities
Deborah F. Stanley, President, State University of New York at Oswego
Term Ending March 2020

Association of American Colleges and Universities
Edward J. Ray, President, Oregon State University
Term Ending March 2021

Association of American Universities
Howard Gillman, Chancellor, University of California, Irvine
Term Ending March 2021

Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities
Peter M. Donohue, President, Villanova University (PA)
Term Ending March 2020

Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities
Mark C. Reed, President, St. Joseph’s University (PA)
Term Ending March 2021​

Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
James P. Clements, President, Clemson University (SC)
Term Ending March 2021

Council of Graduate Schools
Suzanne T. Ortega, President
Term Ending March 2019

Council of Independent Colleges
Chris Kimball, President, California Lutheran University
Term Ending March 2019

National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education
Vacant Position
Term Ending TBD

National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities
James H. Mullen Jr., President, Allegheny College (PA)
Term Ending March 2019

National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators
Justin Draeger, President and Chief Executive Officer
Term Ending March 2019

Washington Higher Education Secretariat Designated Representative
Judith Areen, Executive Director, Association of American Law Schools
Term Ending March 2019


Commission on Inclusion


​The Commission on Inclusion advises ACE on its programs and activities in the diversity and inclusion areas. ACE offers a wide array of programs, resources, and research to foster greater inclusivity in higher education, particularly within the senior leadership ranks.

ACE's diversity and inclusion agenda includes:

  • The ACE Women's Network
  • Leadership programs for women and administrators of color
  • Research on the status of minorities in higher education
  •  Initiatives to foster greater collaboration between the international and diversity areas in college and university campuses

Commission members provide guidance and advice on the design and implementation of programs, review issue briefs and other publications, in addition to serving as presenters, conveners, and facilitators for leadership programs. Participation on the Commission also provides networking opportunities for members and a mechanism for members to communicate with the ACE Board of Directors.

Term of membership:   3 years
Meetings:   Spring and Fall

ACE Board of Directors’ Liaison

Judy C. Miner, Chancellor, Foothill De Anza Community College District

Term Ending March 31, 2017

James A. Anderson, Chancellor, Fayetteville State University (NC)
Shirley M. Collado, Executive Vice Chancellor and Chief Operating Officer, and Associate Professor of Sociology, Rutgers University-Newark
Waded Cruzado, President, Montana State University
Damon A. Williams, Senior Vice President of Program, Training, and Youth Development Services, Boys & Girls Clubs of America
Phyllis M. Wise, Former Chancellor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 

Term Ending March 31, 2018

Steven Diner, University Professor/Former Chancellor, Rutgers University-Newark (NJ)
Joyce C. Ester, President, Normandale Community College (MN)
Tori Haring-Smith, President, Washington & Jefferson College (PA)
Brian King, Chancellor, Los Rios Community College District
Cindy L. Miles, Chancellor, Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District (CA)

Commission on Education Attainment and Innovation

Hallway of beams

​The Commission on Education Attainment and Innovation helps guide the activities of the Center for Education Attainment and Innovation and its programs.

Advises the staff on lifelong learning trends and other matters pertaining to its programs and services.

Reviews policy statements, guidelines, and principles of good practice on adult learning issues and, where appropriate, submits recommendations for Board action.

Programs within the Center for Education Attainment and Innovation include:

  • Military Programs, including Military Evaluations and military registries (for the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps).
  • Corporate Programs, including the College Credit Recommendation Service, Credit by Examination Program, and civilian registries (a series of computerized educational recordkeeping systems that list ACE-evaluated courses).
  • Research related to adults and their access to and success in higher education.

Commission membership primarily includes campus CEOs, joined by other representatives from higher education institutions and educational associations.

Term of membership:   3 years
Meetings:   Spring and Fall

Term Ending March 31, 2017

Patricia Hsieh, President, San Diego Miramar College
Ed Klonoski, President, Charter Oak State College (CT)
Kim Lee, Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness, Albany Technical College (GA)
Rebecca Petersen, Director of Online Experiential Learning at Northeastern University
Charles “Mac” Powell, President, Bastyr University (chair)
David Schejbal, Dean, University of Wisconsin System Extension

Term Ending March 31, 2019

Joe Bertolino, President, Lyndon State College
Deborah Jackson, President, Cambridge College
John Cain, Assistant Vice President of Distance Learning, St. Leo's University
Mark Hagerott, Chancellor, North Dakota University System
Felix V. Matos Rodriquez, President, Queens College, CUNY
Jared Lyon, President, Student Veterans of America
Trudy Banta, Senior Advisor to the Chancellor for Academic Planning and Evaluation, IUPUI
Ken Barber, Manager, Learning and Development, Jiffy Lube International
Chris Bustamante, Vice Chair, President, Rio Salado College (AZ)
Javier Miyares, President, University of Maryland University College
Michael Reilly, Executive Director, American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO)

Commission on Internationalization and Global Engagement

Ivy covered wall

​The Commission on Internationalization and Global Engagement advises ACE on its initiatives in comprehensive internationalization and global priorities. This commission serves as an important advisory and strategic planning body for ACE's Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement (CIGE) in the following areas:

  • Developing policy positions on international education and global issues.
  • Conducting research on critical topics in the field.
  • Sponsoring programs to help member institutions advance strategic internationalization.
  • Representing U.S. higher education internationally.

The Commission also guides CIGE in its collaboration with other associations, government departments, and the private sector to advance international initiatives. The work of CIGE will help ensure that the American higher education system is globally engaged.

The Commission meets during the ACE Annual Meeting and in conjunction with the Executive Forum for Leading Internationalization, a broader group including both presidents and chief academic officers, to discuss a major issue in the internationalization of higher education.

Term of membership:   3 years
Meetings:   Spring and Fall

Chair of the Commission

Fernando León García, Rector, CETYS Universidades (Mexico)​​

Term Ending June 30, 2019

Harvey Kesselman, President, Stockton University 
Michael Latham, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College, Grinnell College 
Sharon Nagy, Vice Provost for Global Engagement, Clemson University 
Nasser Paydar, Chancellor, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
Yu Lizhong, Chancellor, New York University Shanghai

​Term Ending June 30, 2020

Sally Crimmins Villela, Associate Vice Chancellor for Global Affairs,​ Office of Global Affairs, State University of New York (SUNY)
Sue Henderson, President, New Jersey City University
Elizabeth Hendrey, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, CUNY Queens College
Joseph L. Jones, President, Arkansas Baptist College
Brian Stiegler, Assistant Provost for International Education, Salisbury University (MD)
Carlos Vargas, President, Southeast Missouri State University​

Term Ending June 30, 2021

Austin Agho, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, Old Dominion University
Susan Carvalho, Associate Provost and Dean of the Graduate School, The University of Alabama
David Di Maria, Associate Vice Provost of International Education, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Carol Erting, Provost, Gallaudet University
Thomas Poon, Executive Vice President and Provost, Loyola Marymount University


ACE is consistently at the center of federal policy debates concerning higher education. As a convener of higher education associations and agencies, we enable our community to speak with one voice on issues affecting institutions and students. Our work on behalf of the nation's colleges and universities ensures our members are connected to policymakers and represented as offici​als make critical decisions on Capitol Hill. 

As the only organization that represents presidents from all sectors, ACE:

  • Is the key point of contact on higher education matters for congressional staff and the executive branch;
  • Represents higher education on legal issues and federal court cases, including at the U.S. Supreme Court;
  • Is the most frequently cited organization in the national media on higher education issues; and
  • Keeps members informed on timely and significant policy issues through ACE Pres​ident Ted Mitchell's weekly newsletter, President to President.


​As many of today’s higher education leaders begin to retire, the higher education community must cultivate a diverse and robust leadership pool to help lead our nation into the future. In its role representing all sectors of higher education, ACE is strengthening higher education for the next generation by providing administrators varied opportunities to learn from colleagues and experts.​​

Renu Khator ​"In the next decade, American higher education is going to be transformed. We need a collective voice, a shared platform, a place where we can collectively anticipate change, dare to innovate, and learn from each other’s mistakes. I think ACE provides that forum, that collective voice, that shared space, and that togetherness."

​​Renu Khator
Chancellor, University of Houston System and President, University of Houston (TX)


​ACE and its member institutions have a historic commitment to adult learners​, which positions us to support the growing number of Americans who take nontraditional paths to a postsecondary education credential.

The Center for Education Attainment and Innovation provides services for adult learners and nontraditional students. The Center is focused on ensuring that every student who desires it has access to higher education and the resources to succeed.

The Center's College Credit Recommendation Service (CREDIT) connects workplace learning with colleges and universities, helping adults earn academic credit for courses and examinations taken outside traditional channels. And ACE's Military Programs recommend equivalent college credits for members of the armed forces for certain types of military training and service experiences.

ACE operates a variety of programs designed to promote access to and success in higher education for active duty service members, veterans, and their families.​​


The Center for Internationalization and Global Engagement (CIGE) supports the internationalization of higher education in the U.S. and abroad. Drawing upon ACE’s broad membership, CIGE shares resources and best practices to help institutions cultivate a more globally engaged campus community; prepares studentsto succeed in a globalized workforce; and builds connections that enhance U.S. institutions while supporting the development of higher education worldwide.

CIGE supports ACE’s international priorities by:

  • Leading on and encouraging international cooperation in critical global higher education issues;
  • Addressing policies that affect the global engagement of higher education;
  • Helping institutions articulate the benefits of international engagement to diverse stakeholders;
  • Conducting, curating, and disseminating relevant research and analysis;
  • Assisting member institutions with their internationalization strategies; and
  • Promoting outreach and collaboration with higher education organizations throughout the world.


ACE's Center for Policy Research and Strategy (CPRS)​ provides thought leadership at the intersection of public policy and institutional strategy, with an emphasis on long-term, systemic solutions. As America and its higher education landscape change, the Center provides senior college leaders and policymakers with an evidence base to responsibly promote emergent practices in higher education.

CPRS produces research, issue briefs, and events that provide stakeholders with acute insight, rigorous analysis, and examples of on-the-ground application. The Center's research uses varying methodologies and data sources, and analytical frameworks include those found in research on educational equity, education policy, organizational and systems management, and disruptive innovation. ​​​​​


ACE convenes higher education organizations through the Wa​shington Higher Education Secretariat (WHES).​


GED Testing Service is a joint venture of the American Council on Education and Pearson. The GED® test has opened doors to be​tter jobs and college programs for more than 18 million graduates since 1942. Last year nearly 800,000 adults sat for the GED test, which is accepted by virtually all U.S. colleges and employers.

To learn more about GED Testing Service, and the GED® test, visit the GED Testing Service website.


ACE and the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) have formed an important collaboration to provide professional development and support services to college instructors, with a focus on current and future college faculty whose primary responsibility is to teach or support instruction. To learn more, please visit the collaboration information page.


Special Initiatives

ACE frequently develops special projects to help the higher education community respond to a pressing need or challenge. Some of these initiatives include advancing diversity on campus and promoting globalization.

American College Application Campaign
​​​American College Application Campaign
At Home in the World Initiative
​​​At Home in the World Initiative
Creating Global Citizens
​​Creating Global Citizens: Explore Internationalization at HBCU's
​​Making Productivity Real: Essential Readings for Campus Leaders
​​Moving the Needle Together: Advancing Women in Higher Education Leadership
​​​​The Spectrum Initiative: Advancing Diversity in the College Presidency


​​ACE Student of the Year Award
​​​​The Donna Shavlik Award​
​​The Reginald Wilson Diversity Leadership Award
​​The State Network Leadership Award
​​ACE/Fidelity Investments Award for Institutional Transformation


Corporate Engagement

ACE Alliances with the Business Community

ACE works closely with organizations to advance programs that strengthen the higher education community. As the major coordinating body for higher education, ACE provides a number of opportunities for strategic collaboration, including:

  • • The ACE Annual Meeting , through sponsor, exhibitor, and advertiser opportunities.
    • The ACE Corporate Membership program , which provides engagement opportunities and access to ACE leadership and members; communications and insights to help you understand how to better serve campuses throughout the country; year-round visibility and brand awareness; and special opportunities aligned with the ACE Annual Meeting, the nation’s premier higher education event.
    • The Executive Search Roundtable  for firms specializing in higher education executive searches.
    • ACE College Credit Recommendation Service,   which evaluates and recognizes corporate training and certification programs.
    • Thought leadership opportunities in select programs, research and initiatives.
    • The Presidency , ACE's flagship magazine, which provides advertising opportunities for businesses to strengthen their brand and demonstrate their commitment to higher
    education.The ACE Annual Meeting, through sponsor, exhibitor, and advertiser opportunities.
  • The ACE Corporate Membership program, which provides engagement opportunities and access to ACE leadership and members; communications and insights to help you understand how to better serve campuses throughout the country; year-round visibility and brand awareness; and special opportunities aligned with the ACE Annual Meeting, the nation’s premier higher education event.
  • The Executive Search Roundtable for firms specializing in higher education executive searches.
  • ACE College Credit Recommendation Service, which evaluates and recognizes training and certification programs.
  • Thought leadership opportunities in select programs, research, and initiatives.
  • The Presidency, ACE's flagship magazine, which provides advertising opportunities for businesses to strengthen their brand and demonstrate their commitment to higher education.


The Advancement Office works with departments Council-wide to develop funding and partnerships that advance ACE’s mission to provide leadership and a unifying voice on higher education issues and to influence public policy through advocacy, research, and program initiatives. 

Organizational Giving

ACE’s work is driven by a set of strategic priorities. Strong and ongoing relationships with foundations and corporations support ACE programs that:
  • Provide leaders with the tools and solutions to be successful.
  • Assist senior leaders in improving institutional capacity and effectiveness.
  • Help ensure that higher education’s future leaders are ready to take on real-world challenges.
  • Shape policies, practices, and perceptions about continuous learning.
  • Support education and attainment of military personnel and veterans.
  • Enhance comprehensive internationalization on U.S. campuses and situate U.S. higher education in a global context.
  • Provide leaders and policymakers with the most contemporary information and perspectives on key policy issues affecting postsecondary education.  

Individual Giving

Individuals may support future higher education leaders through the ACE Fellows Program's Annual Fund and the Fund for the Future or the Inclusive Excellence Group's Women's Leadership Legacy Fund.


​If you believe that your work should be fulfilling, and your workplace should be collaborative, then we believe you should join our team.

At the American Council on Education, we are driven to make these beliefs a reality with cutting-edge programs and research, unfaltering advocacy and passion to excel as an organization.

Learn more about working at ACE and see a listing of all current job opportunities at ACE.