Ted Mitchell Named President of the American Council on Education
July 20, 2017

Experienced educator, innovator and federal policy maker to head American higher education’s major coordinating body

ACE announced today that Ted Mitchell, a former college president and top federal policy maker, has been named the Council's 13th president, effective Sept. 1, 2017.

Mitchell will succeed Molly Corbett Broad, former University of North Carolina president, who has led the Council since 2008.

He brings to ACE a wide array of experience and accomplishments from across the higher education sector, as well as a longstanding focus on helping more students gain access to a postsecondary education and complete their degrees. His background includes service as president of a private liberal arts college, senior administrator at a state university and trustee of a major research institution.

“Ted Mitchell brings a constellation of skills to the presidency of the American Council on Education,” said Judy C. Miner, chair of ACE’s Board of Directors and chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District (CA). “We very much appreciate Molly Corbett Broad’s leadership over her tenure and are fortunate to have found someone of Ted’s vision, commitment and in-depth knowledge across the spectrum of American colleges and universities to lead ACE into its centennial year and chart a course into the future.”

Mitchell was president of Occidental College (CA) from 1999-2005. He served as under secretary at the U.S. Department of Education from 2014 until January 2017, reporting to the secretary of education and overseeing postsecondary education policies and programs.

He also has served as vice chancellor and dean of the School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, and professor and chair of the Department of Education at Dartmouth College (NH). He is a former member of the Stanford University (CA) Board of Trustees. After concluding his service at the Department of Education, Mitchell served as a consultant to ACE in the areas of education attainment and innovation, and leadership development.

Prior to becoming under secretary of education, Mitchell was chief executive officer of the NewSchools Venture Fund from 2005-14, which provides seed capital and counsel to leading education entrepreneurs at the K-12 level, and served as the president of the California State Board of Education. Those posts exemplify Mitchell’s commitment to use innovation across the spectrum of elementary, secondary and postsecondary education levels and forge K-16 connections to increase college attainment rates in this country.

“We were looking for a candidate equipped to advance ACE’s historic mission of leadership, advocacy and expanding access to higher education,” said Barbara R. Snyder, vice chair and chair-elect of the ACE Board, chair of the ACE presidential search committee and president of Case Western Reserve University (OH). “Ted Mitchell’s wide-ranging background and accomplishments make him uniquely positioned to carry out that task on behalf of all of this country’s higher education institutions.”

John J. DeGioia, ACE’s immediate past Board chair, a search committee member and president of Georgetown University (DC), added that ACE’s role as convener and collective voice for all colleges and universities has never been more important.

“Ted Mitchell is the right person at the right time to lead ACE during what is an extraordinary and challenging time for American higher education,” DeGioia said.

Mitchell said it is a privilege to take the helm of the Council as it prepares to celebrate its centennial, and praised the work Broad has done over the past nine years to ensure that ACE helps its member institutions see around corners and anticipate both challenges and opportunities during a tumultuous period for postsecondary education in the United States.

“I am honored to lead ACE into a new century of focusing on advocacy, leadership and innovation on behalf of all colleges and universities,” Mitchell said. “These are demanding times for American higher education, and I am confident that ACE can continue to help our member institutions and the entire higher education community best serve our students while we reach our common aspirations for improving access, preparing every student to succeed, and celebrating diversity and opportunity.”

Mitchell received his bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University. He lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, Christine, and their two children.

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