Higher Education in Maryland

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Higher Education in Maryland

Dr. Danette G. Howard
Secretary of Higher Education
Maryland Higher Education Commission

Danette Gerald Howard was appointed Secretary of Higher Education by Governor Martin O’Malley on June 21, 2012.  In this role she serves as the chief executive of the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), the State’s postsecondary education coordinating agency, and provides leadership for the State’s $110 million financial aid program, oversees the approval of new academic programs and institutions seeking to operate in Maryland, and advises the Governor and legislators on higher education policies and initiatives. Before assuming her current role, Dr. Howard served as MHEC’s Interim Secretary and Director of Research and Policy Analysis.

Prior to joining the Maryland Higher Education Commission, Dr. Howard served as the Assistant Director of Higher Education Policy at the Education Trust, an organization that is committed to closing achievement gaps at all points along the educational pipeline, from pre-kindergarten through college.  At the Ed. Trust, Dr. Howard was one of the original architects of the Access2Success Initiative, a project comprised of public university systems throughout the country that have pledged to cut the college-going and graduation gaps for low-income and minority students in half by 2015. Dr. Howard was responsible for leading the development of the metrics that are used to gauge the extent to which university systems are making progress toward their 2015 goals.

Dr. Howard has spent her entire professional career in higher education, and began working in the field as a student affairs administrator and admissions counselor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).  She has also worked as a research associate at the University of Maryland, College Park.

Dr. Howard earned her bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Howard University.  She also received her master’s degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and her Ph.D. in higher education policy from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Dr. Howard currently resides in Hanover, MD with her husband, William II, and their son, William III.



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