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Southern University alumna appointed as Commissioner of Higher Education

On Wednesday, the Louisiana Board of Regents appointed Kimberly Hunter Reed as the state’s ninth commissioner of higher education. Reed, a Southern University graduate, will provide collaborative leadership with the presidents of Louisiana's four systems of public postsecondary education — Southern, Louisiana State University, University of Louisiana, and Louisiana Community and Technical College System. She will lead Regents' efforts of statewide academic planning and review, budgeting and performance funding, research, and accountability.

“I’m passionate about this work because I consider it to be part of my DNA. I'm here because this is my home agency here in Louisiana,” Reed said. “A good commissioner ensures that opportunity for all isn't just a compelling statement, but it is a reality.”

Reed’s background is deeply woven in higher education and public policy. Presently, she works as the executive director of the Colorado Department of Education. Prior to this post, she served in President Barack Obama’s administration as deputy undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Education, leading the postsecondary education diversity and inclusion work. She also led the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

A Lake Charles native, Reed is no stranger to Louisiana higher education. She chaired the state’s higher education transition team in 2015 and has served as Louisiana's state policy director. Earlier, Reed worked at the Louisiana Board of Regents as chief of staff and deputy commissioner for public affairs. 

Reed, who received a Ph.D. in public policy from Southern, holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from LSU.