News & Events / Institute for Higher Education Policy Announces New President

Institute for Higher Education Policy Announces New President

Published Dec 06, 2021

The Board of Directors Unanimously Selected Mamie Voight to Lead the Nonprofit into its Fourth Decade of Equity-Driven, Student-Centered, and Data-Informed Research, Policy, and Advocacy

WASHINGTON, DC (December 6, 2021) – The Board of Directors of the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) has named Mamie Voight, a national thought leader on higher education policy and equity-centered, data-informed reform, as the new President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the organization. Ms. Voight was unanimously selected by the Board after an extensive national search to lead one of the nation’s most prominent and trusted independent sources of higher education research, policy, and advocacy.

Ms. Voight is a respected voice and advocate for access and opportunity in higher education for all students, especially students of color, students from low-income backgrounds, and other historically marginalized populations. An experienced leader, consummate researcher, and a systems-thinker and strategic planner, her work is consistently grounded in equity and evidence-based policy change aimed at dismantling racial and socioeconomic inequities within our higher education system.

“I am thrilled that we have selected a visionary, innovative, and inspiring leader to guide IHEP into its fourth decade,” said Jacob Fraire, Chair of IHEP’s 10-member Board, and President and CEO of the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC). “Mamie is committed to racial and socioeconomic equity, passionate about higher education’s role in creating a more just society, and dedicated to inclusivity, diversity, rigor, collaboration, and teamwork.”

Dr. Michelle Asha Cooper, who served as IHEP’s president from 2008 until January 2021, described Ms. Voight as “the right leader for the right time. Having worked with Mamie for nearly a decade, I know her passion for higher education policy making and recognition of the potential of our higher education system to be an arbiter of social mobility and justice for marginalized populations.”

Dr. Mildred Garcia, President, American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), and a key partner with IHEP and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on the Postsecondary Value Commission, described Ms. Voight as “a steady hand and an equity and social justice advocate who will lead IHEP at this critical juncture for higher education, a moment impacted by the ongoing health and economic crises caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.”

“As an outstanding researcher, equity-focused policy leader, and interim President of IHEP, Mamie Voight has demonstrated her capacity for national leadership and impact,” shared Jamie Merisotis, President and CEO, Lumina Foundation. “IHEP is sure to reach new heights of success with Mamie as President and CEO. I’m looking forward to working with Mamie and the entire IHEP team in this next phase of essential work.”

“Mamie Voight is a true champion of educational equity for our nation’s college students. Her stellar research and policy insights are the catalyst needed to make the nation’s higher education systems work better for all students, particularly underserved students of color and students from families with low-incomes,” said Denise Forte, interim CEO of The Education Trust. “We are thrilled that Mamie will continue her fierce advocacy as IHEP’s newest president and CEO. Ed Trust is ready to partner with her in this new role to make the nation’s colleges and universities true engines of equality.”

Dr. Peter Nwosu, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Success at Lehman College, described Ms. Voight as “a terrific choice and a gentle leader with a deep understanding of the inner workings of advocacy and policy-making at the highest levels of the nation’s higher education sector.”

“I am delighted to see Mamie Voight lead IHEP at this critical time for our system of higher education,” said Kristin Hultquist, Partner of HCM Strategists. “As a partner and collaborator, HCM Strategists values the student-centered, data-informed, and equity-driven approach that Mamie brings to the table. We look forward to continuing our work with the entire IHEP team to ensure our system of higher education serves all of today’s students.”

Ms. Voight’s hiring comes as IHEP undertakes a new vision for strategic impact—a vision of a world in which higher education reaches its full potential to build a more just and equitable society. She will lead the organization through a strategic planning process that hones IHEP’s potential to catalyze systemic reform in our nation’s higher education system, transforming it into a system designed for opportunity, mobility, and racial and socioeconomic justice.

About Ms. Mamie Voight

Ms. Mamie Voight joined IHEP in 2013 and has served as interim President since February 2021 when IHEP’s former President, Dr. Michelle Asha Cooper, joined the Biden Administration as acting Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Higher Education Programs at the U.S. Department of Education. As interim President, Ms. Voight has led the strategic and operational initiatives of the organization, a portfolio that includes strategic planning, as well as research and policy advocacy to support national, state, local, and institutional efforts to achieve stronger educational outcomes for today’s students.

Ms. Voight, an engineer by training, is a respected voice and advocate for access and opportunity in higher education for all students, especially students from historically marginalized populations. A systems-thinker and strategic planner, her work has been grounded in equity and evidence-based policy change aimed at dismantling racial and socioeconomic inequities within our higher education system. She is also a frequent speaker on higher education policies at national conferences and convenings, and has been featured in national and local print, radio, and television outlets, including National Public Radio, Marketwatch, Washington Post, Money Magazine, The Atlantic, HuffPost, Inside Higher Education, and Chronicle of Higher Education.

In addition to her responsibilities as interim President during the last ten months, she continued with her role as IHEP’s Senior Vice President for Research and Policy. As Senior Vice President, she directed a portfolio of research, policy, and advocacy projects totaling more than $8 million to advance college access, success, affordability, transparency, value, and equity, including the high-profile Postsecondary Value Commission and Degrees When Due initiatives.

In addition, during her eight-year tenure at IHEP, she has led the Postsecondary Data Collaborative (PostsecData) to promote the use of high-quality postsecondary data to advance student success and educational equity, and has influenced policy change—including the introduction of the bipartisan, bicameral College Transparency Act.

Ms. Voight has testified before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; House of Representatives Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development; House of Representatives Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity; and Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance. She advises Congressional and Administration staff with technical assistance and advocacy on legislative and regulatory issues related to postsecondary data and transparency, student financial aid, and college completion.

Prior to her tenure at IHEP, Ms. Voight served in various roles at The Education Trust in Washington, D.C, from January 2009 to July 2013. Her responsibilities included leadership and oversight of the annual update of College Results Online, a web tool that facilitates peer college comparisons, as well as data collection and reporting for the Access to Success Initiative, a national effort to close gaps in college-going and completion for low-income students and students of color. She also recommended federal policy improvements to staff in Congress, the White House, and the U.S. Department of Education on topics including federal financial aid, for-profit colleges, consumer information, and higher education data.

Ms. Voight holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees in civil engineering – a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and a Minor in Women’s Studies from Villanova University, and a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Delaware.  She also earned a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University.


About IHEP

The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit research, policy, and advocacy organization committed to promoting postsecondary access and success for all students, regardless of race, background, or circumstance. Established in 1993, IHEP provides timely, evidence-based, and student-centered research to inform policy decisions and address our nation’s most pressing education challenges.