June 22, 2020

AASCU Names 30 Higher Education Leaders to its 2020 Millennium Leadership Initiative

Kellee Edmonds
(202) 478-4662

WASHINGTON, June 22, 2020 – A new class of 30 exemplary, senior-level higher education professionals will participate in the 2020 Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI), a premier leadership development program of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). MLI provides individuals traditionally underrepresented in the highest ranks of postsecondary education with the opportunity to develop skills, gain a philosophical overview, and build the network and knowledge needed to advance to the presidency.

Over its more than 20-year history, the program has produced 632 graduates, of which 131 have become first-time presidents or chancellors.

“It is important that leadership within higher education represent our institutions’ diverse student body—implementing efforts to help our students succeed; shaping inclusive and effective learning environments; and continuing to advance equity, diversity and social and economic justice across our campuses,” said Dr. Mary Evans Sias, director of the program and assistant to AASCU’s president. “I am proud to welcome our stellar 2020 MLI Class.”

AASCU restructured the 2020 MLI to continue to advance the next generation of higher education leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic. This year’s MLI Institute will include two webinars per month from July–November 2020 and an in-person conference in January 2021. Protégés will also have a yearlong mentorship with an experienced president or chancellor and four months of professional coaching from a retired president or chancellor.

“The network of presidents I gained from participating in MLI has remained invaluable to me throughout my career. I am honored this year’s class will be afforded the same opportunity to cultivate their leadership skills in these unprecedented times for our country,” said AASCU President Dr. Mildred García, a protégé in MLI’s inaugural class in 1999. “The voices and contributions of these emerging leaders will be critical to the future of our institutions.”

View the full list of protégés.


The American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) is a Washington, D.C.-based higher education association of nearly 400 public colleges, universities, and systems whose members share a learning- and teaching-centered culture, a historic commitment to underserved student populations, and a dedication to research and creativity that advances their regions’ economic progress and cultural development. These are institutions Delivering America’s Promise. Visit us at www.aascu.org.