A geologist-turned brewpub pioneer who had never run for political office before running for Denver Mayor in 2003, Hickenlooper was elected Governor of Colorado on Nov. 2, 2010. One of the first commitments Hickenlooper made as Mayor was to visit all 151 schools in the Denver Public Schools system. He made good on that promise and helped forge a strong relationship between the City and the school district. In 2005, after serving only two years as mayor, Time Magazine placed him among the top five "big-city" mayors in the country. In 2008, Hickenlooper brought a new level of attention to the Mile High City, successfully marketing Denver as an ideal place to host the 2008 Democratic National Convention. And his most ambitious campaign, his mission to reduce homelessness in Denver, saw great success. Denver's Road Home provides employment assistance and housing for the homeless. The success of this program became a model for other cities, illustrating how they can combat homelessness within the inner city.
Overall, his tireless efforts to improve the city of Denver paid off. Despite shrinking budgets and managing the city through two national recessions, a recent citizen survey found that Denver's overall community quality rating improved to 86% in 2010 from 78% in 2002. Hickenlooper ran for Governor of Colorado on a jobs creation and economic development platform. In using his experience as a jobs creator and consensus builder in government, he wants to increase opportunity for the people of Colorado. And perhaps most importantly, he has a track record of bringing people together to solve problems instead of stoking the same old partisan squabbles.
Rae Ann Kelsch has been elected to the North Dakota House of Representatives since 1990. She has served as chairman of the House Education committee since 1997. Kelsch also serves as the chairman of the Education/Taxation Interim Committee and the Legislative Employment Committee. Kelsch serves on the House Transportation Committee, the Legislative Audit and Fiscal Review Committee and the Higher Education Interim Committee. She received the NDAEYC Children’s Champion Award, the Greater North Dakota Association State Community Award, Five Outstanding Young North Dakotan’s Award in 1995, Outstanding Young Woman of America and the Children’s Caucus Voice of the Child Award. She has served as the chairman of the Education Standing Committee and Overall Vice-Chairman of Standing Committees for the National Conference of State Legislatures, and is currently serving on the NCSL Executive Committee. Kelsch also served on the NCSL Federal Education Issues Task Force. She has been an ECS Commissioner since 1997 and serves on the ECS Steering, Nominating and Executive Committees. Kelsch graduated from the University of North Dakota with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and is currently working as a consultant. In that capacity, she develops strategies and policies specifically addressing Native American and at-risk populations in sparsely populated areas of the western United States.
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Richard G. Rhoda Treasurer
Richard G. Rhoda is the executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, a post he has held since 1997. He previously served with the Tennessee Board of Regents in numerous staff capacities, including chief academic officer and acting chancellor. While serving on the Regents staff, he also served as interim president of Nashville State Community College and Austin Peay State University. He served earlier in the administration of Tennessee State University. Rhoda has taught at the undergraduate and graduate levels at Vanderbilt University where he continues as an adjunct professor. He currently serves as ECS treasurer.
Jeremy Anderson President
Jeremy Anderson was a leader in education and health care policy for 20 years before joining ECS in December 2012. He has a strong public service record working with officials in Washington, D.C., with many governors and legislators in states, and with education policy organizations around the country. Some of his accomplishments include providing strategic leadership on education policy design and implementation through projects with the National Governors Association, the Education Division of Standard and Poor’s, and ECS. He served as the long-time Policy and Governmental Affairs Director for former Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius, where he advised the Governor on state and national legislative initiatives and oversaw her involvement with ECS during her term as the ECS Chair. While there, he was directly involved in brokering the bipartisan passage of the largest K-12 funding investment in Kansas history to avert a shutdown of Kansas schools. Anderson is serving as the eighth President of ECS since its establishment in 1965.