Maryland Secretary for Higher Education to serve as Commencement Speaker

1198-1-5979bDanette Howard, Ph.D., Maryland Secretary for Higher Education (MHEC), will serve as commencement speaker at Washington Adventist’s University’s summer commencement scheduled for July 26 in Sligo Church.

A distinguished higher education professional, Howard was appointed to the position by Maryland’s governor Martin O'Malley in June.  She served as interim secretary from August, 2011.

In a statement, announcing her appointment, O’Malley said Howard’s “dedication to creating innovative programs and years of expertise in higher education are essential to helping more Marylanders attend and complete college.”

Prior to her appointment to the secretary’s chair, Howard served as director of research analysis for MHEC; director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, University of Maryland Baltimore County; research assistant on the Race, Equity and Diversity in the South Project at the University of Maryland, College Park; and assistant director of Higher Education Policy, The Education Trust. Howard also chaired the board of directors, College and Career Pathways, Inc., from 2009-11, and served as a member of the task force to study the creation of a regional higher education center in Northeastern Maryland, 2011-12.

Howard received her B.A. degree from Howard University, an Ed. M from Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and a Ph.D. (higher education policy & administration) from the University of Maryland, College Park.

The Maryland Higher Education Commission is the state’s body responsible for establishing policies for public and private colleges and universities and for-profit career schools. The Commission also administers state financial aid programs.