Innovations 2020 Tuesday Keynote Barbara Gellman-Danley

General Session Keynote
Tuesday, March 3, 8:30 - 10:00 AM

Barbara Gellman-Danley

President, Higher Learning Commission

Keynote Address

Lead With Innovation: Take the Road Less Taken to Strengthen America’s Community Colleges

Innovation is a process critical to the sustainable future of all community colleges. This session will take you on the journey of one leader and the implications for strategies to move ideas to impact. Learn about how the nation’s largest regional accreditor is embracing its own innovation space and the impact on its membership colleges. The session will address how failure can be a gift and the forward-thinking movement toward open innovation through ecosystems.


Dr. Barbara Gellman-Danley assumed the presidency of the Higher Learning Commission in July 2014. Prior to joining the Commission, Gellman-Danley was President of University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College in Ohio. She previously served as Vice Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents, President at Antioch University McGregor, Vice President at Monroe Community College, and Vice Chancellor at the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

Gellman-Danley held several board and commission memberships in her career, including the Association of Governing Boards (AGB) Council of Presidents, American Council on Education (ACE) Commission on Education and Attainment, Council on Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) board, and ETS National Community College Council. She has consulted at over 30 institutions on strategic planning, the role of technology in higher education, distance learning, and related topics.

Gellman-Danley holds a Bachelor of Science from Syracuse University, a Master of Library Science from Simmons College, a Master of Business Administration from Oklahoma City University, and Ph.D. in communication from the University of Oklahoma. She also did post-graduate work at New York University and earned continuing education from Cornell University, Harvard University, and the University of Chicago.

Gellman-Danley earned credentials as a Certified Professional Coach from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching in 2016 and as an Associate Certified Coach from the International Coaching Federation in 2018. She also earned certification in Social and Emotional Intelligence (SEI) assessment from the Institute for SEI in2018 and a Certificate in Happiness Studies.

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