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University of Wisconsin Madison
Powered by Publics

Julia Michaels
Executive Director
Center for Public
University Transformation
(202) 478-6071

Media Contact:
Mike Brost
Associate Director
of Public Affairs

(202) 478-6038

Advisory Council

The Powered by Publics advisory council meets quarterly to provide high-level leadership and strategic guidance for the initiative. The council is comprised of a diverse array of higher education experts, business community leaders, as well as a student representative. Topic-specific subcommittees and task forces are also expected to meet to provide guidance in the future as well. 

Below is the roster for the full Powered by Publics Advisory Council:

  • Robert Anderson, President, State Higher Education Executive Officers Association
  • Dhanfu E. Elston, Chief of Staff and Senior Vice President for Strategy, Complete College America 
  • Antonio Flores, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities.
  • Christine Keller, Executive Director, Association for Institutional Research.
  • Jennifer Keup, Director, National Resource Center, University of South Carolina.
  • Dane Linn, Vice President of Immigration, Workforce & Education, Business Roundtable.
  • Demarée Michelau, President, Western Interstate Commission of Higher Education.
  • Cedric Mutebi, Student Representative, Wayne State University.
  • Ameilia Parnell, Vice President for Research and Policy, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators
  • Deborah Santiago, Chief Executive Officer, Excelencia in Education.
  • Karen Stout, President and Chief Executive Officer, Achieving the Dream.
  • Kathy Thompson, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Frontier Set HBCU Intermediary, based at the University of South Alabama.
  • Josh Wyner, Vice President, Founder, and Executive Director, Aspen Institute, College Excellence.

Project Highlights

  • Nearly 125 change-ready universities and state systems
  • 16 transformation clusters
  • 3 million undergraduates

Project Goals

  • Produce hundreds of thousands more graduates by 2025 with an emphasis on underrepresented minority, low-income, and first-generation students.
  • Cut in half the achievement gap by 2025 for underrepresented minority, low-income, and first-generation students while increasing access.
  • Share key data, learning, and effective practices to drive innovation and transformation across the higher education sector.


Four strategic priorities guide Powered by Publics work. They are:

  1. Taking explicit action to pursue educational equity for low-income, first-generation, and students of color.
  2. Committing to transparency by sharing data and monitoring progress toward equity goals.
  3. Developing common opportunities for cross-cluster learning, sharing, and collective action in the thematic areas of Affordability, Holistic Student Supports, and Teaching & Learning.
  4. APLU and its partners committing to invest in institutional capacity through grants and technical assistance.