Kim Hunter Reed, Ph.D., is Louisiana’s Commissioner of Higher Education. She is the only female in the country currently serving as a state higher education lead who has led higher education in more than one state. She was recognized nationally as the 2020 Exceptional Leader by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO). In 2022, she successfully led efforts to secure additional state funding of more than $150 million, the most significant strategic investment in Louisiana higher education to date.
Working with the Louisiana Board of Regents, Reed leads the state’s talent development efforts, focused on increasing educational attainment, erasing equity gaps, and increasing prosperity. To reach the state’s goal of doubling the annual number of credentials awarded by 2030, she focuses on transformational policies and deep collaborative engagement in line with Regents’ talent imperative.
In support of that vision, Louisiana’s institutions are focused on strengthening the state’s education-to-employment pipeline, accelerating student success, reskilling and training those seeking new career opportunities, finding solutions through research and discovery, and contributing significantly to the state’s post-pandemic economic recovery.
In January 2023, Reed was named to the 10 Top 10 Black higher education leaders by Forbes, saying “Louisiana’s top higher ed exec is unrivaled, the absolute best among state-level leaders.”
In 2022, Governor John Bel Edwards named her as Chair of the Louisiana Cybersecurity Commission, which works to advance the State’s cyber ecosystem and position Louisiana as a national leader and preferred location for cyber business, education, and research.
Reed is a nationally recognized student advocate with extensive higher education and government experience. In addition to leading the Colorado Department of Higher Education, she served in President Barack Obama’s administration as deputy undersecretary at the U.S. Department of Education. She led the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Collectively, Reed has served in various senior leadership roles with four governors.
A Lake Charles native, Reed chaired Gov. John Bel Edwards’ higher education transition team in 2015 and served as the state’s policy director. She also served as Chief of Staff and Deputy Commissioner for Public Affairs for the Louisiana Board of Regents, as well as an adjunct faculty member and Executive Vice President at the University of Louisiana System.
Reed received a doctorate in public policy from Southern University, a master’s degree in public administration, and a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Louisiana State University.
She is a wife, proud volleyball mom to her favorite Millsaps College student, and Louisiana’s chief advocate for talent development.
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Dr. Reed in the News
The Master Plan
To move Louisiana aggressively forward, the Board of Regents has embraced a robust new attainment goal that calls for 60% of all working-age adults (ages 25-64) in Louisiana to hold a degree or high-value credential by 2030. As we stand on the brink of a new decade, this Master Plan, born of the Board of Regents’ unique charge to guide postsecondary education across the state, will set the foundation to increase opportunity. Our Talent Imperative is to Educate, Innovate, and Collaborate.
Master Plan for Higher Education