Dr. Brenda Dann-Messier is a Senior Advisor to the Education Strategy Group and a faculty member in the Educational Leadership Doctoral Program at Johnson and Wales University. She was previously the Commissioner of Higher Education for the state of Rhode Island, as appointed by Governor Gina Raimondo.
Brenda has worked her entire career to expand educational opportunities for low income youth and adults. She served in the Obama Administration as Assistant Secretary for Career, Technical, and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education from 2009‐14. Before that she was the President of Dorcas Place Adult & Family Learning Center in Providence, R.I., which provides educational and workforce services, college preparatory classes and family literacy programs for low income adults and disconnected youth. During that time she also served on the Rhode Island Board for Higher Education and was Chair of the Academic and Student Affairs subcommittee. Brenda has been a member of NSC’s Board since 2014.