Council for Opportunity in Education Board of Directors Unanimously Chooses Kimberly A. Jones as Its Third President

Jones, who currently serves as executive vice president of the Council, has served as a leading advocate for low-income students, first-generation students, students with disabilities, and students of color since 2007. 

This week, the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE)’s Board of Directors unanimously elected COE Executive Vice President Kimberly A. Jones to serve as the Council’s third President.

Jones first joined the Council in 2007 as the Director of Congressional Affairs. Since that time, she has assumed increasing levels of responsibility, including leadership over the organization’s government relations and advocacy efforts; program and professional development offerings for college access and success professionals; print and digital communications, fiscal policies, and information technology; and the development and implementation of all student programming.

A Harry S. Truman Scholar, Jones earned her bachelor’s degree from Yale University and her juris doctor from the Georgetown University Law Center. Before joining COE, she was an associate in the Communications Practice Group at Dow Lohnes, PLLC (now Cooley LLP), advising clients on various broadcast and media law issues.

“When I hired her, I knew she was the kind of person I had been seeking for a long time,” said COE President Emeritus Arnold Mitchem. “Today, I would like to congratulate Kimberly on becoming the third president of COE. I know I speak for the Board Chair and our current president Maureen Hoyler when I say we could not be more confident for the future of COE and the future of TRIO programs.”

Through its numerous membership services, COE works with colleges, universities, and community agencies to help participants in federally funded TRIO programs enter college and graduate. In addition to her work at COE, Jones has served in leadership roles within various professional and civic organizations. She is a former president of the Committee for Education Funding, an inaugural advisory board member of Black History 365, and a board member of Marked By COVID.

“Kimberly’s commitment to TRIO continues to be inspiring. She leads with conviction and deeply understands both the complexities of our community and the impact of our advocacy,” said T. Chris George, Director of TRIO Programs at Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College and current Chair of the COE Board of Directors.

In 2016, the National Bar Association named her one of the “40 Under 40 Nation’s Best Advocates” and awarded her its Excellence in Activism award. In 2018, Jones was selected for the Diversity Executive Leadership Program sponsored by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE). In 2021, she earned the Certified Association Executive credential from ASAE.

“She has prepared for this moment of service,” said Jonathan McKenzie, Chief Executive Officer of the Family Centered Education Agency and 2002-2003 Chair of the COE Board of Directors. “She has a vision for this organization that benefits TRIO community engagement and COE staff. She wants to make the Council for Opportunity in Education’s office one of the best places in the world to work.”

Jones’s appointment becomes effective on October 1, 2023, following the retirement of COE’s current president, Maureen Hoyler.

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