Kim Hunter Reed, Ph.D., is Louisiana’s Commissioner of Higher Education. She is currently the only female in the country to have served as the higher education leader in multiple states. 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 April 2023, she was named co-chair of the Higher Ed Climate Action Task Force, which is part of the Aspen Institute’s This is Planet Ed initiative.
In 2022, Governor John Bel Edwards named her as Chair of the Louisiana Cybersecurity Commission, advancing the State’s cyber ecosystem and positioning 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 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 mom to her favorite two-time Millsaps College graduate, and Louisiana’s chief advocate for talent development.