NEBHE Chooses Michael K. Thomas to Lead Regional Organization

November 12, 2008

BOSTON – The New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) has selected Dr. Michael K. Thomas to serve as president and CEO of the nonprofit, six-state education agency. Thomas has served as interim president and CEO since January 2008, succeeding Evan S. Dobelle who is now president of Westfield State College.

“It’s an exciting time for NEBHE,” commented NEBHE chair, Massachusetts state Sen. Joan Menard. “Dr. Thomas provided NEBHE with strong leadership as interim president. He has extraordinary talent, and the board is excited about working with him in the future.”

Prior to his appointment as interim president, Thomas served as NEBHE senior vice president and directed its policy, research and programmatic activities, primarily focused on expanding innovative K-12, postsecondary and life-long learning policies and on promoting collaboration among leaders in business, government and education. He directed NEBHE’s College Ready New England initiative, a regional alliance to increase college readiness and success among residents of the six New England states.

“I appreciate the board’s support and am enthusiastic about the opportunity to lead NEBHE at this critical time in the region’s history. NEBHE has a unique opportunity to work with the six states to address a variety of issues facing our K-12 institutions and colleges and universities. I look forward to working with the NEBHE board and staff to provide the policy leadership and regional collaborations needed to expand education readiness, access and success,” said Thomas.

Thomas has worked in corporate training and human resources and held varied administrative positions in higher education institutions, both public and private. He joined NEBHE in 2002 as director, later senior director, of policy and research.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in higher education from Teachers College, Columbia University. He earned a doctorate in education and social policy from Harvard and an M.B.A. from Boston University. Thomas has also taught as an adjunct professor and lecturer and serves as a trustee of Worcester State College.

NEBHE is a nonprofit, congressionally authorized agency established in 1955. NEBHE works to develop and implement strategies to increase the economic competitiveness and well-being of the region and its citizens through expanded college participation and success.

The board is comprised of distinguished academics, business leaders and elected officials from Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. For more information, visit


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