Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D.

Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D., is president of the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP). While leading one of the world’s premier research and policy centers, she oversees the organization’s expansive research portfolio and innovative programmatic activities focusing on access and success, accountability, diversity, finance, and global impact. In September 2008, Cooper became the second IHEP president who is responsible for developing new ideas and strategic approaches that help low-income, minority, and other historically underrepresented student populations gain access to and achieve success in postsecondary education. Cooper is a well-respected education policy leader. With a career dedicated to and rooted in the postsecondary community, she most recently served as the deputy director for the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance (Advisory Committee) at the U.S. Department of Education. The Advisory Committee is an independent, nonpartisan committee created by Congress to provide advice and counsel to Congress and the Secretary of Education on higher education and student aid policy. In this position, she interacted with policymakers, oversaw all policy research activities, and managed day-to-day operations. Before joining the Advisory Committee, Cooper held various leadership positions at the Association of American Colleges and Universities, Council for Independent Colleges, and King’s College.