Carlos Santiago Named Chair of State Higher Education Executive Officers Association Executive Committee

Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Commissioner Carlos Santiago was recently named the chair of the State Higher Education Executive Officers (SHEEO) Executive Committee.

Before serving as chair-elect, Santiago served the SHEEO Executive Committee as treasurer during 2018-19.

Commissioner Carlos Santiago, chair of the SHEEO Executive Committee

“We are excited to have Dr. Santiago serve as our Chair this year,” said Dr. Robert Anderson, president of SHEEO. “I have had the opportunity to get to know Carlos through his service on the Executive Committee, and look forward to working with him as we strive to help graduate more students in a time- and cost-efficient manner while focusing on closing persistent postsecondary equity gaps. His distinguished career at the institution, system, and state level will equip us to better serve our students and states.”

The Executive Committee is responsible for shaping SHEEO’s federal priorities and strategies and for leading its communications with Congress, the U.S. Department of Education, and other federal agencies. 

“I’m very much looking forward to assuming the chairmanship of the SHEEO Executive Committee and working with my state counterparts on issues that have a direct impact on students, faculty and the institutions we serve,” said Santiago. “I am also delighted to work with the exceptional staff of SHEEO to ensure that the organization meets the needs of its members and that it continues to lead national discussions and debates on the role and promise of higher education.”

SHEEO, the national association of the chief executives of statewide governing boards and coordinating boards for postsecondary education, works to assist its members and states in developing and sustaining excellent systems of higher education.

Carlos E. Santiago is commissioner of higher education for Massachusetts, appointed to this position by the Board of Higher Education (BHE) in July 2015. Working with the BHE, he is responsible for providing overall direction to public higher education in Massachusetts and helping shape state-level policies that maximize the benefits of higher education to the Commonwealth and its citizens.

Santiago joined the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education in April 2013 as the senior deputy commissioner for academic affairs.

His past academic appointments include that of chancellor of the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee (Wisconsin’s second largest research university). He brings over 30 years of experience in public higher education. Santiago also served as provost and chief operating officer at the University at Albany, (SUNY). He was a professor of economics at UWM and SUNY-Albany and holds a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University.

A native of Puerto Rico, Santiago is also the author or co-author of six books and has published dozens of articles and book reviews, of which many focus on economic development and the changing socioeconomic status of Latinos in the United States. A new edition of his book, Puerto Ricans in the United States: A Contemporary Portrait, was published in 2018. On two separate occasions, in 1996 and 2011, Santiago has been named one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the United States by Hispanic Business magazine.