Nicole McDonald, PhD

University of Houston

Nicole McDonald is a strategic, visionary leader with 20 years of experience supporting student success in postsecondary education at institution, system, state, and national levels. Driven by the core belief that all learners deserve a high-quality education they can take anywhere, Nicole seeks opportunities to collaborate with diverse educational leaders, organizations and institutions to create new pathways and eliminate barriers to student success and transition in both policy and practice. In addition to her expertise in organizational leadership, change management, infrastructure design and partnership development, she has managed $15 million+ in grants, convened 50+ stakeholder groups, co-authored a book, published multiple journal articles and served as a national speaker.

The Education Design Lab’s Designers in Residence program is an 11-month opportunity for leaders to collaborate with the Lab in co-creating the future role of colleges in their communities.

The 2021 cohort will bring together a design team of 12 visionary thinkers and doers from postsecondary institutions to evolve and strengthen the role of colleges to be regional change agents to close economic and racial opportunity gaps.

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