Hudson County Community College’s Lisa Dougherty Selected as 2019-2020 Aspen Presidential Fellow

April 12, 2019

Lisa Dougherty

Ms. Dougherty is among 40 exceptional leaders who were tapped to participate in the highly selective program, amid a looming shortage of community college presidents.


Jersey City, NJ, April 12, 2019 – Lisa Dougherty, Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment at Hudson County Community College (HCCC), has been selected by the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program to join the 2019-2020 class of the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence. The leadership program is aimed at preparing the next generation of community college presidents to transform institutions to achieve higher and more equitable levels of student success, both in college and in the labor market.

“Everyone at the College joins me in congratulating Lisa on this honor,” said HCCC President Dr. Chris Reber. “She utilizes her role here at HCCC to ensure our students have the resources they need to be successful in attaining their academic goals and transforming their lives. Being an Aspen Fellow will increase her knowledge and fortify the strong leadership skills she already possesses.”

Ms. Dougherty and the 39 other Aspen Presidential Fellows will embark on a 10-month fellowship beginning in July 2019. Delivered in collaboration with the Stanford Educational Leadership Initiative, the fellows will work with mentors – current and former community college presidents – who have achieved exceptional outcomes for students throughout their careers. Fellows will also learn from national experts about ways to harness data to assess student success outcomes, strategies for internal change leadership, and how to create strong external partnerships with K-12 schools, four-year colleges, and employers.

The Aspen Presidential Fellowship responds to a specific and growing need for a new generation of leaders who are well-equipped to meet the challenges of the future. Nationally, nearly 80 percent of community college presidents plan to retire in the next decade. The pathway to replace them has traditionally excluded women and people of color. The incoming class of Aspen Presidential Fellows is 65 percent female and non-binary, 43 percent are people of color, and their institutions vary widely in size and location.

“Evidence shows that substantial improvements in student success are achieved only when presidents have the commitment and skill needed to lead change within their institutions and through partnerships in the community,” said Josh Wyner, Executive Director of the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program. “These fellows have been chosen because they embody that commitment and, we believe, will build their skills even further to become transformational presidents.”

Ms. Dougherty was selected through a rigorous process that considered her abilities to take strategic risks, lead strong teams and cultivate partnerships, and focus on results-oriented improvements in student success and access.

For a list of the 2019-2020 class of Aspen Presidential Fellows, click here.

The Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence is supported by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, College Futures Foundation, Greater Texas Foundation, JP Morgan Chase Foundation, Joyce Foundation, Kresge Foundation, and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.