Barbara Gellman-Danley

President, Higher Learning Commission


Barbara Gellman-Danley assumed the presidency of the Higher Learning Commission in July 2014. 

Prior to joining the Commission, Gellman-Danley was the president of University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College in Ohio. She previously served as Vice Chancellor of the Ohio Board of Regents, president at Antioch University McGregor, vice president at Monroe Community College, and vice chancellor at the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. She also held positions at the Oklahoma Education Television Authority (OETA) and Cox Cable Communications in Oklahoma City.

Gellman-Danley has held several board and commission memberships in her career, including the Credential Engine (Current Chair), National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) Executive Committee, the Association of Governing Boards (AGB) Council of Presidents, the American Council on Education (ACE) Commission on Education and Attainment, the Council on Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) board, and the ETS National Community College Council. 

Gellman-Danley holds a Bachelor of Science from Syracuse University, a Master of Library Science from Simmons College, a Master of Business Administration from Oklahoma City University, and a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Oklahoma. She also completed post-graduate work at New York University, Cornell University, Harvard University, the University of Chicago, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

In April 2019, Gellman-Danley was awarded Honorary Membership in Phi Theta Kappa due to her lifelong commitment to students. This recognition had been given fewer than 40 times in 100 years. 

Gellman-Danley holds coaching credentials as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) of the International Coaching Federation and six specialized coaching certifications. She has also earned certifications as an Agile Leader, Agile Professional, Scrum Master, and Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt.