Cindy Lopez is an experienced educator, higher education leader and program manager. She began her career in international development working on social sector projects for the United States Agency for International Development and the World Bank in Latin America, where she lived and worked for over 10 years. More recently, she developed, executed and managed complex student success-related projects for national non-profits working in higher education.
Until recently, Ms. Lopez was the Executive Director of Network Engagement at Achieving the Dream, the largest higher education reform network in the United States, where she oversaw recruitment and support for groups of colleges in the network seeking to improve the student experience and student outcomes. Her responsibilities included designing and managing projects for minority serving institutions and rural colleges. This included Project Success, a project through which Achieving the Dream partners with tribal colleges and universities to support student success. As part of this work, Ms. Lopez oversaw the work of 28 experienced coaches who worked closely with tribal colleges to build data capacity and support the student experience and collaborated closely with the American Indian Higher Education Consortium and the American Indian College Fund. As a passionate advocate for tribal colleges and universities, she enjoys highlighting the great work of TCUs and the importance of supporting Native American students in higher education.
Ms. Lopez has also served as an undergraduate instructor and leadership administrator at the University of Oklahoma, a graduate instructor at Los Andes University in Bogota, Colombia, and a project manager/board retreat facilitator at the Association of Community College Trustees.
In December 2022, Ms. Lopez was the commencement speaker for Diné College and this spring she led the executive search for Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College’s new president as a consultant for the Association of Community College Trustees.
Ms. Lopez is Bolivian-American and was born and raised in Oklahoma. She did her undergraduate work in International Relations at Cottey College, a small rural college in Missouri, and Mount Vernon College in Washington, D.C. She obtained a Master of Arts degree in International Relations with a focus on Latin American Studies and Economics from Johns Hopkins University. Cindy currently resides with her husband and perfect dog in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area.