Lynnette M. Heard, who was the first executive to hold this position in the organization’s 44-year history, recently retired as the Executive Director of Board Relations and Secretary of the Board for the University of Cincinnati Foundation, which consists of 100-plus active and emeriti trustees. She brought extensive experience in higher education governance, compliance, strategic planning, and executive leadership. She solidified the governance and compliance protocols, led the board’s first self-assessment, elevated the national presence of the Foundation among peer institutions, and successfully chartered and launched the Foundation’s engagement and philanthropy legacy initiatives for former board members. With more than 30 years of experience in public and private sectors, she has served the president’s offices at the University of Dayton and Wright State University as the executive director, board secretary, and assistant vice president of student affairs.
At the University of Dayton she launched its nationally recognized inclusion, equity, and diversity programs and community partnerships meeting the needs of the region and the campus, aided in the development of an early college high school, and served as a lead facilitator for the institution’s reaccreditation.
Previously, she served as the President & CEO of the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education, where she developed and delivered the regional consortium’s strategic plan by leveraging scarce institutional resources, advanced collaboration and cooperation among diverse institutions, and improved student access to higher education for area community colleges and four-year public and private institutions. She enhanced the U.S. Air Force’s student internship program with regional campuses, deepened the region’s higher education economic impact, and significantly increased faculty and student development for nearly 30 campuses through intercollaborative agreements.
While at Wright State University, she served as the principal collaborative officer for the university’s strategic plan, Vision 2020, and directed numerous community and media relations programs.
Nationally, she served as a board member for both the Board Professional staff of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges and the National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education. Heard often serves as a coach and mentor for board professionals and as a project manager/ consultant/trainer/facilitator on public and media relations, community and program development, postcollegiate planning, strategic planning, protocol, leadership development, parliamentary procedure and other topics for myriad higher education and nonprofit organizations.
Born in Dayton, Ohio, Heard received a BS in Education from the University of Cincinnati and a master’s degree in higher education administration from Wright State University in Dayton. In addition to completing postgraduate courses and advanced leadership and organizational development certificate programs, she is a certified parliamentarian.