Dr. Angie Paccione
Executive Director, Colorado Department of Higher Education

Image of Dr. Angie Paccione

Innovation for an Equitable Future  

Innovations in technology and practice can close equity gaps in higher education—those disparities in postsecondary access and achievement by race. Shifts in Colorado’s economy are changing who, what, and how we teach at our colleges and universities. Dr. Paccione shares how the state’s vision for helping students succeed/student success in a fast-changing world. 


Dr. Angie Paccione was appointed executive director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education by Govenor Jared Polis and confirmed by the Senate Education Committee in January 2019. She earned a Ph.D. in education and human resource studies from Colorado State University (CSU). As faculty, she served as a teacher educator in the “Project Promise” program, a program of excellence in teacher preparation for mid-career professionals. Her research examined educators’ life events that led them to become committed to issues of diversity and inclusion. Her findings informed a teacher preparation program and were later published in Teacher’s College Press.

Dr. Paccione pursued public service and was elected to two terms in the Colorado House of Representatives, rising to become house majority caucus chair. She served on the Education Committee during all four years in the legislature, helping guide the education environment for the state of Colorado. In 2006, she ran for U.S. Congress and came within 2.5 percent of unseating the incumbent. From 2007 to her appointment as executive director, Dr. Paccione worked for Verus Global, specializing in leadership development, diversity and inclusion, talent development, and change management. Dr. Paccione has also co-authored two books on leadership: One Team: 10-minute Discussions that Activate Inspired Teamwork and Do Big Things: The Simple Steps Teams Can Take to Mobilize Hearts and Minds, and Make an Epic Impact.

Growing up biracial in New York City, attending college in California and residing in Colorado, Dr. Paccione bridges many divides. She was raised to believe you can accomplish anything to which you set your mind, a philosophy that runs through her life’s accomplishments. Playing basketball at Stanford University and professionally in the 1980s, her credo is that she’s as committed to your success as she is her own.

Video of session will be posted shortly.