Dr. Heather Perfetti
An experienced, high-level executive with a demonstrated and diverse history of working in complex educational environments, Heather F. Perfetti, Ed.D., J.D., became President of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education on July 1, 2020. Over the course of her career, she has made an impact in numerous areas of higher education, including academic and student affairs, faculty affairs, legal and regulatory affairs, strategic planning, policy development, and innovative, organizational change management. She joined the Commission as a Vice President liaison to institutions in January 2015, served as Vice President for Legal Affairs and Chief of Staff in July 2017, and was then elevated to Senior Vice President in July 2018. On June 26, 2019, Dr. Perfetti was named President-Elect to begin her transition to President. Prior to joining the Commission staff, Dr. Perfetti served as a peer evaluator through on-site evaluation visits, the Committee on Substantive Change, and the Committee on Periodic Review Reports. Her previous positions have included Vice President for Academic Affairs at SUNY Orange (NY) and Allegany College of Maryland; Assistant Dean, Assistant Professor, and Program Coordinator at Darton College (GA); and Assistant Professor at Murray State University (KY). She has held adjunct faculty positions at Georgia Southern University, Barstow Community College (CA), and Darton College. Dr. Perfetti earned her Doctor of Education degree with specialization in Higher Education Leadership from Northcentral University (CA), the Juris Doctor degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law, the Master of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Troy University (AL), and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Frostburg State University (MD). In addition to her academic credentials, Dr. Perfetti has participated in the American Council on Education's Institute for Chief Academic Officers and Vanderbilt University's Peabody Professional Institute on Higher Education Management. She was ranked No. 31 on City & State New York's 100 Power List in 2021 of the most powerful people in New York's higher education community. The 2021 publication Exemplars of Assessment in Higher Education: Diverse Approaches to Addressing Accreditation Standards featured Dr. Perfetti's foreword. Also in 2021, she participated in the United States Department of Education's negotiated rulemaking through the Affordability and Student Loans Committee as a primary negotiator representing accrediting agencies.