RALEIGH, N.C. [Nov. 6, 2019] — myFutureNC announced today that Cecilia Holden, formerly the director of government and community relations for the North Carolina State Board of Education, will join the nonprofit as the organization’s first-ever president & CEO, effective the first week of December.
In this new position, Holden will work with the myFutureNC Board of Directors, commissioners and organization partners to advance the strategic direction and priorities for the organization; foster collaboration across the education and business sectors at both the state and local level to disseminate best practice and spark innovation; develop and advocate for policy that increases North Carolina’s level of education attainment; and build the overall capacity of the organization to deliver on North Carolina’s attainment goal.
“We are pleased to unanimously endorse Cecilia Holden as president & CEO of myFutureNC,” said Peter Hans, president of the NC Community College System and myFutureNC board co-chair. “Cecilia quickly rose to the top of our exhaustive nationwide search based on her extensive public- and private-sector leadership in driving outcomes for students in our schools and engaging with K-12, community colleges, UNC system universities, and North Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities organizations and leadership. We are thrilled to welcome Cecilia to the myFutureNC team.”
In Holden’s most recent role with the North Carolina State Board of Education, she was responsible for liaising with state and federal government officials and representing the board in external affairs. Prior to that role, she served as chief of staff for the North Carolina Department of Commerce. In this position, she represented the state in bringing jobs to North Carolina and working with existing businesses across the state. She was on the NC Works Commission, a body which recommends policies and strategies that enable the state’s workforce and businesses to compete in the global economy. Holden holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Duke University, a Bachelor of Science from UNC Wilmington and a Certification in Public Administration from UNC Chapel Hill. Holden also held positions at IBM, Guardian Capital Advisors and the Department of Public Instruction.
“As a native of rural North Carolina and a product of our public and private institutions, I am passionate about the education and economic prosperity of the people of our great state,” said Holden. “This position is the perfect place to combine this passion and my education and business background and put it to work for myFutureNC. As president & CEO, I look forward to building on the substantial work already accomplished by the myFutureNC board and commission as we work together to drive forward the organization’s bold educational attainment goal for the State of North Carolina.”
On Feb. 20, 2019, myFutureNC announced a statewide attainment goal of 2 million North Carolinians achieving a high-quality postsecondary degree or credential by the year 2030. As of 2016, about 1.3 million 25- to 44-year-olds met this goal. Without any changes, North Carolina is projected to have about 1.6 million adults who meet the attainment definition in 2030, which means the state will need to help an estimated 400,000 more citizens attain a high-quality, postsecondary credential or degree for our state to meet the labor demands of our economy and the businesses that drive it.
On June 26, 2019, following strong bipartisan leadership from the North Carolina General Assembly, Governor Roy Cooper signed HB664 into law, codifying this goal and setting one of the highest educational attainment targets in the nation. Since the announcement of the goal in February, 21 statewide and regional organizations have endorsed the goal.
To learn more about myFutureNC, visit https://www.myfuturenc.org/.