Cecilia Holden

President and CEO

Cecilia most recently held the position as the Director of Government and Community Affairs for the State Board of Education. In this capacity, she served as the principal contact and staff for the State Board of Education with state and federal education policy makers and stakeholders, including the NC General Assembly, the Governor’s Office, NC state agencies, and the U.S. Congress.  

Holden’s career includes extensive public and private sector experience.  Prior to joining the State Board of Education, she served as the Chief of Staff for the North Carolina Department of Commerce.  In addition, her North Carolina public service includes serving as the Special Assistant to the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources and the Director of Networking Technologies for the Department of Public Instruction.  She has a proven track record of establishing and implementing creative strategies to optimize operations, return on investments and excellence in customer satisfaction. 

Holden served as a middle manager with IBM and the Business Operations Manager for a Registered Investment Advisory firm.  During her years with IBM, Holden was a Team Excellence Award winner, IBM Achievement Club recipient and was selected for the IBM Executive Fast Track program.  She built a reputation for implementing high standards for customer service while she oversaw a worldwide network of technical support engineers.

Holden began her career working as a Community Detention Counselor with Wake County Juvenile Court.  She later served as the Information Technology Implementation Manager with Wake County where she was responsible for the Public Safety and Criminal Justice information technology systems for which she received multiple National Association of Counties awards.  

Holden holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Duke University, a certificate in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina School of Government and a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Business from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.  Holden is married to Tom Holden and they have a son and daughter.  They are members of Edenton Street United Methodist Church where Holden served on the Administrative Board and volunteers as a youth leader.