Dr. Aaron Thompson has been selected as the Council on Postsecondary Education’s (CPE) new president.
Thompson, who serve as CPE’s fourth president, will step into the role on November 1. He currently serves as the Council’s executive vice president and will be the first Kentucky native and African-American to hold the position since the formation of the Council 21 years ago.
Thompson replaces former CPE President Bob King who announced his retirement from the Council earlier this year and has since been nominated by President Donald Trump to serve as assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the U.S. Department of Education.
“I am humbled by the honor of being named the fourth president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. I love Kentucky, and it has been my life’s mission to add to the Commonwealth’s prosperity through education,” said Thompson in response to his selection.
“As a native of Clay County, a son of an illiterate coal miner and a mother with only an eighth-grade education, I am not only a first-generation college graduate, I am a first- generation high school graduate. Now, I am immensely fortunate to have an opportunity to represent that great opportunity to all citizens of Kentucky,” he said.
Thompson serves on the Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board (KWIB), KWIB Employer Engagement Committee and KWIB Education Attainment and Completion Committee, the Charter Schools Advisory Committee, the Kentucky Humanities Council, the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board, and the Citizens Action Committee for the Destruction of Chemical Weapons, among others.
Thompson earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science and sociology from Eastern Kentucky University, a master’s degree in sociology and a doctorate in sociology, both from the University of Kentucky.