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Staff Bios

Kristine E. Dillon, President

Kristine Dillon has been President of COFHE since 2002. Beginning with her work with Howard R. Bowen on a seminal study and book The Costs of Higher Education, she has been a researcher and administrator with a focus on economic, evaluative, planning, management and student services issues. In 1978, she joined a national research project on faculty compensation and consulting at the University of Southern California. At USC, she subsequently served in the budget and planning office and, for a number of years, was associate vice president of student affairs. She headed USC's creation of residential colleges, oversaw revision of behavioral standards for fraternities and sororities, implemented a new career planning center, developed web-based guides to USC's student resources, and established a gender issues office. Dillon joined Tufts University and established the role of dean of academic services and student affairs in 1999. There, she co-chaired the Task Force on the Undergraduate Experience and led an organizational redesign project that resulted in the institution's designation as an IBM Best Practices Partner in Student Services. She had responsibility for the design and management of the new Dowling Hall Student Services Center and planning for the adoption of a residential college system at Tufts. Dillon is a contributor to five books and has published and presented many articles about college costs, the student experience, student-centered services, and faculty compensation and consulting polices. Her undergraduate degree is from Whittier College where she served for 18 years as a trustee. Her Ph.D. is from the Claremont Graduate University.

Megan Arleth, Director of Public Issues

Megan Arleth is responsible for coordinating the assessment of federal and media issues pertaining to the COFHE membership’s commitments to undergraduate education. Prior to joining COFHE, Megan worked most recently as Associate Director of Federal Relations at Rutgers University and, previously, as Legislative Analyst at Harvard University. In those roles, she focused on encouraging commitments to federal student aid and to higher education policies supportive of selective institutions. She has served as Co-Chair of the APLU's Council on Government Relations, and as Chair of AAU's Council on Federal Relations Biomedical Taskforce. Megan received her bachelor's degree from Rutgers, and her master's degree in higher education from the University of Pennsylvania. Her role at COFHE provides opportunities to connect COFHE analytic work with federal issues in higher education, financial aid, and tax policy, in support of member school priorities.

Isabel Bourelle, Office Administrator

Isabel Bourelle is Office Administrator for the Consortium's Cambridge location, responsible for office management, dues and budget oversight, and meeting coordination. Prior to joining COFHE in 2006, Isabel was the Program Administrator for the Stanford Archaeology Center. While at Stanford University, she worked in several areas of administration, including the Medical School and Residential Education. She received her Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Masters of Education from Stanford University, completing a fellowship in Higher Education Administration in conjunction with the Irvine Foundation. Her thesis was titled "Perceptions of American Indian High School Students in Public High Schools."

Anna Comerford, Research and Technical Analyst

Anna Comerford is a Research and Technical Analyst for the Consortium on Financing Higher Education. Prior to joining the COFHE staff in 2017, she worked at Central Transportation Planning Staff, and at Mathematica Policy Research. Anna received a B.A. in Economics and Sociology from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and an M.A. in Sociology, with a focus on education policy, from Stanford University.

Sydney Earle, Assistant Director for Administration

Sydney Earle is Assistant Director for Administration at the Consortium on Financing Higher Education, where she is COFHE's senior meeting planner, and is responsible for office management, Web site management, and coordination of COFHE's online meeting registrations and several of our online surveys. Prior to joining COFHE in 1989, she helped manage the Business Affairs office at the National Association of College and University Business Officers; in addition, she managed meetings, communications, and direct mail fundraising for several small nonprofit organizations concerned with various social issues. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland.

Mark Hanson, Director of Research Technology

Mark Hanson is the Director of Research Technology, responsible for COFHE’s data warehouse design, development and security at the Consortium on Financing Higher Education. Prior to joining the COFHE staff in 2016, he was responsible for the AAU Data Exchange’s data warehouse. He previously worked at Harvard University’s Office of Institutional Research, MIT’s Institutional Research Office, and Residence Life offices at various institutions. Mark received a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics from Boston University and a Master's in higher education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Ashley Hartman, Research and Technical Analyst

Ashley Hartman is a Research and Technical Analyst for the Consortium on Financing Higher Education. Prior to joining COFHE, Ashley worked as a Research Associate at Harvard Business School and a Financial Analyst at The Michel-Shaked Group. Ashley received her Bachelor's degree in Mathematics and Psychology from Wellesley College and her Master's in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Trent Kajikawa, Research Analyst

Trent Kajikawa is a Research Analyst for the Consortium on Financing Higher Education. Prior to joining the COFHE staff in 2017, he worked in the UCLA Undergraduate Admissions office, interned at Hyundai Capital Services in South Korea, and interned at COFHE. Trent received a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and a M.Ed. in Higher Education from Harvard.

Stephen Minicucci, Director of Research

Steve Minicucci is Director of Research for the Consortium on Financing Higher Education. Prior to joining the COFHE staff in 2001, Dr. Minicucci was self-employed as a consulting social scientist and statistician. He has held research positions at the Kennedy School of Government and teaching posts at Smith College and Boston College. Dr. Minicucci received his Ph.D. in political science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1998 and continues to do research and publish in the area of American political development. Prior to entering his doctoral program, he served in the administration of Governor Michael Dukakis of Massachusetts and did other public policy research in the state. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from MIT in 1982.


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