Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities Announces Lola Brabham as New President 

News Date: 4/12/2021

Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities Announces Lola Brabham as New President 

President Brabham Takes Helm Following a Twenty-Year Career in Public Service   

ALBANY — The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) today announced that Lola Brabham, outgoing Commissioner of the New York State Department of Civil Service and President of the Civil Service Commission, will assume the role of President of CICU. Ms. Brabham marks a historic nomination as the first person of color to be named President of CICU.  

“It is my distinct honor to be selected as the next President of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities. New York’s independent colleges and universities and their students are essential to our state’s higher education landscape and play a vital role in our state’s communities and economy. I am eager to continue the organization’s vital work and to further CICU’s mission of advancing quality education for all students. Thank you to the Board of Trustees for selecting me for this esteemed position,” said Lola Brabham, newly appointed President of Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities.  

Ms. Brabham was selected following a nationwide search conducted by the Board of Trustees Search Committee after predecessor Mary Beth Labate stepped down from the role at the end of 2020. Dr. Drew Bogner has served as interim President while the committee finalized their selection.  

“Ms. Brabham’s wealth of experience and knowledge makes her an excellent choice to lead the organization. Her extensive work in public service and government is well-suited to advancing CICU’s goals. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we are excited to welcome her as President to guide CICU's mission and the Independent Sector into a new chapter,” said Christine Riordan, Chair of the CICU Board of Trustees and president of Adelphi University. 

Lola Brabham departs her career in public service as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Civil Service and President of the Civil Service Commission, where she led the central personnel agency for the Executive Branch of New York State government and directed the administration of the civil service merit system for state and local governments. In addition, Ms. Brabham served on the New York State Council on Women and Girls, the Executive Committee for Diversity and Inclusion, and the Municipal Consolidation and Efficiency Review Board. Prior to joining the Department of Civil Service, she served as the Deputy Commissioner for Administration and Chief Financial Officer for the New York State Department of Labor; as the Assistant Secretary for Health, Medicaid and Oversight and the Director of Human Services in the Executive Chamber; and has also held senior positions in the New York State Division of Budget and in the New York State Assembly. Ms. Brabham holds a dual Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Sociology from the State University of New York and a Master of Public Administration from Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy. 

Ms. Brabham will begin her tenure as CICU president on May 3, 2021. 

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About The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities in New York
Founded in 1956, The Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) in New York represents the chief executives of New York's 100+ independent (private, not-for-profit) colleges and universities on issues of public policy. Member colleges compose the largest private sector of higher education in the world and confer 49% of bachelor’s degrees, 72% of master’s degrees, and 78% of doctoral and first-professional degrees earned in New York State.  

For additional information, visit www.cicu.org.