University President and Former Chief Transformation Officer in the Obama Administration Join NACAC Board of Directors

Shanda Ivory


University President and Former Chief Transformation Officer in the Obama Administration Join NACAC Board of Directors


Arlington, VA (Nov. 9, 2020) – The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) today announced the appointment of  Daniel G. Lugo, president of Queens University of Charlotte (NC), and Don Yu, chief operating officer and senior director of equity and access for Reach Higher at the Common App (VA), to the association’s board of directors.

Both join the NACAC board for one-year terms.   

NACAC CEO Angel B. Pérez said “I’m excited that Dan and Don will be joining the board, not only because of their extensive backgrounds in education leadership but because what NACAC needs most is a diverse set of individuals who look at problem-solving through various lenses. Our current board members are extraordinary leaders with deep industry knowledge and a desire for change in our profession. Together, their work will propel us in new and invigorating directions.

“This is an historic moment for the association,” Pérez said. “Not only do we welcome Dan as our first university president on the board, we also welcome Don, whose experience as chief transformation officer in the Obama Administration will help support the board's aspirations to design the association of the future. I couldn't be more excited to work in collaboration with this board to strategically position NACAC for a stronger future."

Lugo, who has been president of Queens University of Charlotte since 2019, previously served as vice president of college advancement at Colby College (ME), where he orchestrated the strategy, launch, and execution of a $750 million fundraising campaign, the largest of its kind for any liberal arts college in history. He also served as vice president and dean of admission and financial aid at Franklin and Marshall College (PA) and associate dean of admission at Carleton College (MN).

Lugo earned his bachelor of arts in political science from Carleton College and his juris doctorate from the University of Minnesota School of Law, where he was an editor of The Journal of Law & Inequality. Prior to his career in higher education, he was an intellectual property and entertainment attorney, representing national music artists.

Yu’s professional experience includes strategic partnerships and fundraising, legal issues, board relations, financial sustainability, governance, and politics. As Reach Higher’s chief operating officer, he oversees the organization’s budget, strategy, and development, and has been key to the development of several strategic partnerships to advance the organization’s mission. He also works on strategic initiatives at the Common App, particularly those that impact low-income and marginalized students.

Prior to joining Reach Higher, Yu served in a variety of positions as an appointee in the Obama Administration, including chief transformation officer at the US Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Education and special advisor to US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. In his time at the Department of Education, Don played a lead role in the creation of presidential Executive Order 13592, Improving American Indian and Alaska Native Educational Opportunities and Strengthening Tribal Colleges and Universities, as well as the US Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools program which honors secondary and postsecondary institutions for achievements in sustainability, health and wellness, and the reduction of environmental impact. Prior to his legal career, he was a high school English teacher and coach for three years.


The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), founded in 1937, is an organization of nearly 14,000 professionals from around the world dedicated to serving students as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education. 

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