A Note From the President: Announcing NACAC’s Next CEO, Angel Pérez

By Jayne Caflin Fonash, NACAC President

Headshot of Jayne Caflin Fonash, NACAC President

On May 1, the NACAC Board of Directors announced Angel B. Pérez as NACAC’s next chief executive officer, and immediately following there was a tremendous outpouring of support and excitement at the news.

One Twitter comment perfectly captured the response: “Working in higher ed for over thirty years you come to realize that consensus is rare. The @AngelBPerez appointment to lead @NACAC is not just a consensus choice but it’s also being met with enthusiasm and hope. We are all pulling for you Angel! Congratulations.”

When we began this search over a year ago, we certainly did not anticipate selecting a CEO in such unprecedented times. Through a year which continues to bring changes around every corner, however, the board and the search committee have focused on a decision that we have been able to control – a search for a champion of education, a leader who would represent a wide view of secondary and post-secondary education, a  practical visionary, and a strategic leader whose knowledge and experience would enable him to live, breathe, and lead with our mission. We have found all those strengths and more in Angel Pérez, who will be leading NACAC during this shifting moment in our profession.    

Angel is currently the vice president for enrollment and student success at Trinity College (CT) and will begin at NACAC on July 15. He succeeds Joyce E. Smith, who is retiring on July 1 after more than 30 years as NACAC executive director and CEO. Joyce is playing a vital role in the transition planning, and John McGrath will serve as interim CEO during the first two weeks of July.

As a recognized thought leader on issues of educational equity and access in education, Angel currently chairs the NACAC Ad Hoc Committee on Leadership in College Admission. He is a friend and colleague to many in our community. His warmth, passion for this profession and the students we serve, moral compass, and impressive track record have led him to this pivotal role. (More information about Angel's background is available in the press release).

I look forward to working with Angel on our overarching goal to continue to strengthen NACAC as a powerful voice in access and equity in higher education. I hope you will join me in welcoming him to his new role. 

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