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UMass Donahue Institute Announces Johan Uvin as Next Executive Director

HADLEY — Johan Uvin was announced as the new executive director of the UMass Donahue Institute (UMDI). Uvin continues a strong career in public service at the local and federal levels, and will begin his new role on Aug. 1.

“His extensive leadership experience in public service at multiple levels of government and his work with the private sector are an excellent match to the mission and aspirations of the UMass Donahue Institute and the university,” said Mike Malone, UMass Amherst’s vice chancellor of Research and Engagement.

“Established in 1971,” Malone noted, “the UMass Donahue Institute addresses critical questions and develops innovative solutions to help organizations and agencies throughout the world from both the public and private sector meet challenges, measure success, and set goals. UMDI frequently collaborates with faculty and staff from all five UMass campuses, connecting the inquiry and insight of academia with the urgency and pragmatism of the business world.”

Uvin served at the U.S. Department of Education from 2009 to 2017 as senior policy advisor, then deputy assistant secretary, and later acting assistant secretary. At the Department of Education, he coordinated all strategy development for the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, with a staff of 80 and more than $1.7 billion in resources. He led policy development and implementation for adult education, career and technical education, community colleges, immigrant integration, and more.

From 2017 to 2020, he was president of the Institute for Educational Leadership in Washington, D.C. There, he facilitated and implemented Rise Up for Equity, the institute’s five-year strategic plan. He has since founded Strategy Advising, a consulting practice that provides strategic advising services in education, workforce development, educational technology startups, and nonprofit organizations.

Uvin earlier held various leadership positions with the Rhode Island Department of Education and with Commonwealth Corp. in Boston. He has also managed projects and programs in the Massachusetts Department of Education and a number of nonprofit organizations in Boston, Belgium, and Sierra Leone.

Uvin will succeed Eric Heller, the current executive director, who retires this week after more than 35 years at the Donahue Institute. Carol Anne McGowan, UMDI’s associate director, will serve as interim executive director until Aug. 1. She works closely with the executive director to develop and implement management strategies, systems, and practices across the institute, and is directly responsible for overseeing all fiscal and human-resource functions.

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