Nicole McDonald works as a Strategy officer at Lumina Foundation and is responsible for developing strategic approaches to increase the educational attainment of college students. Her portfolio includes initiatives to help institutions plan and implement policies, partnerships, and practices to increase student success, and the creation of quality credential systems and pathways to increase attainment. Previously, she served as the System Director for Transfer and Retention with the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS). There she developed systemwide strategies to facilitate postsecondary student transition and success; and she managed the development of KCTCS’ systemwide dual and articulated credit initiatives supporting the postsecondary preparation and transition of secondary students. Her background includes education policy as well as academic and student affairs administration—including work as an Associate in Academic Affairs at the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education; and work in various capacities at Vanderbilt and Emory Universities, and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. Nicole earned a Ph.D. in Leadership and Policy Studies from Vanderbilt University as well as a M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from George Peabody College of Vanderbilt. She studied abroad at the University of Cambridge. She earned a B.A. in Political Science at Wright State University.