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About Us

BHEF is the leader in identifying emerging high-value skills and sourcing credentialed talent for competitive advantage.


BHEF is a 40-year-old nonprofit membership organization that connects higher education institutions to business talent demand. Corporate CEOs and university presidents join BHEF to anticipate skills needs and improve pathways between higher education and the workforce.

BHEF builds better skills to drive competitiveness, productivity, and high-value university credentials.

  • The organization has fostered dozens of business-higher education partnerships and created over 100 credentials.
    View our case studies and publications.
  • The partnerships succeeded with BHEF’s defined methodology for partnership creation: the partnership implementation process, the strategic engagement model, and a theory of action to increase STEM student persistence, transfer, and completion.
    View our playbook for creating purposeful partnerships.
  • These partnerships create better skills for better performance, increasing the pathways for diverse talent to in-demand jobs.
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Our work

BHEF builds better skills through:

  • Identifying high-value emerging skills
  • Developing pathways that quickly source high-value talent
  • Leading action-oriented forums and partnership 
Learn more about our work
Laura Ipsen

What I think is so powerful about BHEF is that we bring the power of higher education and business together for a common goal: to shape the future workforce for all of us.

Laura Ipsen

President & CEO, Ellucian, Inc.

Brian Napack

BHEF’s mission is the challenge of our time. We have to close the gap—the economic gap, the skill gap, and the opportunity gap—but we can only do it together. BHEF sits at the crossroads of the challenge.

Brian Napack

President & CEO, Wiley

Eduardo Padrón

With the support of BHEF and collaboration with NextEra we were able to develop the first baccalaureate in data analytics in Florida.

Eduardo Padrón

President Emeritus, Miami Dade College

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Corporate CEOs and university presidents join BHEF to anticipate skills needs and improve pathways between higher education and workforce.

See our membership list


BHEF Seeks Its Next CEO

The Board of Directors of BHEF seeks an experienced and dynamic leader, innovator, and strategic thinker for the position of Chief Executive Officer. A 44-year-old nonprofit membership organization that works at the intersection of business and higher education, BHEF is focused on a singular mission: to solve the talent gap. Bringing together senior leaders across the disciplines of business, higher education, and public service, BHEF members work collaboratively to anticipate skills needs and illuminate pathways between today’s higher education capabilities and tomorrow’s careers.

View and download the full position profile here.

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BHEF’s efforts have attracted the attention of key national funders, whose support has tremendous impact on maximizing our work. 

View our supporters
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BHEF Winter 2023 Member Meeting

February 9-10, 2023
Washington, DC

The Future-Proof Workforce: Disruptive Skills for All
The only constant in today’s workforce is change. We are experiencing the lowest unemployment rates in decades, a new mindset within the workforce with much higher expectations for their employers, and employers hiring in droves despite looming fears of recession. Compounding these labor market trends, technological innovation continues to change skill needs in the workforce. Some technologies are augmenting jobs, others are eliminating jobs, and new roles continue to appear. Future-proofing the workforce involves better signaling disruptive skills, creating equitable access to skills acquisition, equipping lifelong learners with the tools and resources to access upskilling and reskilling opportunities, and creating intentional workplaces that encourage and support employee growth. Employers also need to expand their toolboxes to hire and retain the highly skilled talent they need to thrive.

See the event's agenda.

See the previous meeting's agenda.