Business-Higher Education Forum Announces Kristen Fox as Next CEO

National Leader in Education and Workforce Will Focus on Innovation, Engagement, and Growth

(Washington, DC, January 29, 2024) The Business-Higher Education Forum (BHEF) announced today that the board of directors has appointed Kristen Fox as the organization’s new chief executive officer (CEO), effective immediately.  BHEF is a national membership organization of C-suite executives and college and university presidents advancing education-workforce solutions in high-demand and emerging fields. CEO Emeritus Brian Fitzgerald will continue as a member of the BHEF board. 

Fox brings 20 years of executive experience working at the intersection of education, workforce strategy, and digital learning to BHEF. She has been instrumental in advising foundations, institutions, and companies on the design and implementation of successful strategies that drive impact, growth, and sustainability.

“Kristen Fox is the right person for BHEF’s next chapter of powerful cross-sector partnerships that shape cutting-edge higher education programming and the future workforce for all of us,” said Tim Sands, president, Virginia Tech and BHEF board chair. “The board unanimously agreed that Fox’s growth and strategy mindset along with her expertise in bringing stakeholders together will ensure BHEF’s continued effectiveness and impact for years to come.” 

“I couldn’t be more excited about the opportunity to lead BHEF through this next phase of innovation,” said Fox.  “I’m confident that the collaborative infrastructure BHEF has built over the past forty years uniquely enables us to shape solutions that not only serve our members, but positively impact economic mobility, equity, and opportunity nationwide.”

As employers continue to experience acute worker shortages with talent gaps in key fields, the call to action for education and business partnerships to improve economic outcomes for students and employers is clear and BHEF is uniquely positioned to facilitate solutions.

“BHEF sits at the crossroads of solving critical workforce challenges and drives direct economic impact for businesses,” said Laura Ipsen, president & CEO, Ellucian, Inc. and BHEF board vice-chair. “As a respected innovator, Kristen Fox is just the person BHEF needs to evolve and scaffold collaborations that address critical economic, skill, and opportunity gaps.”

In her prior role at Tyton Partners, Fox brought university and employer executives together to design regional workforce development pathways, led university-wide strategy and revenue sustainability engagements, and developed equity-centered products and go-to-market strategies for edtech firms. She has also published nationally recognized research on innovation, student success, and the impact of the pandemic on teaching, learning and equity.

Fox previously worked as a special advisor at Northeastern University, where she led initiatives focused on creating new pathways to recruit underserved students, building new models for experiential learning, developing alternative credentials, and scaling career services. Prior to that, Fox was a managing vice president at Eduventures, where she worked with hundreds of institutions to develop strategy, track market trends and innovations, and build high-performing teams.

Fox holds a BA in international relations and Chinese from Colgate University and a MA in international affairs and economic development from the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California, San Diego.

About the Business-Higher Education Forum
The Business-Higher Education Forum is a 45-year-old nonprofit membership organization that connects higher education institutions to business talent demand. Corporate CEOs and university presidents join BHEF to anticipate skill needs and improve pathways between higher education and workforce. For more information, visit