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Sarah Kendall Hughes

Sarah Kendall Hughes, Chair
Edwards, Colorado

Sarah Kendall Hughes brings more than a decade of education and political leadership to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, and she currently owns her own consulting firm.

Prior to starting her own firm, Commissioner Hughes was Senator Bennet’s Deputy Chief of Staff for nearly a decade, responsible for the development and strategic implementation of a statewide agenda, day-to-day operations, communications strategy, and oversight of all staff. She also managed constituent outreach and stakeholder engagement across Colorado with business, government, education, and community leaders.

Passionate about quality public school education, Hughes has spent her professional and volunteer capacity working to improve public education for all students. Commissioner Hughes served as Chief of Staff at Denver Public Schools (DPS) from 2005 to 2009. Among many accomplishments, she helped create and implement a reform agenda to help turn the district around after years of budget cuts and falling test scores. She also worked with then-Superintendent Bennet and the executive team to transform the administrative hub of DPS from a one-size- fits-all, centralized enterprise to a central office that worked in support of schools, principals, and teachers by attempting to push decision-making to principals and schools themselves. She is also the President of the Board of Directors of a local Charter school and has worked as a classroom teacher at various points in her career. Hughes has been committed to public service throughout her career. She served as Deputy Chief of Staff for then-Mayor John Hickenlooper’s first mayoral term in the City and County of Denver. She was involved in all aspects of Hickenlooper’s reform agenda to bring common sense solutions to the challenges facing the city. She also helped run Mayor Hickenlooper’s Transition team having served as its Deputy Director.

Commissioner Hughes earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Franklin and Marshall College. She now lives in Edwards, Colorado with her husband and three children.

Commissioner Hughes was appointed by Governor Jared Polis to serve through July 1, 2023 as a Democratic resident from the 3rd Congressional District.


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Jennifer Walmer

Jennifer Walmer, VICE CHAIR
Littleton, Colorado

Jen Walmer is the Colorado director of Education Reform Now (ERN). Commissioner Walmer believes that equity in education — from pre-k through higher education — is one of the most important issues of our time. In her 10 years with ERN, she has been a tireless advocate for resource equity, teacher quality and preparation, a strong accountability system, and quality, accessibility, and affordability in higher education. She collaborates closely with policymakers toward the goal of quality, transparency, and fairness in education.

Commissioner Walmer previously served on Gov. Polis’ Transition Committee for Education and the Student Success and Workforce Revitalization Task Force.

Prior to her time at ERN, Commissioner Walmer was Chief of Staff to Superintendent Tom Boasberg at Denver Public Schools. During her time at DPS, she served as the Superintendent’s primary strategic liaison with a divided Board of Education; managed government affairs for the district; and led strategic partnerships with community organizations. Her political career includes time as Majority Chief of Staff for Democratic House Speaker Terrance Carroll.

Commissioner Walmer is a Colorado native and has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Colorado. She resides in Arapahoe County with her husband, Tim, and is the proud mother of Samuel and Marion, who both attend the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Commissioner Walmer was appointed by Gov. Jared Polis in July 2022 to serve through July 1, 2026 as a Democratic resident from the 6th Congressional District.

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Photo of Commissioner Abramson

Berrick Abramson
Lakewood, Colorado

Berrick Abramson is the President of Confluence Policy & Strategy Group, a national, non-partisan organization that supports state & local governments with collaborative decision-making processes, policy development, strategic planning and stakeholder engagement. He brings a diverse background in public policy, international affairs, education, technology and finance. 

Commissioner Abramson is a nationally respected thought leader with more than two decades of experience in public policy and education issues and he is frequently sought to speak at national conferences on issues relating to P-20 education and workforce development. He has led work on a variety of complex policies ranging from fiscal policy, economic development and transportation funding to criminal justice reform and the use of federal funds in different programs and creating comprehensive strategic plans at the local and state levels.

Prior to becoming President at Confluence PSG, Abramson was Senior Policy Director at a small Colorado non-profit where he built and led the good government, education and workforce practices. Before establishing and building those practices, Abramson led the Policy & Government Affairs team of a 400+ person national non-profit where he oversaw state policy and state strategic planning efforts nationally. Prior to his work in public policy, Abramson worked in corporate finance and technology in San Francisco where he led over $1bn in institutional investments & underwritings for start-up and growth stage businesses in a variety of sectors. He served as founder or senior executive of several start-ups with varying exits from acquisition or other liquidity event and he continues to serve as a mentor to entrepreneurs through several national and international programs.

Commissioner Abramson holds a bachelor’s degree in U.S. History from University of California Santa Barbara. He lives in Jefferson County with his wife Carrie, where he has helped raise two step children. They share their home with their two Australian Shepherds and spend as much time as possible camping and playing outdoors. In his spare time, Commissioner Abramson is an avid gardener, skydiver, open water paddler and adventure race competitor. In addition to his involvement in his own community, Commissioner Abramson became active in efforts to support awareness and research for Crohn’s Disease when an aggressive form of the disease was nearly fatal for him in 2019.

Commissioner Abramson was appointed to the Commission by Gov. Polis in 2019 as an unaffiliated resident of the 7th Congressional District and reappointed for a second term in 2023 to serve through July 1, 2027. Commissioner Abramson chairs the Student Success and Workforce Alignment Committee, one of two standing committees of the Commission.


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Lisandra Gonzales

Lisandra Gonzales
Thornton, Colorado

Lisandra Gonzales currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer for the Rocky Mountain Partnership. In this role, she works with cross-sector partners to address critical community challenges impeding the economic and social mobility of the individuals and families who live and work in our community. She also serves as a Commissioner on the Colorado Commission of Higher Education, representing the 8th Congressional District, appointed by Governor Jared Polis.

Prior to this role, she served as the COO of A Precious Child, Executive Director of Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Adams and Broomfield Counties, and roles with the Metro North Chamber of CommerceAlbuquerque Chamber of Commerce, and the Migrant Education Program. She was most recently appointed to the Colorado Commission on Higher Education in July 2022 by Governor Jared Polis representing the 8th Congressional District.

In addition, Gonzales also devotes her time to supporting organizations whose missions are not only near and dear to her heart but have proven to be results oriented such as serving on boards for the Mexican Cultural CenterCASA of Adams & Broomfield Counties, and the A Precious Child Program Board as well as serving on the Centura Health – St. Anthony’s North Hospital Regional Community Board, North Suburban Medical Center Community Advisory Council, Adams County Regional Economic Partnership (AC-REP) Executive Council, and the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI) Advisory Board. She is bilingual in Spanish and LEAN trained from Denver Health. Most recently, Gonzales also serves at Co-Chair of the Colorado Project. The project is an initiative involving a diverse group of Coloradans are working together to design a pragmatic strategy for Colorado to catalyze sustainable and inclusive growth.

Gonzales is first generation, her father having immigrated to the US from Chihuahua, Mexico and her mom coming to Colorado as a child with her family as migrant farmworkers who worked the fields in Brighton, CO. Gonzales was born and raised in Adams County, went through the Brighton 27J Schools system, and then pushed herself to piece together her college education and work experience that have helped her rise from the odds that most challenge Latina women.

Commissioner Gonzales was appointed by Governor Jared Polis to serve through July 1, 2026 as an unaffiliated resident from the 8th Congressional District.

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Aaron Harber

Aaron Harber
Lafayette, Colorado

Aaron is the host of “The Aaron Harber Show” ( He received the Colorado Broadcasters Association’s “Broadcaster of the Year” award for the nonpartisan television program (

Aaron first hosted "The Watch Dog" on Talk of the Rockies Network -- a political issues, consumer affairs, and citizens' rights program. Next, he hosted “Against The Rush” on Talk America Radio Network’s 51 stations. Talkers Magazine selected him as one of America’s most important on-air personalities.

Aaron gained national recognition when he defeated Rush Limbaugh, who sued Aaron frivolously for $20 million for using the word “Rush” in his show title.

In locations ranging from Colorado to Washington, D.C. to Baghdad, Aaron’s guests always have joined him in-person (e.g., Donald Trump, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, Colin Powell, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sandra Day O’Connor, Steven Breyer, Steve Forbes, John Lewis, David Petraeus, Michelle Obama, Madeleine Albright, Robert Mueller, Kevin Costner, Bob Costas, and Oliver Stone).

As president of American Research Corporation in Colorado and the Silicon Valley, Aaron focused on strategic planning, organizational consulting, survey research, and computer software for Bank of America, Motorola Corporation, the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Atari, Inc., Memorex, SPRINT, Case Western Reserve, Environment Canada, Rockwell International, Knight-Ridder, UNISYS, Public Service Company, Hughes Aircraft, the U.S. Department of Energy, Tandem Computers, Security Pacific National Bank, the St. Vrain Valley School District, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Aaron was elected to the governing Board of Trustees of Princeton University and as President of the 3,000-member International Tandem [Computers] Users' Group. He was a Registered U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission Investment Advisor and founded the Colorado Tax Service and the Colorado Accounting Service.

He was a University of Colorado fundraiser, the Nancy Spanier Dance Theatre of Colorado’s first president, a Volunteer Probation Counselor for the City and County Courts of Denver, and a Board member for the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra and the Boulder Chamber Orchestra. He also was a Puppy Raiser and Air Courier for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Aaron was Co-Director of the Chicano Film Project (producing the film, "Los Inmigrantes"). He was an ECO-CYCLE volunteer and an Attention Homes Relief House Parent (an alternative to jail for young offenders). He was the first male elected to the Board of the Boulder County Women's Resource Center and helped create the Boulder SAFEHOUSE. He also co-founded the Women’s Equity Fund. He also was the recipient of the “Geosciences in the Media” award from the 40,000-member AAPG.

Aaron was a gubernatorial appointee to the Colorado Department of Law's Collection Agency Board in the Attorney General’s Office and was the first public member ever elected Chairman. He also was a gubernatorial appointee to the State's U.S. Census Complete Count Committee. He currently serves as a gubernatorial appointee as a member of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education.

A graduate of Fairview High School (in Boulder, Colorado), Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs (receiving an A.B., focusing on Economics) and Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government (receiving an M.P.A., focusing on Ethics in the Professions), he’s been a Single Parent for two decades. He has lived on and managed a 320-acre farm for a third of a century.

Commissioner Harber was appointed to the Commission by Gov. Polis through July 1, 2025 as a Democratic resident of the 2nd Congressional District.

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Teresa Kostenbauer

Teresa Kostenbauer
Parker, Colorado

Teresa Kostenbauer leads University Relations at Arrow Electronics in North America where she has created a best in class program attracting the next generation of talent. Teresa is known for her ability to create strategic partnerships, foster global connections, and promote a diverse work environment.

She is the creator of Arrow Diversity Day, DU Inclusive Excellence Case Competition, and the Colorado Multicultural Career Fair. Commissioner Kostenbauer has a bachelor of science in business administration, marketing and master of science, counseling, both from the University of Wyoming.

A lifelong learner, Commissioner Kostenbauer is a first-generation college graduate and passionate about mentoring young people.

Commissioner Kostenbauer was appointed by Gov. Jared Polis to serve through July 1, 2024 as an Unaffiliated resident from the 4th Congressional District.

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Steve Meyer

Steve Meyer
Grand Junction, Colorado

A third generation Colorado native, Steve Meyer was born and raised in Greeley where he still has strong family roots. He attended the United States Navel Academy before transferring to Stanford University where he received a B.S. in civil engineering. After graduation, he worked for several large construction companies, both domestically and overseas, before returning to Colorado to join a home building firm with operations in Western Colorado.

Commissioner Meyer joined Shaw Construction (then only a Denver based company) as a project manager and established its Western Slope Division in Grand Junction. He worked his way up through the company and became President and majority owner in 1995. Since 1995 Shaw Construction has grown to be one of the leading construction companies in the region with offices in Denver, Grand Junction, Salt Lake City and Jackson, Wyoming. It is ranked in the top 400 nationally and employs over 250 individuals. Commissioner Meyer currently serves as CEO.

Commissioner Meyer is active in the community, having served on a variety of committees and boards. He is currently a Director of the University of Colorado Hospital. Previously he was a trustee for Mesa State College (now Colorado Mesa University), a board member of Rocky Mountain PBS, a member of the Grand Junction Visitors and Convention Bureau, chairman of the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce, chairman of School District 51 Foundation and a member of the Colorado Forum.

Commissioner Meyer is an active private pilot holding a multi-engine instrument rating and an avid biker and mountain climber. He and his wife Anne have three children: Sam a business graduate now president of Shaw Construction, Grand Junction office, Caroline a veterinarian in private practice in Colorado Springs and Will a mechanical engineer working for Shaw Construction in Denver.

Commissioner Meyer was appointed by Governor Jared Polis to serve through July 1, 2024 as an Unaffiliated resident from the 3rd Congressional District.

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Ana Temu Otting

Ana Temu Otting
Broomfield, Colorado

Ana Temu Otting is a political campaign strategist, community activist, and lover of life. Commissioner Otting works at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Colorado as the immigration campaign coordinator. She leads the Know Your Rights education program, and is involved in community organizing, policy research, and passage of pro-immigrant legislation at the state and local level.

Commissioner Otting started her activism in 2009 through Reform Immigration for America, a campaign to educate, mobilize and organize people to pass comprehensive immigration reform and the DREAM Act. Since then, she has helped research, create, and pass several pro-immigrant bills in the state.

She has worked on several campaigns through the years, including Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign and Gov. Jared Polis’ gubernatorial campaign. Commissioner Otting specializes in creating sophisticated and coordinated communications and field programs that are community-centered, robust, targeted, and metrics-driven. Through the years, she has helped build voter outreach and turnout programs for immigrant and Latinx communities across the state, consistently increasing turnout every year.

She is currently on the Colorado Blue Flower Small Donor Committee as co-president, helping elect pro-choice Democratic women to local and state offices. In addition, she serves as president of the Colorado Peoples Action board, where she aids the organization in reaching its goals in its racial, economic, and immigrant justice campaigns. Commissioner Otting is a student at Metropolitan State University of Denver, finalizing her political science and anthropology degrees.

She loves spending time with her son David, going on walks with her dog, Ollie, and salsa dancing in the kitchen with her husband, Seth. Her mission in life is to bring prosperity, opportunity, and liberation to everyone in the U.S., one venture at a time.

Commissioner Temu Otting was appointed by Gov. Polis in July 2021 to serve through July 1, 2025 as a Democratic resident from the 2nd Congressional District.

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Eric Tucker, Ph.D.

Eric Tucker, Ph.D.
Colorado Springs, Colorado

Eric Tucker, Ph.D., serves as the Director of Consulting and Associate Professor of Management at the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA). Commissioner Tucker is a proven team player who is a goal-driven leader and experienced problem solver who focuses on data-driven decision-making for continuous improvement. In addition, he is experienced in human resources, scheduling, training, budgeting and operational execution.

Commissioner Tucker has taught at USAFA from 2004 to 2006, 2010 to 2013, 2014 to 2015 and 2017 to the present. He also taught at the University of Denver from 2015 to 2017. In his teaching, he challenges his students to use the tools and techniques to solve ill-defined problems. In addition, he incorporates real-world illustrations to demonstrate that operations management, project management and various analytic methods are applicable across many domains.

Commissioner Tucker focuses on improving Knowledge Management and Knowledge Management Systems in his research. He has published several academic articles, earned many grants and fellowships and presented at more than a dozen conferences.

Commissioner Tucker earned a bachelor’s of science in aeronautical engineering from USAFA, a master’s in science in engineering and technology management from Oklahoma State University, a master’s in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College in Newport and Rhode Island, and a Ph.D. in industrial engineering from the University of Central Florida. Commissioner Tucker was appointed by Gov. Jared Polis in July 2019 to serve through July 1, 2023, as an unaffiliated resident from the 5th Congressional District.

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Jim Wilson

Jim Wilson
Salida, Colorado

Commissioner Wilson grew up on a farm on the southern border of Kansas, attending Southwestern College on a basketball and track scholarship and graduating with a bachelor’s degree in social science and physical education. While teaching and coaching, he earned a master’s degree in counseling from Northwestern Oklahoma State University (NWOSU). During his four decades in education, he served as a teacher, coach, athletic director, counselor, principal and superintendent.

During his 24-year educational stint in Kansas, Wilson was president of the Kansas City Public Television Channel 19 ITV Consortium and served as chair of the channel 19 Board of Directors. He also served as president of the South Central Kansas ITV Consortium and was president of the Kansas School Counselor’s Association. He received a Master Teacher Award (twice), was honored as the Kansas Rural & Small Schools Administrator of the Year and was inducted into the Southwestern College Educator’s Hall of Fame.

Commissioner Wilson was a pioneer in distance learning and concurrent enrollment during the 1980’s in Kansas and carried that passion into Colorado when he became superintendent in Mancos in 1991. He initiated tech labs and distance learning programs in both the Mancos and Ellicott School districts before moving to Salida where he finished out his K-12 career as superintendent.

As a state legislator, Representative Wilson served for eight years as a member of the House Education Committee— becoming the ranking minority member on the committee. During his legislative tenure, he also served on numerous committees and carried a long list of successful educational bills.

Wilson is currently retired for the second time in his career. He retired in 2007 from public education after 40 years, and was term limited in 2021 after serving eight years in the Colorado State House of Representatives.

Wilson and his wife Kristi have four daughters and five grandchildren. Wilson enjoys archery and rifle hunting, riding his mules in the high country, fishing, gardening, ATVing in the mountains and auctioneering for area fundraisers. He is an elder in his church and also teaches Sunday school classes. The Wilsons have lived in Salida since 1998.

Commissioner Wilson was appointed by Gov. Jared Polis in July 2021 to serve through July 1, 2025 as a Republican resident from the 5th Congressional District.

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