Kathryn Enke

Kathryn Enke

Senior Advisor for Leadership, Strategy, and Governance


(202) 888-4647
[email protected]

Kathryn Enke is the Senior Advisor for Leadership, Strategy, and Governance at the American Association of Colleges and Universities. In this role, she works cross-functionally to direct the association’s leadership development and support programs, and she coordinates the Presidents’ Trust, an international leadership group of over 500 college and university presidents who are committed to advocating for the value of liberal education and inclusive excellence and rebuilding public trust in higher education. She also serves as secretary to AAC&U’s Board of Directors and provides administrative oversight for the Office of the President, strategic planning, awards, and other presidential priorities.

Previously, Enke served for over a decade as chief of staff at the College of Saint Benedict, a Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college for women. As a strategic thought partner for three successful presidents, she led many interim and special projects, including two national conferences on the liberal arts, a $600,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation pursuing transformative inclusion on campus, and the institution’s response to and communications amid the COVID-19 pandemic. She coordinated the work of the college's Board of Trustees and its committees and oversaw the college’s policies, practices, and training related to sexual misconduct and sex discrimination.

Enke earned a BA in history from the College of Saint Benedict and an MA and PhD in educational policy and administration from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, with a specialization in higher education. Her research focuses on the ways that individuals’ identities mediate their experiences in higher education, particularly at women’s colleges and liberal arts colleges. Her scholarship has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of College Student Development, the Journal of Higher Education, and the NASPA Journal of Women and Gender in Higher Education.

Enke is a volunteer peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission, a past chair of the NAPAHE Board of Directors, and president-elect of the College of Saint Benedict Alumnae Board. She was elected as an alumna member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2017, and she received the NAPAHE Professional Achievement Award in 2022.

Enke lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her partner and two young children.

Areas of Expertise

  • Advocacy for liberal education
  • Nonprofit board governance
  • Strategic planning
  • Leadership development and support
  • Crisis response and communication
  • Gender discrimination and sexual misconduct