Secretary to the Board and Strategist for Presidential Initiatives
Kathryn Enke is the secretary to the board and strategist for presidential initiatives at the American Association of Colleges and Universities. In this role, she provides administrative oversight for the Office of the President, the Board of Directors, strategic planning, awards and scholarships, and other presidential priorities. She coordinates the Presidents’ Trust, an international leadership group of over 500 college and university presidents from all institutional types who are committed to advocating for the value of liberal education and inclusive excellence and rebuilding public trust in higher education.
Previously, Dr. Enke served for over a decade as chief of staff at the College of Saint Benedict, a Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college for women in St. Joseph, MN. In that role, 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, as lead Title IX coordinator, she oversaw the college’s policies, practices, and training related to sexual misconduct and sex discrimination.
Dr. 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.
Dr. Enke is a volunteer peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission and a past chair of the NAPAHE Board of Directors. Her leadership has been recognized with awards from the University of Minnesota Alumni Association and the College of Saint Benedict Staff Assembly. In recognition of her scholarly achievement, she was elected as an alumna member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2017.
Dr. Enke lives in Minnesota with her partner and two young children.
Areas of Expertise
- Advocacy for liberal education
- Nonprofit board governance
- Strategic planning
- Crisis response and communication
- Gender in higher education
- Gender discrimination and sexual misconduct