Marielena DeSanctis

2023-24 Aspen Presidents Fellow
Dr. Marielena “Marie” DeSanctis has more than 23 years of experience in education, including classroom teaching, curriculum development, instructional design, learning assessment, and progressive leadership roles in both K-12 and higher education. Prior to her current leadership role as president of the Community College of Denver, she served as provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs and Student Services of Broward College, president of Broward College’s Central Campus, high school principal, assistant principal, and assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction.

Marie is an active and passionate advocate for her local, state, and nationwide Hispanic community. She has served as a committee member and leader of several professional organizations. She was elected state president of the Florida Association of School Administrators, confirmed by the Florida State Senate as a member of the Florida Education Practices Commission. and elected a board member of the National Community College Hispanic Council.

Marie currently is the co-chair of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Board on Higher Education and the Workforce; a member of the NASEM Roundtable on Systemic Change in Undergraduate STEM Education; a member of Jobs for the Future Policy Trust Council; on the Workforce Development Committee of Downtown Denver Partnership; and a board member of the Colorado Education Initiative. She also serves on the board of the Downtown Denver Partnership and is a member of the Economic Development Committee. She is a graduate of the Aspen Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence and Leadership Florida. Among other honors, she was named a 2016 Hispanic Woman of Distinction.

Before answering a call to education, Mariewas an engineer in the manufacturing and construction sector for nearly six years. She has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, a master’s in math education from Nova Southeastern University, and an Ed.S. and Ph.D. in educational leadership from Florida Atlantic University.

Born in South Florida to a mother who emigrated from Cuba, she is fluent in Spanish. Among her accomplishments, she is most proud of her two children—Conner, an engineer, and Allie, a lawyer.