Sarah Coakley

2022-23 Aspen Rising Presidents Fellow
Dr. Sarah Coakley currently serves as provost and chief academic officer at Georgia Highlands College, a multi-campus, state college member of the University System of Georgia. In this role, she provides leadership over academic programs, faculty affairs, student programs and support services, enrollment management, and institutional effectiveness. Georgia Highlands College serves a diverse population of students from over 30 counties in northwest Georgia and was a semifinalist for the 2023 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence.

She served the college as dean of the School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Coakley is a tenured associate professor of chemistry and holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Tulane University of New Orleans and a B.A. in chemistry from the University of Illinois Chicago.

Coakley is an innovative and collaborative leader with a passion for student success. She advocates for accessible and affordable education in the belief that a college education will close equity gaps, build thriving communities, and provide a pathway for a better life. She holds believes in shared governance, communication, and transparency, and that all stakeholders have a role in driving the success of an institution.