History of DHE Executive Directors, click here;
Lieutenant Governor Joseph A. Garcia is the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Higher Education. Prior to his appointment by Governor John Hickenlooper in January 2011, Lt. Gov.Garcia worked as president of Colorado State University-Pueblo and energized the campus by considering nontraditional solutions to longstanding issues. While there, he helped the school overcome stagnant enrollment, a mediocre reputation and financial difficulties.
Before he worked at CSU-Pueblo, Lt. Gov. Garcia was president of the second-largest community college in Colorado, Pikes Peak Community College. There, he oversaw three campuses that serve more than 16,000 students annually. He earlier worked for the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies as the Executive Director. In this capacity, he managed and maintained budgetary responsibility for such Colorado divisions as Banking, Financial Services, Real Estate, Insurance, Civil Rights, Securities and Public Utilities. Lt. Gov. Garcia was appointed by Romer.
Lt. Gov. Garcia has continuously participated in community and non-profit organizations throughout his professional career. These experiences taught him to find solutions, not by driving a partisan agenda but by working with all stakeholders to reach a common ground. He and his wife, Dr. Claire Garcia, became deeply involved in public education when their own children entered grade school in Colorado Springs. Lt. Gov. Garcia served in roles as varied as PTO President to Legal Counsel for the District 11 School Board.
Born into a military family with deep roots in northern New Mexico, Lt. Gov. Garcia has lived in cities ranging from the Western United States to Western Europe. He earned a business degree from the University of Colorado. He returned to Colorado after earning a juris doctorate from Harvard Law School because of the quality of life found here. An avid mountain biker and mountain climber in the summer and snowboarder in the winter, Lt. Gov. Garcia could not imagine calling anywhere else his home – and hopes to pass that tradition onto his children and grandchildren.
Jennifer Sobanet joined the Colorado Department of Higher Education as Chief Operating Officer on Oct. 1, 2013, bringing with her extensive executive leadership experience at both the community college and university levels.
Most recently Sobanet spent four years at Front Range Community College (FRCC) as the CFO and VP-Finance and Administration. During her tenure at Front Range, she helped develop and lead the college’s strategic planning process and continuous process improvement efforts aimed at more closely linking college resources to student outcomes.
Prior to her years at FRCC, Sobanet was director of strategic planning and partnership development at Colorado State University’s Global Campus and Division of Continuing Education. She created a five-year vision and business plan for career and technical education (CTE) students who want to complete CSU’s online bachelor’s degree completion program.
Prior to that, Sobanet was associate vice president for compliance, budgets, and technical support at the Colorado Community College System where she streamlined all administrative, analytical and compliance processes, and aligned a $38 million budget with a new vision for career and technical education. She also served as CCCS budget director and legislative director. Other government experience includes serving as an economist and budget analyst in Gov. Roy Romer’s Office of State Planning and Budgeting.
Sobanet also brings valuable private sector experience to her work in higher education. Before joining the Colorado Community College System, Sobanet was the business officer of Copernicus Business Systems, a national software development company, and a senior financial analyst for Convergent Communications, a national broadband/web services company.
Sobanet’s international experience includes consulting in Latin America for ZS Associates, a global management consulting firm.
Sobanet is a summa cum laude graduate of Marshall University with a bachelor’s degree in economics. She earned a Master of Arts in international studies with concentrations in Latin America and Spanish from the Lauder Institute, and an MBA in international financial management from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. She is proficient in Spanish.
Sobanet serves on the board of directors of Goodwill Industries of Denver.
Mark Cavanaugh has served as the Chief Financial Officer for the Colorado Department of Higher Education since December 2009. Prior to that, he managed special projects under Governor Bill Ritter including oversight of American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) and a statewide government performance review.
Mark directed policy at the non-profit Bighorn Center in Denver for six years and served in various budget and management positions for the Department of Defense, the National Park Service and the Colorado Office of State Planning and Budgeting under Governors Roy Romer and Bill Owens.
Mark has a Business and English degree from Regis University and a juris doctorate from the University of Utah.
Dr. Macgillivray started his career in education as a science teacher at Manual High School and Horace Mann Middle School in Denver Public Schools and at a private, P12, dual immersion bilingual school in Mexico City, México.
After experiencing the P12 educational realm, Dr. Macgillivray became Assistant Professor of Educator Preparation at James Madison University's College of Education where he published two books, numerous journal articles, and was awarded the 2007 Provost Award for Excellence in International Beliefs and Values. He also represented his college on the Faculty Senate and participated on the Diversity Committee and the Curriculum Development, Implementation, and Review Committee. His research focused on issues related to inclusion and equity in school settings.
Most recently, Dr. Macgillivray served as Academic Policy Officer for Educator Preparation at the department where he oversaw Colorado’s 20 higher education-based educator preparation programs. In this role, he provided statewide guidance on national and state law and policy changes affecting the preparation of educators and he continues to assist in implementing the state’s P20 alignment, Educator ID Longitudinal Data System, and new educator effectiveness initiatives.
Dr. Macgillivray received his bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Northern Colorado, his master's degree in anthropology from the University of Colorado Denver and his Ph.D. in Foundations of Education Policy and Practice from the University of Colorado Boulder.
Assistant Deputy Director of Resarch and Information
Dr. Beth Bean is Assistant Deputy Director of Research and Information for the Colorado Department of Higher Education. Before joining the Department in 2011, Dr. Bean served in numerous roles in higher education administration at public and private institutions. She has over 10 years of experience, including expertise in institutional research, curriculum and instruction, coaching and advising. She is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Denver.
Dr. Bean participates in numerous statewide initiatives including Reverse Transfer, the Colorado Statewide Longitudinal Data System, the Government Data Advisory Board, the GDAB Education Data Subcommittee, and several institutional efforts. She specializes in bringing together people through data and advancing our understanding of educational trends in Colorado. Dr. Bean was the DHE Colorado Public Service Recognition Honoree in 2013.
Dr. Bean received her Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of Denver, her master’s degree from Saint Louis University and her bachelor’s degree from DePauw University in Indiana. She has two wonderful daughters and too many pets.
Senior Director for Grants and Strategic Initiatives
As the Senior Director for Grants and Strategic Initiatives, Inta Morris oversees external proposals and grants and helps to develop new directions and relationships for the Department. She has been instrumental in promoting increased cooperation between the Department and other state agencies, the business community and other organizations. She also developed and now runs StudyColorado, an initiative of the State, its institutions of higher education and the business community focused on promoting Colorado as a higher education destination to international students.
Before joining the Department in July 2007, she served as Academic and Political Affairs Officer for the Canadian Consulate General in Denver, Colorado. In that position, she developed advocacy programs and strategies for advancing Canada’s positions with the political and academic communities in the Rocky Mountain region. Previously, Ms. Morris served as Vice President of a Washington DC-based nongovernmental organization focused on fostering ties between the scientific and academic communities of the United States and countries of the former Soviet Union. Prior to that position, she served as director of the Committee on International Security and Arms Control of the National Academy of Sciences and she worked in the International Affairs office of the National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences (now National Academies). She began her career working for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, first as a campaign staff member and then as a legislative assistant in the congressional office.
Ms. Morris received her master's degree from George Washington University and her bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado. She is multi-lingual and has traveled extensively in Europe, the countries of the former Soviet Union, Asia and Africa. Ms. Morris is married and has two stepdaughters.