07:07 PM

Announcing New Colorado Women's College Dean

Rebecca Chopp, chancellor and Gregg Kvistad, provost and executive vice chancellor, made the following announcement today welcoming the new Colorado Women's College dean.

We are extremely pleased to announce that Ann Ayers will join the University of Denver as dean of the Colorado Women’s College (CWC), effective Oct. 17.

For the last two years, the University has been exploring a variety of compelling and transformative futures for the Colorado Women’s College, an important institution of the Colorado higher education landscape. Known in Colorado as an impassioned women’s empowerment leader, Ann is well-positioned to lead CWC as it fulfills its mission to serve the dynamic needs of DU’s women and deepen ties with the larger community in service to the promises set forth in DU IMPACT 2025.

Ann brings over 15 years of nonprofit strategy and leadership experience to this role, with a focus in communications and fundraising. In addition, she has a proven track record of forging meaningful partnerships across industry sectors to advance women’s leadership and promote gender-balanced leadership models.

Ann has expertise in developing and leading programs to support women in the workforce through leadership development, networking, mentoring and research. She dedicated 11 years of service to The Leadership Investment (TLI), a nonprofit focused on advancing women in the workplace through gender-balanced leadership models. There she served in nearly every leadership role in the organization, including board chair, as she contributed to TLI’s work with over 75 of Colorado’s top corporations.

She was most recently a senior strategist at Mission Minded, a branding and communications firm that serves nonprofits and foundations nationwide. Consulting with client leadership teams, including the Boettcher Foundation, Ann led work to expand and reinvent dozens of organizations to energize community engagement and amplify the impact of their work. She previously worked at SE2, where she developed campaigns for social change movements in health care and education and helped to shape SE2’s fundraising consulting practice.

Ann’s experience spans both nonprofit and for-profit development, having launched the Colorado Children’s Campaign’s first endowment campaign and worked at Qwest Communications negotiating strategic partnerships to introduce emerging technologies and create new service offerings. She began her career in international law in Paris as a mergers and acquisitions attorney with Hogan and Lovells.

Ann is a Denver native who holds a juris doctor from University of Virginia School of Law, and a bachelor of arts in French and international relations from Georgetown University.

We want to thank Linda Olson, who expertly led efforts exploring CWC’s future over the past two and a half years as interim dean and has positioned the college for great success in the years ahead. She now returns full-time to her first and true love—directing our prized Pioneer Leadership Program and our five themed Living and Learning Communities.

We also want to thank the committee which conducted a national search for this important position:

  • Chair: Nancy Reichman, Professor, Sociology and Criminology, AHSS
  • Ali Friederichs, Associate Dean and Teaching Assistant Professor, University College
  • Cecilia Orphan, Assistant Professor, Morgridge College of Education
  • Colleen Abdoulah, community member, former President and CEO, WOW Internet and Cable, CWC board member
  • Hava Gordon, Director, Gender and Women’s Studies, and Associate Professor, Sociology and Criminology, AHSS
  • Michael McGuire, Dean, University College
  • Miriam Tapia, Executive Director, Diversity Enrollment and Community Partnerships
  • Nancy Jones, Archival Processor, University Libraries
  • Tricia Olsen, Assistant Professor, Business Ethics & Legal Studies, Daniels College of Business

Please join us in welcoming Dean Ayers to the University of Denver.