HLC’s President and Executive Leadership Team



Barbara Gellman-Danley

President, HLC
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Barbara Gellman-Danley assumed the presidency of the Higher Learning Commission on July 7, 2014. She succeeded former HLC president Sylvia Manning, who served from 2008 until her retirement in 2014.

“It will be an honor to serve the Higher Learning Commission as president, the institutions in the region and the most important stakeholder – the students. I embrace the accreditor’s role in quality assurance and the emerging focus on outcomes-based assessment,” said Gellman-Danley upon her appointment. “This includes a respect for the peer review process and the important issues raised by the public and our congressional leaders on accreditation. We can all work collaboratively to assure the United States is a leader in higher education through all sectors of the academy.”

Prior to joining HLC, Dr. Gellman-Danley was the president of University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College from 2009-2014. She has also served as a vice chancellor at the Ohio Board of Regents, president at Antioch University McGregor, vice president at Monroe Community College, and vice chancellor at the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. Her past involvement with HLC includes serving as a peer reviewer for 10 years.

Dr. Gellman-Danley holds a Bachelor of Science from Syracuse University, a Master of Library Science from Simmons College, a Master of Business Administration from Oklahoma City University, and Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Oklahoma. She also did post-graduate work at New York University and earned continuing education from Cornell University, Harvard University and the University of Chicago.

Previous Speeches

Testimony to the Negotiated Rulemaking - September 2018

Letter to Students at 2018 HLC Annual Conference—#higheredcares 

2017 HLC Annual Conference Welcome Address—video excerpt (view text  )

Executive Leadership Team

Andrew Lootens-White photo

Andrew Lootens-White

Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
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Andrew Lootens-White joined the Commission in 2007 as a staff liaison, but now serves as the Commission’s Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Academically and professionally, he is interested in how colleges and universities can mobilize the efforts of faculty, staff, and students to accomplish collectively-valued goals. This approach is important not only in regard to his work with a small number of institutions for which he remains liaison, but also with his present focus on HLC’s internal accreditation operations, peer review and member education, meetings and events, information technology, and other support activities.

Dr. Lootens-White previously worked as the director of academic technology and a writing-across-the-curriculum faculty liaison at the University of Missouri. He also has served in a state-wide academic affairs role at the Missouri Department of Higher Education. He earned a B.S. in Secondary Education, English Education, a M.Ed. in Secondary Education, Language Arts, and a Ph.D. in Instructional Theory and Practice from the University of Missouri.

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Eric Martin

Vice President and Chief of Staff
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Eric Martin joined the Commission in 2010 as a staff liaison and also served as the Director of the AQIP Pathway from 2012-2015. He now serves as Vice President and Chief of Staff and performs a wide range of leadership functions for the Commission and its members.

Prior to joining the Commission, Dr. Martin held multiple positions at Governors State University in south suburban Chicago, including: Director of Writing Across the Curriculum (1999-2001); assistant provost (2001-2004); associate provost (2005-2006); and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (2006-2010).

Dr. Martin holds a Doctor of Arts degree in English from Illinois State University (1995) as well as a Master of Arts (1992) and a Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude (1990), also from Illinois State.

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James Meyer

Chief Information Officer
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James Meyer joined the Higher Learning Commission in 2015 as the Chief Information Officer.  Mr. Meyer has filled executive-level roles in information technology for 20 years, with 10 of those years in higher education at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) as the Associate Chief Information Officer.

During his decade of service to IIT, Mr. Meyer made a substantial contribution in leading the university’s Enterprise Systems Department and served as the project leader for IIT’s largest software deployment, Banner ERP, a multi-year, multimillion-dollar undertaking.  Additionally, Mr. Meyer was responsible for introducing technology governance and he led the university’s Process Improvement Group.

Mr. Meyer holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Lewis University and an M.S. in Computer Science from Northern Illinois University.

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Michael Seuring

Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
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Michael Seuring, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, joined HLC in 2006 and is responsible for all financial management aspects of the organization. This includes ensuring the organization's financial records are being kept in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, financial reporting, treasury, and financial planning and analysis.  In addition, Mr. Seuring serves as the Records Management Officer and oversees human resources, risk management, and HLC’s financial indicators process.

He has previously held financial management positions at the University of Chicago and other not-for-profit organizations in the Chicago area.  Mr. Seuring is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a B.S. in accounting from Purdue University.

Anthea Sweeney photo

Anthea M. Sweeney

Vice President for Legal and Governmental Affairs
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Anthea M. Sweeney joined the Commission in March 2013 and served as a Vice President for Accreditation Relations until March 2018, when she was named Vice President for Legal and Governmental Affairs. Dr. Sweeney previously worked as the Assistant Dean for Academics at a law school in North Carolina, where she also served as founder and director of the Academic Success department, an adjunct law professor, and an academic success counselor who worked directly with at-risk students. She is a licensed attorney admitted in good standing in the State of New York and spent five years in private practice as a Banking and Finance attorney with the firms of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Moses & Singer LLP before transitioning to legal education. Dr. Sweeney holds a B.A., magna cum laude, in Comparative Modern Languages and Political Science from Long Island University, an M.A. in Political Science, also from Long Island University, a J.D., magna cum laude, from Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center and her Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership and Policy from Peabody College of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University.