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Global Competitiveness: How Do We Create a
College-Going Culture


Thursday, Oct 20, 3:30-5 p.m.

Much attention has been placed on academic standards, state assessments, teacher training and effective leadership in schools. All are vital to preparing students for college and careers.  But if there is no avenue to get students to higher education and no structure or means to assist students, many will end up in low-wage jobs for life. This interactive session will address how public/private partnerships and legislative strategies can serve as the catalyst for a culture change that will ensure students reach their goal of college completion and degree attainment.





Don Bennett
Executive Director, Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board
Full Bio >>





Jane Broom
Director, Microsoft's Puget Sound Community Affairs
Full Bio >>







Don Bennett
Don Bennett was named deputy director of the Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board March 16, 2007, and was promoted to executive deputy director in 2009. The Board has named Don interim executive director of the HECB effective April 1, 2010, following Ann Daley’s retirement.
Bennett will serve in this capacity until a new executive director is hired. The Board is currently conducting a nationwide search for Ann Daley’s replacement.
Bennett, who earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Puget Sound School of Law in 1986, has more than 24 years of experience in state government as a legal counsel, policy adviser, and executive. He served as executive secretary of the State Personnel Appeals Board from 1997 to 2004, when he was deployed to Iraq for a year with the Washington Army National Guard.
After he returned from Iraq, Bennett served as interim executive director of the Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board before joining the HECB. He currently serves as State Judge Advocate, the senior military lawyer for the Washington Army National Guard, assigned to the Joint Force Headquarters at Camp Murray. His rank is Colonel.
Prior to his service at the State Personnel Appeals Board, Bennett served as leadership counsel for the Washington State Senate, as director of Policy and Legal Services for the Washington State School Directors Association, and as staff counsel, Washington State Senate Education Committee.
Bennett, a Puyallup resident, has been active in community service, serving as chair of that city’s Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee and as vice-chair of its Salary Commission, as well as in the Puyallup School District, where he has served on the Superintendent’s Advisory Council. Back to Panelists


Jane Broom
As the director for Microsoft's Puget Sound Community Affairs, Jane is responsible for the company's hometown philanthropic contributions and community engagement programs including the Sound Community Fund and the Microsoft Math Partnership.  The Sound Community Fund provides direct grants of cash and product to King County nonprofits in human services, arts and culture, K12 education and civic affairs. 


She also manages the Microsoft Math Partnership, the signature hometown investment for the company, focused on improving student academic performance in math.


She started at Microsoft in 1992 after graduating from the University of Washington with a BA in Communications and Sociology. Back to Panelists