From education to employment

2021 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients Announced!

Each year, GSV honors leading global contributors who have made a true impact in the learning and talent universe.  We are thrilled to announce our 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award recipients, from Western Governors University, who will be honored at our closing dinner on Wednesday, August 11, 2021.

Western Governors University (@WGU) exists to change lives for the better by bridging the gap between talent and opportunity, going beyond convention to provide higher education programs that pave the path to opportunity for all. Established in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors, WGU pioneered competency-based learning, demonstrating its efficacy at scale.

Today, WGU has more than 230,000 graduates from all 50 states and currently serves more than 130,000 students. Because WGU is affordable and flexible, the university is able to expand educational opportunities to more learners, especially those from populations traditionally underserved by higher education.

Nearly 70% of WGU students come from one or more underserved populations: ethnic or racial minorities, rural residents, low-income families, and first-generation college students. WGU also endeavors to catalyze a tenfold transformation of higher education’s ability to deliver on its promise to all learners, not just WGU students.

This broader vision centers on WGU’s large-scale academic operations as a proving ground for both ideation and incubation of innovations that promise to positively impact the lives of millions of students.

Gov. Michael Leavitt: A co-founder of Western Governors University, Leavitt served three terms as Governor of Utah and was a member of the Cabinet of President George W. Bush, where he led the implementation of the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Program as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Leavitt is also founder, chair, and board member of Leavitt Partners.

Dr. Robert Mendenhall: Mendenhall served as president of WGU for sixteen years beginning in 1999, when WGU enrolled its first students. Prior to WGU, Mendenhall was general manager of IBM’s K-12 education division and then founder, president, and CEO of Wicat Systems, a leading provider of computer-based curriculum. He is also a former member of the Board of the Department of Business and Economic Development for the State of Utah.

Gov. Roy Romer: Romer was elected 39th Governor of Colorado in 1986 and served three terms. As governor, he helped lead the creation of Western Governors University in 1997. Throughout his public service he served as superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, chair of National Governors Association 1992-1993, and chair of the Education Commission of the States 1994-1995.

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