Today, University of Colorado Denver Chancellor Michelle Marks is pleased to announce the appointment of Dan Maxey as the university’s new Chief of Staff. Following a national search for this important position, Dan will be stepping into the role as former Chief of Staff, Regina Kilkenny, transitions to a new, two-year assignment as special assistant for campus culture at CU Denver. Dan comes to CU Denver from the University of Northern Colorado, where he currently serves as Chief of Staff to President Andy Feinstein. He has over 20 years of experience as an education policy scholar, a government relations practitioner, and a learner-centered higher education professional and leader. His broad knowledge of university organization and organizational change will be instrumental in facilitating CU Denver’s ongoing work to build an environment where all students, faculty, and staff can thrive.
As Chief of Staff, Dan will work closely with the Chancellor, senior leaders, shared governance, and all of CU Denver’s stakeholders to ensure that the diverse and divergent voices of our community are brought together to build unity and progress within the university and beyond.
“I am so excited that Dan will be joining CU Denver, our Lynx community, and my leadership team,” said Chancellor Marks. “Not only does he have deep experience working at the institutional level to effect change and support educational communities, but he is passionate about our 2030 Strategic Plan and the bold direction CU Denver is headed as we make education work for all. And like so many of us here, that passion comes from a very personal place.”
Dan’s dedication to equity, access, student success, and community impact took root in the early days of his career. After several years working at both the state and national levels of government, Dan entered higher education as an academic advisor at Arizona State University. There, he served a diverse student population throughout downtown and metro Phoenix, where he developed a comprehensive understanding of what it means to be a learner-centered practitioner in education. He helped students navigate their university journey and life challenges. He also focused on eliminating student success obstacles to ensure that each one of the students he served could meet their goals and fulfill their potential.
Fourteen years later, Dan has honed his diverse experience across multiple levels of the institution to help universities address the challenges and opportunities they face. Along with his work at Arizona State University, he has also worked and held leadership roles at Santa Clara University, the University of Southern California while completing his doctorate, and the University of Wyoming before making his way to Colorado. He is especially excited to return to a public urban research university as he takes this next step in his career, acknowledging the special role that such institutions play in both the educational and cultural space.
“The exchange of energy and potential that occurs in these environments—where cities offer so much that enriches the student experience, the university, and its communities—contributes to the opportunities, ideas, and innovations that define what’s possible for life in the city,” said Dan. “I am incredibly grateful and excited for the opportunity to join Chancellor Marks and the Lynx community, particularly at this moment in CU Denver’s proud history. As the university embarks on the critical work of its strategic plan, I look forward to being a partner in student success, a contributor to innovations that allow CU Denver to serve its vital missions, and a collaborator with all stakeholders to expand CU Denver’s impact. I see opportunities to do this and so much more by closely engaging with students, faculty, staff, and the greater Denver community as we work together to write the next chapter.”
Dan received a Bachelor of Arts in Government from the College of William and Mary in Virginia, a Master of Education in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Arizona State University, and a PhD in Urban Education Policy from the University of Southern California. He will officially begin his new role on May 16 as Regina moves into her two-year assignment before she retires after starting at CU 36 years ago.
“I can’t thank Regina enough for her remarkable work these past two years as my Chief of Staff, and for her decades of service to CU,” said Chancellor Marks. “She has been an incredible leader, partner, and strategist, working with so many people across our university throughout her career to advance our education and missions. Regina leaves some tough shoes to fill, and I am confident that Dan will carry this great work forward by helping us strengthen CU Denver and the impact that we make as Colorado’s only public urban research university.”