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Our Team

David Longanecker

Former President, Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE)


David Longanecker retired from the position as President of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) in June 2016. He had served WICHE as its Chief Executive Officer for 17 years. Upon retiring, he returned to higher education as a student, securing his commercial driver’s license from Aims Community College in Greeley, Colorado, and became a long-haul truck driver, driving over-the-road until retiring from this adventure in 2019.

Previous to joining WICHE, Longanecker served for six years as the Assistant Secretary for Postsecondary Education at the U.S. Department of Education. Prior to that, he was the state higher education executive officer in Colorado and Minnesota. He was the principal analyst for higher education for the Congressional Budget Office earlier in his career. Longanecker has served on numerous boards and commissions and has written extensively on a range of higher education issues.

His primary interests have been expanding access to successful completion for students within all sectors of higher education, promoting improved measurement of student and institutional performance, assuring efficient and effective finance and financial aid strategies, and fostering the effective use of educational technologies, all for the purpose of sustaining our nation’s strength in the world and increasing the quality of life for all Americans, particularly those who have traditionally been left out in the past.

Education & Training

Longanecker holds an Ed.D. from Stanford University, an M.A. in student personnel work from the George Washington University, and a B.A. in sociology from Washington State University. Between completing his bachelor’s degree and continuing his education he served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam.

Outside Interests

Longanecker enjoys retirement actively – spending time with his five grandchildren, traveling with his wife of 50+ years as possible in this new world in which we live, remaining active in his local community, and playing a bit of golf to maintain his insanity.

Why I Work With NCHEMS

Throughout my career, I had the great pleasure of working with NCHEMS in various ways. While with WICHE, I worked very closely with the senior leadership of NCHEMS and came to consider the organization as the best in the business at what they do. So, it was an honor to accept an invitation to serve on NCHEMS’ Board, shortly after my retirement from WICHE. I cherish this opportunity, both because it keeps me modestly engaged in my previous profession, but also because it allows me to engage in activities that progress the health and well-being of American higher education through NCHEMS’ various contributions.