Bridging the Gap between Talent and Opportunity:
new flexible models of higher education designed to meet the demands of the future
  • Sarah DeMark

    Vice President of Program Development & General Education Innovation at Western Governors University

    Sarah DeMark serves as Vice President of Academic Programs at Western Governors University, where she has worked since September 2014. She helps keep WGU at the forefront of competency-based education by directing the university’s academic portfolio strategy as well as program design and development, with a portfolio of more than 60 degrees, 600 courses, and 1,000 assessments.
    Prior to WGU, DeMark spent more than 15 years at leading IT companies, serving in various leadership roles where she oversaw the strategy and execution of the design, development, and deployment of innovative, large-scale curriculum and assessment portfolios. Previously, she was an independent consultant working with state and local school districts, as well as working with The College Board on SAT and AP program evaluation. DeMark also served on ANSI’s Personnel Certification Accreditation Committee, which serves to validate whether certification programs adhere to standards. DeMark is the current interim Executive Director of the Open Skills Network.
  • Kacey Thorne

    Director of Skills Architecture at Western Governors University

    Kacey Thorne is the Director of Skills Architecture at Western Governors University. In this role, Kacey operates at the intersection of higher education and the future of work, where she is responsible for establishing a comprehensive network of competencies and skills that are aligned to workforce needs. This network serves as the foundation for the development of WGU programs and facilitates the ability to offer personalized, workforce-relevant learning pathways. To accomplish this transformative work at scale, Kacey has established an emergent ecosystem of partnerships, processes, tools, and technologies that continues to grow and evolve. Kacey is passionate about the urgent call to action for higher education to better meet the needs of students and employers. She is deeply invested in student success and creating higher education systems that support access, equity, and upward mobility.
  • Darin Hobbs

    Director of Academic Records and Credentials at Western Governors University

    Darin R. Hobbs, Director of Academic Records & Credentials at Western Governors University (WGU), has over twenty years of management and customer service experience in various professional, academic, and volunteer capacities. Darin is known for innovative solutions that create efficiencies within the work environment and constantly thinks creatively about how to reimagine the student record. Darin has devoted his career at WGU to transforming higher education for the benefit of students. As the Director of Academic Records & Credentials, Darin leads the Office of the Registrar and the Office of Admissions and Transfer Administration. He is the business owner of Records in the Achievement Architecture initiative that seeks to transform the student record into a learner-owned, digital record of achievement that is skills-denominated, machine actionable and built upon a foundation of open standards. Darin is also the WGU business lead on the four White House Learning and Employment Record (LER) pilots led by IBM/NSC, Walmart, Salesforce, and Workday.
  • Hye-Jung Lee

    Director General at the Institute for Education and Innovation

    Dr. Hye-Jung Lee amounted her expertise in education as the Director of e-Learning and a research professor of Center for Teaching and Learning at Seoul National University(SNU), and a specially appointed associate professor at Hokkaido University in Japan. After finishing her Ph.D. in Educational Technology at SNU, Lee visited 25 top research universities as a SNU delegation representative and interviewed senior-level administrators who are in charge of the quality of university education and technology-enhanced learning. After conducting collaborative research on learning differences between the East and the West at the University of Michigan, Lee found the Institute for Education and Innovation(IEI) in Korea. Recently as the Director of IEI, Lee has directed several research projects on reforming education with assessment for critical and creative competency upon request of Seoul, Jeju, Daegu, Chungnam Provincial Office of Education respectively. Lee is more widely known as the author of provocative books, [Who gets an A+ at Seoul National University?] and [Exams in Korea], both of which received prominent media spotlight. Other various papers, columns, keynotes, and invited speeches of Lee on the quality education system are disseminated globally.