Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education
Chris Lowery was appointed in 2022 to serve as Commissioner for Indiana’s Commission for Higher Education, the coordinating agency charged with ensuring the state’s postsecondary education system is aligned to meet the needs of students and the state. Prior to joining the Commission, Lowery was senior vice president, workforce, careers, and adult strategy at Ivy Tech Community College where he provided overall leadership of Ivy Tech workforce and career initiatives and organization. Before working in higher education, Lowery led public policy and engagement for Hillenbrand, Inc. and served as an aide to former Indiana Governor Robert D. Orr and then-Senator Dan Quayle.
As Commissioner, Lowery is committed to developing postsecondary attainment, economic and social mobility outcomes, and the overall return on investment by increasing the college-going rate, engaging adult learners, improving completion rates and retaining college graduates. He is focused on ensuring students of all ages understand the value proposition of higher education. He collaborates with policymakers, higher education leaders and community partners to maintain college affordability and guarantee quality higher education is delivered and tied to career relevance as the Commission continues its efforts to realize the state’s goal of at least 60 percent of Hoosiers with quality education and training beyond high school.
Currently, Lowery is a member of the Governor’s Workforce Cabinet. In addition, he serves on the Advisory Board for the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, the Board of Directors of Shepherd Community and the Higher Education Working Group of the American Enterprise Institute. He previously served on the Board of Trustees of the Sagamore Institute think tank and as chair. Lowery was chair of the Career Coaching and Navigation Action Team for Governor Eric Holcomb’s Workforce Cabinet. He has served on various other boards of directors including AgriNovus Indiana, Gleaners Food Bank, the Indiana Construction Roundtable Foundation, the Indiana Council for Continuing Education, the State Workforce Innovation Council, the Executive Council of the Indiana University Alumni Association and the Batesville Community School Corporation.
Lowery is a recipient of the Sagamore of the Wabash and the Distinguished Alumni Award of the Indiana University O’Neill School of Public Affairs. He is a regular speaker in Indiana and nationally on topics ranging from the future of higher education, the economy and workforce preparedness to innovation, leadership and social impact investing.
Lowery holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs from Indiana University and a Master of Science in Management from Indiana Wesleyan University. He and his wife, Jerilyn, an Indiana University graduate and writer, live in Batesville. Their daughter, Jordan, earned her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and a master’s degree from Ball State University. She lives in Batesville with her husband, Bradley Bergquist, a practicing attorney and municipal judge, and their two daughters, Eloise and Madeline. Their son, Jarrod, was a Wells Scholar at Indiana University, earning his bachelor's degree. He is an MBA candidate at the University of Chicago Booth School and lives in Chicago.
Biography | Updated 05/03/2023
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Interim Executive Assistant to the Commissioner