Brief info

Lola W. Brabham was appointed the ninth President of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) in 2021. As president, she leads the Albany-based nonprofit organization that represents the chief executives of New York's 100+ independent colleges and universities on issues of public policy.

Ms. Brabham joins CICU after a twenty-six-year career in public service. Most recently, she served as Commissioner of the New York State Department of Civil Service and President of the Civil Service Commission. In that role, she led the central personnel agency for the Executive Branch of New York State Government, serving approximately 150,000 employees. She also directed the administration of the civil service merit system for state and local government and the New York State Health Insurance Program — one of the largest public employer health insurance programs in the nation.

Prior to leading the Department of Civil Service, Ms. Brabham was Deputy Commissioner for Administration and Chief Financial Officer for the New York State Department of Labor, managing internal operations and overseeing the fiscal health of the agency’s $4 billion budget. In addition, she has served as the Assistant Deputy Secretary for Health, Medicaid and Oversight and the Director of Human Services in the New York State Executive Chamber. She also held senior positions in the New York State Division of Budget. Her career began as a Legislative Budget Analyst for the Assembly Ways and Means Committee and as Chief of Staff in the New York State Assembly.

Ms. Brabham possesses a dual Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and Sociology from the State University of New York and a Master of Public Administration from Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy.

President Brabham was recently named to City & State 2023 Upstate Power 100, which recognizes 100 New Yorkers who are leading Upstate NY’s renaissance, PoliticsNY’s Power Players in Education, and City & State’s 2023 Higher Education Power 100. She serves as a Board Director for the Empire Justice Center, Proctor’s Theatre, the Albany Black Chamber of Commerce, the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy, and the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society. Ms. Brabham is a member of the NYS Private Student Loan Refinancing Task Force, the NYS Department of Education Advisory Council on Higher Education, and the NYS Department of Health Board for Professional Medical Conduct.

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