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Headshot Carol Lincoln


Senior Vice President

Carol Lincoln is ATD’s senior vice president and a founding staff member. She brings more than 50 years of experience advancing educational access, workforce development, and rural community development to ATD as she works across organizational units to advance ATD’s mission. Carol was Senior Program Director at MDC where she directed MDC’s Rural Community College Initiative (RCCI) national demonstration program to increase educational access and economic opportunity in distressed rural communities.  

From 1998 to 2004, Carol co-led MDC’s international work in Namibia and South Africa, where lessons from RCCI were used to help four-year institutions become catalysts for development in impoverished rural regions. While at MDC, she coauthored Let’s Do It our Way: Working Together for Educational Excellence and America’s Shame, America’s Hope: Twelve Million Youth at Risk, which led to a national PBS television project with journalist Bill Moyers and psychologist/educator/activist Kenneth Clark to raise awareness of the large numbers of youth leaving school unprepared for postsecondary education or careers. Carol also serves on the Boad of Directors for Inspire Success, a nonprofit created to continue work initiated by MDC aimed at using school guidance as the vehicle for  increasing achievement and college going rates in Indiana. 


M.A. (Sociology), B.A. (Mathematics) | State University of New York at Albany 

Past Experience 

Senior Program Director | MDC 

CETA Fellow | National Commission for Employment Policy 

Senior Research Analyst | New York State Manpower Planning Secretariat 

Instructor/Lecturer | State University of New York at Albany, Union College, Columbia-Greene Community College, Carteret Technical College 

How has education changed your life/your family?  

I came from a family lacking resources to pay for college. But teachers and counselors steered me to scholarships, college professors steered me to grad school, and supportive employers gave me opportunities to work beside the smartest minds in higher education and workforce development. Education took me out of a community that was in deep decline and gave me the chance to see America and other parts of the world. It led me to the nonprofit world where I discovered the power of community colleges to change the lives of others with dreams of a better life, too. 

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