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CYNTHIA D. SHAPIRA, Ed.D.

President

Cynthia D. Shapira is in her seventh year as chairwoman of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education’s Board of Governors.  She initiated complete system redesign to achieve access and affordability, close attainment gaps, ensure financial sustainability, and ensure excellence in public higher education system governance excellence. Cindy is vice-chair of the Brandeis University board of trustees, a member of the board of directors of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and a former trustee of Point Park University. She also current serves on the Allegheny County Airport Authority board and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

Cindy is a past chair of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh board and past vice-chair of the Jewish Federations of North America board. She also has chaired the Advisory Board of the Pennsylvania Center for Women In Politics at Chatham University and served on the boards of the Pittsburgh Promise, United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, and WQED Pittsburgh.


Cindy was the founder and chairwoman of the Southwestern PA United Way’s 21&Able Initiative to address the needs of youth with varying abilities aging out of special education and to promote a right and entrée to work agenda. She was Honorary Chair of Allegheny County 365, a project to dramatically increase inclusion and access for individuals of varying abilities in Allegheny County.


She served as a vice-chair of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf's transition team and worked on the Governor's Advisory Board on Education and Workforce Development. She was appointed by Governor Tom Corbett to the Pennsylvania Commission on Women. She was an Elector in the 2012 Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Electoral
College and on the 2014 Federal Judiciary Selection Panel for the Western Pennsylvania District.


Cindy was named a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania in 2017, City & State’s 2022 Pennsylvania Fifty Over 50, and City & State’s 2022 Higher Education Power 100.


Her educational background includes a doctorate in higher education management at the University of Pennsylvania (Graduate School of Education), an M.P.A. from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a B.A. from Wellesley College.


She was a management consultant for over twenty years in the education and non-profit sectors with KPMG and then executive vice president of Pappas Consulting Group, Inc. Representative clients included two state public higher education systems, Loyola University (Chicago), Sonoma State University, SUNY Maritime, Grinnell College, Western Carolina University, Northern Michigan University, University of Kansas, St. Paul’s School, UNICEF USA, National Council of Churches, and Hadassah, WZOA.