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President Hughes elected to head Providence Chamber’s Board as new Chair

November 15, 2021

The Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce (the “Chamber”) announced today that its Board of Directors have elected Dr. Meghan Hughes, Ph.D., president of the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI), as the organization’s next Board chair.

Hughes will succeed Alden Anderson, Jr., Senior Vice President at CBRE, Inc., when his term expires on January 1, 2022. Hughes has been a member of the Chamber Board since October 1, 2017.

“I am honored to be selected to lead the Board of Directors for the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce at such a pivotal time in our state’s history, and I look forward to advancing the Chamber’s mission of championing economic prosperity and quality of life for Rhode Islanders,” said Meghan Hughes, president of the Community College of Rhode Island. “I know firsthand the critical role the Chamber plays in creating a robust economy for the state of Rhode Island. CCRI has long been part of this effort, ensuring employers have access to a well-educated and skilled workforce. As chair, I am committed to supporting even stronger partnerships between business, higher education, and workforce training to ensure more equitable outcomes and advancement opportunities for all residents, and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve.”

“We are grateful for Alden’s leadership and commitment to advancing the Chamber’s economic development, advocacy and business growth initiatives in his tenure as chair. His steady and encouraging hand during the pandemic has also been invaluable in helping us to serve our members and community during these extraordinary times,” said Chamber President Laurie White. “We look forward to Alden continuing to share his expertise and energy as a Board member.”

“As chair, Dr. Hughes will bring a high level of experience and dynamism in a wide range of areas which will be vital to the Chamber’s role in Rhode Island’s pandemic recovery, workforce development, helping small businesses thrive, strengthening the business climate and supporting our community,” said White.

“No doubt, the ongoing labor shortage is a top concern for businesses, consumers and policy makers. The Chamber is laser focused on workforce development which will be a central theme to our work in the coming year. Dr. Hughes’ leadership is an ideal complement to these efforts.” said White. “The Community College of Rhode Island is an engine of workforce development with success in collaborating with the business community to respond to the needs of today’s employers and students seeking a brighter future for themselves and their families.”  

With 30 years of experience in higher education and the nonprofit sector, Dr. Meghan Hughes became the fifth president of the Community College of Rhode Island on Feb. 1, 2016. CCRI is the largest community college in New England with four main campuses. The college serves more than 45,000 Rhode Islanders annually and boasts more than 80,000 alumni.

As president, Hughes leads ongoing transformation at the community college, with a focus on student success. She is committed to providing Rhode Islanders with an outstanding college education that leads to strong learning outcomes, successful degree attainment and robust labor market outcomes.

Hughes has placed closing equity performance gaps at the center of her work. Under her leadership, the college achieved the highest graduation rates in more than 20 years, outpacing national two-and three-year graduation rates, and was named the 2019 two-year college of the year by Education Dive magazine.

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