Teresa Lubbers Joins
Sagamore Institute as President

Founding president Jay Hein to become chief executive officer

I am confident Teresa will continue to expand upon Sagamore’s reputation of excellence by working alongside valued partners and encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation

Teresa’s exceptional reputation in our community and her track record for moving ideas into action make her the perfect choice to fulfill our mission to build and implement solutions to society’s biggest problems.

Teresa Lubbers will serve as president, while founding president Jay Hein will become the organization’s first chief executive officer. Lubbers served as Indiana’s commissioner for higher education for 13 years. When she left in April, she was the nation’s longest-serving state higher education executive officer. Before being named commissioner, Lubbers served in the Indiana Senate for 17 years and became one of the nation’s leading education policy experts. 

Meet Teresa Lubbers

Prior to joining Sagamore, Teresa Lubbers served 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, Lubbers served in the Indiana State Senate for 17 years, leading on education and economic development issues as Chair of the Senate Education and Career Development Committee.

During her tenure as Commissioner, Lubbers worked to increase college completion, ensure academic quality and student learning, and align postsecondary credentials with meaningful careers. She partnered with policymakers and higher education leaders to develop and implement the state’s higher education strategic plans, including the Commission’s current plan, “Reaching Higher in a State of Change.”

Lubbers served as the Chair of Indiana’s Governor’s Workforce Cabinet. She is a past chair and member of both the State Higher Education Executive Officers and the Midwestern Higher Education Compact. Lubbers is the past chair and current member of the Higher Learning Advocates Board of Directors and immediate past chair for the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements. Additionally, she served as Commissioner for the Education Commission of the States, a member of the Advisory Council for the Institute for Workforce Excellence, and the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning.

Lubbers is past chair and current member of the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis and Chair of the YMCA Foundation. She is the co-founder of the Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series and serves as an Elder at Tabernacle Presbyterian Church.

Lubbers holds an undergraduate degree from Indiana University and a Master in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Featured Work

Lubbers Reflects on Career as Higher Ed Commissioner

Teresa shared highlights from her more than 12 years as Indiana’s commissioner for higher education.

IBJ: Education Champion Doesn’t Shy From Tough Challenges


Was this change initiated by the Sagamore board of trustees?

No, this opportunity emerged in conversation between Jay Hein and Teresa Lubbers as the two discussed Lubbers’ next steps after stepping down as Indiana’s Commissioner for Higher Education. Following several months of discussion, the concept of the CEO-President leadership structure was proposed to the Sagamore Institute board of trustees. The board unanimously endorsed this course of action.


What will Jay Hein's role be going forward?

As CEO of Sagamore Institute and its sister organization, Commonwealth Impact Foundation, Jay Hein will devote his time to developing overall strategy, managing strategic relationships, and seeking opportunities for growth. Hein will remain active in both organizations on a day-to-day basis and continue to serve as a voting member of Sagamore Institute’s board of trustees.

What will be Teresa Lubbers' initial priorities?

Lubbers will initially focus on three priorities. First, she will promote Sagamore’s solution set in Indiana and nationally to influence greater change. Second, she will lead development of a new education and workforce center at Sagamore. And third, she will help Sagamore chart a strategy for the think tank’s next chapter.

Is Sagamore Institute primarily an Indiana-focused organization?

Sagamore Institute was formed in early 2004 when former U.S. Senator Dan Coats and Jay Hein determined America needed a think tank based on the heartland’s values and geography to contrast the noise and rancor coming from Washington, D.C. Accordingly, Sagamore has always prioritized local solutions and service to Indiana. However, throughout its history Sagamore has been both an exporter and importer of promising innovations – from as close by as neighboring states to as far afield as Liberia and Israel.

Are Sagamore and Commonwealth separate organizations? How do the two organizations complement one another?

Yes, Sagamore Institute and Commonwealth Impact Foundation are separate 501(c)(3) organizations governed by independent boards. Jay Hein serves as CEO and a board member of both organizations, with several staff also supporting both entities.


Sagamore Institute produces insights into sticky problems and emerging solutions through thought leadership, convening, and applied research. Commonwealth helps to sustain new ideas and innovations through strategic philanthropy and enterprise. Learn more about our model here.

What are Sagamore’s history and key accomplishments to date?

Please browse Our Story and Our Anniversary Reports for more information.

Who can I contact about an interview or other media inquiries?

For media inquiries or requests for comment please email media@sagamoreinstiute.org

How can I access a copy of Teresa's headshot?

Please click here to download a .JPG image file.