Derrick Ramsey has decades of experience working in Kentucky’s higher education system. He began his career as a Community Relations Officer at the University of Kentucky before becoming Athletic Director at Kentucky State University, where he developed the Student Athlete Excellence in Academics program. Under his leadership, Kentucky State athletics produced more Presidential Scholars than any other school department. Secretary Ramsey also served for seven years as the Director of Athletics for Coppin State University in Baltimore.
Most recently, Ramsey served as the Secretary of the Labor Cabinet under Gov. Bevin, where he was responsible for administering worker compensation and workplace standard laws for 1.9 million Kentucky workers and employers. Ramsey also served as Deputy Secretary of Commerce under former Gov. Ernie Fletcher, where he managed a $50 million budget and oversaw human resources for the agency.
As Labor Secretary, Ramsey emphasized workplace safety education and helped to streamline and modernize the state’s litigation management system for workers’ claims. Ramsey also revived Kentucky’s Registered Apprenticeship Program to better recruit and train the next generation of workers. Over 1,000 Kentucky employers have joined the program, which offers paid on-the-job training for participants.
Ramsey is also an accomplished athlete and was the first African-American starting quarterback for the University of Kentucky football team. His athletic abilities vaulted him to a nine-year career in the NFL, which included a Super Bowl championship in 1981.
Ramsey resides with his wife in Lexington, Kentucky.
On April 17, 2018, The Kentucky Board of Education named Dr. Wayne D. Lewis, Jr., the interim commissioner of education. Lewis is a University of Kentucky professor and most recently served as the executive director of educational programs with the Kentucky Cabinet for Education and Workforce Development. He has taken a leave of absence from UK and resigned his position with the Cabinet to serve as interim commissioner.
Lewis has more than 15 years of experience in public education, serving professionally in public school districts, higher education institutions and state government. He has served as an advisor to the Kentucky Board of Education, the Education & Workforce Secretary’s Designee on Kentucky’s Early Childhood Advisory Council (ECAC) and chair of Kentucky’s Charter Schools Advisory Council. His research, writing and teaching encompass the areas of education policy and politics, human capital and human resources management in education organizations.
“I am incredibly humbled and excited to serve the Commonwealth in this position, and pledge to work every day on behalf of all the students and families across Kentucky, Lewis said. “We need to refocus the conversation on kids and on improving education for them. Our children need to be our number one priority.”
Dr. Lewis completed an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice at Loyola University New Orleans. He earned a master’s degree in Urban Studies with a concentration in Public Administration at The University of Akron, and a Ph.D. in Educational Research and Policy Analysis with a cognate in Public Administration at North Carolina State University. He serves on the ministerial team at Wesley United Methodist Church in Lexington and is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.
Dr. Lewis is a native of New Orleans, LA, and has called Kentucky his home since 2009. He is married to an educator and has a young daughter.
Aaron Thompson is a nationally recognized leader in higher education with a focus on policy, student success and organizational leadership and design. He serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer for the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education and as Professor of Sociology in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Eastern Kentucky University. He recently served as Interim President of Kentucky State University. Dr. Thompson holds a Ph.D. in Sociology in areas of Organizational Behavior and Race and Gender Relations.
His leadership experience spans 27 years across higher education, business and numerous non-profit boards. Thompson has researched, taught and consulted in areas of diversity, leadership, ethics, multicultural families, race and ethnic relations, student success, first-year students, retention, cultural competence and organizational design throughout his career.
As a highly sought after national speaker, Thompson has presented more than 800 workshops, seminars and invited lectures in areas of race and gender diversity, living an unbiased life, overcoming obstacles to gain success, creating a school environment for academic success, cultural competence, workplace interaction, leadership, organizational goal setting, building relationships, the first-year seminar, and a variety of other topics. He continues to serve as a consultant to educational institutions (elementary, secondary and postsecondary), corporations, non-profit organizations, police departments and other governmental agencies.
Gene Hutchins is Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority / Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation. He previously served as Chief Financial Officer of the New Jersey Office of Student Assistance where he focused on capital market financing of student loans associated with the annual funding of the organization’s alternative loan program. For the eight previous years, he was Director of Accounting and Purchasing for the New Jersey Department of Higher Education and was responsible for the financial delivery of a wide array of direct institutional support programs, academic grant-in-aid programs, state and federal student financial aid programs, and capital programs financed through both annual appropriation and general obligation bond issues, and for the oversight of the Department’s administrative budgets. Gene also spent five years as Assistant Director of the Department’s Office of Budget and Fiscal Planning and three years on its internal audit staff. Gene holds a bachelor of arts in economics and a master of business administration in accounting from Temple University.