Leadership Structure

The Nebraska P-16 Initiative is governed by a 32-member Leadership Council which assures representation of a broad spectrum of organizations in education, business, and state government.  A smaller Executive Committee oversees the Initiative's ongoing operations.


Under the leadership of Governor Dave Heineman, who serves as Chair of the Nebraska P-16 Initiative, four co-chairs are responsible for key areas critical to the Initiative's success.  They are:

Senator Kate Sullivan, Chair of the Education Committee of the Nebraska Legislature. A former Cooperation Extension Service educator and administrator with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She has served on the board of directors of community banks, most recently at the Cedar Rapids State Bank in Cedar Rapids, NE. Senator Sullivan is P-16 co-chair for public policy.

Matt Blomstedt, Nebraska Commissioner of Education - Commissioner Blomstedt is P-16 co-chair for K-12 education.

Liz Koop, President and CEO of the EducationQuest Foundation - a private, nonprofit organization headquartered in Lincoln.  The foundation's mission is to improve access to higher education in Nebraska.  It pursues this mission by providing free college-planning services, need-based scholarships, and college-access grants to high schools to improve college-going rates.  She is active in the National College Access Network and the National Scholarship Providers Association.  Ms. Koop is P-16 co-chair for college access.

James Linder, Interim President of the University of Nebraska.  Interim President Linder is P-16 co-chair for higher education.

Nebraska P-16 Leadership Council
Nebraska P-16 Executive Committee Member

Dennis G. Baack* -- Nebraska Community College Association Judi M. Gaiashkibos -- Nebraska Commission on Indian Affairs Carna Pfeil* -- Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education
Wendy Boyer -- Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce Tracy Gordon -- Nebraska Association for the Education of Young Children Patrick Slattery* -- Omaha Archdiocesan Schools
Wendy Birdsall -- Lincoln Chamber of Commerce Governor Dave Heineman* -- Office of the Governor John Spatz* -- Nebraska Association of School Boards
Matt Blomstedt * -- Nebraska Department of Education Barry Kennedy* -- Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry Lazaro Spindola -- Latino American Commission
David Brown -- Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce Liz S. Koop* -- EducationQuest Foundation Lori Staab -- Nebraska School Counselors Association
Stanley Carpenter* -- Nebraska State College System Barry Kennedy* -- Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry Senator Kate Sullivan * -- Nebraska Legislature, Education Committee
Craig R. Christiansen* -- Nebraska State Education Association Catherine Lang* -- Nebraska Department of Economic Development Bob Whitehouse -- University of Nebraska Board of Regents
Thomas Christie -- NAACP Education Committee Marc LeBaron -- Nebraska Business-Higher Education Forum Kerry T. Winterer -- Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services
Michael S. Dulaney* -- Nebraska Council of School Administrators James Linder* -- University of Nebraska Rachel Wise -- Nebraska State Board of Education
LeeAnn Espinoza-Farthing – Nebraska PTA Gerry A. Oligmueller -- State Budget Administrator  
Susan Fritz -- University of Nebraska Tip O'Neill* -- Nebraska Association of Independent Colleges and Universities  
Committee Staff
Tammy Barry -- Nebraska Legislature, Education Committee LaMont Rainey -- Nebraska Legislature, Education Committee
Cheryl Wolf -- Governor's Policy Research Office Brian Halstead -- Nebraska Department of Education  
3835 Holdrege Street, Lincoln, NE 68583 | 402.472.2111 | Office Hours: 8:00 A.M - 5:00 P.M.
University of Nebraska Board of Regents