Stephens College has hired Elizabeth Herrera as executive director of Mission Promise Kept, the first comprehensive college program designed to meet the full spectrum of living and learning needs of our nation’s women veterans. Herrera will be responsible for overseeing the day-to-day administrative activities of the program and driving the success of its many service-related programs. Herrera will begin at Stephens on April 4.
The goal of Mission Promise Kept is to improve the college retention, graduation and career success of our nation’s women warriors. Participants and their children will live in an on-campus apartment and receive the wraparound support they need to thrive through a coordinated network of programs and services.
Stephens College believes that every American veteran deserves gratitude, respect and support, and Mission Promise Kept is designed to address the unique challenges women veterans face as they struggle to return to civilian life. The pilot cohort will begin in the fall and include 10 women veterans and their children, with the aim of expanding. The College hopes other institutions will see this as an efficient and effective model to replicate on their own campuses.
“We aspire to empower women veterans to earn their college degrees, to achieve professional success and to attain financial independence,” said Stephens College President Dianne Lynch. “I can’t think of anyone better than Elizabeth to lead this important initiative. She is a driving force in the Columbia nonprofit community, and for years has used her talents, networking and willpower to increase the services and scope of the organizations she supports. We are looking forward to her doing the same for one of our community’s most important populations.”
“I firmly believe a community can be transformed when we invest in women,” said Herrera. “Mission Promise Kept will invest in our women warriors and their children, who have sacrificed so much in the service of our country.”
Herrera has a decade of diverse nonprofit leadership experience. Most recently, she served as executive director of True North of Columbia, which provides safety, shelter, education and transitional support for those who have been affected by domestic and sexual violence. She was responsible for managing vision, community engagement and involvement, program operations, fundraising and fiscal management.
Herrera holds a bachelor's degree in anthropology with a focus on women and gender from Auburn University. She earned her master's degree in nonprofit management at Florida Atlantic University.