J Noah Brown

President & CEO


J. Noah Brown is a widely recognized and award-winning higher education policy and governance expert, author, and educator whose experience spans more than three decades in the nation’s capital working in the nonprofit sector.   Noah has served as president and chief executive officer of the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) since 2005 and has worked for the association since 1996.  He also serves on the faculty for the Doctorate in Community College Leadership program at Ferris State University in Michigan.  Noah’s inaugural book, First in the World: Community Colleges and America's Future, won the 2013 Bellwether Book Award. 

Noah has earned a reputation as a popular speaker at a wide array of events, including college commencement and convocation ceremonies, international conferences, state college association conventions and other events.  He has been featured in PARADE magazine's "Intelligence Report" and has contributed writing to a number of publications, currently serving as a contributing columnist to FE News, one of the United Kingdom’s foremost further-education publications, and is a regular commentator for Higher Education Talk Radio

At ACCT, Noah provides national leadership on behalf of more than 6,000 elected and appointed officials governing 1,200 community colleges throughout the United States. Much of his work has focused on strengthening the strategic connections between community college boards and the array of national and state organizations important to supporting the mission of community colleges. In addition to its focus on advocacy, ACCT also provides trustee education and board leadership services to its member boards.

Noah has served in a number of leadership capacities.  He currently serves on the AMHIC Reciprocal Association Board of Directors, and is Past Chair; Member, College Promise Advisory Board and Chair of the Executive Board; Member, Level Up Advisory Board; and Member, Single Stop USA Advisory Board.  He served previously on the boards of National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship and as Ex Officio on Community Colleges for International Development Board and Council for Resource Development Board.  He is past member of American Association of Community Colleges’ 21st-Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges.

Noah represents ACCT on the Washington Higher Education Secretariat and Committee for Education Funding.  He has served as an appointee on the Steering Committee for the United States - Denmark Partnership for Vocational Education, U.S. Department of Education, and as Commissioner on the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, U.S. Department of State.

Noah holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, and an Honorary Associate of Arts from Atlantic Cape Community College in New Jersey.  He is married and the father of two daughters. 

To reach Noah, contact Karen Lomax, Executive Assistant to the President and CEO, at klomax@acct.org.

For inquiries about booking speaking engagements, contact David Conner, Director of Strategic Communications, at dconner@acct.org.