Colleen Walker

CEO, Auraria Higher Education Center

In July 2019, Colleen Walker was named the Chief Executive Officer of the Auraria Higher Education Center. In this unique role, Walker oversees the strategy and operations for Colorado’s largest higher education campus. Collectively, the Auraria Campus serves 45,000 students, faculty, and staff of the Community College of Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the University of Colorado Denver in downtown Denver. Previously, she served as Vice President for University Partnerships at Academic Partnerships, a global online services provider in higher education.

In Dallas, Walker served as the Eugene McDermott Chief Executive Officer for the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, where she led the transformation to operationalize the newly built museum. She directly oversaw the acquisition of Ellie May – a Columbian mammoth; the launch of both the Kosmos Energy STEM Teacher Institute and the Dell TECH Truck; the first US visit from National Geographic World Explorer, Dr. Lee Berger; and, the first self-curated exhibition, The Eye of the Collector, which saw over 100,000 visitors and garnered media attention.

As CEO of Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas, Walker successfully integrated the merger of 3 separate Girl Scout Councils into a unified organization to increase mission impact and was a key member of the national strategy team to define Girl Scouting in the 21st century. She also launched a capital campaign for two camps, including a historic South Dallas location that has been transformed into a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Center of Excellence; this model has been adopted at the national level by Girl Scouts of the USA for other Girl Scout Councils across the country to replicate.

Working to develop female leaders and advocating for increased opportunities and education in STEM have been Walker’s priorities since college. In 1996, she founded Engineers of Dreams, a nonprofit organization promoting math and science literacy among fourth- through ninth-grade students, especially girls and young women, in Texas, Colorado, and Louisiana. Through this work, Walker visited 175 schools and developed a multimedia educational program to encourage more than 60,000 participating students to pursue a technical education.

Walker graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a bachelor’s degree in architectural engineering. In 2000, she received a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard University. While at Harvard, she was awarded the Horace W. Goldsmith Fellowship for outstanding contributions to a nonprofit organization. In 2015, Walker joined the National Endowment for Financial Empowerment Board of Trustees, and was elected Vice-Chair; Walker also serves as a national board member for the Miss America Foundation.

Colleen has been married to Felipe Gumucio for 27 years, and they have two children, Isabella and Jacob.

November 9, 2021