Ruth V. Watkins is president of Strada Impact, where she leads Strada Education Network’s research, philanthropy, thought leadership, and policy efforts to help more individuals access and complete postsecondary education and training to improve their careers and lives.
Before joining Strada in 2021, Watkins built a strong reputation for supporting social change and community workforce needs as the 16th president of the University of Utah. During her tenure, the university produced more graduates in high-demand fields than any other state institution, and those graduates secured employment or proceeded to graduate or professional school at noteworthy rates.
Watkins previously served as the university’s senior vice president for academic affairs for five years and also spent 20 years in leadership and faculty roles at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Northern Iowa and a master’s degree and a doctorate in child language from the University of Kansas.