NAICUSE comprises the executive leaders of independent higher education advocate groups, including SCICU, throughout the United States. Currently 39 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico are directly represented in NAICUSE. This executive leadership group, which Perez will lead through 2023, helps inform legislative strategy and advocacy for the National Association of Independent Colleges (NAICU).
“I am humbled and appreciate greatly this opportunity to further serve independent higher education on a national level,” said Perez.
Perez was elected NAICUSE chair during the Feb. 6-9, 2022 Annual Meeting of NAICU in Washington, D.C. Advocating on behalf of private, nonprofit higher education since 1976, NAICU represents nearly 1,000 member independent colleges and universities throughout the United States. As NAICUSE chair, Perez will also serve on the executive committee of NAICU.
“Jeff is an important member of NAICU’s leadership, currently serving on our Board of Directors and our Policy Analysis and Public Relations committee,” said Dr. Barbara Mistick, president of NAICU. “His contributions and his voice have been critical as we’ve established our advocacy and communications priorities in service to our members and their students. We at NAICU welcome Jeff to the helm of NAICUSE and know that he will continue to bring the same energy and commitment to this new role that he routinely shows at both the state level in South Carolina and the national level in Washington, D.C.”
SCICU announced Perez as its seventh president and CEO in September 2018. Prior to joining SCICU, Perez’s higher education leadership in South Carolina included serving as vice president for university relations at Winthrop University and vice president for external affairs at The Citadel. He has also served as director of public affairs for the Charter Schools Institute of the State University of New York and SUNY, and director of research for the New York State School Boards Association.
Perez holds a Ph.D. in American history from the College of William and Mary. He earned a master’s degree from Binghamton University and a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.