Katie Zaback

Vice President of Policy

Katie Zaback has more than 20 years of experience working with states, postsecondary institutions, and nonprofit entities to use data and research to maximize their impact. As senior policy director at the Colorado Department of Higher Education, Katie worked with the Colorado Commission on Higher Education and executive director to define and execute an ambitious policy agenda that will result in greater affordability, equity, and postsecondary success for all Coloradans. Katie loves helping organizations transform the way they look at data so they can support stronger policy and better execution.

As the director of research at Complete College America, Katie empowered data and research professionals across the country to lead policy changes in their states and institutions. She also served as a senior policy analyst at State Higher Education Executive Officers Association where she represented states in national higher education policy discussions, conducted policy research, and advocated for policies to improve state higher education. Prior to joining the policy space, Katie worked with non-profit organizations, government services providers, and postsecondary institutions, helping them use data to inform their operations and maximize their outcomes.

Committed to education equity, she was a founding board member of YouthRoots, a nonprofit that uses the philanthropic process to empower youth to make an impact in their community. She also recently started a Denver chapter of Integrated Schools and volunteered as a mentor, group leader and facilitator at Colorado Youth at Risk for more than a decade. 

Katie has a master’s degree in Public Administration with a focus in policy analysis from Indiana University at Bloomington, a master’s certificate in Database Design from Regis University, and a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from Hastings College. 

She lives in Colorado with her husband Don, daughters Madelyn and Sally, and dog Beezus. As a family, they love to swim, play at the park, and spend time in the mountains hiking, tubing, or skiing.