Barbara K. Mistick, D.M.


  Barbara K. Mistick, D.M.

Barbara Mistick has led NAICU as president since September 2019. Coming out of the pandemic, she helped organize the higher education community and spearheaded efforts to double the Pell Grant maximum award to $13,000. The effort secured a down payment increase of $400 in the FY2022 federal budget and $500 in the FY2023 federal budget, the largest increases in the Pell Grant maximum award since 2009. NAICU advocacy efforts also helped secure substantial increases in each of the core student and institutional aid programs in the 2023 omnibus spending package.

Mistick expanded NAICU’s mission to secure institutional aid, along with student aid, to ensure private, nonprofit colleges and universities were equitably treated when Congress distributed $77 billion in Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds in each of the three stimulus rounds. She enhanced NAICU’s communication efforts and virtual tools to keep members informed of federal efforts and opportunities for assistance. These efforts were critical to ensuring the health and safety for our nation’s campuses and the communities they serve.

Mistick also led the development and publication of NAICU’s first-ever national economic and community impact study, Private, Nonprofit Higher Education: Shaping Lives and Anchoring Communities.  The study found that the private, nonprofit sector of higher education generates nearly $80 billion in local, state and federal tax revenue, supports 3.4 million jobs while directly employing over 1 million people, and produces over 1 million graduates annually.

During the course of her 30-year career in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, Mistick has been an entrepreneur, educator and leader at institutions such as Wilson College (PA), the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, the H.J. Heinz School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University (PA), the National Education Center for Women in Business at Seton Hill University (PA), and at various businesses she managed and/or founded.  
Mistick’s book, Stretch: How to Future-Proof Yourself for Tomorrow’s Workplace, was designated as an Amazon Editor’s Pick and ranked #12 on the 800-CEO-READ’s Best Seller list. She is a graduate of Carlow University (PA) and the University of Pittsburgh (PA), and earned a doctor of management from Case Western Reserve University (OH).
Vanessa Coello   Vanessa Coello
Executive Assistant to the President

Vanessa Coello joined NAICU in January 2022 with more than 15 years of experience in office administration. She oversees the Office of the President and provides administrative support to the Board of Directors. 
Prior to joining NAICU, Coello assisted C-suite operations at organizations in the Washington, DC area including the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, the 3D Program for Girls and Women at the United Nations Foundation, and NeighborWorks America.
Coello earned a bachelor's degree in English literature from the Catholic University of America (DC).