Commencement Speaker

Elizabeth Brownlee Kolmstetter ’85 will be the guest speaker at Hollins University’s 179th Commencement Exercises.

Kolmstetter holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in industrial and organizational psychology from Virginia Tech and has pioneered numerous innovative talent management programs across eight federal agencies. She has excelled at leading organizational change across some of our nation’s most prominent agencies such as the FBI, ODNI, and CIA. After 9/11, Kolmstetter helped start the new Transportation Security Administration where she led the hiring of the largest civilian workforce in U.S. history in one year.

She currently serves as NASA’s director of talent strategy and engagement. Her efforts have contributed to NASA being named the Best Place to Work in government and she was recently recognized with NASA’s 2020 Outstanding Leadership Medal. She is a member of the Hollins University Board of Trustees, has served on several nonprofit boards, and is the recipient of Hollins’ Distinguished Alumnae Award and Hollins’ Honoris Causa.

Kolmstetter is married to Michael (M.A.L.S. ’90) and her mother is Paula P. Brownlee, who was president of Hollins from 1981 – 1990.