Shelley Banker

Shelley Banker is a visionary leader passionate about changing inequities in education for Colorado youth, and organizing and empowering communities. Shelley is the Executive Director of the Community College of Denver (CCD) Foundation. Prior to CCD, Shelley served at the Colorado Department of Higher Education (CDHE) since 2014 as an executive leader across areas on equity while also providing operational leadership, budget and policy planning, and administration for the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative (COSI) staff and Advisory Board. As the Managing Director of the COSI, Shelley and her team secured key administrative changes to improve the program’s capabilities and financial sustainability from the General Fund and American Rescue Plan funds. In 2019, Shelley was promoted to serve as the Senior Advisor to the office of Educational Equity, playing a pivotal role to establish the Colorado Department of Higher Education’s vision to address income, racial and ethnic disparities in access and completion of postsecondary degrees and credentials. In the role, Shelley worked with the Colorado Equity Champions Coalition to write the inaugural Report on Educational Equity and ensured that the work was aligned with institutional priorities and the Department’s strategic plan.
Shelley received her MSW from University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work focusing on community and social change, with an emphasis on promoting stable housing, education and workforce development for communities that are traditionally underserved. Shelley is a proud participant of the Leadership Denver Class of 2022.

Prior to graduate school, Shelley utilized her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from University of Colorado Denver and specialized in marketing in the higher education technology and e-learning space. Shelley is a parent advisor on the Rabbi Steven Foster ELC Leadership Team, serves as the fundraising committee chair of Polite Tumor, and has past experience as a Court Appointed Special Advocate with Denver CASA. She is from Colorado, and enjoys introducing her daughter to everything nature has to offer.