Sandra Elman is the President of the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) in Redmond, Washington. From 2003-2006, Dr. Elman served as Chair of the Council of Regional Accrediting Commissions (CRAC) that is comprised of the directors and chairs of the seven regional accrediting commissions. Prior to assuming the position of the President of NWCCU in 1996, Dr. Elman was the Associate Director of the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Before joining regional accreditation, Dr. Elman held a variety of administrative and faculty positions at the John McCormack Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Massachusetts; the University of Maryland and the University of California, Berkeley. She has published extensively in the fields of public policy and higher education and is coauthor of New Priorities for the University: Educating Competent Individuals for Applied Knowledge and Societal Needs.
She has lectured nationally and internationally on issues related to quality assurance; institutional finance and governance; and the roles of government and business/industry. She is an adjunct faculty member at Oregon State University. Dr. Elman serves as an evaluator for international quality assurance agencies including for the Center for Accreditation and Quality Assurance of Swiss Universities. She is a past Chair of the Board of Trustees of Unity College in Unity, Maine, which is an environmentally focused liberal arts institution. Her academic areas of interest include: accreditation/federal/institutional relations; quality assurance in the U.S. and Europe; governance of public and private higher education institutions; and conflict resolution and international peace. Sandra Elman received her B.A. degree in history and political science from Hunter College in New York and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in policy, planning and administration from the University of California, Berkeley. She is a 2005 graduate of the Department of Defense National Security Seminar, U.S. Army War College.