Mary Chikwinya. Photo by Stuart Isett.

Lieutenant Gov. Cyrus Habib has announced that Mary Chikwinya, former vice president for student services at Tacoma Community College, has been named director of higher education.

In her role, Chikwinya will assume responsibility for the administration of the Complete Washington program — a statewide adult higher education initiative designed to address both workforce and individual needs by creating low-cost, high-demand degree programs specifically tailored to meet the needs of working adults.

Chikwinya has more than 20 years of professional experience working in two- and four-year institutions throughout the state. Prior to joining the office, she served as vice president for student services at TCC, where she was instrumental in developing a partnership with the Tacoma Housing Authority. Chikwinya also served as interim co-president of TCC for 17 months, providing leadership and strategic direction for the college until a permanent replacement had been named. In addition to TCC, she has also worked at Pierce, Highline, and Green River community colleges, as well as at Washington State University.