Dr. Brian Bridges

Dr. Brian Bridges

Secretary of Higher Education, NJ Office of the Secretary of Higher Education


Brian Bridges, Ph.D., currently serves as Secretary of Higher Education for the State of New Jersey, and is responsible for policy development and coordination of higher education activities. 

Dr. Bridges previously served as Vice President of Research and Member Engagement at the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) where he led UNCF’s Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute (FDPRI) and the Institute for Capacity Building (ICB). He also served as the organization’s chief research officer, principal editor and contributor to FDPRI’s publications, as well as the manager of internal and external projects involving capacity building, evaluation, and assessment. 

Prior to joining UNCF, Dr. Bridges served in various leadership roles, including Vice Provost for Diversity, Access, and Equity at Ohio University; Associate Director of the Center for Advancement of Racial and Ethnic Equity at the American Council on Education (ACE); Associate Director at the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE); and Assistant Professor of Higher Education Administration at George Washington University. Throughout his career, Dr. Bridges has served as a media resource and provided expert perspective and analysis on issues related to student engagement, Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), learning environments at minority-serving institutions and success factors for African American college students at predominantly white institutions. 

Dr. Bridges earned his Doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Indiana University–Bloomington, a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of North Carolina–Charlotte, and a Bachelor’s of Arts in English Language and Literature from Francis Marion University.