Carrie Besnette Hauser, Ph.D.
Since 2013, Dr. Carrie Besnette Hauser has served as president and CEO of Colorado Mountain College, a uniquely-financed, dual mission, public, Hispanic Serving Institution enrolling over 15,000 students annually at 11 campuses in the central Rocky Mountains. Previous to CMC, Hauser held leadership roles at the Kauffman Foundation, Metropolitan State University of Denver and the Daniels Fund. While at Daniels, she was a loaned executive advising Denver’s mayor on a citywide college scholarship program and assisting the Metro Denver Sports Commission on an initiative to attract top-tier sporting events, including the Olympic Games. She co-chaired the 2012 Women’s Final Four, held at Denver’s Pepsi Center.
Hauser is the immediate past chair of the Colorado Parks & Wildlife Commission and a member of the Vail Valley Foundation and American Council on Education boards of directors. She serves on the El Pomar Foundation’s Northwest Regional Council and is past president of the National Scholarship Providers Association.
Hauser’s prior board service includes Great Outdoors Colorado, American Rivers, Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank Economic Advisory Council, Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association, Vail Valley Partnership, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce and its Leadership Foundation, Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation, Metro Denver Sports Commission, American Red Cross Mile High Chapter and Visit Denver. Previous gubernatorial appointments were to the Colorado Women’s Centennial Vote Commission, Colorado’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Health Care Reform and the Colorado Commission on Higher Education. She has been recognized as Citizen of the Year by the Glenwood Springs Chamber of Commerce, 9News Leader of the Year, and one of the Fifty for the Future of Colorado.
Hauser’s background includes teaching assignments at UCLA, the University of Denver and Colorado State University. She has held research and legislative staff roles as well as positions with the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education and the University of Arizona, her undergraduate alma mater. She earned her master’s and Ph.D. degrees from UCLA and completed the Advanced Management Program at the Wharton School of Business.
An avid outdoorswoman, Hauser has climbed to the Mount Everest basecamp and has summited Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Rainier, and Colorado’s 58 highest peaks (14ers). She held the proud title of “Swamper” while working many summers for Hatch River Expeditions in Grand Canyon National Park near her beloved hometown of Flagstaff, Arizona. She and her husband enjoy skiing, hiking, boating, biking and exploring the Rocky Mountain West and remote places around the world.