Kristen Barnes-Holiday

Kristen Barnes-Holiday

Detroit Workforce System Leadership Development Academy, Class of 2017, Economic Opportunities Program

Dean of Workforce and Regional Training, Regional Training Center, Wayne County Community College District, Detroit, MI

Dr. Kristen Barnes-Holiday considers herself a product of the Northwest side of Detroit, having been born, raised, and educated in the city, which she holds close to her heart. She completed her doctoral education at Eastern Michigan University, earning a Ph.D. in Educational Studies (Urban Education). As a researcher, administrator, and advocate for systemic inequality and social justice, Dr. Barnes-Holiday prides herself in spearheading systemic change both educationally and economically; she firmly believes that all Detroiters’ should have access to an equitable education and viable employment.

Dr. Barnes-Holiday currently serves as the Dean of Workforce and Regional Training in the Regional Training Center at Wayne County Community College District (WCCCD). As a dean within the Regional Training Center, Dr. Barnes-Holiday oversees efforts to engage Detroiters in the workforce. Prior to joining WCCCD, Dr. Barnes-Holiday worked as the Director of Policy and Program Outcomes with Reading Works in Detroit. Within this role, she oversaw collaborative efforts between Reading Works and nine partner agencies, working diligently to develop collective solutions to addressing adult illiteracy in Metro Detroit.

Dr. Barnes-Holiday is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Phi Delta Kappa International Fraternity and Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education, and she is a board member of the Detroit Economic Club Young Leaders.

Kristen Barnes-Holiday is a member of the Detroit Workforce System Leadership Development Academy Class of 2017, one of several Workforce Leadership Academies in localities across North America.

The Workforce Leadership Academies are part of the Economic Opportunity Fellows Network, a network of leadership and fellowship programs run by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program. Within this Network, EOP connects national and local leaders from across sectors — nonprofit, government, business, philanthropy, academia, and more — to advance policies and practices with the potential to help low- and moderate-income Americans thrive in today’s economy. Learn more at