NEFE's Hensley Appointed to Union College Board of Trustees

Dr. Billy Hensley has joined his alma mater’s advisory group as an at-large member.

DENVER—Billy J. Hensley, president and CEO of the Denver-based nonprofit National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®), has been named to the Kentucky-based Union College board of trustees. Hensley joins five new at-large trustees who began their service November 2021.

“I had an exceptional experience at Union College, and I often reflect on my time there as a student when considering what creates educational effectiveness and excellence in my current position,” says Hensley. “I was a first-generation college student and there is no question that the care by which the faculty and staff used to create an environment not only of intellectual growth, but one of interpersonal growth through experiential learning and service to others, was invaluable to my development as a servant leader.”

Union College, based in Barbourville, KY., is the first college founded in the Kentucky mountains. Since its origin in 1879, Union College has provided students from the Appalachia region—and all over the country—with a collegiate experience that ensures lifelong success. Hensley graduated from Union College with both a master’s and bachelor’s degree. Hensley will support the Union board of trustees on the finance, governance, and student support and development committees.

“It is such a pleasure to welcome Dr. Hensley to the Union College board. His knowledge and experience in higher education and financial literacy, and his knowledge of Union’s mission and history, make him a stellar choice for board service,” says Marcia Hawkins, Ph.D., president of Union College.

“I look forward to working with this esteemed group of trustees, who represent a broad range of learning and life success. It is an extraordinary honor to join my alma mater and give back to the next generation of Union students,” adds Hensley.

Hensley was appointed president and CEO of NEFE in 2018. He has led NEFE through the development and execution of its first strategic plan, sharpening the organization’s mission, vision and core values, and cultivating broader transparency and effectiveness. He is charging the organization to Redefine Financial Education through more focused philanthropy, research and collaboration. This is illustrated by the conception and interpretation of the Financial Well-Being Framework, a model for better accountability in the financial capability field. Under Hensley’s leadership, NEFE’s research agenda has driven the national dialogue about financial education including one study ranked in the all-time top 5 percent of the Social Science Research Index. In 2021, NEFE was recognized with the “Setting the Standard” Award from the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education® (AFCPE®).

In addition to Union College, Hensley currently serves on the board of the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, where he chairs the governance committee. Hensley also provides counsel on the Jump$tart Financial Inclusion Advisory Panel, a group focused on K-12 financial education access and inclusion. In 2019, Hensley was named to the CNBC Financial Wellness Advisory Council, a group of financial experts, thought leaders and influencers in financial capability. He also is on the editorial board of the Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning.

Hensley received his Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati, where he was named Outstanding Doctoral Student of the Year in educational studies.

Read more about Hensley and the new trustees named to Union College.

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