Nancy Cable, Arthur Vining Davis Foundations

TITLE: President

FUNDING AREAS: Private higher education, religion, and public television

CONTACT: Visit PeopleFinder for email and phone number (paid subscribers only)

PROFILE: Nancy J. Cable is a passionate believer in a sound liberal arts education and the ability of higher education institutions to help provide high school teachers with the content knowledge and pedagogical skills needed to deliver quality instruction to better prepare students for college. These qualities make her a perfect fit for leadership of the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, where she was appointed president in October 2012.

Her foundation bio shares:

Dr. Nancy J. Cable was appointed as President of The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations in October of 2012. A nationally recognized leader in higher education, educational access, finance and affordability, and liberal arts curricula, she served as faculty member and dean at Denison University from 1977-1986, Guilford College from 1986-1991, and Vice President and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid at Davidson College from 1991-2005 leading a college wide effort to advance selectivity, diversity, financial capacity, and strategic planning. In this role and together with Davidson trustees, faculty and student leaders and alumni, she advanced the knowledge -- and national positioning -- of Davidson College into the top 10 liberal arts colleges in the nation. From 2005-2009, she served as Vice President for Development in the College of Engineering at the University of Virginia and later with UVa’s Semester at Sea Program. Following 3 years of service as Bates College’s Vice President, the Bates College Board of Trustees elected
Dr. Cable as Interim President, a position that allowed her to help lead college wide efforts on governance, faculty and curricular issues, and matters of diversity and inclusion.

A member of Phi Beta Kappa, she earned her B.A. in history from Marietta College, a Master’s degree from the University of Vermont and her Ph.D. in higher education history from the University of Virginia. She also graduated from the Harvard University Institute from Educational Leadership. A noted writer on the history of American higher education, she has focused on the history of liberal arts colleges during the progressive era from 1870-1915. She has written articles on higher education governance, access and quality in selective college admission, and assisted in the writing and research for an amicus brief from a small group of liberal arts colleges for the Supreme Court’s Grutter case on preferential admission for underrepresented populations at highly selective colleges.

Dr. Cable is one of the charter founders of the University of Virginia Semester at Sea Desmond Tutu Program in Global Understanding and the CY Tung Scholars program on US-China Relations. She is a Fulbright Senior Specialist and has consulted with the Director of the Fulbright Center in Hong Kong on the development of the liberal arts curricula within the evolving Chinese higher education system.

Her professional service has included membership on many Boards of Trustees for schools and colleges, and includes the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, Marietta College, the National Conference of Christians and Jews, The College Board Task Force on Equity in Higher Education, The Council of Independent Colleges, Council for the Advancement and Support of Education Admission and Financial Aid Task Force, the Maine Public Broadcasting System, the WJCT Public Radio and Television Board in Jacksonville, and she currently serves as Chairperson of the Better Angels Society that advises and supports Ken Burns’ work as America’s leading filmmaker of long form historical documentaries. In January 2017, she was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the National Trust for the Humanities in Washington D.C.