Yolanda Ortega

Board Member — Term expires 12/31/2025

Yolanda Ortega

Yolanda Ortega is an accomplished educator, leader, and community advocate. She recently retired from Metropolitan State University of Denver (MSU Denver), where she began working in 1972 and retains the honor of Emerita Vice President of Student Affairs.

Over her 35 years with the university, Yolanda took on several leadership positions, rising to Vice President for Student Affairs. In this role, she supported fiscal strategies to keep higher education attainable; collaborated with faculty and staff to develop high quality, inclusive programs and research opportunities; and spearheaded partnerships with business and industry to expand work-based learning for students.

In 2011, Governor John Hickenlooper appointed Yolanda to the Board of Directors for the Auraria Higher Education Center, which is home to the Community College of Denver, MSU Denver, and the University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver). Serving two consecutive terms, she chaired the board for two years and oversaw the campus’ strategic planning and development. She also gained a broader understanding of Colorado’s higher education system and the complex issues facing students.

An active member of the community, Yolanda has served with several groups, including Clínica Tepeyac, the Arts Students League of Denver, and the MSU Denver President’s Community Cabinet. She currently serves on the board of Firefly Autism and the Denver Civic Arts Foundation and has been an actor, director, and musician with Su Teatro Cultural & Performing Arts Center in Denver.

Yolanda graduated from Jonesboro State University with a bachelor’s degree in history and German, spending a year studying at the Universidad de Madrid in Spain. She holds a master’s degree in public administration from CU Denver.

“I have dedicated my career to ensuring all students can access higher education, afford it, and prosper in their dream career. As a lifelong educator, serving on the State Board aligns with my values and purpose: to provide opportunities for students to realize their talents and prepare for their futures.”

Yolanda Ortega