Kelly Brough has announced she will be leaving her role as Metropolitan State University of Denver’s chief strategy officer, effective Aug. 5. Brough joined MSU Denver in late 2021 to lead the University’s newly established Strategy team and to guide the implementation of the 2030 Strategic Plan. She was also responsible for assessing new and existing University programs, partnerships and additional projects.  

In her short tenure at the state’s largest comprehensive, modified open-access university, Brough helped roll out numerous major initiatives, including a program that covers college costs for Indigenous students. She helped secure funding for the Interprofessional Simulation and Skills Hub to help bolster a much-needed healthcare workforce, and she proposed a resourceful master-planning process that aims to save the University hundreds of thousands of dollars. Brough also worked to maximize federal aid for students and align campus enrollment strategies.

“Eight months of Kelly Brough’s leadership has been an excellent investment for MSU Denver,” said President Janine Davidson, Ph.D. “Her work established a solid and strategic path forward for the University as it pursues ambitious goals to better serve our students and the community. We are so grateful she joined our team and wish her all the best.” 


Brough, who has extensive experience in strategic planning and prioritization, identified clear metrics to track the University’s progress in achieving its long-term strategic goals. The effort was among her most important contributions in enhancing education opportunities for all students.  

“I’m so grateful for the work I got to do at MSU Denver, the people I got to do it with, and the students I got to do it for,” Brough said. “Thank you all so much. Even as I move on to explore running for office, I will forever be a Roadrunner!”

Brough came to MSU Denver with significant higher education experience, including directing the University of Colorado Denver’s Rocky Mountain Program, a nationally recognized leadership program, from 1997 to 2003. She most recently served as the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce president and CEO from 2009 to 2021. Prior to joining the Denver Metro Chamber, Brough served the City and County of Denver as chief of staff for Mayor John Hickenlooper and as director of Human Resources. 

Brough’s last day at the University will be Aug. 5.  President Davidson will appoint an interim and launch a search for a replacement immediately.