Emily Knight has been president of Kendall College since 2012. Prior to that, she served as a vice president at Laureate Education, Inc., where she was responsible for globally expanding access to the company’s hospitality management, culinary arts, and art and design programs in Europe, Australia, Latin America, Asia Pacific and the US regions.

Before joining Laureate, Ms. Knight was CEO of New England University, LLC, Dallas from 2009 to 2011. From 1999 to 2009, she held senior and vice president roles at Pearson Education, with a focus primarily in strategic sales, marketing, and business development.

Ms. Knight holds B.S. in Hospitality Administration from Boston University, a Master of Science in Management from Troy University in Alabama, and an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Newbury College in Massachusetts. She is currently working towards a Doctor of Education with a specialization in Higher Education Leadership at Walden University which is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. All of her graduate education was obtained while working full time.

Ms. Knight’s vision is to transform Kendall College’s Chicago campus into a preferred higher education destination for students around the world. With 55 countries represented on campus today, she has been instrumental in garnering international recognition for Kendall’s culinary arts and hospitality programs. Kendall College was recently ranked the No. 1 school in Chicago for hospitality
and culinary arts by industry leaders. Ms. Knight strongly urges leadership and faculty to give students the personal attention and support they need to become well-prepared, global, diverse, and multicultural leaders in the hospitality industry. Her vision for her students is that when they graduate Kendall College, they are ready to step into leadership positions.

Passionate about education and the hospitality industry, Ms. Knight is a member of several boards, including the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), the Newbury College’s Saunders School of Hotel and Restaurant Management and the Illinois Restaurant Association. She is also fully committed to women’s leadership development. To support this cause, she has served as a panelist at international conferences, including the first Women in Hospitality and Tourism in Asia Conference held in Singapore in March 2014, and the round table about Women as CEOs at the Direct Selling Association. She was recently appointed to the board of Girls in the Game, the largest nonprofit in Chicago focused on sports and nutrition. Despite her busy schedule, Ms. Knights also makes time to volunteer and to support city programs designed to improving access to higher education.

​She lives in Chicago with her husband and their twin girls.


Global Solutions


Williams Knight