NSHE Announces New Vice Chancellor for Workforce Development and Chief Innovation Officer

LAS VEGAS – The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) announced Caleb Cage will rejoin the system as the Vice Chancellor for Workforce Development and Chief Innovation Officer following his yearlong effort directing the State of Nevada’s COVID-19 response.

Caleb Cage

Caleb Cage, NSHE’s new Vice Chancellor for Workforce Development and Chief Innovation Officer.

Cage begins his role with NSHE June 10.

“Caleb’s prior role and expertise in workforce development makes him uniquely qualified to lead NSHE’s efforts in that area at this critical moment,” Chancellor Melody Rose said.

Cage was asked by Gov. Sisolak more than a year ago to serve Nevada through the worst health and economic disaster the world has faced in generations.

“Fifteen months later, we are proud of the work he has done on behalf of the state, and glad he is returning to NSHE to help NSHE double-down on our workforce development efforts,” Rose said.

Gov. Sisolak thanked Cage for his service to Nevada.

“I could not be more grateful to Caleb for answering the call to serve our State throughout this crisis and the incredible work he has done to help guide Nevada throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. His expertise in emergency management and his leadership have been invaluable,” said Gov. Sisolak. “While the pandemic is not yet over, our State response efforts will naturally transition as the situation evolves and we focus on mass vaccination of Nevadans.  After over a year of selfless public service to our great State, I’m thrilled that Caleb will be transitioning to his new and exciting workforce development role at NSHE, and I look forward to working closely with him and Chancellor Rose as we continue our economic recovery and focus on creating high-quality jobs for Nevadans.”

As the Vice Chancellor for Workforce Development of NSHE, Cage will be responsible for accelerating a coordinated statewide workforce strategy and aligning NSHE’s workforce development strategic initiatives with the broader goals of the State of Nevada and its economic development ecosystem. He will also work in collaboration with NSHE’s two universities, the state college, all four community colleges, and all applicable state agencies to achieve these goals.  This position will also support the critical role of community colleges along with Academic and Student Affairs.

Cage will also serve as NSHE’s Chief Innovation Officer to help position the system as a cutting-edge organization. Projects would include strategic planning, cultural development, expansion of P3 agreements, development of a system-wide online learning strategy, and other innovative projects as assigned by the Chancellor.

Meanwhile, NSHE Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs Crystal Abba will assume the title of Interim Vice Chancellor for Community Colleges, bringing more than 15 years of experience in curricula, financial aid, student services to supporting and advancing Nevada’s four public community colleges. Abba is filling in for Nate MacKinnon, who has accepted an offer as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Association of Community Colleges.


Caleb Cage is a native Nevadan who has served in various capacities in public service for nearly 20 years. Immediately following his graduation from the United States Military Academy West Point, he was commissioned as an artillery officer in the U.S. Army, serving in Germany and Iraq over five years. Upon returning to Nevada in 2007, Cage served in various capacities, including serving as a policy advisor in the Lieutenant Governor’s Office as well as the Governor’s Office, leading the Nevada Office of Veterans Services, and thereafter the Nevada Department of Public Safety’s Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Cage has also previously served as the NSHE Associate Vice Chancellor for Workforce Development.  Most recently, Cage served as the State of Nevada COVID-19 Response Director.  He lives in Reno with his wife and three children.


The Nevada System of Higher Education, comprised of two doctoral-granting universities, a state college, four comprehensive community colleges and one environmental research institute, serves the educational and job training needs of Nevada. NSHE provides educational opportunities to more than 100,000 students and is governed by the Board of Regents.