Jessica Howard

2020-21 Aspen New Presidents Fellow
Jessica Howard is the president of Chemeketa Community College. She holds a Ph.D. from New York University and a master’s and two bachelor degrees from Rice University. Her academic work has been interdisciplinary and based in the arts and humanities.

Prior to joining Chemeketa in 2019, Dr. Howard served as the campus president for the Southeast Campus of Portland Community College in Oregon, guiding an academic center into a comprehensive campus and overseeing workforce operations district-wide. Before coming to Oregon, Dr. Howard enjoyed a long tenure at San Antonio College in Texas. There she served as an assistant and associate professor, a faculty department chair, interim executive vice president (over student and academic affairs), and ultimately as the vice president for academic affairs (VPAA). During her time as VPAA, in order to emphasize the importance of student completion and community college credentials, Dr. Howard earned her associate of arts degree.

Dr. Howard has held positions on multiple boards, including Campus Compact of Oregon, the Oregon Workforce Investment Board, and the Latino Network. She serves on the Student Success Commission for the American Association of Community Colleges and the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission’s Equity Leadership Council. Throughout her career and in a variety of contexts, Dr. Howard’s commitment to equitable student success, community- and future-focused workforce development, and innovative and collaborative solutions has shaped and driven her work.