This month, Blanca Jara joined the Partnership for College Completion as our first Chief of Staff. We’re thrilled to welcome her to the team and invite you to learn more about her on our staff page as well.

Blanca joins us most recently from Morton College where she served as the Vice President of Institutional Advancement/FOIA Officer, a partner institution in PCC’s Illinois Equity In Attainment. Blanca had significant leadership responsibilities at Morton, overseeing communications, marketing, media, intergovernmental relations, development, alumni relations, and community and continuing education. Additionally, in an ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion, Blanca collaborated with writer, actor, and producer Rick Najera to bring his nationally acclaimed series Latino Thought Makers to Morton College.

Blanca is a lifelong public servant that has had multiple experiences in organizational and higher education leadership over the past two decades since graduating from Morton College herself in 2002. Previously, she served as director of communications for the UNO Charter School Network, functioning as a spokeswoman for the organization and managing its overall communications and public relations program. Before that, she worked in the public relations department for the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County (CCC). She produced marketing strategies for various programs and services at the Clerk’s office working directly with stakeholders and elected officials while also managing public relations and community outreach efforts. Blanca was a member of the core planning committee for the annual Expungement Summit.

Blanca currently serves as a board member for the IL Transplant Fund and has previously served as a board member for the Illinois Spina Bifida Association (ISBA). For ISBA, she provided education to new families of children with Spina Bifida, particularly Latino families. She also organized Expungement Workshops in Chicago’s Little Village and Pilsen neighborhoods, collaborating with the Little Village Community Council and Fiesta Del Sol. Blanca takes pride in giving back to the community that has given her so much.

Blanca earned an Associate of Fine Arts from Morton College, a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from American Intercontinental University, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from National Louis University. Blanca participated in the 2019 HACU Academia de Liderazgo and is a 2021 Fellow of the National Community College Hispanic Council. She is currently in the Higher Education Leadership Doctoral Program at National Louis University.

“I am thrilled to be joining PCC as their Chief of Staff. This is a special time for PCC and  I look forward to working  collaboratively across the organization to execute our ambitious mission to eliminate disparities in degree completion along racial and socioeconomic lines in Illinois.”