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Our Team

Michael L. Collins

Vice President, JFF


Mr. Collins serves on JFF’s executive team and provides leadership for JFF programs. For the last 16 years, he has led a multi-state postsecondary reform network working to increase the success of learners from low income-backgrounds through connecting colleges and state postsecondary systems to evidence-based practices and practitioner-informed policies and supporting their implementation through postsecondary reform initiatives such as Achieving the Dream, The Developmental Education Initiative, Completion by Design, and the Student Success Center Initiative, and the American Association of Community Colleges Pathways Project.

In the fall of 2020, he took the helm of an organizational effort to increase economic equity in education, employment, earnings, and economic mobility for people who are vulnerable in our economy with a special emphasis on Black learners and workers. An inveterate collaborator, he has partnered with nationally recognized organizations such as The Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, Carnegie Math Pathways|WesED, The Dana Center, SOVA Solutions, the Community College Research Center, and a host of other organizations, states systems, and philanthropic organizations.

Mr. Collins is Vice Chair of the board of the National Student Clearinghouse and is the Chair of the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center Board. He is a Commissioner for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and serves on the governing board member of the HigherEd Equity Network.

Education & Training

Mr. Collins earned a Master of Public Affairs (MPAff) from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

Outside Interests

Mr. Collins is a Pahara-Aspen Fellow. He lives in Shaker Heights, Ohio with his wife, Dana, and son Dashel.

Why I Work With NCHEMS

NCHEMS played an important role in helping me and so many others understand our nation’s higher education system. I’ve regularly consulted NCHEMS for information on higher education governance, state policy, and student outcomes data since the 1990s. I work with NCHEMS because of the deep knowledge they have about how our higher education system works and their deep tradition of service toward improving our nation’s higher education system.