Higher Education
Workforce Policy
Trade/Industry Association
HR/Potential partner


College for America Leadership Team

Julian L. Alssid | LinkedIn

Julian L. Alssid, Chief Workforce Strategist, is a nationally recognized expert in workforce development innovation and policy. He has over 20 years of experience working with decision makers who seek to grow the economy and create a pipeline of skilled talent. Prior to joining College for America, Julian founded the Workforce Strategy Center, where he advised over 20 states on workforce policy and established himself as a leader in promoting effective, practical solutions for implementing career pathways initiatives. Julian has also held senior positions in education and workforce development at the New York City Partnership and Chamber of Commerce (now the Partnership for New York City), LaGuardia Community College, and the Office of the Mayor of New York City.

Kristine Clerkin | LinkedIn

Kris Clerkin, Executive Director, leads the remarkable team of dedicated professionals who are building College for America. Kris is passionate about the huge opportunities from disruptive innovation, technology, and new knowledge about learning that will help many more people achieve their goals through higher education. She has a track record of achieving outstanding results and leading high-performance organizations in the higher education industry. Previous roles include President of Houghton Mifflin’s Higher Education Division and General Manager of the Wolters Kluwer Legal Education division.  Kris has a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and an M.P.A. in 2010 from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Steve Giglio | LinkedIn

Steve Giglio, Director of Corporate Partnerships, possesses a broad background in sales management, marketing/customer service management and new product/market development, with particular expertise in promoting and supporting technology driven web-based information products and services in the Market Research, Health Care, Legal, Regulatory, Government and Education marketplaces. He is passionate about driving to, and exceeding, revenue goals as a founding employee and leadership team member. A native of Boston, Steve holds a BS in Biology from Boston College.

Melissa Goldberg | LinkedIn

Melissa Goldberg, Senior Workforce Strategist, has over 20 years of experience advising executives, and researching, documenting, and disseminating promising practices in the field of workforce development. For the past decade Melissa served as Senior Associate at Workforce Strategy Center. In that role she has facilitated state and regional strategic planning, provided technical assistance to foundations, federal agencies, businesses, workforce boards, and community colleges throughout the country. Her earlier work included leading community college business outreach and continuing education operations focused on establishing educational solutions to advance career prospects for unemployed and underemployed individuals. Melissa earned her M.P.A. at New York University’s Wagner School for Public Service.

Cathrael (Kate) Kazin, J.D., Ph.D | LinkedIn.

Cathrael (Kate) Kazin, Chief Academic Officer, is one of the nation’s foremost experts on higher education assessment.  For the past ten years, she worked as Executive Director for Higher Education at ETS, where she was responsible for strategic outreach to the higher education community, collaborations with presidents, provosts and other higher education leaders, and high-profile strategic initiatives to develop new services. Her previous roles include Director of English Language Testing at the National Institute of Testing and Evaluation in Israel and Special Assistant to U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich. Kate has also been a practicing attorney and assistant professor of English at the University of Iowa. She has an A.B. with Highest Honors in English from Smith College, a Ph.D. in English from Cornell University, and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Paul LeBlanc | LinkedIn

Dr. Paul J. LeBlanc, Founder of College for America and President of Southern New Hampshire University, which has more doubled in size and has become the largest provider of online higher education in New England under his tenure. He previously served as president at Marlboro College (VT) from 1996 to 2003. Paul won a New England Higher Education Excellence Award in 2012 and was named one of “New Hampshire’s Most Influential People” by New Hampshire Business Review.  He sits on a number of boards and steering committees including the Council of Adult and Experiential Learning, New Hampshire College and University Council, the New Hampshire Campus Compact, the Gates Foundation Data Metrics Project, and the OpenStudy Advisory Board. He is a past Commissioner for the NEASC Commission on Higher Education.

Martha Rush-Mueller | LinkedIn

Martha Rush-Mueller, Director of Public and Nonprofit Partnerships, led SNHU’s marketing efforts during years of tremendous growth.  She was responsible for brand, all marketing collateral, a top-to-bottom redesign of the web presence, and messaging.  Before joining SNHU she was Deputy-Director of Marketing for the Boston Museum of Fine Arts after a stint in the same role at the Peabody Essex Museum. Martha has a B.S. in Sociology from Bloomfield College.

Yvonne Simon | LinkedIn

Yvonne Simon, Chief Learning Architect, helped lead the growth of SNHU’s online programs for a number of years before assuming this position. She was responsible for academic programs, instructional design, and advising.  Before joining SNHU, Yvonne was co-founder and Executive Vice-President of Six Red Marbles, an educational content developer serving the publishing industry. She has a B.S. from Bowdoin College and a M.Ed. in Educational Technology from Harvard University.

Colin Van Ostern | LinkedIn

Colin Van Ostern, Chief Marketing Officer, has led business, marketing, and communications strategies for commercial and nonprofit organizations ranging from Stonyfield Yogurt to Dartmouth College.  He has a particular passion for finding market-driven solutions to pressing social challenges, and currently serves as an Executive Council for the State of New Hampshire.  Colin holds a BA from The George Washington University and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.