Jessica Howard headshot

Jessica Howard

President & CEO
Chemeketa Community College

Jessica Howard is the President and CEO of Chemeketa Community College in Salem, Oregon. She holds a Ph.D. from New York University and, from Rice University, a Master and two Bachelor’s degrees. Her academic work has been interdisciplinary and based in the arts and humanities.

Prior to joining Chemeketa in 2019, 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, 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.

Howard has held positions on multiple boards in Oregon, including Campus Compact of Oregon, the Oregon Workforce Investment Board, and the Latino Network. A regular presenter, she has addressed national audiences and participated on panels associated with Jobs for the Future, the National Governors’ Association, the American Association of Community College Trustees, the American Association of Women in Community Colleges, the Oregon Community College Association, and the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education. Howard serves on the Student Success Commission for the American Association of Community Colleges, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, and the STEM Investment Council and the Leadership Council for Equity of the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission.

Howard grew up primarily in San Antonio but was born in Bombay, India and lived as a child in Bangkok, Thailand. She also spent a year abroad at King’s College in London during her college years. She considers her international experiences to be formative, as well as her lifelong experience