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Who We Are

 AACC Senior Staff 

AACC Senior Staff

 

Dr. Walter G. Bumphus is President and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges. From 2007 to January 1, 2011, Dr. Bumphus served as a professor in the Community College Leadership Program and as chair of the Department of Educational Administration at the University of Texas at Austin. He also held the A. M. Aikin Regents Endowed Chair in Junior and Community College Education Leadership. He previously served as president of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) from 2001 to 2007. LCTCS later conferred upon him the title of President Emeritus of the Louisiana Community and Technical College System. From November 2000 to September 2001 he was chancellor of Baton Rouge Community College (BRCC). Prior to joining BRCC, Dr. Bumphus worked in the corporate world serving as President of the Higher Education Division of Voyager Expanded Learning. Six years prior, he served as president of Brookhaven College in Dallas County Community College District.

Dr. Bumphus holds a bachelor's degree in speech communications and a master's degree in guidance and counseling from Murray State University, and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the Community College Leadership Program at The University of Texas at Austin. In 1992, Dr. Bumphus was recognized as a distinguished graduate from both Murray State University and The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Bumphus holds the distinction of being one of the few leaders in the field of education to receive the ACCT Marie Y. Martin CEO of the Year Award, to chair the AACC Board of Directors, and to receive the AACC Leadership Award.

 Charisse Bazin Ash

Charisse Bazin Ash serves as associate vice president of human resources for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). She oversees talent and staffing management, benefits administration, staff development, employee relations, total compensation, performance management, wellness programs, and the development and implementation of human resources policies and procedures. She also serves as the staff liaison to the board’s Committee on Directors. Ash joined the AACC staff in 2001 with 16 years of non-profit human resources management experience.

Ash is designated as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and a Certified Compensation Professional (CCP), and is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management and the Human Resource Association of the National Capital Area. She holds a B.A. in psychology and an M.S. in administration with a human resources concentration.

 

David Baime

David Baime serves as senior vice president for government relations and research for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). In this role, he directs the national advocacy efforts for the nation’s close to 1,200 community colleges and their students. Prior to joining AACC, he served as director of education funding for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. He has also worked as assistant director of government relations for the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Baime has made a number of radio, television, and Web appearances, including on CNN, MSNBC, C-SPAN, and National Public Radio, and is frequently quoted in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and other education publications.

Baime holds a bachelor’s degree from Haverford College and a master’s degree in economics from the London School of Economics.

Mary Heiss

Mary E. Heiss is associate vice president of strategic initiatives for the American Association of Community Colleges where she is responsible for developing and implementing efforts related to strategic planning, innovation, partnerships, and revenue-generating activities that support the Association’s mission and priorities. In this role, she works closely with business, industry, foundations, and common-cause organizations to advance the interests of the nation’s community colleges.

Prior to joining AACC, Heiss led resource development and communications efforts for two nonprofit organizations. In addition, she has over 15 years of experience in the corporate sector in roles including management, marketing, sales, and merchandising.

Ramsay Johnson

Ramsay R. Johnson Jr., CPA serves as senior vice president, chief operations and financial officer for the American Association of Community Colleges. He is responsible for direction, oversight, and leadership over financial support functions, including developing the annual operating budget, financial analysis, payroll administration, and compliance reporting with various government agencies. He also provides oversight of AACC’s information technology, web services, facilities management, data services, administrative services, and risk management functions. He also staffs the Audit & Finance Committee of the Board. Johnson joined AACC in 2010 with over 15 years of experience in accounting, audit, and financial reporting.

Johnson is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA), and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). He holds a B.S. in Business Administration with an accounting concentration from Bowie State University.

 

Kathryn Jo Mannes is senior vice president for workforce and economic development for the American Association of Community Colleges. Previously, she directed AACC’s Center for Workforce and Economic Development. Mannes’ experience includes extensive work in the retail and service sector to develop skill standards, national certifications, and training models. As Managing Director of Workforce Development for the National Retail Federation’s Foundation for over 15 years, she oversaw the launch of Skills Centers across the country.

Prior to 1995, Kathy was employed by Dusco Community Services, Inc., representing an international shopping center developer and projects promoting education and work reform. She served as Executive Director of the Council for Adult Education and Learning’s (CAEL) East Coast Center. She also directed continuing education and contract training at The American University in Washington, D.C., for 10 years.

She has operated as an independent consultant for a number of public and private clients, including national associations, corporations, foundations, and government agencies. She served for 12 years on the Workforce Investment Board of Montgomery County, Maryland, and currently is on the Board of the Center for Employment Opportunities in New York City.
Mannes holds a master’s degree in education and reading from Tufts University and a bachelor’s degree from Brown University. She began her career in the classroom, teaching English, literature, and literacy skills at the secondary and postsecondary levels.

 Kent Phillippe

Kent Phillippe serves as the associate vice president for research and student success where he oversees the association research efforts of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). These responsibilities include overseeing association surveys, data collection and analysis, and providing formatted data to both internal and external audiences. In addition, he oversees the association’s efforts on the Voluntary Framework of Accountability and the data tool development for the Achieving the Dream initiative. He joined the AACC staff in 1994.

Phillippe serves on many national research advisory boards, including technical review panels that oversee Federal Postsecondary data collection for IPEDS, NPSAS, BPS, and B&B. He serves as the staff liaison for the Commission on Research, Technology, and Emerging trends, as well as liaison for two AACC affiliated councils: the Council for Study of Community Colleges, and the National Community College Council for Research and Planning.

Phillippe earned a master’s degree in clinical and family counseling from Southern Methodist University, a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Hamline University, and earned doctoral credits in the Child and Family Clinical Psychology program at Michigan State University.

 Angel Royal

Dr. Angel M. Royal is chief of staff and interim senior vice president for communications for the American Association of Community Colleges. Royal coordinates activities for the AACC Board of Directors and provides support to the AACC Presidents Academy, AACC Commissions, and oversees and coordinates the Association's Leadership Development Suite.

Royal has held professional positions at the community college and university levels, at a system office, with a state coordinating board for higher education, and in private industry.

Prior to joining AACC, Royal served as executive director of university outreach for the University of Texas at Austin from January 2009 to October 2011. Before returning to the field of education, she worked for a year in private industry as the director of special programs and initiatives with Best Associates in Dallas, Texas. From 2002 to 2007, she served as executive assistant to the president and vice president of external affairs with the Louisiana Community and Technical College System where she had the responsibility for strategic planning, leadership and resource development, government and board relations, and other special projects. She held the position of executive assistant to the chancellor of Baton Rouge Community College from 2001-2002, and she served as special programs manager with the Louisiana Board of Regents from 1999-2001.

In addition to her administrative work, Royal has been an adjunct faculty member teaching developmental English and reading with Baton Rouge Community College, and an adjunct faculty member with the department of educational administration at the University of Texas at Austin. Royal holds a bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in creative writing, a master's degree in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in reading education, an Ed.S. in curriculum and instruction, and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from Louisiana State University.

Gail Schwartz

Dr. Gail Schwartz is senior vice president for academic, innovation and student success for the American Association of Community Colleges. Schwartz comes to AACC from the U.S. Department of Education, where she has served as senior advisor for community colleges since 2006 within the Office of Vocational and Adult Education. She crafted a vision for the department’s community college outreach and led efforts on student access, completion and retention issues.

She also served as director of the Division of Academic and Technical Education at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Vocational and Adult Education. She administered the $1.1 billion Carl D. Perkins Career & Technical Education State Grant Program. She also served as the director of the Discretionary Programs and Innovation Group, as director of the New American High Schools Initiative and director of the Office of Correctional Education.

From 1983-1990, Schwartz served as project director and faculty at George Washington University, where she designed graduate-level teacher training curriculum, taught graduate level courses, coordinated interdisciplinary programs and managed federal grants.

She worked as the training and staff development coordinator for the District of Columbia Department of Human Services Youth Services Administration and as diagnostic team coordinator and instructor. She also worked as vocational development coordinator for Prince George’s County Maryland Public Schools.

Schwartz earned a doctorate in education in 1989 and a master of arts degree in special education in 1983 from George Washington University. She earned her bachelor of science degree at Ohio State University.


 

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