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 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 policy analysis 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 E. Heiss serves as senior vice president for academic and student affairs. In this role, she oversees a department that implements strategies and grant-funded programs to advance student access, diversity, and success in the nation’s community colleges, including activities with the National Science Foundation through the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program, international programs and services, and the Plus 50 initiative.
Heiss joined AACC in 2006. She most recently served as Associate Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, where she led efforts related to the development of the association’s 2013-2016 Strategic Plan, and fundraising for the AACC 21st-Century Initiative. Before that, she directed the association’s outreach and engagement with corporations, foundations, and nonprofit organizations.   

Prior to joining AACC, Heiss led resource development and communications efforts for two nonprofit organizations, including a national k-12 education foundation. Earlier in her career, she held increasingly responsible positions with global corporations for over 15 years.    

Heiss is an alumnus of Michigan State University and St. Clair County Community College in Port Huron, Michigan. She has completed executive education at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Indiana University.

Ramsay Johnson

Ramsay R. Johnson, Jr., CPA, CGMA 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.

 Marth Parham

Dr. Martha M. Parham is the senior vice president public relations for the American Association of Community Colleges. Parham leads the marketing, publications, media and public relations, and oversees AACC’s 21st Century Center. 

Prior to joining AACC, Parham was the Director of Public Affairs, Marketing and Government Relations at the Coast Community College District, where she directed the marketing, communications, media and public relations, graphics and printing, and government relations and advocacy activities of the ninth largest community college district in California. She also served as the Executive Director to the Coast CCD Foundation. While at Coast, Parham lead the campaign for Measure M, securing nearly $800-million in General Obligation Bond funds for the district’s three colleges.

Parham is a member of the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations. She is a past president of the Community College Public Relations Organization (CCPRO) and served on the board for the Association of Community College Administrators. She has won numerous awards from NCMPR and CCPRO for her creativity in developing advertisements and publications, event planning and advocacy strategies. Parham has been the recipient of several awards, including All Pro Lifetime Achievement Award by the California Community College Public Relations Organization, and the Coast District Manager of the Year. 

Prior to joining the staff at the Coast Community College District, Parham spent her time at Disneyland as an Imagineer, where she served in an administrative capacity tracking graphics and lighting design projects for Tarzan’s Treehouse, New Tomorrowland and the Disney Gallery.

A native of Virginia, Parham received her bachelor’s degree in English from Longwood University, a master’s degree in English in 2005, and her doctorate in Educational Leadership in 2011.

 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's 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 for the American Association of Community Colleges. Royal serves as Secretary to the AACC Board of Directors and has oversight of the AACC commissions. She also oversees and coordinates the association's annual convention, the leadership suite, and manages the AACC Corporate Program.   

Prior to joining AACC, Royal served as executive director of university outreach for The University of Texas at Austin. 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. 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.

 Jen Worth

Jen Worth serves as senior vice president for workforce and economic development for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). In this role, Worth oversees projects that partner community colleges with workforce boards, economic development entities, labor market intermediaries, and other community organizations to drive workforce and economic opportunity. Striving to make promising practices into common practices, she interfaces with federal agencies and fosters relationships with foundations and industry partners looking to align talent pipelines from colleges into growing employment sectors.  In addition to the various projects in the department, Worth also directs the annual Workforce Development Institute (WDI) an annual event for approximately 700 workforce development professionals at community colleges. She also staffs the Commission on Economic and Workforce Development and is the liaison for the following six AACC Affiliated Councils: Community Colleges of Appalachia, National Council for Continuing Education and Training, National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers, National Council for Workforce Education, National Partnership for Environmental Technology Education, and Rural Community College Alliance.

Worth has held positions at the National Center on Education and the Economy, the Academy for Educational Development, the Center for Post-Compulsory Education and Lifelong Learning, and the National Association of Workforce Boards. She serves on the board of SkillsUSA and the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship. She holds a Master of Public Policy and Management degree from the University of Melbourne in Australia.


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