About CCA
It’s really about states…we're just here to help.

Our Work

Established in 2009, Complete College America is a national nonprofit with a single mission: to work with states to significantly increase the number of Americans with quality career certificates or college degrees and to close attainment gaps for traditionally underrepresented populations.

The need for this work is compelling. Between 1970 and 2009, undergraduate enrollment in the United States more than doubled, while the completion rate has been virtually unchanged. We’ve made progress in giving students from all backgrounds access to college – but we haven’t finished the all-important job of helping them achieve a degree. Counting the success of all students is an essential first step. And then we must move with urgency to reinvent American higher education to meet the needs of the new majority of students on our campuses, delicately balancing the jobs they need with the education they desire.

Complete College America believes there is great reason for optimism … and a clear path forward. With a little more support – and a lot of common sense – we can ensure that many more young people get the high-quality college education that will help them live productive and fulfilling lives. All Americans will share in the benefits of their success.


Through research, advocacy, and technical assistance, we help states put in place the five GAME CHANGERS that will help all students succeed in college:

Members of our Alliance of States have pledged to take bold actions to (1) significantly increase the number of students successfully completing college and achieving degrees and credentials with value in the labor market and (2) close attainment gaps for traditionally underrepresented populations.

Tom SugarPresident
Tom leads Complete College America's talented team and the organization's overall strategy to boost college completion rates and close achievement gaps.
Bruce VandalSenior Vice President of Strategy, Math Pathways and Corequisite Remediation
Bruce is former Director of the Postsecondary and Workforce Development Institute at the Education Commission of the States (ECS).
Sarah AncelVice President of Strategy, The Alliance and Policy
Sarah works with state and system leaders to advance policies proven to increase college completion and close achievement gaps.
Dhanfu ElstonVice President of Strategy, Guided Pathways and Purpose First
Dhanfu is responsible for the scaling and implementation of 15 To Finish and CCA’s college completion strategies.
Henry FernandezVice President of Strategy, Development and Finance
Henry serves as Vice President for state strategy and development.
Blake JohnsonVice President of Strategy, Communications and Planning
Blake is responsible for Complete College America's communications and media strategy.
Vanessa KeadleSenior Strategy Director, Corequisite Remediation and Math Pathways
Vanessa supports efforts to implement remediation and mathematics reform strategies in regions and states.
Katie ZabackSenior Strategy Director, Data and Evidence
Katie works to collect the Common Completion Metrics and to utilize these metrics in examining existing trends, evaluating current interventions and informing future work.
Monika MalaStrategy Director, Alliance
Monika serves as the main lead to support Alliance state and consortia members in the West and Midwest.
Kylee FullerExecutive Assistant; Director of Events and Human Resources
Kylee oversees Complete College America's events and human resources.
Cassie MarshManager of Finance and Programs
Cassie oversees Complete College America's finances and manages grant expenses.
Jim Geringer (Chair)Director, Policy and Public Sector Strategies, Environmental Systems Research Institute; Former Govenor, Wyoming
Jim Geringer is fond of saying that he is an engineer by education, farmer by choice and governor by accident. He has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Kansas State University that enabled 10 years active and 12 years reserve service in the U.S. Air Force working with unmanned space programs of Air Force and NASA.
Barbara DamronSecretary, New Mexico Higher Education Department
Dr. Damron works to implement Governor Martinez’s vision of creating a more cohesive higher education system in the state of New Mexico.
Phyllis HudeckiExecutive Director, Oklahoma Business and Education Coalition; Former Oklahoma Education Secretary
Former Oklahoma Education Secretary Phyllis Hudecki currently serves as the executive director of the Oklahoma Business and Education Coalition (OBEC), a business-led coalition established in 2000 to improve and strengthen education in Oklahoma.
Woody HuntChairman and CEO, Hunt Companies, Inc.
Woody L. Hunt is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hunt Companies, Inc., and its affiliated companies. He also serves as Chairman of the Hunt Family Foundation, a private family foundation he and his wife Gayle, established in 1987.
Cheryl HymanChancellor, City Colleges of Chicago
As chancellor of City Colleges of Chicago (CCC), Cheryl Hyman is responsible for ensuring the success of more than 120,000 students. Her vision and goal for City Colleges in the 21st century is to build a world-class institution that not only prepares students to move into higher education as she did, but also provides the right skills to be employable.
John MorganChancellor, Tennessee Board of Regents
John Morgan has served as chancellor of the Tennessee Board of Regents since September of 2010, having previously served as deputy to Governor Phil Bredesen. Morgan has served the State of Tennessee in a variety of roles for more than 30 years, including a 10-year period as Comptroller of the Treasury.
Mildred OteroVice President for Policy Leadership, Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE)
As Vice President for Policy Leadership, Mildred is responsible for supporting LEE members in their public policy leadership development as they work to end educational inequities. She previously served as Chief Education Counsel for Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), then Chairman of the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee.

Complete College America relies on the knowledge, experience, and guidance of many national experts in the areas of higher education data systems and measurement, developmental education, student persistence and attainment, equity of opportunity, finance and governance, and cost and affordability.

Philanthropic Partners:
  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • The Kresge Foundation
  • The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
  • Lumina Foundation
  • USA Funds
Policy and Research Partners: