New CCA VP, Charles Ansell, elevates CCA policy team with extensive higher education leadership experience and a passion for scaling institutional transformation


INDIANAPOLIS, IN, August 19, 2020 – Complete College America (CCA) – a national non-profit that seeks to improve college completion rates and eliminate equity gaps – today announced the hiring of Charles Ansell for Vice President of Research, Policy & Advocacy.

In collaboration with CCA Strategy Directors, Alliance members, Fellows and strategic partners, Ansell will oversee legislative advocacy and other programs aimed at advancing policy priorities that facilitate college completion. Additionally, Ansell will lead the development and execution of CCA’s strategic research agenda, including scaled adoption of the Postsecondary Data Partnership. The research agenda is currently focused on developing a deeper understanding of barriers to and levers for on-time college completion, how states and institutions can use data to design effective programs for closing equity gaps in college completion in America, and how to best measure and report progress against clearly-defined completion goals.

“In the current social, economic and political climate, data and focused advocacy are vital to equipping states and systems to improve institutional performance gaps and helping more students find economic success through postsecondary education,” CCA President Yolanda Watson Spiva, Ph.D., said. “Ansell’s long-standing commitment to serving the most minoritized students of color and rural students at both the City Colleges of Chicago and the Community College System of New Hampshire positions him to be a true engine of positive change. His leadership and drive will be invaluable in advancing CCA’s public policy posture in ways that turn proven approaches into actionable practice within states and institutions.”

“The present moment of pandemic and protest demands thought leadership coupled with personal fury for justice and equity,” Ansell said. “Since my early engagement with CCA, I was always impressed that they utilized data to drive substantive national change and I am thrilled to be part of the crucial progress that the organization will drive in the months and years ahead.”

Ansell has dedicated more than a decade to supporting student and institutional success. He began his higher education career with the City Colleges of Chicago (CCC). Throughout his time at CCC, he served as a project team leader, senior project team leader, executive director of strategic initiatives and lastly served as senior associate vice chancellor of strategy and academic governance. During his tenure, Ansell led the implementation of a guided pathways effort – that included CCA’s Game Changer strategies – resulting in a doubling of graduation rates.

In 2016, Ansell became chief financial officer and associate vice chancellor of strategic planning for the Community College System of New Hampshire. He most recently served as their chief operating officer. While at CCSNH, he collaborated with legislative and gubernatorial leaders to yield growth in state financial appropriations through the use of data and an equity agenda that focused on the state’s student populations most disadvantaged by the lack of clear structures and pathways.

Ansell has been a partner of Complete College America for years and was recognized as an inaugural Alliance Member of the Year in 2018. He earned a BA in Political Science from Carleton College and a Master of Science in Business Information Technology from DePaul University. He is currently completing a Doctor of Education degree in Higher Education Administration at Northeastern University.