Complete College America Adds Two VPs To Grow and Support Alliance Efforts

Nia Haydel and Tamara Nash bring extensive leadership experience in higher education and the development of student-centered completion programs.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN, February 6, 2020 – Complete College America, a national non-profit that seeks to improve college completion rates and eliminate equity gaps, today announced the hiring of two new Vice Presidents: Nia Haydel, Ph.D., Vice President for Alliance Engagement & Institutional Transformation, and Ms. Tamara Susan Nash, M.Ed., Vice President for Development & Strategic Partnerships. In her role, Dr. Haydel will lead CCA’s efforts to strengthen its partnerships with Alliance members and their partners and help develop and implement completion strategies at scale across institutions. Ms. Nash will oversee all advancement activities, including fundraising and stakeholder engagement to expand CCA’s partnerships with national and regional stakeholders. Both Dr. Haydel and Ms. Nash will play an integral role in expanding the reach of CCA’s Alliance, whose members help advocate for and implement college completion programs in nearly every state.

“In this period of transition for CCA, it is essential that we have the capacity and talent to scale our national efforts to accelerate the implementation of data-driven college completion strategies,” said Yolanda Watson Spiva, Ph.D., President of CCA. “With over five decades of combined experience in higher education administration and development, Tamara and Nia are talented executives with a track record of success and innovation that will prove invaluable to this effort. Their leadership will help CCA engage with our Alliance members at a more tactical level and build relationships with new, strategic partners that are aligned with our mission.”

Dr. Nia Woods Haydel has dedicated over 20 years to envisioning, planning, and executing strategic initiatives designed to elevate the student experience through her experience in academic affairs, enrollment management, intercultural relations, and student affairs. Prior to joining CCA, Dr. Haydel held several roles at Dillard University, most recently serving as the Dean for University College and Director of the Thompson/Cook Honors Program. In this role, Dr. Haydel led the institution’s retention and student success initiatives, oversaw the implementation of the institution’s predictive analytics platform, and redesigned the academic advising model to complement the platform and optimize outcomes.

Previously, Dr. Haydel held several positions at Georgia State University, Oxford of Emory University, and Texas A&M University. In her faculty and administrative role at Georgia State University, she created and launched the acclaimed Panther Retention grant, which has served as a national model for higher education emergency aid programs. She earned a Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies from Georgia State University, an M.S. in Higher Education Administration from Texas A & M University, and a B.S. in Psychology from the University of New Orleans.

In 2017, she was selected as a Fellow for Complete College America and has served as one of the most in-demand content experts for institutions focused on implementing successful and equitable strategies for college completion.


Ms. Tamara Susan Nash has had an extensive career as a leader in postsecondary education administration, community relations, corporate and nonprofit partnerships, civic engagement, and grants management. As the Inaugural Director of the Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) at Oglethorpe University (OU), and as a member of Oglethorpe University President’s senior leadership staff, Ms. Nash led the enhancement, promotion, and expansion of the University’s connections by establishing nonprofit partnerships, service-learning courses, internships, and leadership development programs. She identified and cultivated prospective alumni, corporate, and foundation donors, generating millions of dollars in sustained grant funding, which led to the construction of A_LAB, a new, state-of-the-art student center.

Prior to Oglethorpe University, Ms. Nash worked as a Director/Senior Manager at the Georgia-Pacific Foundation, where she reported to the GP Headquarters Foundation President and managed all contributions on behalf of the Foundation to grantees across diverse communities. She also represented GP on several nonprofit boards and committees and presented at many regional and national conferences on corporate social responsibility. Ms. Nash worked at a number of colleges and universities prior to her work at the Foundation, including Spelman College, American University, Marymount College of Virginia and Brown University.

Ms. Nash earned a Master of Education degree from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College. She is active on several boards of directors and is active within a host of community and civic organizations.