As executive director, Joanna is responsible for leading College Possible Minnesota in its mission to make college admission and success possible for students from low-income backgrounds. Joanna has a deep familiarity with College Possible Minnesota through her work as our vice president of site leadership in which she led a team of seven College Possible executive directors across the country. In that role, she advised and coached College Possible executive directors on regional growth strategies including resource development, and she also facilitated a community of practice for executive directors sharing cross-site learning and innovations.
Joanna’s background spans the nonprofit, philanthropic, social enterprise and for-profit sectors, develops innovative programming that facilitates community change. A strong voice for the organization, Joanna leverages technology and quality assessment to discern appropriate investments and maximize social impact. Through development and continuous learning, she empowers staff to deliver on critical outcomes. Joanna’s toolbox includes fundraising, board engagement, partnering on community initiatives, advocacy and program evaluation. She is recognized as a thought leader in diversity and inclusion that creates and implements effective solutions to reduce disparities within diverse communities.
In addition to her work at College Possible, Joanna currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits board of directors, is active in LatinoLEAD (a local group of Latinx leaders) and part of a cohort of Adaptive Leaders for Race Equity. Joanna brings her passion and her prior experience as a Bush Leadership Fellow, vice president of business solutions with the Metropolitan Economic Development Association, and experience in both corporate and private philanthropy to benefit Minnesota students served by College Possible. Prior to coming to the Twin Cities, Joanna was also a research scientist at the University of WI-Milwaukee and the University of Texas San Antonio. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Texas, Austin.