Jan Yoshiwara to head State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
OLYMPIA, Wash. — The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges today selected Jan Yoshiwara as the organization’s new executive director. Yoshiwara currently serves as deputy executive director for education at the State Board. She will assume her new role early next month.
State Board Chair Shaunta Hyde described Yoshiwara as a visionary leader who crafts programs that elevate the people and economy of Washington.
“Jan Yoshiwara is the perfect fit,” said Hyde. “She analyzes data, sees emerging trends, and molds that knowledge into incredible opportunities for students and employers. She is passionate about our mission and exemplifies both the intellect and heart of our system.”
Yoshiwara started at the State Board in 1984 as assistant director of student services and minority affairs. She moved up in the organization to become director of education services in 1994. Today, she leads system-wide programs and policies that prepare students for college-level work, for a career, or to transfer to a university.
Yoshiwara secures and oversees multi-million-dollar grants and supervises state-level research on community and technical college students, staff and resources. She also builds partnerships with high schools, universities, business and labor leaders, state agencies, national associations, and philanthropic organizations. She routinely advocates for community and technical colleges before the state Legislature and Congress, and within national organizations.
Yoshiwara has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California – Davis, and a master’s degree from Western Washington University. She will replace retiring executive director Marty Brown.
“I'm thrilled to serve in this new position,” said Yoshiwara. “Our two-year colleges give everyone the opportunity for a better future, especially low-income students and students of color. Nothing is more gratifying to me than to see students discover their self-worth and rise.”
Washington’s 34 community and technical colleges comprise the state’s largest system of higher education and serve about 381,000 students. The State Board for Community and Technical Colleges oversees the system, sets policy, allocates state operating and capital funds to the colleges, strategically plans the two-year college mission, and approves educational programs.