Jess Niebuhr is an experienced leader facilitating innovation at the intersection of industry, education and workforce development. In her current role as Senior Manager for Strategic Partnerships at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities, Jess is focused on the needs of under-represented adult learners, including managing an All Learning Counts initiative, funded by the Lumina Foundation and an NGA policy initiative for work-based learning. Jess is a part of the Minnesota team working on issues of credential transparency and working with the Office of Higher Education and Department of Employment and Economic Development to list Minnesota credentials with Credential Engine. Prior to her current role, Jess has over 20 years of experience in higher education, especially focused on workforce development.
Jess was the inaugural Executive Director of RealTime Talent, an innovative cross-agency initiative designed to use data to align education and workforce and she served as a dean of 14 career and education programs and workforce development, continuing education and customized training. She has extensive consulting experience, including planning and partnership engagement to create an education, workforce and healthcare collaborative space in North Minneapolis and process design and partnership engagement for a 21st Century Pedagogy and Applied Research U.S. AID project in El Salvador. Jess has a bachelor’s degree from Augsburg University in Minneapolis and a master’s degree from the Hubert H. Humphrey College for Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota.