Board of Trustees

images of the board members

Current board members (left to right): Chair Rekah Strong, Vice Chair Jeanne Bennett, Jane Jacobsen, Cristhian Canseco Juarez and Paul Speer.

The Clark College Board of Trustees consists of five members who are appointed by the Governor of Washington. Members serve a five-year term and must live in the college’s service district.

The Board seeks to ensure the quality and relevance of college programs and provide stewardship of public resources. In this role, the Board is responsible for strategic planning; development and approval of college policies; and approval and oversight of the operating budget.

The Board of Trustees generally meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month. 

Board Policies & Procedures Manual

For additional information about the Board of Trustees, contact the President's Office.

Related External Websites:


Board of Trustees

Vice Chair, Jeanne Bennett

Clark College Board of Trustees
Jeanne Bennett

Appointed: 2019 Term Ends: 2021

Ms. Bennett is the retired CEO of Workforce Southwest Washington, a Vancouver resident, and a longtime community leader. She began her career working as a congressional staff member, first for Oregon Congresswoman Elizabeth Furse and then for Congressman Brian Baird in Washington. After that, she moved on to leadership positions in Evergreen School District 112's Youth Workforce Program, the Mount St. Helens Institute, and finally Workforce Southwest Washington, where she managed local investments of more than $10 million annually in individuals’ workforce skills training and development.  

In her retirement, Ms. Bennett remains active in her community, including serving as Board Chair for Columbia Play Project.

Community activities include:

  • Mount St. Helens Institute
  • Mount Adams Institute
  • Empower Women + Girls


  • B.S. - History - Portland State University 

Cristhian Canseco Juarez

Clark College Board of Trustees
Cristhian Canseco Juarez

Appointed: 2021        Term Ends: 2024

Cristhian A. Canseco Juarez is a first-generation college graduate, as well as an immigrant and an alumnus of Washington State University Vancouver. He is deeply involved in community service in Vancouver, providing resources for those who have historically been under-represented.

Canseco earned his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Washington State University Vancouver and graduated from Hudson’s Bay High School in Vancouver. He and his family have lived in Vancouver for 25 years, having emigrated from Mexico to the United States in 1991.

Community activities include:

  • Board of Directors for Lighthouse Community Credit Union
  • Treasurer, Southwest Washington LULAC Council
  • Council member, St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church
  • 2019-2020 Clark College Presidential Search Committee


  •  B.A. - Business Administration - Washington State University, Vancouver 

Jane Jacobsen

Clark College Board of Trustees
Jane Jacobsen, Clark College Board of Trustees

Appointed: 2016     Term Ends: 2019

Reappointed: 2019    Term Ends: 2022

Ms. Jacobsen currently works with Gramor Development and the City of Vancouver on the development of the Columbia Waterfront Park.

For more than 12 years, Ms. Jacobsen served as the founding executive director of the Confluence Project, now known as Confluence.

Community activities include:

  • Founding Executive Director and member of the Board of Directors of Confluence
  • Board President, Friends of Fort Vancouver
  • Member of the Advisory Council with Columbia Land Trust
  • Former member of the Columbia River Gorge Commission
  • Former member of the Washington State Historical Society

 Awards and Recognition:

  • Certificate of Excellence - Switzerland Cultural Art Center - Zurich, Switzerland


  • B.A. - in Communications - University of Arkansas

 Paul Speer

Clark College Board of Trustees
 Paul Speer, Clark College Board of Trustees

Appointed: 2018     Term Ends: 2023


Mr. Speer has extensive experience and skills in strategic planning, nonprofit fundraising and capacity building. A resident of Clark County for the past 40 years, Speer has long demonstrated a commitment to our community. 

For more than 25 years, Mr. Speer worked at Hewlett-Packard Company, where he retired as Vice President of Development Strategy in the Office of Strategy and Technology. 

Currently, Mr. Speer is an executive advisor and coach, who also appears as a guest lecturer and panelist on topics including leadership, new business creation, business planning, venture philanthropy, sustainable energy, and encore careers. 

 Community activities include: 

  • Washington Association of College Trustees DEI Committee - Member  
  • Oregon Public Broadcasting – Board Member 
  • University of Portland’s Engineering Dean’s Advisory Council – Member and Past Council Chair 
  • Pearson Field Education Center– Founding Committee Chair 
  • iUrban Teen – Advisory Member 
  • Cascadia Tech Academy – Advisory Member 
  • Superintendent’s Management Task Force for Vancouver Public Schools – Advisory Member 
  • University of Portland’s Franz Center for Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation Board – Past Board Chair 
  • The Historic Trust – Past Board Member 
  • Social Venture Partners International – Past Board Member 
  • Leadership Clark County – Past Board Member 
  • Nonprofit Network Southwest Washington – Past Board Member 
  • City of Vancouver’s Aviation Advisory Committee – Past Committee Chair 

Awards and Recognition: 

  • 2009 Outstanding Alumni Award from Leadership Clark County 
  • 2013 Pilot of the Year award from the Washington Pilots Association 


  • University of Portland - Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering 
  • University of Portland - Master of Business Administration 
  • Embry-Riddle University - Master of Science in Aeronautics 




Chair, Rekah Strong

Clark College Board of Trustees
Rekah Strong, Clark College Board of Trustees

Appointed: 2012     Term Ends: 2017
Reappointed: 2017    Term Ends: 2022

Rekah Strong is currently executive director of Educational Opportunities for Children and Families (EOCF).

She has more than 16 years of experience working in public agencies and developing strategies to improve organizational cultural humility. Prior to her work for EOCF, she served as Chief of Operations and Equity at United Wayof the Columbia-Willamette. Before that, she spent 12 years working in various capacities for Clark County and the State of Oregon in their Department of Human Services. In 2010, she became the principal operator of her private consulting firm, Chemistry Development LLC.

 Community activities include:

  • We Reign Youth Foundation  -Board Member
  • Leadership Clark County Diversity -Trainer since 2008
  • American Society for Training and Development
  • Cultural Competency Team–Member/Advisor
  • Southwest Washington Chapter Red Cross - Board Member and Diversity Team Chair
  • Southwest Washington YWCA Personnel Committee–Member
  • Southwest Washington and Portland Big Brothers Big Sisters African American Advisory Committee–Member
  • City of Battle Ground Diversity Task Force–Participant
  • Greater Portland Vancouver Indicators Equity Team–Member
  • Portland State University School of Social Work Social Justice Committee–Member

Awards and Recognition:

  • 2007 NAACP Val Joshua Award
  • 2008 YWCA Social Justice Award Recipient
  • 2009 Delta Social Justice Award Recipient
  • 2009 National Association of Counties Innovative Program Award Recipient
  • 2010 Accomplished and under 40 Award Recipient


  • Portland State University - PhD. Social Work Research; pre-dissertation
  • Portland State University – Master’s Degree–Social Work/Administration - 2002 
  • Portland State University – Bachelor of Science Degree–Criminal Justice–1997