Clark College Announces Changes on Governing Board

For Immediate Release 
November 6, 2023

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Suzanne Donaldson named to Board of Trustees 

photo of DonaldsonVANCOUVER, Wash. — Clark College welcomed a new trustee, Suzanne Donaldson, recently appointed by Governor Jay Inslee to serve on the five-member Clark College Board of Trustees. Clark College serves the community of Southwest Washington in District 14, which includes Clark, Skamania and western Klickitat counties.  Donaldson began her new role on October 31, 2023.

Donaldson will replace outgoing trustee Paul Speer, who has served on the board since 2018. Clark College Board Chair Cristhian Conseco Juarez and College President Dr. Karin Edwards welcomed Donaldson to the governing board and thanked outgoing Trustee Paul Speer for his years of service. Speer worked at Hewlett-Packard for 25 years, retiring as vice president of development and strategy.

 “Clark College is grateful to Paul for his commitment to our college, championing education and equity, and his skills in strategic planning and capacity building. His collaborative leadership has helped us move forward,” said Dr. Edwards. “I look forward to working with Suzanne as the college continues to implement its strategic plan and seek new opportunities and partnerships to stay focus on equity and excellence for students and our community.”

Suzanne Donaldson, CEO of Donaldson Consulting LLC, a national consulting firm, has more than 21 years of experience as a diversity consultant practitioner with an emphasis on, outreach, qualitative research and project management support services. She is recognized for working with underserved businesses and collaborating with multiple stakeholders.

Donaldson, a member of the Kinswa Family, serves as an elected Councilwoman for the Cowlitz Indian Tribe. Having been involved in her tribe for decades, she has served in many capacities including the Cowlitz Indian Tribe powwow committee chair, the Cowlitz Indian Tribe education committee vice chair, the Cowlitz Canoe Family, the Cowlitz Drum Group, Elders program volunteer, Pathways to Healing volunteer, and event planner for tribal celebrations. In addition to designing and making regalia, she is a Native American dancer, singer, drummer, and artist.

Donaldson has volunteered as a mentor for the Port of Portland’s Mentor Protégé Program, The Providence Cancer Foundation steering committee, The City of Portland’s Minority Evaluator Program, SafeBuild Alliance and Santa’s Posse.

“As an enrolled member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, it is an honor to serve on the Clark College Board of Trustees, which sits on the aboriginal land of the Cowlitz Indian,” Donaldson said. “As a first-generation native indigenous student to receive an associate degree 15 years after high school graduation, I understand the barriers to entry, to successful completion and to finding one’s way after college. I plan to leverage my experiences to promote inclusive excellence where every student has the opportunity to thrive.”

About Clark College Board of Trustees 

The Clark College Board of Trustees is united in the college’s mission to serve the community by helping its constituents achieve their educational and professional goals. The Board seeks to ensure the quality and relevance of college programs and provides 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.  

Each of the five members of the college’s Board of Trustees is appointed by the governor of Washington, and typically serves a five-year term. They must live within the college’s service district, which includes Clark, Skamania and western Klickitat counties. The Board of Trustees generally meets on the fourth Wednesday of the month. If anyone is interested in participating on the board, learn more here. 

2023-24 Board of Trustees                            

Cristhian A. Canseco Juarez, Chair   (term ends 2024)

Denise Gideon, Vice Chair    (term ends 2024)

Jeanne Bennett    (term ends 2026)

Marilee Scarbrough  (term ends 2028)

Suzanne Donaldson   (term ends 2028)

About Clark College 

Founded in 1933 and celebrating its 90th year, Clark College provides residents of Southwest Washington with affordable, high-quality academic and technical education. It is a public community college offering more than 100 degree and certificate programs, including bachelor’s and associate degrees; professional certificates; high school diplomas and GED preparation; and non-credit community and continuing education. Clark serves a wide range of students including high school students, displaced workers, veterans, parents, non-native English speakers, and mature learners. Approximately three-quarters of its students are in the first generation of their families to attend college.