Jennifer Rippner joined the University System of Georgia team as executive director of education policy and partnership and coordinator of the Georgia Alliance of Education Agency Heads (AEAH) in 2015. Rippner most recently served as a postdoctoral research and teaching associate at the IHE after completing her doctorate in higher education in December 2013. As a student in the IHE, she served as a graduate research assistant for the Provost’s Office working on performance funding and faculty workload issues. As part of her assistantship, she also assisted the University System of Georgia with their College Completion Incubator, a competitive grant program designed to increase college completion rates through funding institutional innovations. She also represented the provost’s office in the College Board’s Affinity Network established to build a bridge between K-12 and higher education during common core standards implementation.
She started her career as a charter school director in Florida and later became director of the Florida Charter School Accountability Center, a statewide resource center housed at Florida State University. Rippner moved to Georgia, where she managed the state’s charter school and alternative education programs at the Georgia Department of Education. She then served as education policy advisor to former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue as well as executive director of the Office of Student Achievement, a statewide P-20 accountability agency where she oversaw the establishment of several education research projects, including a partnership with the National Student Clearinghouse to track Georgia high school students’ success in college. Most recently, she was senior policy and legal advisor at EducationCounsel, LLC, an education law and policy firm where she authored several policy briefs regarding access and diversity issues in higher education.
Rippner is a past member of the Southern Regional Education Board and is currently a gubernatorial appointee to the State Charter Schools Commission. She was one of three Americans chosen for a Global Policy Fellowship with the Institute of Higher Education Policy in 2008. She was selected to participate in the William L. Boyd National Educational Politics workshop at the 2013 AERA conference and has presented multiple papers at ASHE and Education Law Association annual conferences.
She was the 2012 recipient of the Zell and Shirley Miller Graduate Fellowship, which is awarded annually to one doctoral student within the Institute of Higher Education. The award is given to a student based on his/her scholarly potential as well as an assessment of his/her academic record and professional achievement.
Jennifer's main area of research focuses on education organizations and systems, particularly state systems of education. While many national and state goals span the education pipeline, state systems of education usually remain disjointed. Rippner wants to understand how system reform (P-20) can help states to achieve their educational goals, including increased postsecondary attainment. Her dissertation focused on the role of three state P-20 councils in bridging the divide between K-12 and higher education.
Rippner earned a Bachelor of Art in political science and Juris Doctorate from the University of Florida.