Why I work with HCM
Reflecting on nearly 50 years of postsecondary and policy experience, I am most grateful for the educational opportunities I have been afforded and awed by the scientific and technological advancements I’ve witnessed. I am terribly saddened, however, that the benefits attributed to education and innovation have not been accrued by large segments of our society. Daily I am inspired by so many in the field who remain focused on closing these equity gaps and with deep resolve work to forge relationships and understanding in hope my grandchildren will enjoy a future that includes opportunity and prosperity for all.
Senior Director of State Policy
Jimmy Clarke has gained experiences which have shaped his passion for postsecondary education policy and improving the lives of others. Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and influenced by the cultural revolution of the 1960s, Jimmy received his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California at Santa Barbara and later earned his master’s degree and a Ph.D. in education administration from Louisiana State University’s College of Education.
Jimmy spent twenty years at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where he served in a variety of capacities including dean of student personnel and dean of enrollment management. From this perch, Jimmy had an intimate view of the challenges students face in reaching their educational goals. He also served on the staff of the Louisiana Board of Regents for eight years, a portion of which he served in a dual capacity as acting chancellor of the statewide, 42-campus Louisiana Technical College. In these roles, Jimmy developed a deep understanding for policy issues affecting every stakeholder in higher education – an invaluable perspective that he brings to his work at HCM.
Jimmy believes that education policies crafted to benefit the student ultimately benefit the community and the nation; therefore, he strives to ensure that decision-makers sift through the complexity of public policy and consider all of the consequences on students and their families. At HCM, he serves as the director of Lumina Foundation’s Strategy Labs. Strategy Labs provide state leaders with technical assistance for policies that can increase higher education attainment. A people person at heart, Jimmy views his role as a builder of relationships and trust in an effort to foster collaboration among state policymakers with mutual student success goals.
Known for his problem-solving abilities and can-do spirit, Jimmy was tapped to be chief of staff to Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco directly following Hurricane Katrina. He remained in this post throughout the rest of the Governor’s term, answering the call to duty during a time of crisis and rebuilding. A sports enthusiast, Jimmy has a long history of involvement with intramural and recreational sports. During football season, he enjoys cheering for the New Orleans Saints and remains loyal to the San Francisco Giants during baseball season. Jimmy lives with his wife in Lafayette, Louisiana, and has two children and four grandchildren.