Patricia Balana is chief operating officer at Jobs for the Future. She oversees communications, finance, information technology, and human resources. Previously at JFF, she provided project management expertise in JFF’s state-level policy network, which helps states and their community colleges optimize the number of students earning high-value credentials. In this role, she targets technical assistance to state education leaders and policymakers in their commitment to community college–student success and completion.
Before joining JFF, Ms. Balana served served as COO for eight years at the Belfast Education Board in Northern Ireland. She worked at the American Institutes for Research for four years, including as a senior technical consultant, directing projects aimed at improving educational opportunities for disadvantaged students and young adults. Ms. Balana has more than a decade experience in managing large-scale education projects, including public private partnerships, school reorganizations, and working with teachers, school leaders and other education stakeholders in the context of school improvement and turnaround.
Ms. Balana is a graduate of the Certified Institute of Public Finance, with a CIPFA in Public Sector Finance, and holds both a Post Grad Diploma and Master of Arts in Public Policy Administration and Legal Studies from the University of Ulster, Belfast. Patricia is also a certified PMP.