Jilliene Rodriguez
Board Member-at-Large, NLC Vermont

Jilliene M. Rodriguez is a native of Cleveland, OH and understands the transformative nature of education to shape and change lives, and is dedicated to making postsecondary education more inclusive, affordable, and equitable. As the Director of Diversity, Engagement, and Professional Development in the Divison of Student Affairs at the University of Vermont, Jilliene provides institutional leadership for issues of climate and diversity as the Chair for the University’s Bias Response Program, oversees professional development for ~ 200 staff members in the Division, serves as the liaison for the Higher Education and Student Affairs graduate program, and oversees the University’s NASPA Undergraduate Fellow Program. The academic program pairs students who identify as People of Color (Black/African American, Asian, Hispanic/Latino(a), Indigenous (Native American, Alaskan, Hawaiian), LGBTQ (Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer) and/or or with a disability with a mentor on campus to explore the field of student affairs and higher education as a career. Prior to UVM, her passion for advocating for underserved communities and federal policy was further refined during her time on Capitol Hill. She served as a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Education Fellow in the Offices of U.S. Representative Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH) and Senator Kay R. Hagan (D-NC), where she worked on education, health care, poverty, and judiciary issues. Her commitment to equity and inclusion extends beyond her professional roles and continues in her roles as an Upward Bound Mentor and Board of Trustee member at The College of Wooster.