Kimberly Jessup, President
Kimberly Jessup became President of the Vermont Association of Independent Colleges (AVIC) in 2022. She served as part-time Advisor to the President since 2009 in wide-ranging policy, operational, and communication capacities.
After three terms in the Vermont House of Representatives, Jessup did not seek re-election in 2022. Her primary statehouse responsibilities included service on the House Appropriations Committee, House Ethics Panel, and Judicial Nominating Board.
Jessup’s federal legislative knowledge comes from work as a congressional aide for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the U.S. House Subcommittee on International Development, Finance, Trade and Monetary Policy. Combining interests in policy and education, she subsequently managed the non-profit Congressional Staff Forum, a program to educate legislative aides about international issues. She is well-versed in the dynamics of education coalitions from her work as Director of Public Policy Affairs at the Academy for Educational Development (AED), where she led Washington-based advocacy and outreach efforts. While at AED, she also staffed the International Educational and Training Coalition and chaired InterAction’s Advocacy Committee.
Jessup first came to AVIC from the Vermont-based Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) where she served as the DC Program Officer and co-managed the start-up of ISC’s New England Futures Program. Prior to ISC, she researched and reported for the Vermont Public Radio newsroom.
Jessup’s overseas work includes design of a pilot HIV/AIDs project funded by UNDP-India; research on indigenous people’s groups in India; and development of a youth program for the Department of Women’s Affairs in Belize. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Development Studies from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master of International Affairs from Columbia University. She is married and has two children.
Susan Stitely, Strategic Advisor
After 14 years as president of AVIC, Susan is stepping into the role of strategic advisor. Previously, Susan worked in the Vermont Legislature staffing the Senate Education Committee. In her role assisting the chair of the committee she worked on higher education funding issues. She holds degrees from two Vermont Independent Colleges: a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Vermont Law School and a Masters in Teaching English as Second Language from Saint Michael’s College. For 11 years Susan worked in international development at the Institute for Sustainable Communities based in Montpelier. She supported projects designed to strengthen communities in Russia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, and Ukraine. She also launched an environmental training program for small businesses in China and developed a collaborative environmental education program with a university in China. She has taught at universities in China and Turkey.