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Katya Nekrasova

Director, Federal and State Programs and Grant Management

Katya Nekrasova joins the Lab as Director of Federal and State Programs and Grant Management. Katya brings over 15 years of managing multifaceted workforce and economic development initiatives and leadership programs for community college executives at the national level, as well as a deep understanding of the critical role of America’s community colleges in promoting upward economic mobility, resiliency and prosperity, and commitment to smart training for the 21st century workforce that reduces workforce inequities

Prior to joining the Lab, Katya led the American Association of Community Colleges’ Commission on Small and Rural Colleges, where she created opportunities for peer networking and interaction and promoted dialogue between stakeholders and key national partners to build consensus. Katya also served on the Board of Directors of another rural advocacy organization, Rural Community College Alliance. Katya’s portfolio included supporting community-led economic development to accelerate the economic recovery from the pandemic, serving previously underrepresented students in under-resourced communities, and promoting economic advancement for all. 

In the course of her career, Katya has always prioritized designing, implementing and fostering robust training programs that address equity and earnings gaps for vulnerable and underrepresented students in underserved areas. Through her many years of work with community colleges, Katya has gained a unique professional and personal understanding of how to develop and implement successful education and wrap-around support services to eliminate non-academic structural and institutional barriers to students’ full participation in the workforce and community, and advance their social and economic mobility. 

Katya has held positions at Trinity University, University of Illinois and Joliet Junior College, the nation’s first public community college, where she developed, implemented and managed educational programs for adult learners, including adult education and literacy programs and workforce development services, designed materials and curricula for occupational education leading directly to employment, engaged in partnership building, and provided technical assistance to local economic development organizations. 

Katya has undergraduate and graduate ESL degrees from University of St. Petersburg, as well as a Master’s degree in Educational Management, with a focus on higher education leadership, from American University.