Emily J. Shields has served as executive director of Community Colleges for Iowa since January 2021, leading advocacy for Iowa's 15 Community Colleges. Prior to that, she served as executive director of Iowa and Minnesota Campus Compact. She received a B.A. degree in journalism and political science from the University of Iowa and a master’s degree in philanthropy and nonprofit development at the University of Northern Iowa. Shields served as chief of staff for the Rebuild Iowa office and was senate liaison and policy adviser to Iowa’s governor. She has worked in field organizing and fundraising for political campaigns and served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member.