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Picture of student Jennifer M. Creasey
Jennifer M. Creasey
Assistant Vice President, External and State Relations Office of External Relations and Communications University of Illinois System
Doctor of Public Administration

Hometown: Springfield, Illinois

Undergraduate Institution and Major: University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, Political Science and Speech communications

Graduate Institution and Major: University of Illinois Springfield, Political Studies

Bio: Jennifer joined the University of Illinois in March 2014, recently stepping into the role of Assistant Vice President, External and State Relations. In this role she responsible for working with the president’s cabinet in developing and executing long-term strategic legislative and communication plans for the three university, U of I System. She also manages a distributed team of professionals responsible for coordinating and implementing state government relations, communications and advocacy strategies and activities that advance the University of Illinois system’s mission and strategic priorities.

Before joining the University of Illinois System, Jennifer was with AARP Illinois, and previously served as Deputy Director of Boards & Commissions/Agricultural & Environmental Affairs in the Office of the Governor.

Relevant Profession Experience: Jennifer represents the University of Illinois System cultivating strategic partnerships with external facing stakeholders across the state. As Chair of the University of Illinois System Council on Governmental and External Relations (COGER), Jennifer has successfully run a number of successful system wide campaigns to position the University of Illinois System as a statewide thought leader in higher education, economic development, and community outreach. She has gained state support for several university initiatives, including state appropriations, higher education policy changes and critical strategic initiatives like the Discovery Partners Institute/Illinois Innovation Network and Shield Illinois. During the 2016-2017 Illinois budget crisis, Jennifer coordinated the Illinois Coalition to Invest in Higher Education, comprised of leaders of public and private universities, community colleges, business and labor groups to successful advocate on behalf of higher education in Illinois.

Research Interests: Higher education leadership in state government and the impact on the overall wellbeing of the state.

Professional Affiliations: In 2016 she was nominated to participate in the U of I Edgar Fellows Program, and the Springfield Business Journal’s 40 under 40 list in 2018.  Jennifer founded the State Relations group within the Association of Public & Land-grant Universities, and has continued to serve as Chair of this group for the last four years.

Volunteer Activities: She is a member of YMCA Board of Trustees, Springfield Art Association and St. Patrick School boards, and an active member of a number of community and professional development groups.