Jenny Rickard

Pres & CEO
The Common Application

Jenny Rickard is President & Chief Executive Officer of The Common Application, a
not-for-profit member organization committed to the pursuit of access, equity, and integrity in the
college admission process. Each year, more than one million students, one-third of whom are
first-generation, apply to college through the Common App. Founded in 1975, the Common App
serves more than 800 member colleges and universities worldwide.
Jenny’s strong commitment to college access is evidenced by her accomplishments as the chief
enrollment officer at both the University of Puget Sound and Bryn Mawr College, and in
admission roles at Swarthmore College and New York University School of Law. Her extensive
service within the national higher education community includes a wide range of roles with The
College Board, Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools (ACCIS), and US
Department of Education. Jenny also brings significant leadership experience from the ed-tech
sector.
Since Jenny joined the Common App in August of 2016, the organization has developed a
long-term strategic plan and roadmap; developed a new application system for transfer and
adult students; and expanded its access initiatives, including uniting with Reach Higher, the
college access and success campaign founded by former First Lady Michelle Obama during her
time in the White House.
Jenny received a doctorate in higher education management from the University of
Pennsylvania; a Master of Business Administration degree from New York University, Stern
School of Business; and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Swarthmore
College.



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Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.