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Jessica Kelly

Chief of Staff

With a background in both women’s empowerment and higher education student affairs, Jessica (Jess) Kelly is committed to working with women leaders on college campuses. Jess is Chief of Staff at Running Start, a nonpartisan nonprofit that trains young women to run for office.


Jess's passion for college women's leadership stems from her experience as a first-generation college student, wanting to make sure all college women have the tools to navigate leadership opportunities and make the most of their college experience. Jess's favorite part of her job is working with students on campus, and she has personally trained women in 23 different states plus Mexico and Jamaica.


Jess has a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from the George Washington University, a Master’s degree in Women’s Studies from Southern Connecticut State University, and a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Connecticut.


Before coming to Running Start, Jess was Program Manager for the American Association of University Women’s campus leadership programs for six years. Prior to that, she was Program Coordinator for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Resource Center at the George Washington University and worked for the Women’s Studies Program at Southern Connecticut State University.

Jessica currently lives in Washington, DC.

Read about Jess