Rachel Stephenson, CUNY Vice chancellor for Strategic Partnerships

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Strategic Partnerships

Rachel Stephenson is Assistant Vice Chancellor for Strategic Partnerships at The City University of New York. Her service in that role began in June 2017. As Assistant Vice Chancellor, Rachel spearheads the development of key external partnerships and, in collaboration with partners and University stakeholders, designs program models with focused student success goals. She serves as a University leader and advisor for programs serving undocumented students. She also supports implementation of the University’s strategic framework, leading related communications and stakeholder engagement.

Rachel has worked at The City University of New York since 2009, most recently serving within the Office of Academic Affairs as University Director overseeing the design and implementation of a range of student-facing programs, including the CUNY Service Corps, the CUNY Cultural Corps, TheDream.US Scholarship Program, and the Program for DREAMers at CUNY, and previously working in continuing education and workforce development. Rachel’s innovative, flagship programs have advanced CUNY’s mission and become part of the University’s legacy, creating models for experiential education and workforce training as well as meaningful engagement with undocumented students in higher education.

Prior to joining CUNY, Rachel worked as an educator and program director in NYC-based college-access and community-serving organizations, including the Central Park Conservancy and Legal Outreach, Inc. She was also a language arts middle school teacher.

Outside of her recent work at CUNY, Rachel has written and spoken about grief after giving a TEDx talk called “Against Grieving in Silence” in 2015 in New York City. Rachel has a BA in English from Trinity University and an MFA in Nonfiction Writing from Columbia University.