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Dr. Ellen Bluth

(formerly Ellen Kabat-Lensch)


Vice Chancellor for Workforce and Economic Development
Eastern Iowa Community Colleges

Dr. Ellen BluthEllen Bluth is the Vice Chancellor for Workforce and Economic Development at the Eastern Iowa Community College District. In this capacity she leads all continuing education, workforce and economic development, and resource development units, and serves as the Principal Investigator for multiple National Science Foundation grants most notably the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC) and Environmental and Natural Resource Technology (EARTh) Centers.

Ellen’s career began at EICC 37 years ago as a laboratory assistant. Since then, she has served for more than 30 years in EICC administrative leadership roles, including Executive Director for Resource Development and Innovation, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Director of Telecommunications and Associate Director of Program Development and Alternative Delivery Systems.

Ellen now leads the Economic and Workforce Development efforts at EICC which has secured $30+ million in state grants for local business since 2015—creating thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in training for the college. She also secured more than $20 million in competitive grants to the District which covered 163 full and part time employees and brought in more than $1 million in indirect funding to the general fund in FY 21. Ellen also has served, and continues to serve, as Principal Investigator on more than 40 grants, most recently securing and leading the $7.5 million National Science Foundation Advanced Technology Education National Center focused on environmental technology and natural resources.

Ellen currently serves locally on the Boards of Big Brothers Big Sisters, Family Resources, and Nahant Marsh. Statewide, she also serves on the Iowa Small Business Development Center State Advisory Board, the Iowa Network of Women in Higher Education Board, the Southeast STEM Hub Board, the IINSPIRE Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Governing Board as well as a variety of Iowa Community College committees. On a national level, she serves on numerous National Science Foundation Visiting Committee Boards and has served as an AACC Mentor Links mentor and resource person, an ACE Inclusive Excellence Group Board Member and a National Phi Theta Kappa mentor and resource person.

Ellen holds a B.S. in biology from Iowa State University, an M.B.A. from St. Ambrose University and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Iowa. She is an American Council on Education (ACE) Fellow and also holds a certificate in Fundraising Management from the Indiana University Lilly School of Philanthropy.