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Jacob Fraire

President

With more than 35 years of professional experience in higher education, philanthropy and public policy advocacy, Jacob Fraire became president of ECMC Foundation in February 2023. Here, he leads the Foundation’s strategic grantmaking and investing to transform the postsecondary ecosystem and improve higher education and career outcomes for students from underserved backgrounds.

Before joining the Foundation, Mr. Fraire served as director of policy and strategy for the Diana Natalicio Institute at the University of Texas at El Paso. Previously, Mr. Fraire was president and CEO of the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC) where he represented the presidents and chancellors of the state’s 50 public community college districts, which enroll more than 700,000 students.

Under his leadership, TACC secured policymaker support for state policies and funding in favor of community college students, including the creation of the Texas Commission on Community College Finance and legislative approval for the Texas Reskilling and Upskilling through Education program, authorizing short-term credentials for adult learners. Mr. Fraire also provided leadership to advance statewide implementation of guided pathways reforms to improve completion rates, post-graduation success and other student outcomes. Mr. Fraire co-led a statewide collaboration that resulted in legislative approval of student transfer policy and a corresponding state framework for transfer efficacy. He also led efforts to realize legislation to implement co-requisite instruction to accelerate the completion of developmental education.  

Before joining TACC, Mr. Fraire served as vice president of philanthropy at Trellis Company (formerly Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation). As the chief architect of corporate philanthropy, Mr. Fraire stewarded $80 million in competitive grants to advance college access, need-based financial aid, student success and research. His leadership led to the creation of today’s Trellis Foundation. Mr. Fraire also provided leadership to the company’s operational programs supporting college access and persistence, financial education, and default prevention and management services for institutions.  

For a decade, Mr. Fraire served in multiple policy advocacy roles in Washington, D.C. He served as director of legislation and policy analysis at the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, as the senior legislative coordinator at a firm representing research-intensive universities, and separately as principal of a firm representing multiple guaranty agencies in the Federal Family Education Loan Program.

Mr. Fraire has served on multiple national and state boards, including Grantmakers for Education, Institute for Higher Education Policy (board chair), Advisory Board for the Community College Research Center, federal Committee on Measures of Student Success, Corporate Advisory Committee of the Council for Opportunity in Education, TACC Business Advisory Council, Texas Transfer Working Group and Texas Dual Credit Task Force. 

The son of migrant farmworkers, Mr. Fraire grew up in El Paso, Texas. He holds a bachelor of science from St. Edward’s University and a master of public affairs from the University of Texas at Austin. He and his wife, Virginia, have five adult children.