Dr. René Cantú

Executive Director of JAG Nevada

Board Member: State Affiliate Representatives​

Dr. René Cantú is the founding Executive Director of Jobs for Nevada’s Graduates (J4NG),  established in 2014. Under his leadership, J4NG grew from six programs, 200 students and a  $750,000 annual budget in 2014, to 63 programs, over 3,200 students and a budget exceeding five million dollars a year in 2023. Dr. Cantú has dedicated his career to helping students of  promise graduate from high school and pursue life changing career pathways ranging from traditional college/university study, apprenticeships, internships, and skilled trades training.

In 2020, Dr. Cantú was elected as a Member of the Nevada State Board of Education  representing Congressional District 4 and is a dedicated advocate for educational and employment opportunity for all Nevada students. Previously, Dr. Cantú worked in higher education as Vice President of Multicultural Affairs for Nevada State CollegeHe has served on the board of directors of the Latin Chamber of Commerce, and in 2008, served as Vice Chair. He received his BFA, MFA and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Growing up as a socalled atrisk student in his youth who was tracked into a noncollege path, he firmly believes that students and their parents should determine how far they can go in lifeand that education is the key to prosperity and a brighter futureDr. Cantú resides in Summerlin North with his wife and two children and has lived in Nevada since 2001.