Indian American, Sonya Christian, named Chancellor of California Community Colleges


Christian, a leading educationist, is the first woman Chancellor of California Community Colleges, the largest public higher education system in the US

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Dr Sonya Christian, has become the first person of South Asian origin to be appointed as the permanent chancellor of California community colleges. The largest and most diverse system of public higher education in the US, has 116 colleges. She was unanimously selected by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors.

Christian is a Kerala University graduate, and did her Masters in Applied Mathematics from the University of Southern Carolina. She becomes the first woman to lead the college system that serves 1.8 million students every year. She will be the first woman and first person of South Asian descent to lead the USA’s largest system of higher education. She completed her doctorate from University of California.

Christian has actively engaged in policies and practices related to quality and equity agendas for last 30 years. She was named the 6th chancellor of the Kern Community College District, where she implemented a call to action with a focus on advancing student success.

She started her career in higher education as a mathematics faculty and later as division chair at Bakersfield College. Christian was then appointed as the Dean of science, engineering, allied health, and mathematics.

She served as an administrator at Lane Community College in Oregon for several years before returning home to Kern Community College District in 2013 after being selected as the 10th president of Bakersfield College. “I am honored to be selected to lead the most important system of higher education in the country and grateful to the Board of Governors for their confidence,” Christian said.

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