Oberlin College introduces its 15th President, 1st African Ameri - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Oberlin College introduces its 15th President, 1st African American

Carmen Twillie Ambar addresses the campus community during an announcement ceremony on May 30, 2017. (Source: Scott Shaw) Carmen Twillie Ambar addresses the campus community during an announcement ceremony on May 30, 2017. (Source: Scott Shaw)
OBERLIN, OH (WOIO) -

The Oberlin College Board of Trustees introduced Tuesday the college's 15th president and first African-American in the institution's 184-year history.

Carmen Twillie Ambar will begin serving in her post this fall.

"Oberlin is a singular institution in American higher education, with an historic commitment to social justice, academic and musical excellence, and the liberal arts," Ambar says. "I look forward to my work with Oberlin's faculty, staff, students, board, and alumni to think creatively and collaboratively together. I am humbled to be joining this institution and excited about the opportunity to lead it into its next era."

Ambar's values align closely with Oberlin's mission. 

She has served as the 13th president of Cedar Crest College since 2008, following a highly successful tenure as vice president and dean of Douglass College at Rutgers University, where she was the youngest dean in the University's history. Cedar Crest has thrived under her leadership. 

"I'm incredibly excited to work with Carmen Ambar as Oberlin's next president," says Chris Canavan '84, Chair-Elect of Oberlin's Board of Trustees. "Her life story, her academic achievements, her devotion to the liberal arts and her love of music make her the very embodiment of Oberlin. Under her leadership, I'm confident that Oberlin can advance with the times without losing sight of who we are."

The Presidential Search Committee was impressed with Ambar's deep commitment to helping students see their potential in new and creative ways, achieve at the highest levels in whatever field they choose, and ultimately change the world for the better.  

Ambar earned her juris doctorate at Columbia Law School, her master's in public affairs at Princeton University, and her B.S. in Foreign Service at Georgetown University. She is married to Saladin Malik Ambar, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and Senior Scholar at the Center on the American Governor at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, Ambar has ten-year-old triplets, Gabrielle, Luke, and Daniel.

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