DeRionne Pollard, Ph.D.
Former President, Montgomery College, 2021
Award ADDITIONS 2021: Fall 2020; Maryland Black Chamber’s Champion of Excellence Award.
Montgomery County Champion award from the Latin American Youth Center (Jan. 2021)
In 2010, DeRionne Pollard assumed leadership of Montgomery College, a three-campus community college with 55,000 credit and noncredit students. She spearheaded the development of a new Montgomery College mission and strategic plans, and launched the Pinkney Innovation Complex for Science and Technology at Montgomery College (PIC MC). She has partnered actively with Montgomery County Public Schools and the Universities at Shady Grove in the creation of Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES), a support program designed to help disadvantaged students transition from high school to college completion. The program now has 2,700 students enrolled. Her decade long leadership of Montgomery College has centered on advancing academic excellence, ensuring access to higher education, partnering to build strong communities, prioritizing a deep commitment to equity and inclusion, and protecting the life-changing mission of community colleges.
Dr. Pollard formerly served as president of Las Positas College in Livermore, California. She served on the American Association of Community Colleges’ 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges and the Commission on Academic, Student, and Community Development. Dr. Pollard is a member of the Equity Advisory Board for Mission Partners and the Center for First-generation Student Success Advisory Board for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. Locally, she also serves on the boards of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, Universities at Shady Grove, the Capital Area Food Bank, and the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. Additionally, she serves as a mentor for the Aspen Institute’s Rising Presidents Fellowship. Her tireless work on issues of racial justice has been honored by awards from the Maryland Black Chamber of Commerce (2020) and the Latin American Youth Center (2021).
Dr. Pollard was named one of Washington's 100 Most Powerful Women by Washingtonian Magazine, won a 2017 Academic Leadership Award from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and was a recipient of a Visionary Award by the Washington Area Women’s Foundation. Additionally, she has been honored by Leadership Montgomery, The Daily Record, Bethesda Magazine, and the Washington Business Journal and is a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Gamma Alpha Eta Zeta Chapter, as well as the Silver Spring Chapter of The Links.
Dr. Pollard’s MA and BA in English are from Iowa State University, which awarded her its Distinguished Alumni Award in 2019. Her PhD is in educational leadership and policy studies in higher education from Loyola University Chicago, which awarded her the Damen Award in 2018.
Most importantly, what the bio does not say, and in her own words: “Who am I and what do I bring with me to this work? I am a proud Chicago Public Schools graduate; former food stamps and public assistance recipient, first generation college completer; motherless child and boy-mom healed by parenting; loved and loving the most glorious woman in the world for over 30 years; and proud advocate and warrior for all things community college and the students and communities we have the privilege of serving.”