Dr. Martha Garcia Selected as new Superintendent/President for College of the Desert

Dr. Martha Garcia has been offered the position of Superintendent/President at College of the Desert following a national search and community listening sessions, the Desert Community College District Board of Trustees announced today.

She replaces Joel Kinnamon who announced his retirement in December 2020. She was one of three female finalists.

Dr. Martha Garcia

Dr. Martha Garcia

Dr. Garcia currently serves as the Superintendent/President of Imperial Valley College, where she has developed many categorically funded programs that focus on serving underrepresented students. Through her successful grant writing experience, Dr. Garcia has secured more than $20 million to support the creation of innovative programs and services.

She is expected to start in her new role on Aug 20, 2021.

“Dr. Garcia brings experience as a superintendent /president and a strong leadership skill set,” Board Chair Aurora Wilson said in a prepared statement.

The Board voted 3-2, with trustees Aurora Wilson, Rubén AríAztlán Perez and Bea Gonzalez voting in favor of the action.

“We were pleased to meet three very strong finalists. I want to commend my fellow board members, for this was a difficult decision,” Wilson said. ”Now, we will move forward and work together for the future success of the College.”

Dr. Garcia earned a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from San Diego State University, a Master’s Degree in Educational Counseling from National University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from San Diego State University, and an Associate Degree from Imperial Valley College.

She has been employed in a California community college since 1999 and has held several positions under student and academic services.

“I would like to thank and recognize the hard work of the search committee that brought us three incredibly qualified candidates. I also would like to thank our search consulting firm, Community College Search Services, and Stan Carrizosa for his assistance in this monumental effort. Lastly, I would like to thank Interim Superintendent/President Jeff Baker for serving during this transitional period,” Wilson said.

Dr. Garcia’s selection followed input and feedback from the Coachella Valley community and College of the Desert students, faculty, staff and leadership.

Image Sources

  • College of the Desert: COD