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Eritrean chosen to lead Riverside Community College District

Wolde-Ab Isaac, the current president of Riverside City College, has been tapped to lead the three-campus Riverside Community College District.


By David Downey

Wolde-Ab Isaac has been appointed chancellor of the Riverside Community College District, which runs colleges in Moreno Valley, Norco and Riverside.

The district’s board voted unanimously to select Isaac, the current president of Riverside City College, a news release states. He will step into his new post Jan. 1.

Isaac, a Riverside resident with more than 35 years of experience as an educator, has been with the district since 2006, when he began working as dean of health science at the Moreno Valley campus. In 2012, he was named vice president of academic affairs at the Riverside campus, the release stated. In 2015, he was named the Riverside school’s 11th president.

A Fulbright Scholar, Isaac was born in Eritrea, East Africa, and graduated from Ethiopia’s Haile Selassie University with a major in chemistry.

Graduate studies and work took him to the University of Uppsala in Sweden, before he returned to Eritrea to become government secretary of human resources. He then earned master’s and doctoral degrees in medicinal chemistry at the University of Michigan.

Isaac called himself “a perfect example of the profound truth that education is the most powerful social and economic equalizer.”

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