Dr. Brenda Thames

Dr. Brenda Thames Named Superintendent/ President of El Camino College

May 18, 2021 Torrance, CA

The five-member El Camino Community College District Board of Trustees names Dr. Brenda Thames the next Superintendent/President of El Camino College during its May Board meeting.

Dr. Thames begins her duties July, 1, 2021, and brings to El Camino over 23 years of experience in instruction, student services, and administration in California Community Colleges.

 “I am honored to have the opportunity to serve in the leadership role of a community college as distinguished and reputable as El Camino College,” said Dr. Thames. “El Camino College is known and recognized for the College's deep commitment to equity and student success.  I am ready, and can’t wait to roll up my sleeves and get to work side-by-side with some of the most gifted, talented, and dedicated faculty, staff and students in the California Community College System to continue to advance educational opportunity and economic mobility for the students we serve.”

The Board’s much-anticipated announcement is the result of a months-long, nationwide presidential candidate search that narrowed the list of candidates to four finalists, who participated in separate public forums via Zoom in late April.

“Dr. Thames brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to El Camino College,” said Board President Nilo Vega Michelin. “Her dedication to student success and deep expertise on student-centered issues are critical as we to continue to support our students, staff and faculty, and foster academic excellence. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I welcome Dr. Thames to the Warrior family and look forward to working with her in support of our students.”

Dr. Thames presently serves as the President of West Hills College Coalinga, and holds a bachelor’s degree with a double major in sociology and social welfare from the University of California, Berkeley; master’s degree in social work from the University of Southern California; master’s degree in public administration from the University of Southern California; and a doctorate in education from Oregon State University. She completed the Harvard University Institute for Educational Management as well as fellowships with the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program and the UC Davis School of Education Center for Community College Leadership and Research. She has served in a broad spectrum of positions including adjunct faculty, tenured faculty, faculty coordinator, department chair, program director, dean, Vice President of Student Services, and Vice President of Instruction. 

Current Superintendent/President of El Camino, Dena P. Maloney, Ed.D., will retire when her current contract ends at the conclusion of the 2020-21 academic year in June. President Maloney was selected as El Camino College’s sixth Superintendent/President by the Board of Trustees in October 2015, and began her tenure in February 2016.

“Serving at El Camino College has been the highlight of my career in higher education,” President Maloney said at the time she announced her retirement. “There’s something special about this institution and its mission. It’s been an honor to work alongside so many talented colleagues in the faculty, staff, and administration who are committed to making the El Camino experience transformative for our students.”

May 18, 2021