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INDIANAPOLIS—Oberlin College President Carmen Twillie Ambar has joined Lumina Foundation’s Board of Directors, which concluded its spring meeting today. Ambar joined Oberlin in 2017, becoming its 15th president and first Black leader in the Ohio college’s 188-year history.
Ambar has launched several initiatives designed to improve the student experience at Oberlin. She led the creation of new minors and emphasized career communities and a reallocation of resources to support the College of Arts and Sciences and the Conservatory of Music. Ambar established Connect Cleveland, which gives first-year Oberlin students daylong service-and-experiential learning opportunities, and Sustained Dialogue, designed to help students hold substantive conversations with people of differing perspectives.
In August 2020, Ambar created the Presidential Initiative on Racial Equity and Diversity in response to increasing racial tensions in America. Ambar advised the commission leading the initiative to look across Oberlin’s curriculum, hiring practices, and campus climate for opportunities to elevate a long-standing commitment to racial justice and equity.
“Carmen is an insightful, thoughtful, and visionary leader whose front-line experiences on campus will help guide Lumina’s efforts toward increasing the number of adults with college degrees or quality short-term credentials,” said Jamie Merisotis, Lumina’s president and CEO.
“I am gratified to join such an effective and forward-thinking foundation,” Ambar said. “Lumina embraces the values of equity and diversity I hold dear and that in today’s world require increasingly visible sources of support.”
Before joining Oberlin, Ambar was president of Cedar Crest College in Pennsylvania for nine years. She also served as a vice president and dean at Rutgers University and the assistant dean of graduate education at Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs. As an attorney, Ambar worked in the New York City Law Department as an assistant corporation counsel.
Ambar is a native of Little Rock, Ark., and is the mother of 14-year-old triplets. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University, a master’s degree from Princeton University, and a juris doctorate from Columbia Law School.Back to News