Biography of Dr. DeRionne P. Pollard
(updated December 2013)
As president of Montgomery College, Dr. DeRionne P. Pollard is committed to empowering students to change their lives and enriching the life of the community. Montgomery College, one of largest undergraduate institutions in the state of Maryland, serves nearly 60,000 credit and noncredit students annually at its three campuses.
Dr. Pollard assumed leadership of Montgomery College on August 2, 2010, following a national search by the College’s Board of Trustees. Since her inauguration, she has spearheaded the development of a new Montgomery College mission and Montgomery College 2020, the institution’s strategic plan. Other priorities have included partnering with Montgomery County Public Schools and the Universities of Shady Grove in the creation of Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES), a support program designed to help students transition from high school to college completion.
Dr. Pollard is passionate about providing higher education opportunities to all students and seeking innovative ways to increase their success. During 2012, the Montgomery College Board of Trustees voted to take a position in support of the ballot question on the Maryland Dream Act. Dr. Pollard served as a public advocate and vocal supporter for the law, which was passed by the voters of Maryland to provide in-state tuition rates to undocumented college-aged students.
She recently 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 Community College Advisory Panel at the College Board and the Higher Education Research and Development Institute Advisory Board.
Closer to home, Dr. Pollard serves on several boards, including Montgomery County Business Development Corporation, Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, Universities of Shady Grove, the Tech Council of Maryland, IMPACT Silver Spring, and Generation Hope. She is a member of the board of directors for Strathmore, an arts center in North Bethesda.
In addition, Dr. Pollard is a proud graduate of the Leadership Montgomery program, and was named its Outstanding Leader for 2013. Other awards and honors include Washingtonian Magazine’s 100 Most Powerful Women; the Daily Record’s Influential Marylander; Bethesda Magazine’s 50 Most Fascinating People, Places, and Things; and Washington Business Journal’s Minority Business Leader Award.
Dr. Pollard formerly served as president of Las Positas College in Livermore, California. Her community college career began at College of Lake County (Ill.) as a faculty member in English. Dr. Pollard received her PhD in educational leadership and policy studies in higher education from Loyola University Chicago and her MA and BA in English from Iowa State University.