President’s Biography

President Dr.Rowena Tomaneng’s Biography

A first-generation immigrant from the Philippines and community college transfer student, Dr.Rowena M. Tomaneng has been a multicultural educator in the California Community Colleges for over 23 years. Her leadership, teaching, research, and service are guided by social justice and equity frameworks. Since 2016, she has been the President of Berkeley City College (BCC) in the Peralta Community College District, serving a diverse population of 7,000 students. In 2017, she launched The Berkeley Promise–a City of Berkeley, Berkeley Unified School District, Berkeley City College, and Berkeley Community Fund partnership to close the racial opportunity gap for low-income African American and Latinx students.

Prior to her presidency, Dr. Tomaneng served multiple roles at De Anza College in the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, including tenured faculty in English, Asian American Studies and Women’s Studies, founding Director of The Institute for Community and Civic Engagement, Dean of Language Arts, and Associate Vice President of Instruction. She also lead the efforts for the implementation of De Anza’s nationally recognized Asian American Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institution (AANAPISI) project, IMPACT AAPI (Initiative to Maximize the Positive Achievement and Cultural Thriving of Asian American Pacific Islanders). Beyond De Anza, Dr. Tomaneng actively engaged in culturally focused local, regional, and national organizations, including leading advocacy campaigns for immigrant rights and more police accountability. For several years, she served as a volunteer community organizer for Filipino Community Support, Silicon Valley, Coalition for Justice and Accountability, San Jose, and the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns, USA.

Dr. Tomaneng was selected as a Fellow for California Campus Compact’s Bridge-Building Initiative for Emerging Leaders of Color in Higher Education, Campus Compact’s Engaged Scholars for New Perspectives in Higher Education, and The Wheelhouse Leadership Institute, University of California, Davis. She has published in venues such as the Journal of Multicultural Perspectives and Overcoming Educational Racism in the Community College, and she is currently on the editorial board for The Association of American Colleges and Universities’ Diversity and Democracy and Asian American Literature: Discourses & Pedagogies. In addition to serving as a commissioner on Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity for the American Association of Community Colleges, she also serves on the boards for the Chief Executive Officers of the California Community Colleges, Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education, and the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Tomaneng received her EdD in International/Multicultural Education with a concentration in Human Rights Education from University of San Francisco, an MA in English from University of California, Santa Barbara, and a BA in English from University of California, Irvine.


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