New CEOs

Cynthia Anthony will become president of Lawson State Community College in Alabama on April 1. She has served as interim president since September.

Anthony has 30 years of higher education experience, previously serving as interim vice chancellor for student success for the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) and executive vice president and dean of students at Lawson State. She previously served at Bessemer State Technical College, which merged with Lawson State in 2005. In addition to various other leadership roles within ACCS, Anthony was interim president at three other Alabam institutions: Drake State Community and Technical College, Shelton State Community College and Enterprise State Community College.

Carlos O. Cortez has been named the next chancellor of the San Diego Community College District in California, effective July 1. He has served as president of the district’s San Diego College of Continuing Education (SDCCE) since 2015. Cortez is also an adjunct faculty member at Johns Hopkins University, New York University and the University of California, Berkeley.

Previously, Cortez was acting vice president of instruction at Berkeley City College and director of education extension at the University of California, Los Angeles. He began his career in education as a Teach for America Corps member, and also has served as a principal at a charter school and vice principal at an elementary school.

Cortez has received many accolades during his tenure at SDCCE, including the 2017 Martes Award for Excellence in Research from the Association of California Community College Administrators, the 2018 Excellence in Continuing Education Award from the Association of Community and Continuing Education, and the 2018 Innovation of the Year Award from League for Innovation in Community Colleges.

Brad Newman will serve as the next president of Shelton State Community College in Alabama as of April 1. Newman has 28 years of leadership and management experience and most recently was plant manager for the automotive supply company ZF Chassis Systems, a position he has held since 2012. Locally, Newman is chair of West Alabama Works, vice chair of Education and Workforce Development for the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce, and is a member of the West Alabama Regional Workforce Council/Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Board. In addition, he is a founding member of the German Business Council and a member of the Alabama Germany Partnership. He also serves as an advisory board member for the University of Alabama Blackburn Institute.


Luis Pedraja, president of Quinsigamond Community College (Massachusetts), was recently honored by the Worchester Business Journal as its Innovative Business Leader of the Year for his decisive actions regarding the pandemic and for being an outspoken advocate for racial and social justice.

Donald “Guy” Generals, president of Community College of Philadelphia, has been named the 2021 National Pacesetter of the Year by the National Council of Marketing and Public Relations, which is an affiliated council of the American Association of Community Colleges. The award recognizes a college CEO for leadership and support of their marketing staff.


Christopher Green is now assistant dean of health, human and public services at Clark State College in Ohio. He previously was associate dean for academic affairs at Allen Community College (Kansas).

About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
is editor of Community College Daily and serves as publications director for the American Association of Community Colleges.