Deborah DiThomas, Ed.D.

Dr. DiThomas began her career in education as a middle school teacher with Yucaipa Joint Unified School District. After 17 years in the K-12 system, DiThomas took a counselor/instructor post with Riverside Community College District (RCCD). It was there that she spent her time learning everything about community colleges and served as Dean of Matriculation from August 1999 to October, 2004. Between 2004 and 2013, DiThomas continued to serve in a variety of positions for RCCD including, Vice President Student Services, Associate Vice Chancellor Student Services & Operations, Interim Vice Chancellor, Student Services & Operations and Interim President, Norco College. She left RCCD to accept the position of Superintendent/President of the Barstow Community College District on July 1, 2013, where she served until her retirement on June 30, 2017.

Throughout her career Dr. DiThomas was actively involved in regional and statewide efforts to improve the integrity of student data with the ultimate goal of recognizing and decreasing student equity gaps; and to advocate for funding to address student success and achievement gaps that emerged through the improved data. As a CEO, she served as a member of the California Community College CEO Board, chaired ACCJC Accreditation Teams, led several Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative Teams, and presented at several state and national conferences.

Upon retirement, Dr. DiThomas has remained actively involved in work with community colleges in California and nationally. In this work, she has focused primarily on serving as a mentor to current and aspiring CEOs, and helping colleges address issues with resource allocation, participatory governance, and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). She has also led several national searches for college and district CEOs.

A product of the California educational system, DiThomas graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona with a bachelor’s in physical education and English. She holds two non-terminal, master’s degrees from Azusa Pacific University in Educational Counseling and Educational Psychology and a Doctorate in Educational Technology from Pepperdine University.



Deborah DiThomas