Helen Benjamin, Ph.D.

Dr. Helen Benjamin retired as chancellor of the Contra Costa Community College District in 2016 after over 26 years of service to the District. Since retirement, she has served as a community college consultant and brings a broad range of expertise to the role.  She works with numerous colleges, using her extensive experience as a facilitator and skills in bringing groups to consensus, developing college and districtwide systems, and creating solutions that meet the needs of students.  Her areas of expertise include strategic planning, leadership development at all levels, college governance, accreditation, and equity, diversity, and inclusion.  In 2019, Dr. Benjamin received the American Association of Community Colleges Leadership Award and served for nine months as interim superintendent-president of Santa Barbara City College. 

She is co-author of Harvest from the Vineyard: Lessons Learned from the Vineyard Symposiums (2016) and co-editor and contributor to The Chocolate Truth: An Anthology of Perspectives from Community College CEOs (2012). In 2021 she inspired, co-edited, and published How We Got Over: Growing up in the Segregated South.

Helen began her career as a classroom teacher in Dallas, Texas, followed by service at Bishop College as assistant professor of English and department chair and four years as division chair at Cedar Valley College. In addition to serving as chancellor in the Contra Costa district for 11 years, she served as president of two of the colleges and vice chancellor for educational services for the District.  Dr. Benjamin holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Bishop College and master’s and doctoral degrees in education and English, respectively, from Texas Woman’s University.