Presidential Search Finalists

The Essex County College Presidential Search Committee announces its selection of three finalists in the search to succeed Dr. A. Zachary Yamba, Acting President and President Emeritus. Each of the finalists will be scheduled for a full day of interviews on campus from April 10th – 12th. Take a moment to review the candidate biographies and view the daily meeting schedule.


Dr. Utpal Goswami


Dr. Utpal Goswami currently serves as the President of Metropolitan Community College (MCC)-Maple Woods, in Kansas City, Missouri. Under his leadership, the Maple Woods campus has grown to become the largest campus in the MCC district. He has led the implementation of initiatives that have improved completion and dual enrollment. He also led the development the MCC-Maple Woods Strategic Plan, which emphasizes student outcomes, diversity, and data-driven culture. Prior to his service to MCC-Maple Woods, Dr. Goswami served as the Vice President of Instruction as well as Interim President at the College of the Redwoods in Eureka, California.


During his appointment with the College of the Redwoods, Dr. Goswami led the institution in the development and adoption of a revised mission, vision, and values statement and provided guidance for the College’s first ever re-districting. He also led the development of processes and practices that would be commended by the College’s accrediting body.


Dr. Goswami holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Southern Methodist University.



Dr. Anthony E. Munroe


Dr. Anthony E. Munroe is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. He also heads his own consulting company, which focuses on helping institutions of higher education and health care manage change, innovate, and maximize potential. Prior to this, Dr. Munroe served in the City Colleges of Chicago, the largest community college system in Illinois, as the President of Malcolm X College. During his time with Malcolm X College, Dr. Munroe led the successful implementation of the College to Careers initiative, a program that is designed to close the job skills gap and that has been recognized by The World Bank as a global best practice.


He also led and facilitated the planning and construction of a new campus and led enrollment management and program development initiatives that allowed Malcolm X College to exceed enrollment projections. Previously, Dr. Munroe has held senior leadership positions in health care institutions.


Dr. Munroe holds Doctorate in Education with a focus on Health Education from Teachers College at Columbia University.



Dr. Paula Pando


Dr. Paula Pando currently serves as the Senior Vice President, North Hudson Campus/Student and Educational Services at Hudson County Community College (HCCC) in Jersey City, New Jersey. In this role, Dr. Pando leads the North Hudson Campus as well as the Division of Educational Services for the entire College, a division that includes Enrollment and Student Support Services, College libraries, Information Technology, Online Education, and Campus Safety and Security. She also serves as HCCC’s Accreditation Liaison Officer. Dr. Pando recently lead the development of HCCC’s current strategic plan. In addition, she executed the successful opening of the North Hudson Campus.


Under Dr. Pando’s leadership, the North Hudson Campus has continually exceeded enrollment projections and has been the largest campus contributor to overall enrollment growth at HCCC. Furthermore, Dr. Pando helped revitalize the College’s governance process, working closely with faculty leadership to ensure inclusiveness and promote greater transparency in the decision-making process.


Prior to her multiple cabinet-level appointments at HCCC, Dr. Pando served in the College’s Student Services area. Dr. Pando holds a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership with a focus on
Community College Leadership from Rowan University.

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