Picture of Carmen Twillie Ambar

Carmen Twillie Ambar

President, Oberlin College

Carmen Twillie Ambar is the 15th president of Oberlin College and the first African American leader in the institution’s 190-year history. Ambar came to Oberlin in 2017, after serving nine years as president of Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pennsylvania. At Oberlin, President Ambar has successfully implemented a number of transformative initiatives that promote a culture of academic innovation, environmental sustainability, a renewed commitment to social engagement, and fiscal responsibility, and safe and clear guidance for the campus community during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Prior to her nine years as president of Cedar Crest College, Ambar served as vice president and dean at Douglass College at Rutgers University. Before Rutgers, Ambar served as assistant dean of graduate education at The Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. As an attorney, she worked in the New York City Law Department as an assistant corporation counsel. Ambar holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Foreign Service from the Edmund A. Walsh School at Georgetown University, a master’s degree in Public Affairs from The Princeton School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and a law degree from Columbia School of Law. 

President Ambar is a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, and is the mother of 16-year-old triplets, Gabrielle, Luke, and Daniel.