Helen Benjamin, Ph.D.


Dr. Benjamin is the former Chancellor of the Contra Costa Community College District and spent 27 years as an employee of the District. She began her career at the District in 1990 when she joined Los Medanos College as Dean of Language Arts and Humanistic Studies and Related Occupations, and has held progressively higher level positions including District Vice Chancellor, Educational Programs and Services, interim President of Los Medanos College and President of Contra Costa College.

Dr. Benjamin has a B.S. degree in English and Spanish from Bishop College in Texas where she graduated magna cum laude and earned her master’s and doctoral degrees from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. She has never lost sight of her roots as a teacher, having taught high school English in the Dallas Independent School District and looks for opportunities to turn challenges into teachable moments.

Dr. Benjamin is passionate about maintaining an active role in a wide variety of professional and community organizations. She serves as a board member of the Kennedy-King Scholarship Memorial College Scholarship Fund, a county-wide effort to provide District students financial support to continue their educational goals at a four-year or graduate institution. At the state level, Dr. Benjamin has served as Chair of the Community College League of California Board of Directors, Chair of the CEO board, and on numerous accreditation visiting teams. At the national level, she has served on the American Association of Community Colleges Board of Directors, as the convener of the Presidents’ Round Table, an affiliate organization of the National Council on Black American Affairs, and currently serves on the board of Excelsior College, located in Albany, New York. She is co-author of the recently released book on leadership with Darroch Young entitled Harvest from the Vineyard: Lessons Learned from the Vineyard Symposiums as well as being co-editor and contributor to The Chocolate Truth: An Anthology of Perspectives from Community College CEOs.