Anne Kress, Northern Virginia Community College

The next leader of Northern Virginia Community College currently is serving as president of a similar educational institution in New York, and will begin her new post early next year.

Dr. Anne Kress was selected from an applicant pool of about 80 to become the next president of Virginia’s largest institution of higher education. She currently serves as president of Monroe Community College in Rochester, N.Y.

“Throughout her 30-year career, she has seen the way a community college works at practically every level, and her external experience, through various national organizations, demonstrates that she is prepared to lead an institution as large, diverse and dynamic as NOVA,” said Glenn DuBois, chancellor of the state community-college system, in announcing the selection on Oct. 9.

Kress will succeed Scott Ralls, who departed Northern Virginia Community College earlier this year to lead Wake Technical College in North Carolina.

Rick Pearson, chair of the Northern Virginia Community College board, said Kress represented “a perfect fit” for the college. For her part, Kress said the local college was “bold and innovative” and “a national leader,” while praising faculty and staff.

Kress’s educational career began in 1989 at Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, Fla., as an adjunct instructor of English. She rose through the ranks at that institution, becoming an associate professor in 1994; a department chair in 1998; the Title III project director in 2000; an associate vice president in 2002; and provost and vice president for academic affairs in 2005.

She became the president of Monroe Community College in 2009, and currently serves on the board of directors of the American Association of Community Colleges.

Kress will become the sixth permanent president since the founding of Northern Virginia Community College in 1964. Dr. Melyvn Schiavelli served as interim president since the departure of Ralls in the spring.

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