Sonya Christian


California Community Colleges

Dr. Sonya Christian serves as the 11th Chancellor for the California Community Colleges and previously served as the sixth Chancellor of the Kern Community College District. Christian began her three-decade career locally within Kern district as a mathematics faculty, a Division Chair, and Dean of Science, Engineering, Allied Health and Math at Bakersfield College. From 2013 to 2021 she served as the 10th President of Bakersfield College. Throughout her career Dr. Christian has been committed to advancing work through distributed leadership and collaborative communities of learning, and to promoting the value of equity in student learning, access, success, and economic mobility. Her dedication to student success with equity led her to statewide and national leadership roles. Under her leadership, Bakersfield College became one of the first community colleges in California to offer a baccalaureate degree as part of a pilot program announced in 2015. She believes that the community college baccalaureate degree program is a vital tool for growing economic and social mobility of disinvested communities and continues to fiercely advocate for ways to create more 4-Year Community College degrees in California and across the nation. She is a fierce advocate for the life-changing ability of community colleges to reach underserved populations and educate the future workforce.