Wolde-Ab Isaac, Ph.D.
Chancellor, Riverside Community College District
Wolde-Ab Isaac, Ph.D., serves as the Chancellor of the Riverside Community College
District (RCCD), bringing over 50 years of distinguished experience in education and
administration. His association with RCCD commenced in 2006 when he assumed the Dean
of Health Science role at Moreno Valley College, one of the three colleges within
RCCD. Dr. Isaac has consistently demonstrated a profound commitment to advancing education,
ascending to various leadership positions within the District over the years.
A dedicated scholar, Isaac embarked on his academic journey at Ethiopia's Haile Selassie
University, majoring in chemistry. His pursuit of excellence took him to the University
of Michigan, where he earned MSc and Ph.D. degrees in Medicinal Chemistry. Further
enriching his expertise, he undertook post-doctoral studies at Uppsala University
In 2015, Isaac's leadership skills led to his appointment as the 11th president of
Riverside City College. During his tenure, he prioritized student success and equity,
solidifying RCCD's position as a higher education leader.
Beyond RCCD, Isaac served as president of the University of Asmara in Eritrea from
1993 to 2006 and held a prominent 12-year tenure as a senior clinical researcher with
AstraZeneca. His diverse background contributes to his holistic approach to education,
emphasizing collaboration and shared governance with district stakeholders.
As a Fulbright Scholar, Isaac's journey exemplifies the transformative power of education
as a social and economic equalizer. His humility and dedication to RCCD's mission
were evident in his acceptance of the chancellorship, where he pledges to continue
elevating RCCD's status as a leader, championing student success and equity.
Residing in Riverside with his two sons, Simon and Yisak, graduates from the UC system,
Wolde-Ab Isaac embodies the values of education, leadership, and a passion for science,
inspiring not only the Riverside Community College District and the county of Riverside
but also the academic community as a whole.