Dr. Damon Bell

Dr. Damon Bell has nearly 30 years of experience in the community college and California State University systems.

Prior to joining Contra Costa College, Dr. Bell served as Interim President of Ventura College.  He has also held the position of Vice President for Student Services at Olympic, San Bernardino Valley, and San Diego Mesa colleges.

A staunch advocate for student success in higher education throughout his career, Dr. Bell has developed new programs and services, and has served on numerous committees addressing the areas of financial and institutional planning, accreditation, educational policy, enrollment management, equity and access at the local and statewide levels.

A Rotarian and a life member of the NAACP, Dr. Bell is dedicated to working in the community.  He served on the Kitsap Community Resources and Olympic College Foundation boards. He spent four years serving in various leadership positions, including president, for the Washington State Student Services Commission.  He has served on multiple state-wide committees and taskforces. And, he was a Guided Pathways Change Facilitator for the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges.

Dr. Bell is also himself a student of the California higher education system. His experience as a first-generation community college graduate informs his current work as a community college president. He completed an associate degree from Los Angeles Harbor College before going on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from University of California, San Diego; a Master’s Degree in Student Personnel in Higher Education from the University of Georgia; and, a doctorate in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Community College Leadership from California State University, Fullerton.

Above all, Dr. Bell is committed to ensuring and supporting equity, diversity, and inclusion for all students, staff and faculty. He understands that equity is the global issue of our time, and that community colleges are pathways to success and the middle class for many underserved and underrepresented student populations. His dissertation research focused on low socioeconomic status community college students, and how best to empower them to succeed. And, he has experience working closely with people of different races, sexual orientations, and national and ethnic backgrounds, as well as active duty and veteran students.