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Kenneth Adams Named 4th President of LaGuardia Community College

June 29, 2020

The following is a press release excerpt from the City University of New York (CUNY), of which LaGuardia Community College is a proud member.

To lead LaGuardia Community College – known for its strong success as a driver of economic mobility and a leading voice on behalf of community colleges nationwide – the Board appointed Kenneth Adams, who currently serves as dean of workforce and economic development at Bronx Community College and brings a highly accomplished résumé as chief executive of numerous New York State governmental agencies. Mr. Adams succeeds Interim President Paul Arcario.

“These four outstanding educators are a valuable addition to the cohort of energetic new leaders on our campuses embracing the University’s proud history and helping CUNY set the standard for quality and access in public higher education in the United States,” said Chairperson William C. Thompson, Jr. “Each have established track records of success by fostering innovation, promoting diversity and inclusion, and achieving excellence throughout their careers. We welcome them to CUNY, at a crucial juncture in our University’s history, as we look beyond this current crisis to the future and continue our historic mission of serving the people of New York.”

“I am especially proud to have been able to recommend these dedicated and experienced leaders to guide four CUNY colleges as we continue to navigate the uncertainty of the pandemic and its many associated challenges,” said Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez. “Kenneth Adams has the skills and track record to ensure that LaGuardia’s students can be prominent participants in a post-COVID economy.”

Kenneth Adams comes to LaGuardia Community College after a tenure as the dean of workforce and economic development at Bronx Community College and following an extensive career leading large and complex government agencies in New York State. Throughout his professional life, he has demonstrated a commitment to sound fiscal management and cost-effective service delivery. He raised nearly $2 million in support of workforce training and career services initiatives at Bronx Community College, while also increasing Continuing Education enrollment by 45% and revenue by 15%. Fundamental to Adams’ mission is the cultivation of robust partnerships with employers, including unions and industry associations to advance student outcomes and CUNY priorities.

Prior to joining CUNY, he served as the acting commissioner of the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, overseeing more than 5,000 employees and an annual operating budget of $464 million. From 2011 to 2015, Adams was the President and CEO of the Empire State Development and Commissioner of the NYS Department of Economic Development, managing New York State’s economic development agency with more than 450 employees and an annual operating budget of $80 million. Before joining state government, he led the Business Council of New York State, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, the MetroTech Area Business Improvement District, and was the founding Executive Director of New York Cares. In the sphere of community service, he currently serves as the Chairman of the Boards of Directors of New York State’s affordable housing agencies, including the Housing Finance Agency, State of New York Mortgage Agency and the Housing Trust Fund Corporation. Mr. Adams has MA and BA degrees from Middlebury College. He will begin his tenure at LaGuardia on Aug. 17.

“LaGuardia is uniquely positioned to support the city’s recovery by training and upskilling workers who have lost their jobs and preparing students for new fields and emerging occupations in a post-COVID economy,” Adams said. “I look forward to working with the incredible LaGuardia faculty, students, staff and alumni – and, of course, the Queens community – in a collective effort to deliver on the rich promise of LaGuardia to a growing number of students in these challenging times.”

Read the full press release on CUNY’s website.