Contact: Michael Traupman, Executive Director of College Relations
or Allison Goodin, College Relations Associate – Media, 610-740-3790


Allentown, PA (May 1, 2008) — The Board of Trustees of Cedar Crest College named Carmen Twillie Ambar as the College’s 13th president today. Ambar, who is currently Dean of Douglass College at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, succeeds interim president, Dr. Blenda J. Wilson, who has led the College since November.  Ambar is expected to assume her duties as president beginning in August.

Carmen Twillie Ambar

“After an extensive, nation-wide search, I am exceptionally pleased that Dean Ambar has accepted the presidency of Cedar Crest College,” says Cynthia L. Blaschak ’84, chair of the Cedar Crest College Board of Trustees. “Trustee Linda Weimer ’68, the chair of the search, and her entire committee evaluated and interviewed many fine candidates, but Dean Ambar’s record of achievement, academic credentials, and dedication to women’s education, convinced the College’s Board of Trustees that she is best prepared to lead Cedar Crest College."

 “I am deeply honored and excited to join Cedar Crest College as its new president,” says Ambar. “My work at Douglass has only solidified my strong commitment to women’s education. Cedar Crest College’s mission and aspirations resonate strongly with my background and experience. I look forward to helping the College reach its goals and continue its work of transforming the lives of young women.”

Ambar has held her position at Douglass since 2002. Prior to that, she was Assistant Dean for Graduate Education at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ.  A licensed attorney, she spent four years in the New York City Law Department as an Assistant Corporation Counsel.  A native of Little Rock, Arkansas, Ambar holds a bachelor of science degree in Foreign Service from the Edmund A. Walsh School at Georgetown University, Washington, DC, a master's degree in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and a law degree from Columbia School of Law, New York, NY.

As Dean of Douglass College, Ambar led one of the largest and the only women’s college on a public research university’s campus. She is the 9th woman to lead Douglass College and the youngest dean appointed in its history.

In her role as Dean of Douglass, she has emphasized women's global leadership by developing a cadre of leadership programs, securing substantial increases in study abroad funding, and promoting living-learning communities, including creating a Human Rights House, a Leadership House, a Women in Business House, and a Middle East Coexistence House within the Global Village learning community. Additionally, she has spearheaded efforts to encourage young women to pursue careers in math, science, engineering and technology.

Dean Ambar successfully launched the Douglass Alumnae Recruitment Team ("DART") along with a reshaping of recruitment efforts that has resulted in a significant increase in the academic profile of Douglass students. During her tenure, curricular improvements have included a re-visioning of the first year academic experience and expanded peer and academic advising services. She has also overseen the completion of a $29 million capital campaign, the creation of summer orientation program, the design and implementation of the bi-annual Women In the Era of Globalization symposium and developed and implemented a five-year strategic plan.  The strategic plan successfully achieved 95% of the goals established in the first four years.

“Our congratulations and best wishes go out to Carmen Ambar and also to the students, faculty and staff of Cedar Crest College,” said Richard L. McCormick, president of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. “Dean Ambar’s outstanding accomplishments at Douglass reflect her deep commitment to women’s education and her gift for turning vision into reality in educating and preparing young women for leadership roles across all areas of society. I know she will be an outstanding leader for Cedar Crest.”

As assistant dean for graduate education at the Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, Ambar oversaw the operation of its three graduate programs. In this position she was responsible for many key administrative and academic functions, including curriculum development, management of joint degree programs, and academic support and advising programs for students. She also directed the school's summer program for undergraduate students of color.

In the early 1990s, she served as a program assistant for Newark Fighting Back Inc., co-writing a successful $3 million proposal to develop a comprehensive approach to reducing the demand for illicit drugs and alcohol in the city of Newark. She also aided in the conceptualization and implementation of more than 75 programs, including drug treatment for women and children, and community policing.

Ambar was appointed by New Jersey’s Governor Jon S. Corzine to three state-wide commissions:  the New Jersey Advisory Commission on the Status of Women (Interim Chair 2005-2008, Vice Chair 2004-2005); the State of New Jersey's Economic Development Authority (2006-present); and the School Development Authority (2006-present).

Ambar is the former chair of the Public Leadership Education Network ("PLEN") Board, a consortium of women's colleges and the only national organization whose sole mission is the preparation of young women for public leadership.  She has served as a member of the board of the American Repertory Ballet, the advisory board for the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the Liberty Science Center’s Learning and Teaching Committee.

Located on a suburban 80-acre park-like setting in Allentown, PA, Cedar Crest is a nationally ranked liberal arts college for women in eastern Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley. The College is 55 miles north of Philadelphia and 90 miles west of New York City. Cedar Crest currently enrolls 1,930 students — full-time, part-time and graduate — in more than 30 fields of study ranging from cutting-edge fields such as genetic engineering, forensic science (including a Master of Science in Forensic Science), neuroscience, nuclear medicine and conservation biology to continually popular fields like nursing, pre-med, marketing, criminal justice, education (including a master’s program in education), psychology, communication and dance.


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