Kathryn E. Jeffery, Superintendent/President

Kathryn E. Jeffery, Ph.D.


Dr. Kathryn Jeffery has served as Superintendent and President of Santa Monica College (SMC) since February 2016. 

With over four decades of diverse higher education experience, Dr. Jeffery’s career path includes successful leadership roles as college administrator, counselor, and adjunct music professor.  She is highly regarded for her knowledge and experience in educational leadership, student services and Career Technical Education (CTE), and Workforce and Economic Development. She is a passionate advocate for higher education who is courageous and takes pride in using a student-centered approach to face challenges and opportunities as a college CEO. Dr. Jeffery has championed issues related to diversity, equity and inclusion throughout her career as informed by her professional and personal experiences. She has led higher education organizations through critical emergency response operations (wildfires, active shooter, civil unrest, and pandemic planning for business continuity). And she is adept at guiding community colleges in both rural remote communities and urban highly diverse environments.

Prior to joining SMC, Dr. Jeffery served as CEO of Sacramento City College and Hennepin Technical College; Provost/Chief Campus Administrator at the College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas; Vice President of Columbia College in the Yosemite Community College District; Dean for Faculty and Staff Diversity/Development and Dean for Student Services at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

Dr. Jeffery has comprehensive knowledge of community college-related issues, due in large part to her rich professional experience in academic and student affairs programs and services. She is a compassionate student-centered leader with an eye on equity for all students and broadening support for basic needs of students including food, housing and health services.   She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration with an emphasis in Community College Leadership from the University of Texas at Austin, an M.S. in Applied Behavioral Studies in Education (Counseling) from Oklahoma State University, and a B.M.E. (Bachelor of Music Education) with a major in piano and minor in voice from Oklahoma State University. A lover of the arts – especially music – Dr. Jeffery is also a talented classical pianist.

Dr. Jeffery has just completed a 3-year term on the Board of Directors for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), and is a member of the Association of California Community Colleges Association (ACCCA), President’s Round Table of African American CEOs, the Santa Monica College Foundation Board of Directors, The Broad Stage Foundation Board of Directors, and on the Board of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce.  She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the Los Angeles Chapter of The Links, Inc.