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PCC Hires New Leader

Mark Mitsui picked from Obama Administration

7/26/2016, 3:40 p.m.
A leader from President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative will be the next president of Portland Community College.
Mark Mitsui will serve as Portland Community College’s seventh president.

A leader from President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative and a former Seattle educator will be the next president of Portland Community College.

Mark Mitsui, the current deputy assistant secretary for community colleges within the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education for the U.S. Department of Education, will be hired as PCC’s seventh president. The selection by the PCC board of directors was made public Thursday after a nationwide search.

Among his many duties to advance President Obama’s community college agenda, Mitsui was co-leader the My Brother’s Keeper Postsecondary Completion interagency team, which strives to improve college access and completion for the nation’s young men of color.

Mitsui will begin his work with PCC on Aug. 29, replacing Sylvia Kelley, the college’s executive vice president, who has served as interim president since the departure of Jeremy Brown in May 2015.

“The board of directors was tremendously impressed by President Mitsui’s passion for the transformative power of community colleges, and by his clear understanding of PCC’s complex environment,” said Gene Pitts, PCC’s board chair.

“He brings demonstrated strengths as a strategic thinker and transparent decision-maker, and he is a passionate advocate for social justice and inclusion. Coupled with his wealth of regional and national connections, President Mitsui is a natural fit for PCC and one who we believe will benefit the students and communities we serve,” said Pitts.

Prior to working in Washington, D.C., Mitsui was the president of North Seattle College where he was the founding chair of the Asian Pacific Islander Association of Colleges and Universities, was a member of the National Asian/Pacific Islander Council of the American Association of Community Colleges, and in 2013 was honored for contributions to the Multicultural Student Services Directors Council of Washington state.

He also served as the vice president of Student Services at South Seattle College, from 2006 to 2010, and he has worked as an administrator and teacher at a variety of other educational institutions throughout the Pacific Northwest over the course of his career.

Mitsui holds a bachelor's degree in physical education from Western Washington University. He has pursued doctoral studies in Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Washington, from where he earned his master’s degree.

“I am thrilled to have been chosen to lead PCC, and I look forward to a long-term commitment with such a highly respected institution, one that is built on an exceedingly strong foundation,” said Mitsui.

“Portland Community College is known for its collaboration, outreach and engagement, both internally and externally. On personal and professional levels, this philosophy and approach resonate with me. I have a sign in my office that reads, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ I am excited to go far together with my colleagues at PCC, on behalf of the institution and the students we serve,” he said.