The Palm Beach State College Board of Trustees culminated a six-month national search process on Wednesday, April 15, unanimously choosing Ava L. Parker to become the first female president of Palm Beach State College.
Parker, executive vice president and chief operating officer at Florida Polytechnic University, was one of four finalists who met with the board last Wednesday, each making a case for being the best fit to lead the largest institution of higher education in Palm Beach County.
Parker said she was drawn to PBSC’s strong foundation and history of excellence. “The quality of the programs and the commitment of the academic and administrative teams are apparent in the success of this institution,” she said. “The college is poised for innovative strategies that support economic development, it is located in a growing, diverse region, and it is expanding its footprint. We will do great things together.”
Parker joined Florida Polytechnic University in 2012 to lead the development of the state’s newest university, which focuses on research in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. As the school’s first administrator, she was responsible for developing strategy, implementing the vision, building the team and opening the new campus for its inaugural class last fall. She formerly served on the Board of Governors of the State University System for 10 years, including as chair, and she is a partner with the Jacksonville law firm of Lawrence & Parker. A third-generation Floridian, Parker holds a law degree and a bachelor’s degree in journalism, both from the University of Florida.
ABOVE: Ava Parker