Paula Pando

2023-24 Aspen Presidents Fellow
Dr. Paula Pando is a dedicated educator with 30 years of experience in public and private higher education. The daughter of Chilean immigrants, she is fluent in both Spanish and English and is the first in her family to earn a college degree. Wholly committed to strengthening lives and communities through the transformative power of education, Paula was appointed the fourth president of Reynolds Community College in 2018. Reynolds serves the greater Richmond region and is among the largest of Virginia’s 23 community colleges. Paula previously served as senior vice president for Student and Educational Services at Hudson County Community College in New Jersey, where she spent nearly 16 years. She began her career at Saint Peter’s University in Student Affairs.

Paula’s contributions to higher education have been widely recognized. In 2017, she was selected to participate in the second cohort of the Aspen Institute’s Rising Presidents Fellowship. In 2021, she was awarded the Dana Hamel Leadership Award, the highest award bestowed by the Virginia Community College System, and in 2022, she was named Persona de Poder by Richmond’s only Spanish language radio station for her advocacy work with the region’s growing Hispanic community. Most recently, the Richmond YWCA presented her the Outstanding Woman Award for Education.

Paula serves on several boards, including ChamberRVA, the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond, Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, and the Valentine Museum. She earned a doctorate in educational leadership from Rowan University, a master’s from Saint Peter’s University, and a bachelor’s from Stockton University, all in New Jersey. She is the proud mother of three adult children and lives with her husband, Eric, in Glen Allen, Virginia.