Helen Zaikina-Montgomery

2023-24 Aspen Rising Presidents Fellow
Dr. Montgomery currently serves as the President at the Leech Lake Tribal College. In this role, her responsibilities include a wide range of tasks from setting and refining the strategic vision for the college to supporting staff, faculty, and students at the institution. In her previous role as the Director of Assessment and Institutional Research, Dr. Montgomery was instrumental in ensuring continued HLC accreditation, helping to receive a grant for a new building at LLTC. Dr. Montgomery earned her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology in 2011 from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is the only person in her family to be a high school graduate, college graduate, and doctoral degree recipient. She has worked in higher education for almost 20 years, first as a faculty member and then as an administrator. She also has considerable experience working in the private sector.

The main reason Dr. Montgomery has remained in higher education is her passion for student success, especially building an environment of equitable access to education for all students and creating space in higher education for students whose voices are sometimes less heard. Dr. Montgomery lives in Northern Minnesota with her husband, daughter, and six Basset Hounds.