Susan Topham

2024-25 Aspen Rising Presidents Fellow
Dr. Topham serves as San Diego Community College Districts' (SDCCD) Vice Chancellor for Educational Services. She oversees all district educational planning services encompassing student services and instructional programs across the SDCCD, including San Diego City, Mesa, Miramar credit colleges, and the San Diego College of Continuing Education. Areas of responsibility include admission and records, counseling, financial aid, DSPS, and enrollment management. Dr. Topham also provides leadership in developing the curriculum, online pathways, career technical & workforce development, instructional materials, and curricular and instructional issues for faculty and administrators. She is committed to collaborating with faculty, staff, and students to break down the barriers preventing students from succeeding.

Having been raised in Brazil, Susan has experienced the transformative impact of education firsthand. Inspired by Nelson Mandela's perspective on the power of learning and driven by a commitment to challenging established norms, Susan has dedicated herself to creating avenues for students to shape their futures. Serving as a mentor, Dr. Topham assumes the responsibility of dismantling the cycle of educational deprivation. She believes that educational equity will be achieved through a shared vision and collaboration when looking toward the future of education. As an advocate of educational justice ignited by love, hope, and a belief in community, Susan uses her narrative to empower others.

Dr. Topham earned an educational doctorate in organizational leadership from Brandman University in Irvine. She also holds a master's degree in institutional administration and a bachelor's degree in international business from United States International University in San Diego.