Dr. David M. Johnson


Dr. David M. Johnson was named President of Merritt College in June 2020.  Prior to this role, he served as Acting President, having started at Merritt as Vice President of Instruction in January 2019.  He comes to Merritt from Las Positas College in Livermore, CA, where he served as Interim Vice President of Academic Services. In that position, he was responsible for enrollment management, academic compliance, budget supervision, and overall instructional support for 120 degree, transfer, and certificate programs. He also worked closely with the faculty, staff, and administration to ensure institutional compliance with accreditation standards and state initiatives. Click here for full bio

Dr. Lilia Chavez

Vice President of Student Services

Dr. Lilia Chavez is a Chicana/Latina, Social and Spiritual Activist/Educator who seizes each opportunity to work with underrepresented, underprepared, and underserved communities. She is currently serving as the Vice President of Student Services at Merritt College. In October 2022, Dr. Chavez secured a Hispanic Serving Institute grant from the Department of Education in the amount of $3 million for Merritt College. The grant will support the ASPIRA Project and will enable Merritt College to improve the culture of teaching and learning to ensure students persist in their academic goals. Prior to this role, she was the Dean of Special Programs & Grants where she managed various programs. She also served as the Director of Student Activities & Campus Life where she guided the Associated Students at Merritt College (ASMC). Click here for full bio

Lisa R. Cook

Vice President of Instruction

Lisa comes to us from Berkeley City College, where she has served as the Dean of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences since 2016. Her time in the Peralta District as an experienced leader and educator, however, spans more than 25 years. Over her career she has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and access. In addition, under her leadership Berkeley City College established vital partnerships with local high schools, which resulted in a remarkable increase in dual enrollment (from 342 to 1574 students over four years), and significant growth in the participation and success of Black and Latino/a/x students. Click here for full bio

Jason Holloway, M.S.

Dean of Mathematics, Science, and Applied Technology (Division II)

As a Bay Area resident since 2000, Jason Holloway began his educational career as a Math instructor after receiving an MS in Applied Mathematics at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. He has always been dedicated to student success and persisted to make the math discipline accessible for all students. In 2017, Jason transitioned to administration and became the Dean of Math, Science, and Applied Technology at Merritt College. Click here for a full bio.

Dr. Chriss Foster

Dean of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (Division I)

Chriss Warren Foster, PhD., was named Interim Dean of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences in December 2019.  She previously served as a professor of English, Rhetoric, and Psychology, holds the following degrees: Master of Arts degrees –English literature with Rhetoric and Composition emphases; Counseling Psychology with completion of practicum for Marriage and Family Therapist licensing; and, Education. She also holds two Doctoral degrees: Educational Leadership and Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology with an emphasis in Phenomenology, and a certificate in Rhetoric and Composition and Teaching Reading at the Post Secondary Level. Click here for a full bio.

Marie Amboy

Dean of Allied Health and Public Safety (Division III)

Raised in Silicon Valley, Marie is incredibly passionate about improving educational access and opportunities for our most underserved and underrepresented students through the development or sustainability of programs, partnerships, and new policies that foster student equity.  She works collaboratively with both faculty and industry partners to promote the development of innovative new Career Education programs that respond to the evolving needs of the workforce and further increase opportunities for student success. Click here for full bio

Doris Hankins

Director of Student Activities and Campus Life

Effective March 2, 2020, Doris Hankins began her new role as Director of Student Activities and Campus Life. She is a Merritt College alumnus and served as the Phi Theta Kappa (Beta Theta Lamda Chapter) President for 3 years (2001-2003) and was awarded the All USA Award (2002). In addition, she has worked at Merritt College for almost 20 years. Her positions at Merritt have included being a Sr. Clerical Assistant to the President; a Staff Assistant to the Vice President of Instruction; an Interim Curriculum Specialist; an Interim Program Manager for CAFYES (Cooperating Agencies Foster Youth Educational Support); an Employment Services Manager; a Program Manager for Basic Skills Student Outcomes and Transformation (BSSOT); a Project Manager for Guided Pathways; and Program Manager for Next Up (formally CAFYES). Click here for full bio

Nathan Pellegrin

Director of Research and Planning

Nathan Pellegrin was named Director of Research and Planning in January 2020. He is committed to enabling cycles of inquiry that reach across the campus community to bring together faculty, students, and staff. Prior to joining Merritt, he worked with community colleges in the region on supporting organization change, including student equity planning, evaluation of in-class student supports, student-centered scheduling, and students right to transfer-level classes in math and English (AB 705), and served as Director of Institutional Research for the Peralta Community College District from 2014 to 2016. de. Click here for full bio

Dr. Lisa S. Webb

Dean of Counseling

Dr. Webb is from Chicago, IL. Lisa received her BA from Wheaton College, her master’s degree from Harvard University, and her doctorate from the University of San Francisco with a concentration in International and Multicultural Education.
Lisa has over 25 years of experience as a higher education administrator. She has also taught College Success at several institutions and is passionate about student success. She started her career in college admissions as a coordinator of multicultural recruitment. She most recently served as the Dean of Student Life at Riverside City College and previously as the Interim Dean of Student Success at the College of Marin. Prior to working at community colleges, some of Lisa’s previous work included serving as the UC Berkeley Site Director at the Level Playing Field Institute in Oakland, CA, the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Student Life at Southern Methodist University, Associate Dean of Students/Director of Multicultural Affairs at Lewis & Clark College, and was a Residence Dean at Stanford University.  Outside of work, Lisa loves music, theater, visual arts, and travel. Her favorite place to visit in the US in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Lisa is a very dedicated member of Glide Memorial Church in San Francisco Lisa is excited to have joined the Merritt Community!


Ree’shemah Thornton

Dean of Enrollment Services

Ree’shemah Thornton joined Merritt College in April 2021 in the inaugural role of the Dean of Enrollment Services.

Ree’shemah is professionally and personally committed to providing students with authentic access to higher education and has over 27 years of professional experience in higher education and administering programs providing educational and support services to first-generation student populations. Click here for full bio


Director of Financial Aid Services