Press Releases

Mills College Inaugurates Alecia A. DeCoudreaux as its 13th President

New Leader Represents Commitment to Maintaining Mission as Women’s College

Oakland, CA—September 07, 2011 On Friday, September 23, 2011, the Board of Trustees of Mills College will inaugurate Alecia A. DeCoudreaux as the 13th president of Mills, the oldest women’s college in the West. DeCoudreaux, who began her tenure on July 1, 2011, is the first new president at Mills in 20 years.

“The inauguration of Alecia DeCoudreaux as our 13th president marks a significant juncture for Mills,” said Kathleen J. Burke, chair of the Mills College Board of Trustees. “As our first new president in two decades, Alecia DeCoudreaux represents the board’s unwavering commitment to remaining a women’s college. With her dedication to women’s education and more than 30 years of senior leadership experience, President DeCoudreaux is poised to advance Mills’ position as a strong independent liberal arts college for women with innovative graduate programs for both women and men.”

Formerly a senior executive at Eli Lilly and Company, one of Fortune magazine’s “Global Top Companies for Leaders,” DeCoudreaux served in a variety of important executive leadership roles over the span of the past three decades. A graduate of Wellesley—one of the largest women’s colleges in the nation—as well as a trustee and past chair of the Wellesley board, DeCoudreaux brings a multifaceted background in women’s education combined with more than 30 years of experience as a corporate attorney, women’s advocate, fundraiser, and community volunteer.

“It is truly an honor and a privilege to serve as president of Mills College,” said DeCoudreaux. “The caliber of the College’s undergraduate and graduate academic programs and the commitment to educational access and diversity make Mills a very dynamic learning environment that offers students tremendous opportunities.”

“I also feel very strongly that there continues to be a significant need for women’s colleges today,” said DeCoudreaux. “As long as research continues to show that women are still underrepresented in the upper ranks of most fields, and are underrepresented in selected other fields such as science and math, strong institutions like Mills are more important than ever in providing the opportunity for women to break through these barriers.”

A series of events are planned to mark the inauguration of Alecia DeCoudreaux, including a moderated panel discussion on the topic of educating women leaders for a changing landscape today and in the future.

Inauguration Day Schedule of Events

Friday, September 23, 2011

Installation/Convocation Ceremony
9:45 am to 12:00 pm
Holmgren Meadow

The installation of Mills’ 13th president coincides with the annual celebration of the start of the academic year—Convocation. The Mills community, delegates from colleges across the country, and distinguished visitors will be in attendance as Alecia A. DeCoudreaux assumes her position as president of Mills College. Musical performances by: Rebeca Mauleón, Nik Taylor, and the Oakland Jazz Choir.
Media invited to attend.

Community Lunch
12:00 pm to 1:30 pm
President’s Meadow

A celebratory lunch following the ceremony with President DeCoudreaux, students, faculty, staff, alumnae/i, Trustees, distinguished visitors, friends of the College, and Family Weekend guests; including a specially commissioned dance performance choreographed by Graham Lustig, internationally recognized artistic director of the Oakland Ballet.

Panel Discussion
Mobilizing Change: Educating a New Generation of Women Leaders
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Littlefield Concert Hall

As women surpass men in the attainment of undergraduate and graduate degrees and become more than 50 percent of today’s workforce, are women finally poised to break the glass ceiling and achieve equality in position and pay? A panel discussion of critical trends and their impact on women specifically, as well as society as a whole, will be moderated by award-winning journalist and KGO radio business reporter Lynn Jimenez. Media invited to attend.

Panelists include:

About Mills College
Nestled in the foothills of Oakland, California, Mills College is a nationally renowned, independent liberal arts college offering a dynamic progressive education that fosters leadership, social responsibility, and creativity in more than 950 undergraduate women and more than 600 graduate women and men. The College ranks as one of the Best 376 Colleges in the country and one of the greenest colleges in the nation by The Princeton Review. U.S. News & World Report ranked Mills one of the top-tier regional universities in the country and second among colleges and universities in the West in its “Great Schools, Great Prices” category. For more information, visit

Media please note:

Interview opportunity: Alecia DeCoudreaux is available for interviews by phone or in person. To schedule an interview, please contact Jeanne Herrera at Mills College (510.430.2300; or Keely Garibaldi at Landis Communications, Inc. (415.359.2312;

For a detailed media kit with biographical information and a high-resolution photo and video interviews with President DeCoudreaux, please visit:

For complete information about Inauguration events, visit


Last Updated: 9/6/11