Office of the President

Elizabeth L. Hillman


Mills College President Elizabeth L. Hillman
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Elizabeth L. Hillman

President of Mills College

Elizabeth L. Hillman, an internationally recognized scholar of history and law, is the 14th President of Mills College. 

A well-known leader in promoting gender and racial equity and a respected voice in the US military justice system, President Hillman is a veteran of the US Air Force and taught history and law at the US Air Force Academy, Yale University, Rutgers, and the University of California Hastings College of the Law.

Since arriving at Mills in 2016, President Hillman has advanced Mills mission and values of access, equity, social justice, and women’s leadership through partnerships with UC Berkeley, California community colleges, and Oakland Promise. She led a tuition reset in response to the rising cost of college education and, most recently, spearheaded a transformative merger with Northeastern University that leverages the complementary strengths of both institutions and ensures that Mills remains a vibrant center of learning with deep connections to the broader Oakland community.

President Hillman is engaged locally and nationally in civic and higher education leadership, and serves on numerous boards and committees, including the Oakland Workforce Development Board of the City of Oakland, the WASC Senior College and University Commission, the Women’s College Coalition Board, and the executive committee of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities. During 2017–2018, she served on a blue-ribbon study group, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Committee Addressing Sexual Harassment in the Science, Engineering, and Medical Workplaces, that released a path-breaking report in 2018.

She came to Mills from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she served as Provost and Academic Dean. She received her Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Duke University, an MA in history from the University of Pennsylvania, a JD from Yale Law School, and a PhD in history focusing on women’s history from Yale University.