Carmen Twillie Ambar
Former Dean Douglass College, Rutgers University; President, Cedar Crest College
MPA, Class of 1994
Carmen Twillie Ambar, J.D., President of Cedar Crest College in Allentown since 2008, is deeply committed to higher education and to the development of young women into future leaders. She has been largely responsible for the vision, development and implementation of the College’s strategic plan, designed to help Cedar Crest transform into a 21st century women’s college.
Ambar is nationally respected for her record of accomplishment in higher education and, in particular, her commitment to women’s education. Under Ambar’s leadership, Cedar Crest launched the new School of Adult and Graduate Education (SAGE), which builds on the College’s foundation of more than 40 years of educating adults, offering the ultimate in programs and support to help busy men and women advance their careers. Additionally, through the College’s strategic plan Ambar has overseen the launch of nearly 22 new initiatives focused on global connectivity, creativity and the liberal arts, civic engagement, and health and wellness. The result of these initiatives include: an increase in students studying abroad; the creation of living learning communities; a multicultural center; an institute for women’s leadership, new majors in new media, global programs, and art therapy; new masters programs, business cooperatives, and more.
Ambar serves on the boards of the Women’s College Coalition, is Vice-Chair of the Pennsylvania Campus Compact board, Chair of the Lehigh Valley Association for Independent Colleges board, and Chair-Elect of the Colonial States Athletic Conference board. Ambar has earned several awards for her support of women including the 2012 Girls Scouts “Take the Lead” Award, the 2011 American Association of University Women (AAUW) Gateway to Equity Award from the organization’s Allentown Branch, and the 2010 Athena Award from the Women’s Business Council (WBC) of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Ambar came to Cedar Crest College after a highly successful tenure as dean of Douglass College at Rutgers University, where she was the youngest dean in the University’s history. Prior to her time at Rutgers, she served as assistant dean of graduate education at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. As an attorney, she previously worked in the New York City Law Department as an assistant corporation counsel.
She earned her juris doctorate from Columbia School of Law, her master’s in public affairs from Princeton University, and her Bachelor of Science degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University. She is married to Saladin Malik Ambar, Ph.D., an assistant professor at Lehigh University, and they have six-year-old triplets, Gabrielle, Luke, and Daniel.