Dr. Zachary Yamba
Friend of Newark Day Center
A. Zachary Yamba, President Emeritus at Essex County College in Newark, NJ, stepped down as the longest serving college president in New Jersey on March 31, 2010. Affiliated with the college for four decades, he joined the humanities faculty when the college opened in 1968 and served as Dean of Faculty prior to his appointment as president in May 1980.
Recognized as the catalyst for more than a quarter century of extraordinary achievement that defines Essex County College, he is widely credited with transforming the college into the vibrant and progressive institution that today enrolls more than 25,000 students. Under his singular leadership, ECC has experienced unprecedented stability and growth and emerged as a leader in the community college sector, gaining significant recognition for the quality of its academic programs, its responsive community outreach, its key role in revitalizing the regional workforce, and its impressive levels of student success.
In 2010, Dr. Yamba retired from Essex County College after serving for thirty years as its president, and at the time, the longest serving college president in New Jersey. In April 2016, Dr. Yamba was recalled from retiring to serve in an acting capacity as president while the college undertakes a search for a third president since his retirement.
An unrelenting advocate for the power and promise of education, Dr. Yamba’s tenure has been predicated on the enduring values of service, access and excellence. His advocacy of excellence and opportunity in higher education includes more than a decade of service as a commissioner of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools. He is a founding member of the Presidents’ Round Table, an affiliate of the National Council on Black American Affairs of the American Association of Community Colleges.
His numerous community affiliations include serving on the boards of the Victoria Foundation, Chair of the Board of New Community Corporation, Vice-Chair of the Board of ASA College (Brooklyn), the American Conference on Diversity, and the Two Hundred Club of Essex County.
He holds the title of Regent Emeritus on the Board of Regents of Seton Hall University, his alma mater, which has also inducted him into its Athletic Hall of Fame and awarded him an honorary degree. He also holds honorary degrees from Rutgers University and the University for Development Studies in Ghana.