Dr. Barbara Gaba


President, Atlantic Cape Community College

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Dr. Barbara Gaba was appointed the ninth president of Atlantic Cape Community College in January 2017, becoming the first female and first African American president in the college’s 50-year history. With extensive experience in higher education, she is deeply committed to the mission of the community college to provide affordable educational pathways for student success.  Prior to joining Atlantic Cape, Dr. Gaba served as Provost and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Union County College (NJ). She also served as Dean of Academic and Student Support Services at Camden County College (NJ) and Associate Director of the Office of Board Affairs and Government Relations at the New Jersey Department of Higher Education. Since assuming office, her accomplishments include improved campus technology and facilities upgrades; rebranding and enhanced marketing initiatives; launch of the new college website; revitalized community engagement projects; increased high school partnerships including articulations, dual enrollment and Early College programs in Atlantic and Cape May Counties; and partnerships with local counties to advance economic development in the region.  

During her 40-year career she has served as a teacher, researcher and administrator and has been devoted to working with underserved, underrepresented students, empowering them to attain a college education. She is student-focused, community-centric, and employee-oriented. Working to transform the lives of the students she serves—one student at a time—has been her calling. She strongly believes that it is the responsibility of leaders to use the power and influence they are given to lift up their communities and to create positive change.   

Dr. Gaba sits on the boards of several organizations including the Atlantic City Executive Council, Atlantic County Economic Alliance (ACEA); Greater Atlantic City Chamber Board of Directors; Atlantic County Workforce Development Board (WDB); Cumberland, Salem, Cape May Workforce Development Board (WDB); the NJ Community College Consortium for Workforce & Economic Development; Ocean Wind Pro-NJ Grantor Trust Advisory Committee; and the Rowan University Community College Leadership Initiative (CCLI) Advisory Council. She is also a member of the NJ Presidents’ Council and serves as Co-Chair of the New Jersey Council of County Colleges (NJCCC) State & Federal Policy Committee.  

At the national level she serves on the board of the Chair Academy for Leadership Development and the Higher Education Research & Development Institute (HERDI) Advisory Board. She is also a member of the Executive Board of the Presidents’ Academy Summer Institute (PASI) of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). 

She is a frequent speaker at statewide and national conferences on various higher education issues and she also continues to give back by serving as a mentor to individuals aspiring to leadership positions in higher education.  

Dr. Gaba is the recipient of several awards including the 2019 Woman of Achievement for Cape May County by the Garden State Council of the Boys Scouts of America and the Education Leader award by the NAACP of Mainland/Pleasantville. Other awards include the Leadership Award from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; Paul A. Elsner International Excellence in Leadership Award; Rising President Award from NJ ACE Women’s Network; and the Exemplary Leadership Award from the Chair Academy for Leadership and Development. The South Jersey Journal named her one of the “African American Women Leaders in NJ.”