Leon Richards, Ph.D.

Key Areas of Expertise: articulated degree pathways, institutional exchanges, international programs in English, program and curricular development for workforce development and vocational,technical and community college development

›› Link to Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Richards’ experience, including working in senior executive leadership positions, spans more than 40 years of innovative work in community college and international education.

Dr. Richards has worked at the faculty and administrative levels of higher education, including serving as the Chief Academic Officer (senior academic dean and vice chancellor for academic affairs) and Chief Executive Officer (Chancellor) in the University of Hawaiʻi system, Kapiʻolani Community College (KCC). As the CEO at KCC, Richards provided executive leadership in managing and facilitating the operations of the academic affairs, student services, and administrative services, including hands-on experience in workforce development, finance and budgeting, long-range and strategic educational planning and capital improvement, policy development, and governance.

During his tenure as senior academic dean and later as Chancellor, Dr. Richards served as the executive director of international education overseeing and providing executive leadership for international student recruitment and enrollment management, study abroad, customized contract training, faculty and staff exchanges, and memoranda of agreements (MOAs). He has traveled, worked, and consulted on projects in Japan, Korea, China, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Morocco, Namibia, Sri Lanka, and India. In addition, he has developed and offered seminars and training in community college develoment, workforce development, articulated degree pathway agreements, and other topics in the aforementioned countries.

Dr. Richards brings a wealth of experience and academic background, having earned two Master’s Degrees in International Relations and Teaching English as a Second Language, a post Master’s advanced certificate in TESOL, and a PH.D. in Political Science from the University of Hawai‘i.


List of Publications/Articles

  • Richards, L., Lanzilotti, S., Community Colleges in America: Creating Economic, Human Capital, and Social Development for Today and Tomorrow. Paper submitted for publication to the Ningbo Vocational Education International Forum. Co-hosted by the China National Institute of Education Sciences and the Ningbo Education Bureau, November 2-5, 2016, Ningbo, Zhejiang, 2016.
  • Richards, L., Lanzilotti, S., Education and Youth Unemployment: Answering a Challenge in Emerging Countries - An Asia Pacific Perspective. Paper submitted for publication in proceedings of the 3rd International Meeting of Dakhla, Morocco, December 2 to 6, 2015, entitled “The New economic territories: Actors and factors in the emergence; Comparative international experiences.” Organized under The Open University of Dakhla in partnership with the Group of Chérifien Phosphates Office, The Agency for Promotion and Development of the Provinces and Prefectures South of Morocco, 2015.
  • Richards, L. and Lanzilotti, S., Elevating Developmental Education at Kapiʻolani Community College: Thoughts on Our Past, Present, and Future. Journal of the Japan Association for Developmental Education, Vol.4, No.1. 2009.
  • Richards, L., Franco, R., Island Roots,Global Reach:A Case Study of Internationalizing Kapiolani Community College in International Reform Efforts and Challenges in Community Colleges: New Directions for Community Colleges, Number 138.Valeau,E., and Raby,R., (Editors) Jossey-Bass.July 2007