Dr. Linda Thor

Photo of Linda ThorBoard Vice President

Date First Elected: 2016
Years of Service: 2017 to present
Current Term Expires: December 31, 2020

Community College Experience

Elected to the Maricopa Community College District Governing Board in 2016, Dr. Linda M. Thor previously worked in community colleges for 41 years, 29 years as a chief executive officer.  Dr. Thor is President Emeritus of Rio Salado College in Tempe, Arizona, where she served for nearly 20 years.

Dr. Thor is also Chancellor Emeritus of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District in California’s Silicon Valley, a post she held for 5 ½ years.

Prior to becoming Rio Salado’s president in 1990, Dr. Thor was president of West Los Angeles College in Culver City, California. Dr. Thor’s appointment as West Los Angeles College president in 1986 followed a successful tenure as senior director of occupational and technical education for the Los Angeles Community College District.  Earlier she served the L.A. District as director of high technology centers and services and director of communications services.


Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Pepperdine University
Master of Public Administration degree from California State University-Los Angeles
Doctor of Education degree in community college administration from Pepperdine University
Honorary Associate of Arts degree from De Anza College
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Palo Alto University
Former adjunct faculty

  • UCLA School of Education

  • Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology

  • Rio Salado College

  • Northern Arizona University

Public Service

As Rio Salado College President, Dr. Thor served on the boards of many local community and civic organizations including...

  • East Valley Partnership

  • Arizona Quality Alliance

  • Benevilla

  • Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation

  • Nana’s Children Mental Health Foundation

  • Friends of Public Radio Arizona

  • Arizona Town Hall

  • Valley of the Sun United Way Campaign Cabinet

  • Greater Phoenix Economic Council

  • Arizona Governor’s Advisory Council on Quality

  • Phoenix Community Alliance

  • Arizona Cactus-Pine Girl Scout Council

Past gubernatorial and legislative appointments include...

  • Arizona Department of Economic Security Venture Team Board

  • Arizona Partnership for the New Economy Steering Committee

  • Arizona Task Force on Western Governors University

  • Governor’s Steering Committee for the “No Wrong Door” Service Delivery Improvement Initiative

  • Arizona Higher Education Study Committee

Honors and Awards

Alumni Medal of Honor from Pepperdine University
Distinguished Alumna Award from California State University, Los Angeles, College of Natural and Social Sciences
Ronald McDonald House Charities “Excellence in Education” Award
Pioneer Award from the Community College Baccalaureate Association
Paul A. Elsner Excellence in Leadership Award from The International Chair Academy
Shirley B. Gordon Award of Distinction for CEO’s from Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society
Distinguished Service Award from the National University Technology Network
Morris T Keeton Award from the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL)
Richard Jonsen Award from the WICHE Cooperative for Educational Technologies (WCET)
Outstanding Achievement Award from the Women's Business Network, Los Angeles
Woman of the Year from the Culver City Business & Professional Women

National Service

Active at the national level, Dr. Thor most recently served on these boards:

  • League for Innovation in the Community College

  • American Council on Education Commission on Education Attainment and Innovation

  • Community College Baccalaureate Association

  • By gubernatorial appointment, she served as one of three California representatives on the Western Interstate

  • Commission for Higher Education

  • In 2010 U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan appointed her to serve on the Committee on Measures of Student Success, comprised of 15 higher education leaders


Email: linda.thor@domail.maricopa.edu
Phone: 480-731-8889 (for messages)
Fax: 480-731-8120