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Date of Award

Summer 7-11-2019

Author Requested Restriction

Open Access (no restriction)

Work Type

Dissertation in Practice

Degree Name

Doctor of Educational Leadership (EdD)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Rachel Endo, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Rick Bonus, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Kevin Kumashiro, Ph.D.


This study explores the experiences of five current and former Asian American community college presidents including their career transitions into executive leadership using an AsianCrit analysis for framing their narrative experiences. The literature review situates the experiences of Asian American community college presidents in various contexts by providing a brief summary of several historical moments and political movements that have shaped the realities they currently confront as higher education leaders. This study employed a Critical Race Theory (CRT) approach to counter storytelling to analyze the participants’ narratives both individually and thematically based on their social identities as Asian Americans and as people of color. The findings revealed that their approaches to leadership have been influenced by several sociocultural and sociopolitical contexts that are directly linked to their racialized identities as Asian Americans. The results also highlighted the value of leadership strategies and techniques to navigate whiteness in the workplace and the intersectional impacts of gender, generation, and race on approaches to leadership. The participants shared advice for aspiring Asian American leaders such as creating spaces Asian American employees through affinity groups and providing ongoing trainings to inform others about the unique experiences of Asian American professionals in higher education. This study ends with implications for practice and theory.