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Elizabeth L. Hillman

President, Mills College at Northeastern University


A well-known leader in promoting gender and racial equity and a respected voice in the U.S. military justice system, President Elizabeth L. Hillman is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. She has taught history and law at the U.S. Air Force Academy, Yale University, Rutgers, and the University of California Hastings College of the Law. 

As the 14th president of Mills College, she advanced Mills’ mission and values of access, equity, social justice, and women’s leadership through partnerships with UC Berkeley, California, community colleges, and the Oakland Promise. President Hillman led a tuition reset in response to the rising cost of college education and, most recently, spearheaded a transformative merger with Northeastern University that leverages the complementary strengths of both institutions and ensures that Mills remains a vibrant center of learning with deep connections to the broader Oakland community. 

President Hillman is engaged locally and nationally in civic and higher education leadership, and serves on numerous boards and committees, including the Oakland Workforce Development Board of the City of Oakland, the WASC Senior College and University Commission, the Women’s College Coalition Board, and the executive committee of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities. During 2017–18, she served on a blue-ribbon study group, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Committee Addressing Sexual Harassment in the Science, Engineering, and Medical Workplaces, that released a path-breaking report in 2018. 

President Hillman came to Mills from the University of California Hastings College of the Law, where she served as provost and academic dean. She received her Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Duke University, an Master of Arts in history from the University of Pennsylvania, a JD from Yale Law School, and a PhD in history focusing on women’s history from Yale University. 

Elizabeth L. Hillman

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