Dr. Sonya Christian - who was a math faculty member, division chair and dean of science, engineering, allied health and mathematics at Bakersfield College from 1991 to 2003 - will take over part-time Nov. 29 and full-time in January.
Christian was most recently the vice president and chief academic officer at Lane Community College in Eugene, Ore.
"The depth and breadth of her experience in California and Oregon make Dr. Christian the right person to promote education and to develop strong relationships with educational partners and the community at large," Kern Community College District Chancellor Sandra Serrano said in a news release.
Christian has held increasingly higher-level administrative roles at Lane Community College over the last decade, according to BC. She's also worked in the classrooms at American River College in Sacramento and El Camino Citrus College in Glendora.
BC's new president holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Kerala in Kerala, India, a master's degree from the University of Southern California, and a doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Christian will replace Dr. Greg Chamberlain as president after he resigned to return to the classroom, teaching computer studies.