“I am honored and humbled to be selected to lead the Association of Florida Colleges. Florida leads the nation in higher education,” Carvajal said. “Our state and community colleges are truly changing the lives of students and the communities that they serve. I look forward to working with our college presidents and education partners to lead this association.”
Carvajal has a long history in public policy and organizational leadership. Before joining AFC, Carvajal served as an executive vice president at Florida TaxWatch. He has also held leadership positions with The Able Trust, Florida Chamber Foundation and Collins Center for Public Policy.
Carvajal earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and communication from Florida State University and a master’s in public administration from Florida International University.
In addition to tapping Carvajal for the leadership post, AFC and the Florida College System Council of Presidents announced that Pensacola State College President Dr. C. Edward Meadows has been voted in as the next Chair of COP. Meadows is Pensacola State College’s sixth president and has held the position since 2008.
“The Governor, Legislature and State Board of Education have worked together to award the Florida College System with an infusion of much-needed new funding to enable our colleges to begin implementing our plan to Accelerate Florida with the goal of creating new pathways for academic success and career attainment for our students in the great state of Florida,” Meadows said. “The Council of Presidents look forward to this coming year to continue to work with all stakeholders to further implement Accelerate Florida.”
Meadows is a past chair of the COP and returns to the role as Pasco-Hernando State College President Dr. Timothy Beard prepares for retirement. Beard will continue working with COP as the Honorary Chair until his retirement.
Beard, who has led PHSC since 2015, has a long career in academic administration, having worked at institutions including Florida A&M University, Florida State University and the University of South Alabama.
Under Beard’s leadership, PHSC has expanded greatly, with an operating budget increase of 40%. During his presidential term, PHSC opened a state-of-the-art performing arts center at its Wesley Chapel location. Additionally, plans are underway to construct a fire academy and a business school.
“I believe you have to serve if you want to lead, and after serving as the council’s policy and advocacy Chair this past year, I am honored to be selected to work with the Association of Florida Colleges’ new executive director and lead my fellow presidents as this year’s honorary chair,” Beard said. “Each day, I’m proud of the work our 28 institutions do to go above and beyond for our students, communities and workforce partners. Thanks to our college presidents, state’s elected leaders and partners at the Florida Department of Education, we will continue to lead the nation in higher education.”