President of Rockland Community College, Dr. Lester Rápalo, Accepted into Forbes Business Council


President of Rockland Community College, Dr. Lester Rápalo, has been accepted into the Forbes Business Council, the foremost growth and networking organization for successful business owners and leaders worldwide.

Dr. Rápalo was selected by a review committee based on the depth and diversity of his experience. Criteria for acceptance include a track record of successfully impacting business growth metrics, as well as personal and professional achievements and honors.

As a member of the Council, Dr. Lester Rápalo will connect and collaborate with other respected leaders across a variety of industries and have the opportunity to share his expert insights in original articles and contribute to published Expert Panels alongside other experts on His first article on the topic of “How Community Colleges Can Support The Mental Health Of Students” is now available on line here:

"It is a profound honor to be accepted into the Forbes Business Council, a testament to the collective efforts and achievements of the Rockland Community College team. This recognition not only reflects our commitment to excellence but also opens doors to collaborate with global leaders, fostering growth and innovation. I am excited to leverage this platform to share insights, learn from peers, and further our mission at RCC. Together, we will continue to impact positive change and set new benchmarks for success,” states Dr. Lester Rápalo.

Dr. Lester Edgardo Sandres Rápalo, Ed.D., MBA, MA, was appointed as the eighth President of Rockland Community College in July of 2023. Prior to joining Rockland Community College, Dr. Rápalo was the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Bronx Community College, City University of New York (CUNY), and Dean of Social Sciences, Business and History at Union College. Dr. Rápalo was born in Honduras and speaks Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese. Dr. Rápalo earned his Ed.D. in Higher Education/Higher Education Administration from Nova Southeastern University, an MBA from Syracuse University – Martin J. Whitman School of Management, and both his MA in Hispanic Literature and Linguistics and his BA in Language and Literature from the University of Massachusetts.


Forbes Councils is a collective of invitation-only communities created in partnership with Forbes and the expert community builders who founded Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC). In Forbes Councils, exceptional business owners and leaders come together with the people and resources that can help them thrive. To learn more about Forbes Councils, visit

About Rockland Community College

Rockland Community College (RCC), located in Suffern New York, provides purpose driven educational opportunities in a supportive, affordable, and accessible environment, empowering individuals to positively transform themselves and their communities. RCC welcomes students from diverse backgrounds who appreciate small class sizes and personal attention from a distinguished, award-winning faculty that includes Fulbright scholars and SUNY Distinguished Professors. Many graduates go on to top universities to further their education on their own or through RCC’s institutional collaborations. RCC fosters an environment that attracts, recruits, supports, and retains faculty, staff, and students who value diversity. The College promotes a collegial and inclusive environment by recognizing, promoting, embracing, respecting, and celebrating the expansive range and dimensions of cultures, attitudes, ideas, and viewpoints contained within our campus community.

RCC is also proud to provide career training and professional development to adult learners looking to change careers or upgrade their skills through a variety of programs and educational opportunities including workforce training, certifications, and micro credentials. Many of the programs are developed with employers in the community in high demand industry areas to enable graduates to move into a new career upon graduation. More information can be found at .

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