World Bank education specialist Richard Hopper, of Westport Island, was named the new president of Kennebec Valley Community College Wednesday.

Hopper was recommended by Maine Community College System President John Fitzsimmons and approved by the board of trustees during a meeting Wednesday.

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Hopper is a Fulbright scholar and has received a Doctor of Education from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, according to a press release announcing his hiring.

Hopper is scheduled to start April 22.

Hopper will succeed Barbara Woodlee. Woodlee first announced her retirement in 2010, but when two national searches failed to yield a successor, she agreed to stay on until a replacement could be found.

The college is in the midst of the largest expansion in its history, having recently acquired 700 acres from Good Will-Hinckley on U.S. Route 201. Good Will-Hinckley, a residential school founded in 1889, closed in 2009 for financial reasons. It opened the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences in September 2011.

The other two finalists considered for the post were Charles Collins, of Portland, state director of the community college system’s Early College for ME program; and William A. Nevious, of Derry, N.H., former president of the recently closed Chester College of New England.