2020 CEO Leadership Academy Graduates

The League recognizes these California Community College CEOs as members of the fourth class of the CEO Leadership Academy:

Dr. Angélica Garcia, President, Brekeley City College

Dr. Garcia is widely recognized as an effective and collaborative higher education leader with an emphasis on innovation, social justice, and equity while promoting academic excellence. Berkeley City College is an awarding winning institution known for civic engagement, student support services including those for veterans and the undocumented community, and a top college for Fulbright scholars and students transferring to four-year schools including UC Berkeley.

Dr. Garcia is an East Bay resident with family that includes her wife and two young daughters. She is a graduate of San Francisco State University where she received a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. She also holds a Master’s in Social Work from San Diego State University and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Liberal and Civic Studies from St. Mary’s College.

Angelica Loera Suarez, President, Orange Coast College

Dr. Suarez is recognized as a collaborative leader focused on creating accessible and equitable pathways to higher education for all students.  As past president of the California Community Colleges Chief Student Services Officers organization, she championed statewide reform focused on the implementation of innovative, responsive and equitable student success initiatives designed to close student educational achievement gaps.  

Dr. Suarez' personal narrative as an immigrant and first-generation college student connects her very directly to the shared experiences of California community college students.   Her collective community college experience has provided her with multiple perspectives as a former student, classified staff member, faculty member, and administrator.  Her educational background includes a doctoral degree in educational leadership and policy studies from Loyola University Chicago, a master's degree in counseling psychology from California State University at Long Beach, a bachelor's degree in psychology from California State University at Long Beach, and an associate degree from East Los Angeles College.  

Brad Davis, Chancellor, West Valley-Mission Community College District

Prior to beginning his career with the District in 2009, Mr. Davis served for ten years in a variety of leadership positions at San Jose State University, where he was most recently the AAVP for Faculty Affairs, and had previously served as the university’s Director of Equal Opportunity. While at SJSU, Mr. Davis secured a prestigious ACE-Sloan grant for Faculty Career Flexibility and served as a member of the CSU system-wide collective bargaining team, and was a founding member of the University’s Crisis Assessment and Intervention Team. He taught for years in the Higher Education Leadership graduate program at Santa Clara University, and was also an adjunct faculty member at San Jose State University and Vanderbilt University. Mr. Davis is a frequently invited presenter on a wide variety of topics for public and state agencies including community relations, organizational development and management, strategic planning, bond and facilities development, fundraising, and intercollegiate athletics.

Byron Clift Breland, Chancellor, San José-Evergreen Community College District

 Dr. Byron D. Clift Breland currently serves as Chancellor of San Jose – Evergreen Community College District (SJECCD). He served as President of San Jose City College from spring of 2013 until being named Interim Chancellor in July 2018.  He was appointed permanent Chancellor by the SJECCD Board of Trustees in November 2018. Dr. Clift Breland holds a Bachelor of Science degree in consumer economics and a Master of Science degree in family studies from the University of Maryland, College Park. He also has a Master of Science degree in education and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in counseling psychology, both from the University of Southern California.

Celeste Townsend, President, California Indian Nations College

Townsend took the gatherings to new heights, laying the groundwork for a college and preparing initial funding requests. Through her leadership, CINC was chartered by the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians in September 2017. Early the next year, the same tribe generously provided seed money to support initial staffing of the college, enabling the institution to quickly gain momentum. The University of California, Riverside (UCR) graciously offered to sponsor the college’s offices for its first two years at its Palm Desert graduate Center where it has also rented classroom space to CINC. With that, the staff hit the ground running and the college taught its first classes in cooperation with UCR Extension during the fall of 2018.

Due to accreditation strictures, CINC formed an instructional partnership in the spring of 2019 with College of the Desert (COD), a California community college located in Palm Desert. This partnership ensures that all classes offered by California Indian Nations College are fully transferable and backed by COD’s regional accreditation through the Accrediting Commission of Colleges and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). Under the leadership of President Joel Kinnamon, COD has been fully supportive of CINC and its students and has pledged to walk CINC through its initial accreditation.

Claudia Habib, President, Porterville College

President Caludia Habib is a U.S. Colombian immigrant who spoke no english upon arrival. Through community college, she learned to speak Englusj, and earned a bachelor's degree in interior design from Fresno State University. She was a designer for eight years, but decided to switch to education. She taught for 12 years and saw, through interactions with students, how her own story helped her better understand what many were going through.

She later earned a master’s degree in instructional technology from National University and an Ed.D. in education and leadership from Fresno State.

She has served as interim dean of instruction of fine, performing and communication arts at Fresno City College, as well as interim dean of instruction of agriculture/natural resources, manufacturing and business and vice president of student services at Reedley College.

Damon Bell, Interim President, Contra Costa College

Prior to being interim president at Ventura College, Bell was the vice president of student services and achievement at Olympic College in Washington, vice president of student services at San Bernardino Valley College and San Diego Mesa College and held leadership roles at Long Beach City College, California State University San Marco, California State University Monterey Bay and San Francisco State University.

Bell also has had experience with community colleges as a student. Prior to getting a bachelor’s degree at UC San Diego, he earned an associate’s degree at Los Angeles Harbor College. He later earned a master’s degree from the University of Georgia and an educational doctorate from CSU Fullerton.

Daniel Walden, Superintendent/President, Victor Valley College

Prior to his start at Victor Valley College, Walden served his time as an executive, Vice President of Academic Affairs, at Los Angeles City College. Walden has ties to the region - he and his wife have family who have lived in the High Desert for several years. He called his selection to replace Wagner, who was hired nearly five years ago, “the highest honor of my career”

 

 

 

David M. Johnson, President, Merritt College

Dr. David M. Johnson was named President of  Merritt College in December 2019 after joining the administrative team in January 2019 as Vice President of Instruction. He comes to Merritt from Las Positas College in Livermore, CA, where he served as Interim Vice President of Academic Services. In that position, he was responsible for enrollment management, academic compliance, budget supervision, and overall instructional support for 120 degree, transfer, and certificate programs. He also worked closely with the faculty, staff, and administration to ensure that the institution me accreditation standards were aligned with state initiatives.

Raised in Oakland, CA, and a product of the Oakland Unified School District, David holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from U.C. Berkeley, a master’s degree in Communication from the University of Washington, and a doctorate in History from U.C. Berkeley.

Diana Rodriguez, President, San Bernardino Valley College

President Diana Z. Rodriguez began her tenure as the 14th president of San Bernardino Valley College in July 2016. Prior to her current position, she served as Vice President of Student Services and Vice President of Academic Services at Las Positas College in Livermore, California for four years.

As president of one of the most historic community colleges in California and a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI), she oversees a highly diverse campus of 14,000 students and 1,200 employees in the heart of Southern California's Inland Empire, serving the cities of San Bernardino, Colton, Rialto, Highland, Loma Linda, Grand Terrace, Big Bear Lake, and numerous residential communities in the college's immediate vicinity, as well as thousands of online students from across the globe.

Dyrell Foster, President, Las Positas College

Dr. Dyrell Foster has been an administrator in the California Community College system for over 17 years. He currently serves as the President of Las Positas College.

Dyrell is passionate about advancing success in higher education for male students of color; his research focuses on the student engagement experiences of African American males in community colleges. Dyrell serves as the past-president of the African American Male Education Network and Development (A2MEND) organization; a non-profit organization that utilizes their scholarly and professional expertise to create an affirming academic and professional environment for African Americans and to foster institutional change within the community college system. Dyrell has also been an active member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) throughout his career, serving on a number of regional and national boards and conference planning committees.

Jack Kahn, Interim Superintendent/President, Palomar Community College

Dr. Jack Kahn, who has been serving as Palomar College’s acting superintendent/president since December 2019, has been named interim superintendent/president of the college district.

During that time, Kahn led several initiatives to address the district’s fiscal health; led the campus response to the COVID-19 pandemic; and most recently, supported colleagues as they organized a Black Lives Matter forum and vigil, for which he gave the opening remarks. The forum was attended by 300 faculty, staff, students and community members.

Jerry Buckley, President, Reedley College

Dr. Buckley comes to the Central Valley from the Santa Clarita Community College District, where he served as assistant superintendent/vice president of academic affairs since August of 2013. Prior to that, Dr. Buckley served a served as was the vice president of instruction for the San Diego Community College District.

Mr. Buckley earned his Ed.D. in educational leadership from San Diego State, his M.A. in biology from Cal State Fullerton and his B.S. in biological sciences from USC. Dr. Buckley is also a graduate of the LACCD/UCLA Presidents Academy.

Jill Stearns, President, Cuesta College

Dr. Stearns has served as president of Modesto Junior College since July of 2012. Previously, she served as the vice president of educational services, the interim associate dean of student learning outcomes, and director of financial aid at West Hills College. Dr. Stearns also spent three years in the classroom as a teacher at Avenal High School

In addition to strong leadership skills, Dr. Stearns brings an awareness of San Luis Obispo County to the job. “Having lived in four areas of SLO County previously - San Luis Obispo, Grover Beach, Paso Robles, and Atascadero – I know the characteristics that make the area unique. I have a strong desire to return and serve the area. I am committed to improving the quality of life and the economic well-being of the diverse residents and communities in Cuesta College’s service area.”

Jose F. Torres, Interim Chancellor, San Bernardino Community College District

Jose F. Torres assumed the chancellor’s responsibilities on an interim basis, coinciding with the start of the spring semester. Along with executive leadership and board of trustees, Torres will ensure SBCCD continues providing students throughout the Inland Empire quality higher education and career training opportunities. 

Torres joined SBCCD in 2013 and oversees the district’s $200 million operating budget, including financial planning, business services, internal auditing, facilities, and human resources to facilitate the success of 27,000 students and 1,200 faculty and staff members.

Julius Sokenu, Interim President, Moorpark College

Ever since immigrating to America from Nigeria 30 years ago, Dr. Julius Sokenu, Interium President at Moorpark College, hasn’t been unmindful to the biases in America. As a black, gay, single father, he steadfastly refuses to be stereotyped and has used these experiences to drive his ambitions and spirituality to greater heights.

After graduating from USC, Sokenu went to Arizona State University, where he was a teaching assistant and earn his Master of Fine Arts degree (Creative Writing). That is was when he realized that he loved education. He got his Ph. D. from Boston University in 2004, while he was faculty and department chair of the English and Communications at Quinebaug Valley Community College in Connecticut.

Kathryn Jeffery, Superintendent/President, Santa Monica College

With over three decades of diverse higher education experience, Dr. Jeffery has successfully encompassed roles as professor, career college counselor, and administrator.  She is highly regarded for her knowledge and experience in educational leadership, student services and Career Technical Education (CTE). She is a passionate advocate for higher education who is courageous and takes pride in using a student-centered approach to face the challenges and opportunities as a college CEO.

Dr. Jeffery has comprehensive knowledge of community college-related issues, due in large part to her rich professional experience in academic and student affairs programs and services. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration with an emphasis in Community College Leadership from the University of Texas at Austin, an M.S. in Applied Behavioral Studies in Education (Counseling) from Oklahoma State University and a B.M.E. (Bachelor of Music Education) with a major in piano and minor in voice from Oklahoma State University. A lover of the arts – especially music – Dr. Jeffery is also a talented classical musician.

Kim Lopez, Acting President, College of San Mateo

Kim has been an outstanding leader for Student Services, spearheading significant initiatives aimed at increasing student access and success, as well as expanding important partnerships within the community the College serves. Some of these endeavors include: the Multiple Measures Assessment Pilot Project, establishment of a SparkPoint Program and development of the Coding program with Sequoia District Adult School and JobTrain.  Additionally, Kim has worked closely with faculty and staff to develop and implement the Student Support Services Program (SSSP) and Student Equity Plan.

Kim holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UC Santa Barbara and a Master’s degree in Education from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Dr. Kristin Clark, President, West Hills College Lemoore

Dr. Clark came to WHCL in January 2016 as the third president in the school’s 14-year history. She is the former Vice President of Student Services at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa and served in a series of administrative posts at that school over the last 16 years. She has also previously served as the Director of Admissions, Records and Enrollment Technology and Dean of Enrollment Services for Orange Coast College and as the Registrar for National University in North Hills. She has taught at Pepperdine, Golden West College, Orange Coast College and CSU Fullerton.

She has also previously served as the Director of Admissions, Records and Enrollment Technology and Dean of Enrollment Services for Orange Coast College and as the Registrar for National University in North Hills. She has taught at Pepperdine, Golden West College, Orange Coast College and CSU Fullerton.

She holds a BS in Business and Management from the University of Phoenix, a master’s in Educational Technology from Pepperdine and a Doctorate in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania. She has also taught at Pepperdine, Golden West College, Orange Coast College and CSU Fullerton.

Lloyd Holmes, President, De Anza College

Dr. Lloyd Holmes, President at De Anza College, is an administrator with over 25 years of experience in higher education.  His work related to students’ perception of institutional climate has led to the creation of various programs which serve to impact student retention. From the development of leadership programs and volunteer opportunities for students, to building strong collaborations within the college and with individuals and organizations in the community outside the college, Dr. Holmes has worked to create partnerships which impact the success of students.  Besides collaborating with academic affairs through various committees, Dr. Holmes has also taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Additionally, he has served as a statewide coach for the guided pathways project within the SUNY (State University of New York) system.

His involvement in the local community includes service on the Foodlink Board of Directors, director’s advisory committee for the Memorial Art Gallery, Geva Theatre Board of Directors, and the Growing Downtown Rochester Committee. 

Dr. Lori Bennett, President, Clovis Community College

As President of Clovis Community College, Dr. Bennett is responsible for leadership, budget oversight, and supervision of the newest California community college, serving over 9,000 students annually. She is leading the college in implementing the new educational master plan and strategic plan, expanding the Career Technical Education program, and overseeing the $70 million new facilities project.

Previously, Dr. Bennett served for three years as the executive vice president at Moorpark College and was responsible for all instructional and student services programs. Prior to that, she was a dean of student learning, department chair, and business professor at Moorpark College. Dr. Bennett also taught at Tacoma Community College in Washington, and has over 10 years of business experience.

Dr. Bennett received her B.S. in Business from the University of Southern California, an M.B.A. in Marketing and Finance from the University of Chicago, and her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from California State University, Northridge.

Lou Anne Bynum, Interim Superintendent/President, Long Beach City College

Bynum joined LBCC in 1997 as the Dean of Economic Development, later becoming the Executive Vice President of College Advancement and Economic Development. Under Bynum’s leadership, LBCC administered more than $125 million in grants and contracts leading to a number of awards for the success of the programs including: the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce International Achievement Award; the California Community College System’s award for Successful Industry Partnership; the California Association of Occupational Educators award for Business and Industry Partnerships; and a series of Knight Foundation and Verizon Foundation awards for faculty development and student support services. 

Bynum earned a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics/Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from UCLA, and a bachelor’s degree in History from California State University, Long Beach.

Lynn Neault, Chancellor, Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District

Lynn Ceresino Neault began serving as chancellor of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District in January 2020. Dr. Neault has extensive experience and knowledge in community college administration and is well-versed in statewide issues affecting community colleges. 

Dr. Neault previously worked for 25 years as Vice Chancellor of Student Services at the San Diego Community College District. She began working at the San Diego district in 1983 as an administrative analyst in Institutional Research, and later served as director, associate director and coordinator of Student Services. From 2013-14, she served as interim president of San Diego City College.

Dr. Neault holds a Bachelor's degree in political science, a Master's degree in public administration, and a Doctorate in Education, all from San Diego State University. 

Martha Garcia, Superintendent/President, Imperial Valley College

Dr. Martha Garcia currently serves as the ninth Superintendent/President for Imperial Valley College and as the first woman to lead the College. She previously served as IVC's Vice President for Student Services and Acting Vice President for Academic Services. Moreover, Dr. Garcia was previously responsible for developing and coordinating a 5.8 million dollar California Career Pathways Trust Grant, Salud y Seguridad para la Comunidad Project that enabled Imperial Valley College to create Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Level One. She has developed a multitude of categorically funded programs that focused on serving minority and underrepresented students. 

Dr. Garcia is committed to making a difference for her students and her community and serves on various community organization boards: she is a Board Member for Sun Community Federal Credit Union; Live Your Dream Scholarship Coordinator for Soroptimist International of El Centro and Member of Imperial Valley Breakfast Rotary. She will be participating in Bailando Por un Sueño in October 2019 in an effort to help raise funding to support medical expenses of an Imperial County child who was diagnosed with cancer. Moreover, she was honored as one of the 56th California Assembly District's "2018 Woman of the Year." Finally, Dr. Garcia enjoys traveling and spending time with her family who resides in Brawley.

Matthew Wetstein, Superintendent/President, Cabrillo College

Dr. Matt Wetstein has just completed his second year as Superintendent/President of Cabrillo College. Prior to working at Cabrillo, Matt served for 6 years as the Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Instruction and Planning at San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton, CA. Matt started his career in the California Community Colleges as a Political Science Instructor at San Joaquin Delta College in 1996. He holds a BA from the University of St. Francis in Illinois, and a Masters and Ph.D. in Political Science from Northern Illinois University. He is a statewide leader in the Research and Planning Community for California Community Colleges, having spent 6 years on the board of that organization and 2 years as President. The Ohlone ACCJC peer review team will represent his sixth time serving as a peer reviewer, but his first as team leader.

 

Monica Green, President, Norco College

Monica Green, Ed.D., serves as the Norco College president. Prior to this role, Green led Riverside City College as the vice president of Planning and Development. Prior to RCC, she served as the dean and later vice president of the Norco College Student Services division from 2009 – 2018, where she developed, implemented, and evaluated student services programs to support student access, equity, and success. She provided leadership and direction in Admissions and Records, Assessment, Athletics, Career Center, Counseling, Student Financial Services, and wide variety of student support services.
Green has 18 years of experience within the California community college system, six years as counseling faculty and twelve years as an administrator. As an advocate for higher education, she leads and provides support in the writing of grants, position papers, and delivering professional presentations. College and career readiness is of particular interest to Green, so over the years she has led many collaborative projects related to these areas. She led the development of Norco College’s award-winning Summer Advantage program in collaboration with the local unified school district. Summer Advantage is a unique first year experience for graduating high school seniors that offers academic and student support services to prepare students for college success. Most recently, Green led the college’s Completion Initiative and Guided Pathways movement. These college reform efforts completely redesign the community college to increase college completion and reduce the time to completion.

Omid Pourzanjani, Superintendent/President, San Joaquin Delta College

Dr. Pourzanjani has served students for over 35 years at various higher education institutions in California. He has held positions as Lecturer, Professor, Academic Senate Officer, Department Chair, Instructional Dean, CTE and Workforce Development Dean, Enrollment Management Dean, Accreditation Liaison Officer, Chief Student Services Officer, Chief Instructional Officer, Vice Chancellor, and Superintendent President. As an immigrant, an ESL student, and a first-generation college student, he understands the challenges that our students face and is committed to helping them achieve their educational goals. The ideas of equity, diversity, and inclusion are core to his beliefs and he is passionate about making college education and college life accessible for all students. He is a visionary leader with a demonstrated commitment to the comprehensive mission of community colleges, a strong commitment to participatory governance, and an inclusive and open leadership style. His continued success as an educational leader has been founded on building strong relationships with students, faculty, staff, administrators, board members, community members, and policymakers.
Concurrent to his work in higher education, 
Dr. Pourzanjani is a graduate of a California community college, holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Computer Science and Engineering, and a doctorate in Education from UCLA. He is married to his high school sweetheart and together they have two children (and a dog). 

Ricky Shabazz, President, San Diego City College

Dr. Ricky Shabazz is an enthusiastic, student-centered leader with 18+ years of executive experience advancing academic achievement, educational equity, and diversity. He is a team builder with an accomplished record of improving access to higher education, developing collaborative partnerships, cultivating improved institutional practices, and promoting innovative solutions and dialogue. His mother was a teenage parent, and he was the first person in his family to attend college. He is a passionate, lifelong learner committed to the community college mission to educate a diverse community of learners.

As San Diego City College's President, he provides executive leadership at one of the most innovative and socially active community colleges in the nation with a focus on student completion, success, and social justice. He has previously held positions as Vice President of Student Services, San Bernardino Valley College; Dean of Student Services, El Camino College Compton Center; Associate Director of Admissions, Harvey Mudd College; MESA Program Director and Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions, University of California, Davis (UCD); and Analyst in the University of California Office of the President.

Ron Gerhard, Chancellor, Chabot-Las Positas Community College District

Gerhard has been with the community college district since 2017, when he was named vice president of administrative services at Chabot. He was named vice chancellor for business services in 2018. He previously held various finance and administrative positions at City College of San Francisco, Peraltra Community College, Compton Community College and San Bernardino Community College. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting at the University of Redlands, in Redlands, California, and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of California, Riverside.

 

 

Sunita Cooke, Superintendent/President, MiraCosta Community College District

With more than 25 years of experience in higher education, Dr. Sunita “Sunny” Cooke is Superintendent and President of MiraCosta Community College District, where she promotes community colleges and workforce development at MiraCosta’s four campuses in North Coastal San Diego. 
As an administrator, Dr. Cooke led state-wide efforts to diversify sector-based state workforce and economic strategies in Texas and California. Recently, she chaired the California Board of Governors Strong Workforce Taskforce, which led to 26 recommendations to ensure that community colleges engage with businesses and other partners to strengthen the state’s workforce development efforts. She is an experienced educator and administrator, with experience as a biology professor, director of a biotechnology institute, Dean of Sciences, Health and Wellness, and Associate Vice Chancellor for Workforce Development. 
Prior to joining MiraCosta Community College, Dr. Cooke was the first female president of Grossmont College.

Tawny Dotson, President, Yuba College

Dr. Tawny M. Dotson currently serves as the Interim Vice President for Instruction and Executive Director of the Foundation at Clover Park Technical College, Pierce County, Wash. CPTC serves more than 6,500 students annually, in 7 schools, 44 program areas (BAS, AAS-T, AAT, Certificate), 496 employees, four bargaining units, two cam- puses, two satellite locations, and a $36 million state operating budget. She oversees an additional endowment of $1.7 million, a 16-member Board of Directors for the Foundation, and all aspects of the 501(c)3 organization.

In her current role, she is responsible for leading CPTC’s Instructional De- partments, including Professional-Technical programs and certificates, Academics, Transitional Studies, Workforce programs, Correctional Ed- ucation programs, and the Northwest Career & Technical High School. She has served as the college’s Accreditation Liaison Officer for six years and lead negotiator for four collective bargaining agreements. Dotson joined CPTC in 2012 and was previously the Vice President for Strategic Development. Dotson has led Communications/Marketing, Outreach/ Recruiting, Legislative Affairs, Human Resources, Grant Development, Institutional Research, Curriculum Development, Outcomes Assessment, and strategic planning.

Tim McGrath, President, Golden West College

Tim McGrath is an educational leader with a 20-year record of success in California community college administration, Tim McGrath serves as the 8th President of Golden West College (GWC). GWC is part of the Coast Community College District located in Huntington Beach, California with a student population of more than 18,000. GWC was named Champion of Higher Education for two-consecutive years in 2017 and 2018 by the Campaign for College Opportunity organization for its excellence in transfer; honored as the Best of Huntington Beach by the Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce in 2018; and widely recognized for its pioneering leadership in designing learning-centered programs and services for students. Prior to accepting the presidency at GWC in 2018, Tim served as the Vice President of Instruction at San Diego Mesa College. His academic credentials include a Juris Doctorate from Western State University College of Law; a Master of Science in Administration from Pepperdine University; a Bachelor of Science in Law from Western State University College of Law; and an Associate of Arts degree from Santa Monica College.

 

Wolde-Ab Isaac, Chancellor, Riverside Community College District

A Fulbright Scholar, Isaac was born in Eritrea, East Africa, and graduated from Ethiopia’s Haile Selassie University where he majored in chemistry. His graduate studies and work later took him to the University of Uppsala in Sweden, eventually returning to Eritrea to work as government secretary of Human Resources. He went on to attend the University of Michigan, earning a master’s and doctoral degree in medicinal chemistry.

Isaac served as president of the University of Asmara in Eritrea from 1993 to 2006 and previously was a senior clinical researcher with AstraZeneca, a position he held for 12 years.  

He resides in Riverside with his two sons, Simon, a student at UCR, and Yisak, a senior at Poly High School.​ ​

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