California Competes Welcomes Julia Lopez to Leadership Council

Dear friends,

As we launch into the second half of 2018, I wanted to give you a personal update on how we’re doing at California Competes.  I’m extraordinarily proud of the new team we have on board, the policy platform we’ve advanced, the work we’ve done with partners, and the policy progress we’ve seen, especially in Governor Brown’s final budget. While the second half of the year promises to be as robust as the first, I also wanted to share with you two changes we’ve experienced in the past month to our esteemed Leadership Council.

First, I am thrilled to welcome Julia Lopez to the California Competes Leadership Council. Known to many of you, Ms. Lopez is the former president and CEO of the College Futures Foundation, a position she held from 2008–2017. A lion in the fields of both philanthropy and higher education, prior to College Futures she was senior vice president at the Rockefeller Foundation, where she provided oversight, management, and evaluation of the foundation’s strategic program grantmaking. Her distinguished career includes roles in the California State Legislature, the New Mexico Department of Criminal Justice, and the San Francisco Department of Social Services, where she oversaw programs serving the city’s most disadvantaged residents. She currently serves on the board of directors of KQED and the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, while her past service includes the REDF Board of Directors and the Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank former Mayor Robert Foster (Long Beach) for his eight years of extraordinary service on the Leadership Council. As our founding chair when we were a lesser-known voice in policy circles, Bob was critical in helping to get California Competes on the map, especially with the launch of our seminal report The Road Ahead. We are deeply grateful for Mayor Foster’s time and talents, which he so generously shared with us, and for his continued commitment to improving California’s higher education system.   We are excited for the months to come as we pursue our 2018 policy priorities to achieve greater coordination, accessibility, and transparency for students and for California’s higher education system. Thank you for your continued interest in our work to ensure more Californians have greater educational access, clear pathways to get through college and meet workforce demands, stoke economic growth, and engage in our communities.  

Sincerely yours,

Lande Ajose, PhD
Executive Director
California Competes

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