One Decade Strong

Making An Impact for the Benefit of Every Californian

Over the past 10 years, California Competes has established itself as a credible voice in Sacramento higher education policy circles. Always informed, they match insightful data analysis and policy expertise with a deep commitment to equity and authentic multi-stakeholder engagement.

—Lande Ajose, Ph.D., former executive director, California Competes; senior policy advisor for higher education, Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

California needs civic and business leadership that could help set a direction that serves the communities and residents of the state, not just the institutions. California Competes has taken on that critically important role.

—Bob Shireman, former executive director, California Competes; director of higher education excellence and senior fellow, The Century Foundation

A Message from Our Executive Director

California Competes Executive Director Dr. Su Jin Gatlin Jez thanks policymakers, partners, peer organizations, and others for their support of the organization over the past 10 years.

California Competes has worked with decision makers across the state to identify practical ways of making California’s higher education system better serve every individual—and our state as a whole. The Leadership Council and I are excited to further this work and make California more economically competitive as well as more equitable and inclusive.

—Elizabeth Hill, chair, California Competes Leadership Council; former Legislative Analyst for the State of California

Our singular focus on the intersection of post-secondary education and the economy, coupled with our unwavering focus on equity—across racial, gender, socioeconomic, and geographic lines—ensures that we drive important policymaking and practical solutions to improve the economic mobility and prosperity of every Californian.

—Julia Lopez, former president and CEO, College Futures Foundation

California Competes’s work to align individual degree and credential attainment with employer needs and regional opportunities will strengthen our state’s economy—and the people who constitute it—at a critical time in our post-pandemic recovery.

—Aída Álvarez, chair, Latino Community Foundation; former administrator, US Small Business Administration

California Competes is unique. It is committed to developing policies to make our public system of higher education work better and for more people. I am proud to support its focus on serving our state as a whole, urban and rural, and I look forward to achieving our goals over the next 10 years.

—Carol Liu, former state senator (D)

California’s colleges and universities are perhaps our most important economic development assets. Producing graduates who meet the needs of our state’s employers will promote overall economic vitality and individual prosperity.

—Roger Niello, co-owner, The Niello Company; former state assemblymember (R)

Recent Work