California Competes Welcomes New Members to Leadership Council

Dear Friends and Partners,

We are pleased to announce the addition of two new members to the California Competes Leadership Council. As you may know, the Council is made up of local elected officials and former legislators as well as business and community leaders who bring statewide reach and a remarkable breadth and depth of expertise and experience. We remain fortunate to work with such a distinguished group of policy-minded leaders—and our new Council members are no exception.


Carl A. Cohn is professor emeritus at Claremont Graduate University and has also taught at California State University, Los Angeles; the University of Southern California; and Harvard University, among others. From 2011 to 2018, he served the state of California as a State Board of Education member and then as Executive Director of the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence. Previously, he was superintendent of schools in both the Long Beach and San Diego school systems, as well as the Federal Court monitor for the Los Angeles school system. His tenure at the Long Beach Unified School District culminated with his winning the McGraw Prize in 2002 and the district winning the Broad Prize in 2003. Dr. Cohn’s current board service also includes the Spencer Foundation, CTA’s Institute for Teaching, the Center for Assessment, the Alder Graduate School of Education, the Education Standing Committee of the California Catholic Conference, and the National Center for Learning Disabilities.


Kristin Olsen currently serves as Chair of the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors and is a Partner at California Strategies, the state’s largest public affairs consulting firm. She has previously served in the California State Assembly, where she represented Stanislaus and San Joaquin Counties, and also served as Assembly Republican Leader from 2014 to 2016, developing a statewide reputation as a dynamic, forward-thinking leader. Her prior work experience included service on the Modesto City Council, the Modesto Planning Commission, and executive positions at California State University, Stanislaus and the California Restaurant Association. In addition to her new role at California Competes, Ms. Olsen currently serves on the Board of Directors for New Way California and for CA Women Lead, as well as on the Supervisory (Audit) Committee for Valley First Credit Union. She is an Aspen-Rodel Fellow and a magna cum laude graduate of Westmont College.


We’d also like to thank Mike Roos for his longtime service on the Leadership Council, from which he is now stepping down. Mike’s decades of experience in the California State Assembly and in public affairs management have been an incredible benefit to California Competes over the years, and we’ll miss his presence on the Council.


With these leadership changes, we look forward to continuing to guide decision makers in developing and implementing policies that bolster vibrant communities where every Californian can engage, contribute, and succeed.


Thank you for joining us on the journey.


Sincerely,


Su Jin Gatlin Jez
Executive Director


Elizabeth Hill
Chair, Leadership Council

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