Council Members

Christopher Cabaldan

Mayor Christopher Cabaldon
Mayor, West Sacramento

Christopher Cabaldon was first elected Mayor of West Sacramento in 1998, and is serving his ninth term. He is the first mayor elected directly by the voters of the city, after serving three terms on the city council.

At the United States Conference of Mayors, he is Chair of the Jobs, Education, and the Workforce Committee and is one of the nation’s leading mayors on innovation, imports and exports, civil rights, and education. Mr. Cabaldon currently serves as California’s Commissioner on the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education, where he is chair of the issues analysis and research committee.

Mr. Cabaldon earned his bachelor’s degree in environmental economics from UC Berkeley, and a master’s degree in public policy and administration from CSU Sacramento, where he received the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Terri Carbaugh

Terri Carbaugh
Vice Chancellor of Public Affairs at Brandman University

Terri M. Carbaugh has worked in and around California politics, policy, and media for much of her life. 

Carbaugh formerly led communications for California Community Colleges Chancellor Jack Scott. Prior to working for the California Community Colleges, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed her to the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board. Leading up to, and during California’s historic 2003 recall election, Carbaugh also served as the state’s Chief Assistant Secretary of State for Communications. 

Carbaugh has played a lead role in advocacy and media relations for the Long Beach College Promise. In 2016, she helped to develop and launch a three-year public engagement campaign for The Promise. The campaign is funded through the Governor’s Award for Innovation in Higher Education and centers on motivating students, families, nonprofits, businesses, and faith-based organizations within underserved communities to engage in The Promise.

Carbaugh attended Santa Barbara City College and graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in rhetoric and public discourse. In 2012, she became head of the Office of Public Affairs at California State University, Long Beach.

Joseph Castro

Joseph I. Castro, Ph.D
President, California State University, Fresno

Joseph Castro has served as President of California State University, Fresno since 2013. During his presidency, CSU Fresno has received numerous awards and was recently ranked the number three public university in the nation for graduation rate performance by U.S. News and World Report. 

In 2016, Dr. Castro received the Ohtli Medal, the highest honor granted by the Government of Mexico to leaders in the United States, and the Alumni Excellence Award from the Stanford University Graduate School of Education. In 2014, Dr. Castro was selected as Alumnus of the Year by the UC Berkeley Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy. 

The grandson of farmworkers, Dr. Castro is the first person in his family to graduate from a university.

Michelle Asha Cooper

Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D
President, Institute for Higher Education Policy

Michelle Asha Cooper is the President of the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP)—one of the nation’s most effective voices in championing access and success. Under Cooper’s leadership, IHEP works to address the educational needs of today’s students, particularly underserved students, many of whom are low income, students of color, and adults. Cooper is recognized as a well-respected practitioner, researcher, and policy advocate helping to ensure equal educational opportunities for all students.  

Cooper has previously served as the Deputy Director for the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance at the U.S. Department of Education. Before serving in this role, Cooper held various leadership positions at the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the Council for Independent Colleges, and King’s College. 

 Cooper is a member of the board of directors for uAspire and the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars. She also serves on several advisory boards, including the National Commission on Asian-American and Pacific Islander Research in Education and the African-American Male Initiative. In addition, Cooper is a National Leadership Council member of the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ Liberal Education and America’s Promise, a national initiative that champions the importance of a 21st century liberal education. 

Cooper earned her bachelor’s degree from the College of Charleston, her master’s degree from Cornell University, and her doctorate from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Michael Crow

Michael Crow, Ph.D
President, Arizona State University

Michael Crow has served as President of Arizona State University since 2002. He is guiding the transformation of ASU into one of the nation’s leading public metropolitan research universities, an institution that combines academic excellence, inclusiveness, and maximum societal impact—a model he terms the “New American University.” During his tenure the university was named the nation's most innovative school by U.S. News and World Report in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Crow was previously Executive Vice Provost of Columbia University, where he also was Professor of Science and Technology Policy in the School of International and Public Affairs. As Chief Strategist of Columbia’s research enterprise, he led technology and innovation transfer operations, establishing Columbia Innovation Enterprises (renamed Science and Technology Ventures), as well as advancing interdisciplinary program development.

Crow is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Academy of Public Administration, and member of the Council on Foreign Relations and U.S. Department of Commerce National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Crow received his doctorate in public administration (science and technology policy) from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University.

John Danielson

John Danielson
Chairman, Chartwell Hamilton Group

John Danielson serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer at Chartwell Education Group, and is a Managing Partner of The Chartwell Hamilton Group. Danielson co-founded Chartwell Education Group LLC and served as an Executive Vice President from 1995 to 2001. 

Danielson previously served as Chief of Staff to Education Secretary Rod Paige of the U.S. Department of Education from 2001 to 2003. From 2010 to 2013, at the appointment of United States Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Mr. Danielson served as a peer reviewer in all four of the landmark Race to the Top state and district competitions. Before joining the Department of Education, he was one of five co-founders of Community Education Partners. 

Mr. Danielson is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin.

Don Howard

Don Howard
President and CEO, The James Irvine Foundation

Don Howard is President and CEO of The James Irvine Foundation. In this role, Don led the Foundation’s recent transition to a focus on expanding economic and political opportunity for Californians who are working but struggling with poverty. Before becoming CEO in 2014, he served as executive vice president, directing the Foundation’s program and grantmaking activities.  

Prior to joining The James Irvine Foundation in 2012, Don was a partner at The Bridgespan Group, where he served as a strategic advisor to nonprofit and foundation leaders, and led Bridgespan’s San Francisco office for more than a decade. Earlier in his career, Don helped corporate leaders formulate strategy and improve the effectiveness of their organizations as a principal at Booz Allen Hamilton and later as a managing director at the Scient Corporation. 

 As a volunteer, Don has been an activist around HIV and other health-related issues, serving in the past on advisory boards at the San Francisco Department of Public Health; University of California, San Francisco; and the National Institutes of Health. He has acted as an advisor to the boards of several San Francisco community organizations and served on the board of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. 

Don earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering at Stanford University, where he also obtained his master’s degree from the Graduate School of Business.

Pradeep Khosla

Pradeep K. Khosla, Ph.D
Chancellor, University of California San Diego

Pradeep K. Khosla is the current Chancellor of the University of California San Diego, where he has initiated and led the university’s first ever strategic plan, and recently launched the public phase of the Campaign for UC San Diego, a $2 billion effort to transform the university physically and intellectually. Khosla has been a leader in expanding college access and affordability for underserved populations, initiating interdisciplinary research initiatives to foster collaboration and solve societal challenges, and strengthening university and community relationships and partnerships.  

Khosla has previously served as the Dean of the College of Engineering and Philip and Marsha Dowd University Professor at Carnegie Mellon University. Khosla spent the majority of his career at Carnegie Mellon, beginning as an Assistant Professor in 1986 and rising through the ranks until his appointment as Dean in 2004. 

Khosla earned his bachelor’s degree in technology from the Indian Institute of Technology, his master’s degree in electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, and his doctorate in electrical and computer engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

John King

John King
President and CEO, The Education Trust

John King is the current President and CEO of The Education Trust, a nonprofit organization that promotes closing opportunity gaps by expanding excellence and equity in education for students of color and those from low-income families from pre-kindergarten through college. The organization builds and engages diverse communities through research and advocacy to increase public awareness of equity issues and increase college access and completion for historically underserved students.

Prior to his current role, King served as the Secretary of Education under President Barack Obama from 2016 to 2017. Before serving as Secretary of Education, King served as as acting Deputy Secretary. Before his work in the Education Department, King served as the New York State Education Commissioner from 2011 to 2014. King was among the founders of the Roxbury Preparatory Charter School, where students earned the highest state exam scores of any urban middle school in Massachusetts. 

King earned his bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard University, and his master’s degree at Teachers College, Columbia University. King also earned his juris doctor degree at Yale Law School and a doctor of education degree in educational administrative practice at Columbia University.

Chauncy Lennon

Chauncy Lennon, Ph.D
Vice President for the Future of Learning and Work, Lumina Foujndation

Chauncy Lennon is the current Vice President for the Future of Learning and Work at Lumina Foundation. Lennon joined Lumina Foundation in the role of vice president in 2018, helping to build out new ideas to advance the foundation's attainment agenda.

Prior to his current role, Lennon served for nearly five years as a managing director and head of workforce strategy at JPMorgan Chase. He also previously led large portfolios of work at Ford Foundation related to economic advancement and workforce development. Since 2015, Lernnon has served on the national advisory board of the College Promise Campaign, a nonpartisan national initiative to build public support for funding the first two years of higher education for working students, beginning with community colleges. 

Lennon earned his bachelor's degree in anthropology from Williams College and his master's degree in social sciences from the University of Chicago. He also earned his doctorate in anthropology from Columbia University and taught urban studies at Barnard College and Columbia's School of International Affairs.

Bill Moses

Bill Moses
Managing Director, Education, Kresge Foundation

William “Bill” Moses serves as Managing Director for The Kresge Foundation’s Education Program, which supports postsecondary access and success for low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students. The key architect of Kresge’s education programming, Bill leads the team’s continuum of domestic and international grant activities from developing program strategy, reviewing preliminary ideas, and helping grantees develop proposals or initiatives, to awarding funding and monitoring existing grants. He also is a member of the National Advisory Board of The College Promise Campaign.

Before joining Kresge, Bill served as Executive Director of The Thomas J. Watson Foundation in Rhode Island and as a Senior Analyst at the Investor Responsibility Research Center in Washington, D.C. He also worked as a Research Officer at TechnoServe and held various administrative positions in Alaska’s state legislature and the federal government, including the U.S. Embassy in Cape Town, South Africa.

A graduate of Claremont McKenna College, Bill holds a master’s degree in international relations from Yale University.

George Pla

George Pla
President and CEO, Cordoba Corp.

George Pla is a successful entrepreneur and philanthropist whose work spans business and civic activities that hold the common theme of enhancing communities throughout California. He is the Founder, President, and CEO of Cordoba Corporation, a statewide full-service engineering, construction management, and program management firm specializing in the delivery of infrastructure projects in transportation, education, water, and energy sectors.

Pla’s recent philanthropic and civic activities include serving as a trustee of the California Science Center where he chaired the planning and engineering efforts of Cordoba Corporation’s historic transport of the Space Shuttle Endeavour and ET-94 fuel boosters through the streets of Los Angeles. He is the former Co-Chair and member of the Southern California Leadership Council, a nonpartisan, nonprofit public policy partnership comprised of business and community leaders. George also served on the Board of Directors of the Catalina Island Conservancy, which stewards approximately 42,000 acres through a balance of conservation, environmental protection, and education.

George L. Pla’s efforts to support academic institutions include serving as a Regent Emeritus at Loyola Marymount University, as a Presidential Associate at the University of Southern California, and serving on the President’s Advisory Council at California State University, Los Angeles.

George L. Pla is a graduate of California State University, Los Angeles, and holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Southern California.

Timothy Renick

Timothy Renick, Ph.D
Senior Vice President for Student Success and Professor, Georgia State University

Timothy Renick is Senior Vice President for Student Success and Professor at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Since 2008, he has directed the student success efforts of the university, overseeing among the fastest improving graduation rates in the nation and the elimination of all achievement gaps based on students’ race, ethnicity, and income level. He currently is principal investigator for multiple grants, including a $9 million U.S. Department of Education grant to study the impact of proactive, predictive-analytics-based advisement on 10,000 low-income and first-generation students nationally. Dr. Renick earned his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, and his master’s degree and doctorate degree in religion from Princeton University.

Karen Stout

Karen Stout, Ph.D
President and CEO, Achieving the Dream

Dr. Karen A. Stout is President and CEO of Achieving the Dream, and President Emerita of Montgomery County Community College. She is a nationally renowned academic leader in strategies for enhancing student success and completion, data informed decision making, accelerating and scaling innovation, and new approaches to community college fundraising. 

Dr. Stout serves as a member of the College Promise National Advisory Board, Campus Compact Board of Directors, Jobs for the Future Policy Leadership Trust, University System of Maryland William E. Kirwan Center for Academic Transformation Center Advisory Board, Center for First Generation Student Success, NASPA and Suder Foundation, Advisory Board, and Montgomery County Community College Foundation Board of Directors. 

Prior to serving as President and CEO at ATD, Dr. Stout was president of Montgomery County Community College from 2001 to 2015, where she led the college through a transformation process to improve student success.

She holds a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Delaware, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Baltimore, and a bachelor’s degree in english from the University of Delaware.

Tobin Van Ostern

Tobin Van Ostern
Advisor, Young Invincibles

Tobin Van Ostern is the co-founder of YI Advisors, the social-impact consulting arm of Young Invincibles. Through that work, he helps employers ranging from nonprofits to Fortune 500 companies better reach and engage millennial audiences on technology, workforce, and financial literacy issues. Previously, he was the Deputy Director of Generation Progress at the Center for American Progress, where he led work on a number of policy areas, including student loans. Van Ostern began his career mobilizing young adults when he served as the National Director of the student engagement program for President Obama’s 2008 campaign.

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