Board of Directors
Managing Director, Wheelhouse: The Center for Community College Leadership and Research and Senior Fellow, Stuart Foundation. Formerly senior education policy advisor to Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg. Previously a visiting journalism fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California and writer, editor and editorial board member at the Sacramento Bee.
Superintendent, Compton Unified School District. Earned a Ph.D in Educational Leadership at the University of Southern California, and an MA in Educational Leadership from California State University, San Bernardino, and a BA degree from the University of Redlands. Has also served as a principal of middle school and elementary school and as a high school teacher. Currently in his fifth year as Compton Unified superintendent
Executive Director and CEO, Institute for Nonprofit News. Formerly senior vice president for The Associated Press for business development and partnerships; vice president of The Associated Press for the Western U.S. and Los Angeles bureau chief, where she established one of AP’s first multimedia desks. Served on numerous nonprofit boards, including the Sociedad Interamericana de Prensa and The California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships at the University of Southern California.
Head of Public Policy, Western US States at Waymo. Previously served as policy staff for Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg, where he managed higher education, business, and technology issues. Played a key role in advancing Steinberg’s efforts to make California’s middle and high school experiences more hands-on and connected to the economy. Prior to that, helped lead Torlakson’s education policy agenda and write Senate Bill 638, which implemented $550 million in funding for afterschool programs made available by Prop 49.
President of the League of Women Voters of California Education Fund. She has been the Government Director and then as the Second Vice President for Advocacy and Program in 2008. While serving the state League, she has been active in strategic planning, initiative and referendum reform, human resources, training, legislation, ballot measures, and redistricting. She has been a member of the League of Women Voters since 1969.
CEO & executive director for the California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO). She oversees all of CASBO’s leadership, membership, advocacy, professional development and business efforts. Prior to her appointment as executive director, she served as CASBO’s assistant executive director for professional development. Molly has a B.S. in Organizational Development from Charter Oak State College and an M.S. in School Business Leadership from Wilkes University. In 2018, she will receive her Ph.D. from University of Pretoria. She earned her professional designation of Certified Association Executive from the American Society of Association Executives.
Director of the PPIC Higher Education Center and a senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, where he holds the Thomas and Marilyn Sutton Chair in Higher Education Policy. His research focus includes identifying policies that can make higher education policy more successful and improving college access and completion. He serves as a technical advisor to many organizations seeking to improve college graduation rates and engage in long-term capacity planning. Other areas of expertise include international and domestic migration, housing in California, and population projections.
Chief Administrative Officer, WestEd. Previously directed the California Comprehensive Center, a federally funded technical assistance center charged with building the capacity of California to implement ESSA and close the student academic achievement gap. Also served as fiscal and policy advisor on school finance issues to the California Legislature while at the California Legislative Analyst’s Office and has worked with federal, state, and local education agencies providing support in the areas of school finance, management, strategic planning, special education, and technology planning.
Orange County Superintendent of Schools since 2012. Prior to that served for six years as the Vice President of the College Board where he worked to expand the high school-to-university pipeline. While working in the San Francisco Bay Area as a project specialist for physically handicapped children in public schools, Mijares earned his master’s in social welfare from the University of California, Berkeley. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. He holds several school credentials, including school psychology and school administration.
Former Chief Executive Officer, Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team. With 38 years of service in public sector institutions in a variety of roles, Montero’s experience includes being superintendent of a medium-sized unified school district; assistant superintendencies in curriculum and instruction, business, and personnel; school principal, assistant principal, and classroom teacher.
Superintendent/CEO, Gateway Community Charters. Has worked in charter schools in a variety of roles, including teacher, principal and program director. Past-president Region 3, and State Board Director, Association of California School Administrators (ACSA).
Vice President, Jobs for the Future. Dr. Vargas leads the work of JFF’s High School Through College team. He also researches and advises on state policies to promote improved high school and postsecondary success for underserved students. Since joining JFF in 2002, Dr. Vargas has designed and implemented a research and state policy agenda for implementing Early College Designs; created policy frameworks, tools, and model legislation; written and edited white papers, research, and national publications; provided technical assistance to state task forces and policy working groups and served on a number of national advisory groups.