Governing Board Members

Board Chair: Robert Tagorda

(June 2023 – July 2024)

Chair Elect: Gavin Payne

(August 2023 – June 2024)

Data Provider and Agency Representatives

Association of Independent California Colleges & Universities: Thomas Vu

Thomas Vu is the Vice President for Policy for the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU). The AICCU is the organizational voice for the state’s independent, nonprofit colleges and universities and strengthens these institutions by providing leadership, collaboration, governmental advocacy, and public engagement.

Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education: Deborah Cochrane

Deborah Cochrane is the Chief for the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education (Bureau), under the Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA). The Bureau protects students and consumers through the oversights of California’s private postsecondary educational institutions.

California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office: John Hetts

John Hetts is the Executive Vice Chancellor of the Office of Innovation, Data, Evidence, and Analytics for the California Community Colleges. He leads the California Community Colleges’ development and delivery of information technology and security services, student-centered technology-focused initiatives, and evidence-based reporting and evaluation. He has previously served in a variety of roles related to intersegmental educational data in California, including as a member of the Multiple Measures Assessment Project research team, the Cradle to Career Research Subcommittee, both the University of California’s Standardized Testing Feasibility Steering Committee and the related Feasibility Work Group, the California Guided Pathways Advisory Committee, and the Statewide AB 705 Implementation Workgroup, and has been both a California Education Policy Fellow and a Complete College America Fellow.

California Department of Education: Liberty Van Natten

Liberty Van Natten is an Education Research and Evaluation Administrator in the Analysis, Measurement, and Accountability Reporting Division at the California Department of Education. She previously served as the Department’s Foster Youth Data Liaison. Before joining the Department, Liberty worked for local educational agencies conducting research and evaluation and taught English as a Second Language at both the high school and post-secondary levels. Liberty holds an undergraduate degree in English from California State University, Chico and a graduate degree in Linguistics from the University of California, Davis. 

California Labor and Workforce Development Agency: Javier Romero

Javier Romero has over 25 years of experience in higher education and workforce development, which included a tenure of 14 years with the California Workforce Development Board. Prior to becoming the Deputy Director of the EDD Workforce Services Branch, his most recent experience was as a dean in the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Workforce and Economic Development Division for over 7 years. As a dean he oversaw California’s Adult Education Program, California Apprenticeship Initiative, as well as other programs.

As a manager at the California Workforce Development Board, he focused on issues related to organizing workforce development programs around social and economic mobility (equity), regional economies, sector strategies, career pathways and quality demand driven programs.

California School Information Services: Amy Fong

As Chief Operations Officer, Amy Fong leads the California School Information Services (CSIS) in its mission to build local capacity in support of effective pupil information systems. CSIS encourages regional leadership in cultivating local best practices, increases transparency in state use of local data, and builds a variety of tools and modern software to serve the larger statewide educational data ecosystem, including CALPADS (California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System).

California Health and Human Services: John Ohanian

John Ohanian is the Chief Data Officer for the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS). CHHS oversees departments and offices that provide a wide range of services in the areas of health care, mental health, public health, alcohol and drug treatment, income assistance, social services, and assistance to people with disabilities.

California State University, Office of the Chancellor: Nathan Evans

Dr. Nathan Evans currently serves as deputy vice chancellor of Academic and Student Affairs for the California State University Office of the Chancellor. In this role he serves a chief academic officer and enrollment officer for the CSU system. Previously, he served as associate vice chancellor and chief of staff for Academic and Student Affairs, the principal advisor to ASA’s executive vice chancellor on policy development, strategic planning and organizational development for Academic and Student Affairs. He serves as the division’s primary representative for engagement with California’s other higher education systems, legislature and state officials regarding CSU academic and student affairs matters.

California Student Aid Commission: Jessica Moldoff

Jessica Moldoff, Ph.D., is the Director of Data, Analysis and Research at the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC). As Director, Jessica oversees and directs the research and data governance functions of CSAC and manages the Data, Analysis and Research Team. She is responsible for facilitating research on program effectiveness and financial aid administration, as well as overseeing CSAC’s reports, program projections, and ad hoc data requests.

Commission on Teacher Credentialing: David DeGuire

David DeGuire is the Director of the Professional Services Division of the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC). The CTC serves as a state standards board for educator preparation for the public schools of California, the licensing and credentialing of professional educators in the State, the enforcement of professional practices of educators, and the discipline of credential holders in the State of California. 

University of California, Office of the President: Chris Furgiuele

Chris Furgiuele is the Director for Institutional Research and Planning (IRAP) at the University of California, Office of the President. IRAP provides evidence-based analyses and reports that inform and shape strategic planning, institutional policy creation and revision, and decision support.

Legislative and Public Appointees

Senate Appointees: Appointed by Toni Atkins, Senate President Pro Tempore

California State Senate: John Laird

Senator John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) currently serves as the Chair of the Senate Budget Committee on Education. Senator Laird previously served as Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency, and served in the Assembly from 2002-2008.

Meredith Lee

Dr. Meredith Lee currently serves as Chief Technical Advisor for Computing, Data Science, and Society at University of California, Berkeley. Lee, who also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the California Water Data Consortium, previously served on the California Blockchain Working Group, and as Executive Director for the National Science Foundation’s West Big Data Innovation Hub.

Assembly Appointees: Appointed by Robert Rivas, Speaker of the Assembly

California State Assembly: Jacqui Irwin

Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) currently serves as the Chair of the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee. Assemblymember Irwin previously served as the former mayor of Thousand Oaks for two terms.

Ana Luz Gonzalez-Vasquez, PhD

Dr. Ana Luz Gonzalez-Vasquez, (MA, Ph.D.) has over 17 years of experience conducting quantitative and qualitative research and using a participatory and popular education approach to engage research participants in the conceptualization and production of knowledge. In 2006, Dr. Gonzalez Vasquez was the Project Manager for the National Day Labor Project, the first comprehensive study of day laborers and day labor worker centers across the nation. At the UCLA Labor Center, she is leading work focused on building a high road economy and prosperity for all through research, education, evaluation, and coalition and movement building.

Su Jin Jez

Dr. Su Jin Jez is the Executive Director of California Competes. California Competes develops nonpartisan and financially pragmatic recommendations for improved higher education and workforce policies and practices across California.

Governor’s Appointees

Catalina Cifuentes

Catalina Cifuentes is the Executive Director of College and Career Readiness for the Riverside County Office of Education (Riverside COE) and the Chair of the California Student Aid Commission. Riverside COE provides specific educational, financial, legislative, and leadership services to all K-12 school districts in Riverside County.

Christopher J. Nellum 

Dr. Christopher J. Nellum is the Executive Director of EdTrust–West, an evidence-driven advocacy organization committed to advancing policies and practices to dismantle the racial and economic barriers embedded in the California education system.

Gavin Payne

Gavin Payne is the CEO of GPC Advisors, LLC. He previously worked for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and was the chief deputy superintendent for Jack O’Connell, the former State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Robert Tagorda

Robert Tagorda is the Founder and CEO of Revival Strategy Consulting. He was the former director of Equity, Access, and College and Career Readiness for the Long Beach Unified School District and led the Long Beach College Promise.

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