We welcome these California community college CEOs as members of the sixth cohort of the Institute on Leadership.
Lisa Aguilera Lawrenson, Superintendent-President, San Joaquin Delta College
Dr. Aguilera Lawrenson became the Superintendent/President of San Joaquin Delta College in May of 2022. Dr. Aguilera Lawrenson has served in numerous positions within the California Community College System most recently as Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Instruction at San Joaquin Delta College. Dr. Aguilera Lawrenson completed her general education requirements at American River College, and she holds a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in English. She also earned her Ph.D. in Education with an emphasis in community college leadership from Oregon State University.
Luis Dorado, President, Los Angeles Harbor College
Dr. Dorado became Los Angeles Harbor College’s President in 2022. Prior to his current role, he served as Interim President. Following high school, he served honorably in the United States Marine Corps. His educational background includes an Associate of Arts degree from Campbell University in North Carolina, a Bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly Pomona, a Master’s degree from the University of La Verne, and a Doctoral degree from the University of Southern California.
Marilyn Flores, Superintendent-President, Río Hondo College
Dr. Flores became Superintendent/President of Río Hondo College in July 2022. Dr. Flores was previously the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Santiago Canyon College in Orange County. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Education and Spanish from the University of California, Riverside, a Master of Arts degree in Education with a Bilingual Crosscultural Language in Academic Development from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Ph.D. in Institutional Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of California, Riverside.
Ron Gerhard, Chancellor, Chabot-Las Positas Community College District
Ron Gerhard was appointed as the permanent Chancellor of Chabot-Las Positas Community College District in 2020, after serving as interim Chancellor. Previously he served as Vice Chancellor for Business Services at CLPCCD. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from the University of Redlands and a Master’s degree in Business Administration in Finance and Accounting from the University of California, Riverside.
Sean Hancock, President, Cerro Coso Community College
Dr. Hancock was named the President of Cerro Coso Community College in September 2020. Previously, he served as Vice Chancellor for Student and Institutional Success at Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District. He holds an Associate’s degree from College of the Sequoias, a Bachelor’s degree in Management and Organization Development from Fresno Pacific University, an MBA from Touro University International, and a Doctor of Education in Educational Administration and Leadership with an emphasis in Higher Education/Community Colleges from the University of the Pacific.
David M. Johnson, President, Merritt College
Dr. Johnson was named President of Merritt College in June 2020. Before being appointed, he served the college as Vice President of Instruction. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from University of California, Berkeley, along with a Master’s degree in Communication from University of Washington, and a Doctorate in History from University of California, Berkeley.
P. Wesley Lundburg, President, San Diego Miramar College:
Dr. Lundburg was named the President of San Diego Miramar College in June 2020. Prior to his appointment, he served as Chief Executive Officer and Executive Dean at the Ammerman Campus at Suffolk Community College. He holds an Associate Degree from Fresno City College, a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s degree in English Literature both from the University of Alaska Anchorage and a Ph.D. in Education, Community College Leadership, from Walden University.
Mike Muñoz, Superintendent-President, Long Beach City College
Dr. Muñoz was appointed the Superintendent/President of Long Beach City College in 2021. His experience as Interim Superintendent/President and Vice President of Student Services at Long Beach City College preceded his permanent appointment. A product of the California Community College system, Dr. Muñoz attended East Los Angeles College and Fullerton College before transferring to the University of California, Irvine (UCI), where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Social Behavior. He received his Master’s degree in Counseling and his Doctorate of Education with a specialization in Community College Leadership from California State University, Long Beach.
Daren Otten, Superintendent-President, Copper Mountain College
Dr. Otten became Superintendent/President of Copper Mountain College in July 2019. Dr. Otten has a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Technology and Manufacturing Management, a Master’s degree in Manufacturing Engineering, both from CSU, Chico, and a Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from CSU, Sacramento. Prior to his presidency, Dr. Otten served as Interim Vice President of Instruction and Student Services at Yuba College. He previously served as Dean of Applied Academics and Workforce Development, a unit with traditional CTE programs, but also home to departments of Allied Health, Public Safety, and Athletics.
Char Perlas, Superintendent-President, College of the Siskiyous
Dr. Perlas became Superintendent/President of College of the Siskiyous in 2022 after serving as interim-President for 14 months. Dr. Perlas joined College of the Siskiyous in July 2019 as the Vice President of Academic Affairs. Her previous positions include Interim Vice President of Student Services at Canada College. Dr. Perlas earned a Doctorate of Education from Capella University, a Master of Public Administration from California State University, East Bay, and a Master of Science in Counseling from California State University, Sacramento.
Star Rivera-Lacey, Superintendent-President, Palomar Community College District
Dr. Rivera-Lacey was appointed Superintendent/President of Palomar Community College District in 2021. She previously worked at San Diego College of Continuing Education as Vice President of Student Services. She also served as Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Student Services at Palomar College. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from California State University, San Marcos, a Master’s degree in Education with an emphasis in multicultural counseling from San Diego State University, and a Doctoral degree in Education from the San Diego State University/Claremont Graduate University joint doctoral program.
Henry D. Shannon, Superintendent-President, Chaffey College
Dr. Shannon began his career as Superintendent/President of Chaffey College in 2007. Prior to joining Chaffey College, he served as Chancellor of St. Louis Community College. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Harris-Stowe State University, a Master’s degree and a Doctorate degree from Washington University, and a management certificate from Harvard University.
Jennifer Taylor-Mendoza, President, College of San Mateo
Dr. Taylor-Mendoza was appointed President of the College of San Mateo in 2021. Prior to her appointment, she served as the Vice President of Instruction at Skyline College. She is a proud community college alumna, earning her Associate’s degree in Liberal Arts from El Camino College. She also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from California State University, Los Angeles, a Master’s degree in Counseling from California State University, Northridge, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Education from Claremont Graduate University.
Lena Tran, President, Columbia College
Dr. Tran became President of Columbia College in 2022. Prior to joining Columbia College, Dr. Tran served as Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Workforce Innovation at San Jose City College. In addition to her Bachelor’s degree from Montclair State University in International Business and Marketing, she also holds a Master’s degree from Seton Hall University, and a Doctorate in Education (Organizational and Leadership Development) from the University of San Francisco in Education. Dr. Tran’s professional background includes leadership positions with established technology firms in New York City and startup enterprises in Silicon Valley. She is the author of Compassionate Vietnamese-American CEOs.