Dr. Daisy Gonzales
Born into an immigrant family in Southern California, Acting Chancellor Daisy Gonzales spent much of her formative years in Los Angeles’ foster care system. Witnessing firsthand the numerous challenges and inequities students face, she quickly took on leadership roles in student government to advocate for student voices. After completing a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Mills College, Gonzales completed a master’s degree and PhD. in sociology from UC Santa Barbara.
Gonzales began her career in education as a dual-immersion third-grade teacher before taking on a career in fiscal policy and legislation. Gonzales served as a budget consultant for the California State Assembly Budget Committee, and was the principal consultant for the Assembly Appropriations Committee and Associate Director of Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE).
Breaking barriers for women of color, as both the first Latina to serve as Deputy Chancellor and the first to take on the role of acting chancellor, Gonzales leads the country’s largest higher education system, driving transformational change to achieve the goals of the system’s Vision for Success. Having overseen operations and strategic policy within the California Community Colleges, her experience as a leader and unapologetic anti-racist mindset, uniquely qualify Gonzales to lead the California Community Colleges.
Gonzales steers continuous efforts to highlight the work of equity and to center student success, guiding this through the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) workgroup. The DEI workgroup has strategically organized transformational change across the system.
She is a former Aspen Institute Rising President fellow, serves as commissioner of Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), is co-founder of the Sacramento Latina Leaders Network and the California Community Colleges Women’s Caucus. In recognition of her leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she received the 2021 California Legislative Women’s Caucus Woman of the Year Award.