Leadership

The Los Angeles Community College District is governed by a popularly elected seven-member Board of Trustees. Additionally, the District appoints a Chancellor and a Chief Facilities Executive  to oversee the management of Build-LACCD.

Board of Trustees & Executive Members


Board members are elected at large for terms of four years.  Elections are held every two years, with three members being chosen at one election and four members at the other. The President and Vice President of the Board of Trustees are elected by the Board for one-year terms at the annual organizational and regular meeting in December. A student member is elected annually -- the term is June 1 through May 31 of each year. 

The Board generally meets the first Wednesday of the month with the public session commencing at 3:00 p.m.  For more information regarding the Board meeting schedule and location, call the Office of the Board of Trustees at (213) 891-2044 or visit the LACCD Website.  Board agendas can be found here


Board of Trustees

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Steve Veres

President

Steve Veres served the Los Angeles Community College District as a member of the board of Trustees from 2011–2015. After a 2-year hiatus, he returns to the board for a new 5 year term beginning July 2017. He has served as President and Vice President of the Board as well as chair of the Board’s Institutional Effectiveness Committee and Facilities Management Committees. As Deputy Chief of Staff to State Senate Leader Kevin de León, Steve works hard every day to protect and empower middle class families. Working with local lawmakers, he helped clean up the LA River, expanded access to higher education, and secured funding to build 17 new parks in Los Angeles. In 2014, Steve helped lead the effort to triple California’s Film and Television Tax Credit and make it more accountable to taxpayers. The bill was praised as one of the most significant steps to protect California’s film industry jobs in the past 100 years. He is appointed to Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and has been active on the redevelopment and restoration of the Los Angeles River. Steve’s long record of public service includes elections to the San Fernando City Council, where he served as Mayor, and appointments to the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s San Fernando Valley Service Sector Governance Council, the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee, and the Metropolitan Water District. He has been an Adjunct Instructor at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College and is a former public school teacher. He has also taught various college courses at UCLA. A Los Angeles native, Steve attended Loyola High School and earned his undergraduate degree from UCLA. He was a graduate student and teaching assistant in UCLA’s History department. Additionally, he worked as a journalist and news editor. Steve and his family live in Sherman Oaks.

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Dr. Gabriel Buelna

Vice President

Dr. Gabriel Buelna graduated from California State University Northridge (CSUN) with a Bachelor’s degree before completing a master’s program in Social Work at San Diego State University.  Dr. Buelna earned his Ph.D. from the School of Politics and Economics at the Claremont Graduate University.  In 1999, Gabriel joined CSUN as a faculty member where he continues to teach history and politics in the Chicana/o Studies Department.

  In the early 90s, Gabriel began his career as a children’s social worker with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and went on to work in foster care.  He worked with abused and neglected children, their families, law enforcement, and the courts. Through this intense involvement in the community, Gabriel learned that safe neighborhoods, job creation, and education are the foundation for healthy families.  

Gabriel attributes much of his success to his strong family ties. As the son of Mexican immigrant parents and growing up in South Los Angeles, Gabriel grew up in a household where education was a central core value. Gabriel and his wife of 24 years, Pilar, have three daughters: Gabriela 18, Gema, 16, and Paulina, 14 who are active student athletes in track and cross country.

 Dr. Buelna remains committed to improving the world his daughters will inherit and imparts upon them the critical need to do the same for their children.

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David Vela

David Vela

2nd Vice President

A Los Angeles native, David Vela has had an extensive career in public service.  In 2002, David served as Senior Legislative Assistant to former Assemblymember Jackie Goldberg, handling Labor, Transportation and Economic Development. David also served as Senior Advisor to the Employment Development Department under the Gray Davis administration.

After his time in Sacramento, David spent 10 years as a Senior Deputy to Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, in charge one of the largest unincorporated community pockets, with more than 130,000 residents. David was responsible for the delivery of municipal services, capital projects and economic development. He also served as the political liaison to several of the cities in Supervisor Molina’s district.  In 2012 he was asked to take the role of Chief of Staff to Labor Committee Chair, Assemblymember Roger Hernandez.
 
Before joining the Lee Andrews Group, David created his own government-consulting firm, VELADA Consulting LLC, which focuses on social capital projects, such as low income housing and provides solutions for responsible businesses, unions, non-profits, eco-businesses and governmental agencies. David is also the founder of Honor PAC, a political action committee that focuses on equality in all levels of government. David Vela received his Bachelors of Science from the University of California Los Angeles and he holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Pepperdine University in Malibu.  He resides in Montebello.

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Andra Hoffman

Andra Hoffman

(Seat No. 1)

Andra Hoffman was elected to the Board of Trustees in March of 2015. For nearly twenty years, Ms. Hoffman has been at Glendale Community College where she runs the Job Placement Center and is responsible for placing students in jobs and internships, both on and off campus. Previously she served as Director of Government and Community Relations for the college and continues to bring students, faculty and staff to Sacramento to lobby the legislature and teach students how to advocate for more resources for higher education. She began her career at Glendale College running AmeriCorps programs focused on Early Childhood, Welfare-to-Work, and Teacher Preparation and Training. She also serves as an adjunct professor of California and American Government. Her early career was in the non-profit sector where she worked for Free Arts for Abused Children, an organization dedicated to serving abused and neglected children through art. She also worked for the San Fernando Valley Girl Scout Council where she served as the Community Outreach Director, as a grant writer and placed volunteer leaders to form troops for girls in homeless shelters and housing projects in the East San Fernando Valley. Ms. Hoffman attended Los Angeles Valley College, received her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from Antioch University, and has a master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University, Northridge. She lives in Encino and has two grown children.

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Ernest Moreno

Ernest H.  Moreno

(Seat No. 4)

On March 5, 2013, Ernest Moreno was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Los Angeles Community College District after 42 years as a District employee.
From student to college president, Mr. Moreno has served LACCD in many roles. He became President of East Los Angeles College on January 1, 1994 and, with the exception of an interim assignment as President of Los Angeles Mission College from July, 2006 until March, 2008, he continued in that capacity until his retirement in 2011.
Previously, Mr. Moreno was involved in employee relations for the District, was Chief Negotiator for both the Board of Trustees and the District, Dean of Academic Affairs at West Los Angeles College, Senior Director of Educational Services for the District, and Vice President of Academic Affairs and Chief Instruction Officer at ELAC.
He was a member of the Santa Clarita Community College District Board of Trustees from 1989 to 2006.
Mr. Moreno taught business administration, supervision and management, and labor relations at Los Angeles Trade Technical College from 1976 to 1986, and political science at WLAC from 1986 to 2006. A product of the San Gabriel Valley Unified School District, he attended California State University, Los Angeles where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in political science. He also earned a Masters in public administration from California State University, Long Beach.
Mr. Moreno is a member of the Board of Directors of Monterey Park Hospital, and Pan American Bank.
In 2004, he was given the John W. Rice Award for Equity and Diversity. In 2006, the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) named Mr. Moreno Outstanding Administrator of the Year. In 2007, the Economic Alliance of the San Fernando Valley presented him with the Steve Allen Excellence in Education Award. Also in 2007, the AAHHE bestowed its annual Alfredo de los Santos Distinguished Leadership in Higher Education Award on Mr. Moreno.

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Nichelle Henderson

(Seat No. 5)

Nichelle Henderson is a college faculty and union organizer that advocates for and builds capacity around the issues of education, labor, women’s reproductive health and political empowerment. She is a former middle school classroom teacher. Currently employed at California State University Los Angeles, Nichelle is a Faculty Advisor and Clinical Field Supervisor with the Cal State TEACH teacher preparation program; where she instructs and provides support for new and pre-service teacher candidates working toward multiple subjects teaching credentials. Led by the desire to be the voice of the under-represented, the strength to stand strong for what she believes in and a passion for defending worker’s rights, she is actively involved with labor. As an active member of the California Faculty Association, she has served as Faculty Rights Chair of the Los Angeles chapter; having led a team that represents bargaining unit faculty, coaches, counselors and librarians in filing and responding to contractual grievances and Title IX complaints and currently serves as the chapter Vice President and Chair of the Political Action Committee. She is also a member of the statewide bargaining and representation teams. In 2016, Nichelle was recognized as Lecturer of the Year.

Nichelle’s love of politics and labor activism led her to complete the Emerge CA political training program in 2015, the Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute and in 2018 and the LA County Federation of Labor’s Civic Leadership Academy. She is a member of several Democratic Clubs and is an elected delegate to the Los Angeles County Democratic Central Committee representing AD66, serving as a Co-Chair of the Credentials Committee. In 2018, Nichelle was recognized as the LACDP female Democrat of the Year representing AD 66 and by Assembly member Al Muratsuchi as a Woman of Distinction. In 2019, Nichelle was appointed to the Los Angeles County Quality and Productivity Commission as a labor commissioner. As the 1st Vice President of the Los Angeles African American Women PAC, she chairs the Political Involvement and Issues Committees striving to increase voter participation, raise community awareness and get qualified Black women and women of color elected to public office through education and civic engagement.

Nichelle, the oldest of three children, was born in LA County and raised in the unincorporated West Athens area. Her parents, dedicated union members, instilled in her a strong work ethic and a stance to fearlessly stand firm in her values. Her father, a retired automotive mechanic is a graduate of LA Trade Tech College and Cal State University Los Angeles and her mother, now deceased, a retired nurse attended LA Southwest College. Nichelle is a Gold Tie alumnae of St. Mary’s Academy in Inglewood, CA, an alumni of Cal State Los Angeles and Chapman Universities and is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Nichelle is married to Gardena City Mayor Pro Tem, Dr. Mark E. Henderson. They have four adult children and a granddaughter.

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Mike Fong

Mike Fong

(Seat No. 7)

Mike Fong has been appointed by the Los Angeles Community College District Board
of Trustees to serve out the remainder of the term of former trustee Miguel Santiago,
who left after winning a seat in the State Assembly.

When that term expires in July, Trustee Fong will begin serving the full four-year term
on the board that he won in the March election.

A lifelong Angeleno, Trustee Fong works with the Los Angeles Economic & Workforce
Development Department on youth employment, financial empowerment, and
education programs. He also audits and monitors various YouthSource Center agencies
that help young people pursue educational goals and job training programs.

Trustee Fong previously served as East Area Director for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio
Villaraigosa, acting as the primary liaison between the Mayor's Office and the dynamic
and diverse communities in Northeast and East Los Angeles. Trustee Fong was also
Policy Analyst for Workforce Development in the Mayor's Administration and the
Senior Liaison to the Asian Pacific Islander community in Los Angeles.

He is Chair of the PBS Southern California Asian Pacific Islander Community Council,
Vice Chair of the White Memorial Medical Center Community Leadership Council
and serves as a Board member and Immediate Past President of the Los Angeles City
Employees Asian American Association.

He graduated from UCLA with a B.S. in Psychobiology and a minor in Education.

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Coraima Martinez

Student Trustee

Executive Members

Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez

Francisco C. Rodriguez

Ph.D., Chancellor

Dr. Francisco Rodriguez began his tenure as chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District on June 1, 2014. Prior to his appointment as head of the nation’s largest community college district, Dr. Rodriguez served as superintendent/president at MiraCosta Community College District (Oceanside, CA) for five years and president at Cosumnes River College (Sacramento, CA) for six years.

Dr. Rodriguez is recognized as a collaborator who instinctively knows how to bring people together, whether from business, civic or education communities, with the purpose of opening channels of communication and furthering the interests of students. With 30 years of experience as an educator, faculty member and administrator within California public higher education, Dr. Rodriguez is a noted scholar and speaker on topics ranging from higher education, student access and success, governance and governing boards, to workforce development, fundraising and philanthropy. Dr. Rodriguez has dedicated his career to diversity, equity and inclusion issues and to outreach to underserved communities, particularly the development of young Latino and African American males. He serves as a lecturer in the doctoral education programs at Sacramento State University and at San Diego State University.

Wherever Dr. Rodriguez has resided, he has been an active member of both service and community organizations, including the local Rotary Clubs, chambers of commerce, the Small Business Development Centers, and regional economic development councils. His call to service is demonstrated in the numerous organizations for which he volunteers and contributes.

Dr. Rodriguez serves on national panels, including the board of directors for the National Science Foundation’s Advisory Committee for the Directorate of Education and Human Resources and the National Endowment for Financial Education. Statewide, Dr. Rodriguez serves as chair of the Community College League of California’s Advisory Committee on Legislation; the executive board of the California Association of Latino Community College Trustees and Administrators Association; as a mentor for the Association of California Community College Administrators Mentor Program; and the advisory board for the School of Education for the University of California, Davis. Dr. Rodriguez also served on the UC Davis Foundation Board and is the past president of the Cal Aggie Alumni Association, UC Davis.

While at the MiraCosta Community College District, Dr. Rodriguez is credited with navigating the district through the devastating economic downturn that required deep budget cuts. Nonetheless, during his tenure there, student enrollment grew by 27 percent and student success improved, the number of student-veterans served doubled, and the college foundation raised over $5 million in private dollars and over $15 million in public grants.

At the Los Angeles Community College District, Dr. Rodriguez has set as his primary goal the building of the District’s profile and reputation as the best urban community college district to study and work. To accomplish this goal, Dr. Rodriguez is stressing an approach that includes a well-prepared and innovative faculty and responsive curriculum, excellent educational administrators, state-of-the-art buildings and equipment, superbly trained and professional support staff, and business and community engagement.

Dr. Rodriguez earned a bachelor of arts in Chicano Studies with an emphasis in education and a master of science in Community Development, both from the University of California-Davis. He also earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Education from Oregon State University.

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Rueben Smith

Rueben Smith

Chief Facilities Executive

Dr. Rueben Smith was appointed to serve as the Chief Facilities Executive for the Los Angeles Community College District in 2019.  Dr. Smith most recently served as the Senior Vice Chancellor, Facilities, Public Safety, and Risk Management for the San Francisco Community College District where he previously served as Vice Chancellor, Facilities, Planning and Construction.  During his early career years, he held various executive facilities and project management positions with other California K-12 and higher education institutions.  Dr. Smith possesses a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from California State University - Long Beach, a Master of Science in Environmental and Social Sustainability and a Doctorate in Computer Science, Enterprise Information, both from Colorado Technical University. 

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