Our board is deeply committed to our efforts to drive equity and excellence in urban public education and provides The Broad Center trusted guidance and counsel.
Becca Bracy Knight
Executive Director, The Broad Center
Becca Bracy Knight is executive director of The Broad Center, a nonprofit organization that works toward the day when American public education has been transformed into an engine of excellence and equity so every student graduates ready for college, careers and life. The Broad Center identifies, develops and supports leaders who are inspired to work inside the system, in partnership with students, families and communities to help them open the doors to opportunity and bring their vision for educational excellence to life.
Previously, Bracy Knight was a director at The Broad Foundation, responsible for managing numerous grants and two of the foundation’s flagship initiatives. Earlier in her career, Bracy Knight was regional director of K-12 programs for Kaplan Learning Services, family services director for the Salvation Army’s South Central Los Angeles Youth Project and a Healthy Start coordinator in San Francisco. She also worked in Oakland on major school improvement initiatives through Partners in School Innovation and has held leadership positions in the AmeriCorps National Service Program and its precursor, the Summer of Service. Bracy Knight was a member of the second cohort of the Aspen Institute-NewSchools Entrepreneurial Leaders for Public Education fellowship, designed to recognize and support entrepreneurial leaders committed to transforming public education. Bracy Knight earned a bachelor’s degree in science, technology and society from Stanford University.
Jose A. Gomez, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, California State University, Los Angeles
Jose A. Gomez is executive vice president and chief operating officer at California State University, Los Angeles (Cal State LA), ranked number one in the nation for the upward mobility of its students. A champion for greater access to higher education, he has led major initiatives that expand opportunities for students and the community.
Gomez played a key role in the creation of Cal State LA’s downtown learning center, which brings new educational opportunities to the city’s core. He launched Cal State LA BioSpace, a bioscience startup incubator that provides laboratories, equipment, and support for students and emerging entrepreneurs. Gomez was instrumental in establishing Cal State LA’s Prison Graduation Initiative, the first program in California that sends professors into state prisons to teach courses that lead to a bachelor’s degree. He has guided research, philanthropic, and facilities initiatives that have raised more than $50 million in external funding for Cal State LA. Gomez also helped found Achieve LA, a regional effort with the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles, to create pathways to higher education for local youth in the most under-resourced communities.
Prior to joining Cal State LA, Gomez served as higher education advisor to the President pro tempore of the California Senate. He held senior positions in the California Department of Justice and state Treasurer’s Office, and was executive director of the California Educational Facilities Authority (CEFA), the state’s higher education facilities financing agency. Gomez chairs the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, and serves on the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC) Board of Governors and Executive Committee, the Board of Directors of the Western Justice Center, and the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Metropolitan Los Angeles. He holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) and master’s degrees in political science and public administration, as well as a Ph.D. in political science, from the University of Southern California (USC).
Nike Irvin, secretary/treasurer
Founder, ZWN, Inc.
Nike Irvin founded and leads ZWN, Inc. a consultancy and coaching practice serving charitable foundations nonprofits dedicated to social justice. Based in Los Angeles, Nike led California Community Foundation’s (CCF) grantmaking for six years, overseeing $125 million in grants to the arts, education, juvenile justice, and health. Before joining CCF, Nike served as president of The Riordan Foundation for seven years. She has 20 years of experience in both nonprofit leadership, and is active in American truth and reconciliation efforts– associated with the Kellogg Foundation as well as the Aspen Institute’s Aspen Global Leadership Network.
Prior to her nonprofit career, she gained extensive marketing experience as a brand manager for Nestlé USA and Pepsi Cola Company. Irvin serves on several boards of directors and is a trustee for The Riordan Foundation, Southern California Grantmakers and previously for Crystal Stairs, The German Marshall Fund of the United States, and UCLA Alumni Association.
Irvin received a BA in Economics & Political Science from Yale University and was named one of the “100 Most Inspirational Alumni” by the UCLA Anderson School of Management, where she earned her MBA. Irvin is a Marshall Memorial Fellow, and a Next Generation Fellow of the American Assembly. In 2016, she received the LABJ’s Philanthropist of the Year award and was a recipient of the Profiles in Diversity Journal’s Women Worth Watching award. Irvin is a member of the 2004 Class of Henry Crown Fellows within the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen institute.
CEO, The Sherry Lansing Foundation
During almost 30 years in the motion picture business, Sherry Lansing was involved in the production, marketing, and distribution of more than 200 films, including Academy Award winners Forrest Gump (1994), Braveheart (1995), and Titanic (1997). Throughout her film career, Lansing earned a reputation as a trailblazer, a visionary leader, and a creative filmmaker.
In 1980, she became the first woman to head a major film studio when she was appointed President of 20th Century Fox. Later, as an independent producer, Lansing was responsible for such successful films as, Fatal Attraction, The Accused, School Ties, Indecent Proposal, and Black Rain. Returning to the executive ranks in 1992, she was named Chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures and began an unprecedented tenure that lasted more than 12 years (1992 – 2005), during which the studio enjoyed enormous creative and financial success.
The Sherry Lansing Foundation (SLF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to cancer research, health, public education, and encore career opportunities, was formed in 2005. Among the SLF’s initiatives is the EnCorps Teachers Program, founded by Lansing to retrain retired and mid-career professionals from the technology sector to serve as math and science teachers in California public schools. Lansing – a former math and English teacher – is also the founder of PrimeTime LAUSD, a partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District. PrimeTime engages retirees in improving the state of public education through targeted volunteerism. In addition, Lansing serves on the Board of Regents of the University of California. She is also a co-founder of the Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles Future Fund, which provides college scholarships to deserving “Little Sisters.”
In December 2004, Lansing was appointed to the Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee (ICOC) of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. CIRM was established by California’s groundbreaking ballot measure, Proposition 71, which provides $3 billion in funding for embryonic stem cell research. Lansing serves as the cancer patient advocate, as well as Chair of the Governance Committee and Co-Chair of the Scientific and Medical Accountability Standards Working Group.
Additionally, Lansing serves on the boards of the American Association for Cancer Research Foundation, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the Carter Center, Encore.org, the Entertainment Industry Foundation, the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation, and the W.M. Keck Foundation. She also serves on the Executive Committee of Friends of Cancer Research and Chairs STOP CANCER, a nonprofit philanthropic group she founded in partnership with the late Dr. Armand Hammer. In addition, Lansing is a co-founder of the Stand Up To Cancer initiative, which funds collaborative, multi-institutional cancer research “Dream Teams.”
Lansing graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree from Northwestern University.
Barry Munitz, vice chair
Chancellor Emeritus, The California State University
President and Chief Executive Officer, J. Paul Getty Trust (retired)
Barry Munitz is Chancellor Emeritus of the California State University System, President of the Cotsen Foundations for the Art of Teaching and for Academic Research, and Senior Advisor to the Milken Institute. Munitz served as President and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust, overseeing the two museums, the Foundation, the Research and the Conservation Institutes, and managing the endowment portfolio. At California State University he supervised the expansion from 18 to 23 campuses, with student enrollment now reaching over one half million, and more than 50,000 employees. As a corporate executive for a decade, he was President of Federated Development, and vice chairman of the publicly held Maxxam Corporation, a natural resources, finance, and real estate holding company.
He was the founding, and the only, chair of California’s P-16 Council, a group of education, business, and community leaders charged with developing strategies to improve education from preschool through post-graduate, while also chairing the California Education Roundtable. He was a Trustee of the Courtauld Institute in London, and was a 20 year director at Navient, formerly Sallie Mae. Munitz is a corporate director for Rocky Mountain Resources, was a public director of the Sun America Corporation, Kaufman & Broad, and LeapFrog Incorporated, and chaired the board of trustees at Sierra Nevada College and the American Council of Education.
Munitz is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and held the White House seat on the Congressional Higher Education Cost Commission. He was Chancellor of the University of Houston and academic vice president of the University of Illinois system. He received a Ph.D. in comparative literature from Princeton University, after a Baccalaureate degree at Brooklyn College, and holds honorary degrees from Whittier College, Claremont Graduate University, the California State University, the University of Southern California, Notre Dame, Pepperdine, and the University of Edinburgh.
President, The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
As president of The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, Gerun Riley works closely with founder Eli Broad to oversee the activities and investments of the foundation’s work in education, scientific and medical research and the arts.
Named president of The Broad Foundation in August 2016, Ms. Riley began working for the Broad family in 2003 in an entry-level administrative position and has assumed roles of increasing responsibility, serving as chief of staff, vice president and most recently as senior vice president of the foundation. She has worked on a number of key initiatives including The Broad Prize for Urban Education, the architectural competition of The Broad museum and the foundation’s organizational strategy, design and governance. She has also worked closely with major grantees including The Broad Stage, The Broad Institute, the Broad stem cell research centers at UCLA, USC and UC San Francisco, and the Broad museums at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Michigan State University.
Prior to joining The Broad Foundation, Ms. Riley worked in the New York office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom, where she collaborated with senior partners to run the firm’s pro bono department. She has a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from Bowdoin College.
A Connecticut native, Riley has lived in Los Angeles since 2002. She and her husband, television writer and producer Jason Wilborn, have two children.
Former Superintendent, Camden City Schools
Paymon Rouhanifard previously served as the superintendent of the Camden City School District. He was appointed in August 2013 by Governor Chris Christie soon after the state assumed control of the district. Through collaboration and partnership with community members, elected officials, and families, Rouhanifard has helped lead improvements in student outcomes, reduced student suspension rates, stronger family engagement, and significant capital improvements to district facilities. Rouhanifard started his career in New York City as a sixth-grade teacher and went on to work in the central office of the New York City Department of Education. There, Rouhanifard helped opened new, high-quality district and charter schools, supported the turnaround of struggling schools, and advocated for admission and enrollment changes that led to thousands more New York City students being better prepared for college and careers.
Prior to joining the New York City Department of Education, Rouhanifard worked in the financial sector as an investment banking analyst at Goldman Sachs and as a private equity associate. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Andrew L. Stern, chair
President Emeritus, SEIU
Andy Stern is President Emeritus of the 2.2 million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the fastest-growing union in North America. One of the most connected Democrats in Washington, Stern and SEIU were widely credited for helping elect Barack Obama in 2008. In fact, Stern has visited the White House more frequently than any other single person during the Obama Administration. During his fourteen years atop SEIU, Stern turned it into a potent political force and he was named one of the 50 Most Powerful People in DC. He has been profiled in a cover story of The New York Times Sunday Magazine, as well as on 60 Minutes, Charlie Rose, and Bill Moyers, and in Washingtonian Magazine, McKinsey Associate, Fortune, the Economist, Business Week, Modern Healthcare, and the Washington Post. In September 2009, he was Chris Wallace’s “Power Player of the Week” on Fox News. A frequent guest on The Glenn Beck Show, some have referred to Stern as “Glenn Beck’s worst nightmare.” Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities: Speakers Bureau, Andy Stern addresses audiences about politics and issues such as fiscal policy, entitlements, immigration, healthcare, and the future of the labor movement. Smart, savvy, and articulate, Stern believes in finding common ground with his opponents and in being able to agree without being disagreeable.
As both a labor leader and an activist, Stern is a leading voice and a prominent advocate for people who work. Called a “courageous, visionary leader who charted a bold new course for American unionism,” Stern’s practical solutions to achieve economic opportunity and justice for all workers have earned the respect of workers, business leaders, and policy makers on both sides of the aisle. He is the author of A Country That Works, which outlines a practical, cooperative approach to promote economic growth in America. In early 2010, Stern was appointed by President Obama to the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, along with such luminaries as Alan Simpson, Alice Rivlin, Anne Fudge, and Erskine Bowles.
Solomon (Sol) D. Trujillo
Principal, Trujillo Group, LLC
Solomon D. (“Sol”) Trujillo is an international business executive who has served as CEO of large-cap global companies in the US, EU, and Asia-Pacific region – including US West (now CenturyLink), Orange (now France Telecom) and Telstra, the Australian media-communications company. In each he was a digital pioneer, leading the deployment of broadband, smart devices and digital services – including the mobile internet and ultra-high speed wireless networks – to stimulate productivity and innovation across all sectors of the economy.
Trujillo currently sits on corporate boards in the US, EU, and China – including in the US, Western Union and ProAmerica Bank; WPP plc, the EU-based advertising and public relations multinational; and in Asia, SouFun Holdings Ltd., China’s leading real estate Internet portal, and China’s Silk Road Technologies, where he is board chairman.
Trujillo has previously served on the boards of Target, Bank of America, PepsiCo, EDS, Orange, Telstra, and Gannett, the newspaper chain that includes USA Today. In the public sector, he served as a trade policy advisor to the Clinton and Bush administrations and remains active in public policy issues related to immigration, trade, productivity, and fiscal affairs.
In recognition of his lifetime commitment to workplace diversity, Trujillo received the Ronald H. Brown Corporate Bridge-Builder Award from President Clinton in 1999. Most recently, Sol received the prestigious National Hispanic Hero Award from the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI), recognizing his pioneering achievements in the telecommunications industry, his advocacy on behalf of Hispanics, and his leadership of initiatives to re-brand the Hispanic community.
Born in 1951 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, he holds a Bachelor of Science in business and an MBA (finance) from the University of Wyoming with honorary doctorates from the University of Wyoming and the University of Colorado.
Fidel A. Vargas
President and CEO, Hispanic Scholarship Fund
Fidel A. Vargas is President and CEO of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF). After serving on HSF’s Board of Directors from January 2010 through December 2012, he assumed leadership of the organization on January 2, 2013. Vargas sets HSF’s overall direction; develops and oversees the execution of strategy; leads the senior management team; plays an active, leadership role in development and outreach activities for all constituencies, and advocates for HSF, throughout the country.
Prior to joining HSF, Vargas was a Founding Partner of Centinela Capital Partners, an alternative asset management firm that invested nearly $1 billion in and alongside leading emerging private equity and venture capital funds. Prior to joining Centinela, Mr. Vargas was a Founding Principal and Managing Director of Reliant Equity Investors, a private equity investment firm investing in lower middle market companies. At the age of twenty-three, Vargas became the country’s youngest elected Mayor of a major city: Baldwin Park, California, with a population of 85,000, twenty miles northeast of Los Angeles.
In addition to having served on HSF’s Board of Directors prior to becoming its President and CEO, Vargas has served on a number of public and private sector boards and commissions, including: the New America Alliance; Sponsors for Educational Opportunities; Operation Hope, Inc.; President Clinton’s Advisory Council on Social Security; President Bush’s Commission on Strengthening Social Security; and Presidents Bush and Obama’s Commission on Presidential Scholars. He currently serves on the boards of the California Community Foundation, the Latino Donor Collaborative, and The Los Angeles Theatre Center.
Vargas has been recognized for his accomplishments by numerous organizations and media outlets, throughout his career. Time Magazine named him as one of the Top 50 Young Leaders in the United States, Hispanic Magazine named him one of the Top 30 Young Hispanics in the United States, he was named one of the country’s 100 most influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business Magazine and one of the 101 Most Influential Latinos by Latino Leaders magazine.
Vargas graduated with honors from Harvard University with an A.B. in Social Studies. He received his M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and General Management.