Finalists Named for SMCCCD Chancellor

The San Mateo County Community College District (SMCCCD) has selected four finalists for its chancellor position. This announcement comes after a national search that fielded a highly qualified and diverse pool of candidates.  

A screening committee comprised of faculty, staff, students, administrators, a board member, and a community representative has recommended the following candidates to the Board of Trustees for consideration:  

  • Rudy Besikof, Ed.D., President of Laney College in Oakland 
  • Carlos Cortez, Ph.D., former Chancellor of the San Diego Community College District 
  • Melissa Moreno, J.D., Interim Chancellor of the San Mateo County Community College District 
  • Thuy Thi Nguyen, J.D., Partner at Garcia, Hernández, Sawhney LLP 

Dr. Besikof previously served as Vice President of Laney College in Oakland. He earned his doctorate as a 2010 graduate of UCLA’s Educational Leadership Program. 

Dr. Cortez previously served as President of San Diego College of Continuing Education (SDCCE) He earned a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University, a master’s degree from New York University, and a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Southern California. 

Ms. Moreno previously served as the President of Skyline College in San Bruno. She earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a Juris Doctorate from Santa Barbara College of Law. 

Ms. Nguyen previously served as the President of Foothill College in Los Altos Hills. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Yale University and a Juris Doctorate from UCLA School of Law. 

Finalists will participate in prerecorded moderated forums that will be posted to the SMCCCD website by the end of the day on Friday, March 15.  These forums will allow the finalists to introduce themselves, share their vision and priorities, and respond to questions gathered from the campus community, including Academic Senate, Classified Senate, and Associated Students. Faculty, classified staff, administrators, students, and the public are invited to watch the forums and provide feedback on the finalists during the week of March 18. Forum recordings and feedback forms will be available until 11:59 pm on Friday, March 22. 

The SMCCCD Chancellor is responsible for all operations in a district with a nearly $500 million annual budget. The Chancellor oversees Cañada College, College of San Mateo, and Skyline College; assures that the District is administered in accordance with policies adopted by the Board of Trustees and state and federal regulations; and maintains a close working relationship with the community, K-12 and local higher-education systems, as well as local, state and federal officials. 

View finalist bios and more information about the search process at the Chancellor Search website