Commission Members

Overview

Members of the California Student Aid Commission

The Commission consists of 15 appointed members. Eleven of the commissioners are appointed by the Governor and represent students, segments of the State’s higher education community, and the general public. The Chair of the Senate Rules Committee and the Speaker of the Assembly each appoint two members.

Commission Member List or view biographies below

CSAC Commissioner Org Chart

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Lande Ajose
Chair

Dr. Lande Ajose is Executive Director of California Competes: Higher Education for a Strong Economy, an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan project aimed at bolstering the state’s post-secondary outcomes.

She spearheads the organization’s work calling for a Higher Education Investment Board to provide innovative solutions for coordinating the state’s education and workforce challenges. An expert in education and job training of low-income adults, Dr. Ajose has extensive experience in developing effective change strategies through her work at Informing Change where she directed complex client projects related to education, poverty alleviation, workforce development and issues of inequity. Community college success was a major focus of Dr. Ajose’s previous work both at MDRC, where she managed a comprehensive evaluation of the Achieving the Dream initiative, and during her tenure at the James Irvine Foundation.

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Catalina Cifuentes
Vice Chair

Catalina Cifuentes is an educator who has demonstrated a gift for counseling and advocacy on behalf of all students. 

In her former position as lead counselor at Santiago High School, Corona- Norco Unified School District, Catalina worked with the counseling team to design a successful guidance program which led to Riverside County as well as California Department of Education recognitions for exemplary counseling practices. She worked with her administrative team and staff to transform the school by raising the academic rigor and expectations from students resulting in the highest graduation rate and second highest A-G completion rate in Riverside, Inyo, Mono and San Bernardino County.

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Judith Greig
Secretary

Commissioner Greig Picture

President Judith Maxwell Greig, Ph.D., has led Notre Dame de Namur University since January 2008, first as acting president and then as president. Under her leadership, the university has made a remarkable turnaround, increasing enrollment by a third, qualifying as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, receiving national recognition for community engagement and instituting the university’s first Ph.D. program. Dr. Greig has gained national recognition as an advocate for increased access for low-income and Hispanic students.

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Alejandro Lomeli
Student Representative Governor Appointee

Alejandro Lomeli Picture

Alejandro Lomeli, a graduate from Santa Fe High School, is a first-generation college student currently enrolled at Long Beach City College (LBCC). Alejandro naturally became involved in student leadership at LBCC after many years of participation in student government in high school and in other clubs on campus. Within his few weeks of attending LBCC, Alejandro was appointed as the Representative of Legislative Affairs for the Associated Student Body.

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Maria Fernanda Manjarrez
Student Representative Governor Appointee

Maria Manjarrez  Picture

Maria Fernanda Manjarrez, a graduate from Temple City High School, is a first-generation college student enrolled in the University of Southern California. Maria has always been a diversity advocate and brought her vision of a more inclusive classroom environment into fruition by founding and presiding over the RAMS World Culture’s Club. She was a trained Peer Listener, where she served to enhance emotional and psychological well-being to faculty and students and was selected to serve as a Head Student Coordinator for Every Fifteen Minutes, a drunk driving prevention program.

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Guillermo Mayer
General Public Representative Speaker of Assembly Appointee

Guillermo Mayer

Guillermo Mayer is President & CEO of Public Advocates Inc., a nonprofit civil rights law firm and advocacy group committed to challenging the systemic causes of poverty and discrimination. Under his leadership, the organization has expanded its advocacy into postsecondary education, with the goal of expanding college access, affordability and success for low-income students and students of color in California.

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Debra Maxie
General Public Representative Senate Rules Appointee

Commissioner Maxie Picture

Mrs. Maxie began her teaching career in 1973 in the school district where she was educated Kindergarten – 12th grades, the Chicago Public School system, teaching physical education before moving into the field of counseling.  In 1979, Mrs. Maxie relocated to San Diego where she immediately joined the teaching force of the San Diego Unified School District.