Dr. Daisy Gonzales
Executive Director

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Executive Director Daisy Gonzales

“I am honored to be selected to lead the California Student Aid Commission. As a former Cal Grant and Chafee Foster Youth student, I experienced firsthand the transformative power of higher education and financial aid.”

Daisy Gonzales, Ph.D., is a student-centered leader whose life-long commitment to social justice, equity and inclusion is guided by the empowerment of communities and partnerships that enable economic mobility. With over two decades of experience in higher education and statewide fiscal policy, she began her career in the classroom and most recently served as the second highest administrator for California’s Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. As Deputy Chancellor, she formulated policies to distribute $13 billion in local assistance and capital outlay funds to 73 districts, designed professional development to advance student success, and coordinated state and federal advocacy to secure resources that enable 116 colleges to design learning environments and services for 1.9 million students.

As Acting and Interim Chancellor, Dr. Gonzales supported 116 colleges to innovate during the COVID-19 pandemic by working with students, faculty, classified professionals, administrators, and trustees to secure historic levels of state funding and federal workforce investments, and to redesign policies to remove barriers to equitable access. Through shared governance and regional partnerships, she championed student success, affordability, and equitable educational opportunities for all students by holistically addressing student basic needs, enhancing statewide technology investments, and supporting distance education quality. Previously, Dr. Gonzales was a consultant for the California Assembly Appropriations Committee and Assembly Budget Committee.

Dr. Gonzales is a first-generation college student and a proud alumna of California’s Community Colleges. She holds a B.A. in Public policy, and M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology. She lives in San Diego with her husband, a K-12 education leader.