Distinguished leaders join inaugural Chancellor’s Advisory Board

Leaders from a wide range of fields will lend their unique perspectives on ways to advance UCSC’s mission, expand impact

At UC Santa Cruz, students learn from faculty members working on the cutting edge of innovation.

With a goal of advancing the mission of UC Santa Cruz and broadening the university’s impact, Chancellor Cynthia Larive has announced the formation of an external Chancellor's Advisory Board. The group, composed of thought leaders from a wide range of fields and all known for their expertise, insight and professional success, will provide the chancellor and her leadership team with advice and input on a variety of  issues including opportunities in emerging research areas and programs that could expand the university's reach.

It is hoped that the diverse perspectives of members will also help the university deepen its connections with existing partners, develop new collaborations and relationships, and identify strategies that will allow the campus to amplify its strengths and advance its values.

“For UC Santa Cruz to be the best, most impactful university it can be, it’s imperative that we hear from those outside our normal sphere and see opportunities for our campus through their eyes,” Larive said. “I’m looking forward to their thoughts on how we might be able to widen our influence and further transform student lives and the world for the better.”

The inaugural 14 members of the UC Santa Cruz Chancellor’s Advisory Board are:

  • Raquel Arias, Professor of Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology and Clinical Associate Professor of Gerontology at the University of Southern California, and an alumna
  • Anna Escobedo Cabral, 42nd Treasurer of the United States
  • Linda Earley Chastang, President Emerita of the John and Lillian Miles Lewis Foundation
  • Bud Colligan, entrepreneur, founder and CEO of the private investment firm South Swell Ventures
  • Susi Collins, Senior Director, Global Equality Strategy at Salesforce
  • Joseph DeRisi, Co-President of the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at UC San Francisco, and an alumnus
  • Guillermo Diaz Jr., founder and Chief Executive Officer of Conectado
  • Rob Holo, attorney, former UC Santa Cruz Foundation trustee, and an alumnus
  • Dick Levy, former Chairman and CEO of Varian
  • Shari Liss, Executive Director of the SEMI Foundation, and an alumna
  • Jacob Martinez, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Digital NEST, and an alumnus
  • Julie Packard, founding executive director of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and an alumna
  • Marieke Rothschild, education, environment, and healthcare community leader and philanthropist, and an alumna
  • Kathryn D. Sullivan, scientist, astronaut and explorer, and an alumna

“It’s truly an amazing cohort that we’ve been able to gather, and I am deeply honored that members are willing to give of their time to support our work,” Larive added.

UC Santa Cruz, a leading research university with a commitment to student success and access, is on an unprecedented trajectory. Faculty are pursuing research that is having a transformative impact on society, science and technology, while also playing a central role in the classroom, as students learn from those on the cutting edge of innovation, scholarship and knowledge creation. The campus is a member of the Association of American Universities (AAU), reflecting the quality of the university’s research and its graduate and undergraduate teaching. In 2022, UC Santa Cruz joined 20 other leading research universities to form the Alliance of Hispanic Serving Research Universities. The coalition aims to increase opportunity for those historically underserved by higher education. In addition to being a Hispanic Serving Institution, UC Santa Cruz is an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution. The campus is one of just five institutions in the prestigious AAU with both designations.

Larive sees this as the right time to gather external input on campus opportunities and aspirations. Creation of the advisory board follows completion this past academic year of Leading the Change: The UC Santa Cruz Strategic Plan, which outlines campus academic and programmatic goals over the next decade.

“We’ve taken some incredibly important steps these past five years including establishing our new strategic plan,” Larive said. “Now is the time to amplify our significant strengths and pursue additional initiatives that position UC Santa Cruz to make an even greater impact. The expertise the advisory board members bring will be an incredible asset for us, and I’m thrilled to think about how the work of the board will advance the university.”

The board complements several other external advisory boards on campus including the UC Santa Cruz Alumni Council, UC Santa Cruz Foundation Board of Trustees, and the boards that advise each of the campus’s five academic deans.