September 17, 2020
Sacramento, Calif. – The California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office has announced the hiring of Rebecca Ruan-O’Shaughnessy as vice chancellor for educational services and support and Linda Vazquez as assistant vice chancellor for governmental relations.
“I am excited to welcome both Rebecca Ruan-O’Shaugnessy and Linda Vazquez to our system,” said Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley. “I am confident the two will bring leadership and innovation that will continue moving forward our work towards advancing equity and student success, and in turn will help ensure our colleges continue to serve as centers for economic mobility as we adapt to a changing economy.”
Ruan-O’Shaughnessy joins the Chancellor’s Office from Jobs for the Future, where she led and drove many California-focused projects. Her work there centered on economic advancement strategies and included cross-sector network building, inclusive regional economic development strategies and lifelong learning system design. She brings a broad-based perspective to the office, with substantial experience in private sector, public service and nonprofit work, in organizations large and small. Much of Ruan-O’Shaughnessy’s work has been at the intersection of policy design, strategic planning and project implementation, with an emphasis on catalyzing economic empowerment and social mobility.
Her experiences include service as vice president at United Healthcare, where she worked in a national unit that developed integrated health and human services strategies to improve population health outcomes for the company’s six million Medicaid members; the first corporate executive for a U.S. subsidiary of a global manufacturer, where she led the company’s transition from concept to full production with over 1,000 employees within 18 months; and the head of a state economic development office that made strategic business and economic investments.
Ruan-O’Shaughnessy received her bachelor’s degree in economics and Japanese studies from Connecticut College and her J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School.
As assistant vice chancellor for governmental relations, Vazquez will help lead state and federal advocacy efforts on behalf of the California Community Colleges and the 2.1 million students it serves. She has 15 years of experience working in higher education and advocacy, which includes working for Rio Hondo College, California State University, Fullerton and ACT, Inc. She credits her passion for community college advocacy after starting her professional career at Rio Hondo College, where she served as a student services representative and helped students navigate the complex assessment, enrollment and financial aid process.
Prior to joining the Chancellor’s Office, Vazquez served as senior public affairs director for the Campaign for College Opportunity, a non-profit advocacy organization focused on increasing the number of college graduates through research, policy advocacy and reform. She completed the California Education Policy Fellowship program and the Hispanas Organized for Political Equality Leadership Institute and in 2020, was named one of Orange County LULAC’s Women of the Year.
Vazquez holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from California State University, Fullerton, with minors in Spanish and Chicano/a studies and a master’s degree in leadership, policy and politics from Teachers College, Columbia University.
The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 116 colleges with 116 campuses serving 2.1 million students per year. California community colleges provide career education and workforce training; guaranteed transfer to four-year universities; degree and certificate pathways; and basic skills education in English and math. As the state’s engine for social and economic mobility, the California Community Colleges supports the Vision for Success, a strategic plan designed to improve student success outcomes, increase transfer rates and eliminate achievement gaps. For more information, please visit the California Community Colleges website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.