September 17, 2018

Christina Jimenez

T 916.322.4004 

CHULA VISTA, Calif. — California Community Colleges Board of Governors Vice President Tom Epstein has assumed the role of board president following the resignation of former president Cecilia V. Estolano in August to serve on the University of California Board of Regents.

“It is an honor to serve on the board with such dedicated colleagues and to lead a team keenly focused on student success,” President Epstein said. “I look forward to working with the faculty, students and staff of California’s community colleges to achieve our mutual goals.”

Following Epstein’s shift to board president, the Board of Governors confirmed the appointment of Pamela Haynes to interim vice president Monday at its board meeting held at Southwestern College in Chula Vista.

Epstein and Haynes will serve in their new roles until the board’s annual elections in November. Appointed by the governor, the board nominates and elects a president and vice president every November.

Epstein, who was appointed to the Board of Governors in 2014, recently retired after 15 years as vice president of public affairs of Blue Shield of California, where he led government relations, corporate communications, philanthropy and corporate social responsibility. Prior to joining Blue Shield, Epstein was vice president of communications for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and served in the Clinton White House as a special assistant to the president for political affairs. Previously, he was deputy commissioner of the California Department of Insurance. Epstein earned a J.D. from University of California, Los Angeles School of Law and a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He serves on the board of the Coalition for Clean Air and is a senior fellow at the University of California, Los Angeles Luskin School of Public Affairs.

Gov. Jerry Brown appointed Haynes to the Board of Governors in 2016. Haynes served on the Los Rios Community College District Board of Trustees for more than 17 years, including three terms as board president. She also sits on the Board of Trustees for the Community College League of California and the Los Rios Foundation Board. Before retiring from state service in 2012, she served for eight years as a deputy director and senior consultant for the California State Assembly, Speaker’s Office of Member Services. Prior to that, she was the legislative director for the Capitol Office of Assemblymember Mark Ridley-Thomas. Haynes has also worked for the California Labor Federation, ALF-CIO; the City of Sacramento; the Bureau of State Audits; and Department of Health Services. A Santa Monica College transfer student, she has a bachelor’s degree from University of California, Los Angeles and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University.  

The California Community Colleges is the largest system of higher education in the nation, composed of 73 districts and 115 colleges 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 web site or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.