Lande Ajose is executive director of California Competes, which develops recommendations for improved higher education. She has expertise in education; poverty alleviation; workforce development, especially for low-income adults; and issues of inequity. Before she became executive director she served as deputy director for four years. She also served as managing director at the strategic consulting firm Informing Change and focused on community college success at MDRC and The James Irvine Foundation. In addition to serving on the PPIC Higher Education Center Advisory Council
, she is a member of the California Student Aid Commission—she was appointed in 2014 by Governor Brown. She holds a PhD in urban and regional studies from MIT, an MA in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a BA from Occidental College.