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Judy K. Sakaki


Sonoma State University

Judy K. Sakaki is the seventh president of Sonoma State University. Previously, she served as vice president for student affairs at the University of California-Office of the President, vice chancellor for student affairs at University of California, Davis, and vice president for student affairs and dean of students at California State University, Fresno. She is the first Japanese American woman in the nation to lead a four-year public university. In 2017, she was recognized as the California State Student Association’s President of the Year; she received the Excellence in Education Award from the Asian and Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus in 2020. She is a former American Council on Education fellow, a senior fellow of the American Leadership Forum, an American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ Millennium Leadership Initiative graduate, a member of the Governor’s California Higher Education Recovery with Equity Taskforce, and a founding member of Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education. In addition to serving on the PPIC Higher Education Advisory Council, she chairs the American Council on Education Women’s Network executive council. During her career in higher education, she has been devoted to ensuring access, affordability, inclusion, and student success. She speaks about leadership and resilience, having been a victim of the Tubbs Fire in 2017. She grew up in Oakland as a first-generation college student and a product of public education, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from California State University, East Bay and her PhD in education from the University of California, Berkeley.