Paul De La Cerda Selected For Prestigious Leadership Fellows ProgramPosted: May/3/2019
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May 3, 2019
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ELAC Dean Paul De La Cerda Selected for Prestigious Leadership Fellows Program
The National Community College Hispanic Council (NCCHC) announces that Paul De La Cerda, Dean of Resource, Economic Development and Innovation and Foundation Executive Director for the Office of the President at East Los Angeles College, is participating in the prestigious NCCHC Leadership Development Program as a 2019 Fellow.
De La Cerda is one of twenty-four members of the 2019 Fellows Class selected from community college candidates from around the country. The prestigious program is hosted by the (USD) School of Leadership and Education Sciences and is designed to develop a pool of highly qualified Latin(as)os whose career interest focuses on assuming increasingly responsible administrative positions, with the ultimate goal of becoming a community college president. The NCCHC Leadership Fellows Program was selected as a finalist in the 2019 “Examples of Excelencia” national showcase.
"Preparing strong leaders for the future is the primary purpose of the National Community College Hispanic Council’s Leadership Fellows Program," said NCCHC President, Robert Vela. “A demographic shift is occurring in the United States and we are preparing new leaders who can model the way for the growing Hispanic population our community colleges serve. Through this program, Fellows gain the necessary knowledge and skills they need to lead higher education into the future and positively impact the economic and civic success of their respective communities."
“We at East Los Angeles College are honored that Paul has the opportunity to participate in such important leadership programming. It bodes well for our institution and our community that he will return to our campus and district with new and important information and strategies to help our students succeed,” stated Marvin Martinez, President of East Los Angeles College.
Components of the Leadership Fellows Program include two residential training seminars. The first begins in June as Fellows are in residence at USD. Each Fellow prepares an individualized professional development plan and engages in a mentoring relationship with a Hispanic community college leader, as well as attending the NCCHC Leadership Symposium in the fall, and carrying out online activities in between sessions.
NCCHC is an affiliated council of the American Association of Community Colleges, a national organization that has provided leadership to the community college movement for the past half-century. The Council, which was established 30 years ago, works to promote the educational interests and success of the Hispanic community and emphasizes access, equity and excellence for students and staff in community colleges. One of the first ventures was to offer a leadership development program, with support from the Ford Foundation. Of the original 72 Fellows, more than 15 are now community college presidents.
During the past two years, more than 60 former Leadership Fellows have moved to positions of increased responsibility as executive level administrators, including chancellors, vice-chancellors, and presidents. Since the program’s inception, more than 250 community college administrators have participated as Leadership Fellows.
Paul De La Cerda is Dean of Resource, Economic Development, & Innovation and Executive Director of the ELAC Foundation at the Office of the President for East Los Angeles College in the Los Angeles Community College District. He is the founder of the LA Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, which launched a first of its kind business incubator program serving women, minorities, veterans, formerly incarcerated and LGBTQ entrepreneurs. Paul oversees several multi-million Federal and State funded grant programs and endowments. His administrative portfolio includes sixteen years of experience in academic affairs, workforce and economic development, CTE and STEM programs, K-16 partnerships, and marketing, as well as management oversight of personnel, consultants, operations, and fiscal infrastructure. He has a strong record of initiating and managing economic development, employment, and job service grants and employee training programs including over $50 million in funding from both corporate partners and federal sources. Previously, he worked as a grant administrator for the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office where he procured and administered over $100 million in workforce, economic development, public safety and community-based grants.
Paul is an experienced adjunct professor, consultant and public speaker with specialties in marketing, business development, entrepreneurship, communications, and public administration including working with various Federal, State and County/City of Los Angeles departments. Mr. De La Cerda was elected to public office in 2005 where he served for 13 years as the first Latino elected School Board Member for the Saugus Union School District in North Los Angeles County where he assisted with the launch of the district’s first public STEM + Entrepreneurship elementary school academy and, as board president, led the passage of a $148 million school bond.
Mr. De La Cerda has an extensive business and technical background with a Civil & Environmental Engineering Degree and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Oklahoma State University and an Executive Management Degree from University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business Administration. He is currently pursing a Doctorate in Organizational Change and Leadership at the USC Rossier School of Education.