The Los Angeles Community College District is governed by a popularly elected seven-member Board of Trustees. Additionally, the District appoints a Chancellor and a Chief Facilities Executive  to oversee the management of Build-LACCD.

Board of Trustees & Executive Members

Board members are elected at large for terms of four years.  Elections are held every two years, with three members being chosen at one election and four members at the other. The President and Vice President of the Board of Trustees are elected by the Board for one-year terms at the annual organizational and regular meeting in December. A student member is elected annually -- the term is June 1 through May 31 of each year. 

The Board generally meets the first Wednesday of the month with the public session commencing at 3:00 p.m.  For more information regarding the Board meeting schedule and location, call the Office of the Board of Trustees at (213) 891-2044 or visit the LACCD Website.  Board agendas can be found here

Board of Trustees


Dr. Gabriel Buelna


Dr. Gabriel Buelna graduated from California State University Northridge (CSUN) with a Bachelor’s degree before completing a master’s program in Social Work at San Diego State University.  Dr. Buelna earned his Ph.D. from the School of Politics and Economics at the Claremont Graduate University.  In 1999, Gabriel joined CSUN as a faculty member where he continues to teach history and politics in the Chicana/o Studies Department.

  In the early 90s, Gabriel began his career as a children’s social worker with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and went on to work in foster care.  He worked with abused and neglected children, their families, law enforcement, and the courts. Through this intense involvement in the community, Gabriel learned that safe neighborhoods, job creation, and education are the foundation for healthy families.  

Gabriel attributes much of his success to his strong family ties. As the son of Mexican immigrant parents and growing up in South Los Angeles, Gabriel grew up in a household where education was a central core value. Gabriel and his wife of 24 years, Pilar, have three daughters: Gabriela 18, Gema, 16, and Paulina, 14 who are active student athletes in track and cross country.

 Dr. Buelna remains committed to improving the world his daughters will inherit and imparts upon them the critical need to do the same for their children.

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David Vela

David Vela

Vice President

A Los Angeles native, David Vela has had an extensive career in public service.  In 2002, David served as Senior Legislative Assistant to former Assemblymember Jackie Goldberg, handling Labor, Transportation and Economic Development. David also served as Senior Advisor to the Employment Development Department under the Gray Davis administration.

After his time in Sacramento, David spent 10 years as a Senior Deputy to Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, in charge one of the largest unincorporated community pockets, with more than 130,000 residents. David was responsible for the delivery of municipal services, capital projects and economic development. He also served as the political liaison to several of the cities in Supervisor Molina’s district.  In 2012 he was asked to take the role of Chief of Staff to Labor Committee Chair, Assemblymember Roger Hernandez.
Before joining the Lee Andrews Group, David created his own government-consulting firm, VELADA Consulting LLC, which focuses on social capital projects, such as low income housing and provides solutions for responsible businesses, unions, non-profits, eco-businesses and governmental agencies. David is also the founder of Honor PAC, a political action committee that focuses on equality in all levels of government. David Vela received his Bachelors of Science from the University of California Los Angeles and he holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Pepperdine University in Malibu.  He resides in Montebello.

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Nichelle Henderson

2nd Vice President

Nichelle Henderson is a college faculty and union organizer that advocates for and builds capacity around the issues of education, labor, women’s reproductive health and political empowerment. She is a former middle school classroom teacher. Currently employed at California State University Los Angeles, Nichelle is a Faculty Advisor and Clinical Field Supervisor with the Cal State TEACH teacher preparation program; where she instructs and provides support for new and pre-service teacher candidates working toward multiple subjects teaching credentials. Led by the desire to be the voice of the under-represented, the strength to stand strong for what she believes in and a passion for defending worker’s rights, she is actively involved with labor. As an active member of the California Faculty Association, she has served as Faculty Rights Chair of the Los Angeles chapter; having led a team that represents bargaining unit faculty, coaches, counselors and librarians in filing and responding to contractual grievances and Title IX complaints and currently serves as the chapter Vice President and Chair of the Political Action Committee. She is also a member of the statewide bargaining and representation teams. In 2016, Nichelle was recognized as Lecturer of the Year.

Nichelle’s love of politics and labor activism led her to complete the Emerge CA political training program in 2015, the Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute and in 2018 and the LA County Federation of Labor’s Civic Leadership Academy. She is a member of several Democratic Clubs and is an elected delegate to the Los Angeles County Democratic Central Committee representing AD66, serving as a Co-Chair of the Credentials Committee. In 2018, Nichelle was recognized as the LACDP female Democrat of the Year representing AD 66 and by Assembly member Al Muratsuchi as a Woman of Distinction. In 2019, Nichelle was appointed to the Los Angeles County Quality and Productivity Commission as a labor commissioner. As the 1st Vice President of the Los Angeles African American Women PAC, she chairs the Political Involvement and Issues Committees striving to increase voter participation, raise community awareness and get qualified Black women and women of color elected to public office through education and civic engagement.

Nichelle, the oldest of three children, was born in LA County and raised in the unincorporated West Athens area. Her parents, dedicated union members, instilled in her a strong work ethic and a stance to fearlessly stand firm in her values. Her father, a retired automotive mechanic is a graduate of LA Trade Tech College and Cal State University Los Angeles and her mother, now deceased, a retired nurse attended LA Southwest College. Nichelle is a Gold Tie alumnae of St. Mary’s Academy in Inglewood, CA, an alumni of Cal State Los Angeles and Chapman Universities and is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Nichelle is married to Gardena City Mayor Pro Tem, Dr. Mark E. Henderson. They have four adult children and a granddaughter.

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Andra Hoffman

Andra Hoffman

(Seat No. 1)

Andra Hoffman was elected to the Board of Trustees in March of 2015. For nearly twenty years, Ms. Hoffman has been at Glendale Community College where she runs the Job Placement Center and is responsible for placing students in jobs and internships, both on and off campus. Previously she served as Director of Government and Community Relations for the college and continues to bring students, faculty and staff to Sacramento to lobby the legislature and teach students how to advocate for more resources for higher education. She began her career at Glendale College running AmeriCorps programs focused on Early Childhood, Welfare-to-Work, and Teacher Preparation and Training. She also serves as an adjunct professor of California and American Government. Her early career was in the non-profit sector where she worked for Free Arts for Abused Children, an organization dedicated to serving abused and neglected children through art. She also worked for the San Fernando Valley Girl Scout Council where she served as the Community Outreach Director, as a grant writer and placed volunteer leaders to form troops for girls in homeless shelters and housing projects in the East San Fernando Valley. Ms. Hoffman attended Los Angeles Valley College, received her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from Antioch University, and has a master’s degree in Public Administration from California State University, Northridge. She lives in Encino and has two grown children.

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Steve Veres

(Seat No. 3)

Steve Veres served the Los Angeles Community College District as a member of the board of Trustees from 2011–2015. After a 2-year hiatus, he returns to the board for a new 5 year term beginning July 2017. He has served as President and Vice President of the Board as well as chair of the Board’s Institutional Effectiveness Committee and Facilities Management Committees. As Deputy Chief of Staff to State Senate Leader Kevin de León, Steve works hard every day to protect and empower middle class families. Working with local lawmakers, he helped clean up the LA River, expanded access to higher education, and secured funding to build 17 new parks in Los Angeles. In 2014, Steve helped lead the effort to triple California’s Film and Television Tax Credit and make it more accountable to taxpayers. The bill was praised as one of the most significant steps to protect California’s film industry jobs in the past 100 years. He is appointed to Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and has been active on the redevelopment and restoration of the Los Angeles River. Steve’s long record of public service includes elections to the San Fernando City Council, where he served as Mayor, and appointments to the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s San Fernando Valley Service Sector Governance Council, the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee, and the Metropolitan Water District. He has been an Adjunct Instructor at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College and is a former public school teacher. He has also taught various college courses at UCLA. A Los Angeles native, Steve attended Loyola High School and earned his undergraduate degree from UCLA. He was a graduate student and teaching assistant in UCLA’s History department. Additionally, he worked as a journalist and news editor. Steve and his family live in Sherman Oaks.

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Trustee Sara Hernandez2

Sara Hernandez

(Seat No. 4)

On November 8, 2022, Sara Hernandez was elected to the Board of Trustees of the Los Angeles Community College District.

As an LAUSD middle school teacher Sara founded a non-profit that identifies low-income students and provides them with exceptional educational opportunity and resources throughout their high school years to get them “to and through college”. It was Sara’s work with students and their struggles with homelessness, lack of public transit options, housing and food insecurity, navigation of the foster care system, immigration issues, navigating the DACA process and general access of public resources that led Sara to pursue a career in public policy and local government.

After earning a law degree, Sara worked in Los Angeles City Hall, where she led community revitalization efforts through a mix of strategic economic development policies, innovative policy initiatives, and investments in housing, homelessness, transportation, infrastructure and green space. 

In 2016, Sara went on to become the Executive Director of Coro Southern California, a national leadership development program that invests in the next generation of emerging leaders. Sara is currently an attorney and a community college instructor teaching Constitutional Law at Valley College.

As an attorney she works regularly with organized labor, community and business leaders in connection with some of the most pressing environmental, land use and housing issues in the region. She has done extensive pro-bono work representing indigent immigrants in asylum proceedings due to the devastating violence in the Northern Triangle and government oppression in Nicaragua. Sara is involved with the Southern Immigrant Freedom Initiative which represents detained immigrants at detention centers throughout the Deep South and has assisted immigrant students with the renewal of their DACA status.

Sara holds a Bachelor of Arts in Public Policy from Duke University, a Master in Education from Loyola Marymount University and a Juris Doctor from Loyola Law School. In 2019 she was appointed by State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon to serve on the State of California Library Resources Board. She also serves on the non-profit boards of Young Eisner Scholars, La Plaza de Cultura y Artes and the Loyola Immigrant Justice Clinic.

In her free time, Sara is active in her community both politically and on the grassroots level. She has served as an Assembly District Delegate for the 53rd District, a delegate for the Democratic National Committee and in 2015 Assembly member Miguel Santiago named her Democrat of the Year for the 53rd Assembly District. In 2018, with her neighbors she started a group called DTLA Strong, a resident group focused on community organizing to build political power within the Downtown community. Through extensive organizing and outreach efforts, DTLA Strong has increased voter turnout in the last presidential election by 162% compared to 2016.

Sara currently lives in Boyle Heights with her husband Keith and son Theodore.

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Dr. Kelsey Iino

Dr. Kelsey Iino

(Seat No. 7)

As a Los Angeles native and a California community college graduate herself, Dr. Kelsey Iino (iino) has dedicated her professional career to the community college system.  She hs worked for over 15 years as a counselor in various areas and currently counsels students in the areas of health science, athletics, creative arts, and MANA (an Asian American Pacific Islander initiative grant program to support the Native Hawaiian and Pasificka-community) at El Camino College, of which she is an alumna.

Kelsey is committed to strengthening community college education for the students of the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD). Since her appointment to the LACCD board in April 2022, she has hit the ground running and serves on the Legislative and Public Affairs Committee, the Budget Committee, and the Athletic Ad Hoc Committee. She is also the chair of the API Advisory Committee.

Kelsey has volunteered in various capacities within the greater Los Angeles for over 20 years. She currently serves as a board member in multiple organizations. These causes include the Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka Memorial Committee, an organization to sustain the legacy of Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka and to inspire and promote space and the STEAM field to our youth. She also serves as the faculty representative on the Board of Directors for the El Camino College Foundation, and Kelsey is also a Board Member of the Little Tokyo Service Center and key organizer of the "Straight Outta Little Tokyo" event series, through which she engages in grassroots fundraising for the Terasaki Budokan, a multipurpose sports and community center located in the heart of DTLA.

Other key leadership positions Kelsey currently holds include President of the El Camino College Federation of Teachers-AFT1388, representing nearly 1,000 full and part-time faculty members.

Kelsey is a Los Angeles native who grew up in the Southbay, attended El Camino College and earned an A.A. in Sociology, transferred to UCLA to earn her B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Education and then her M.Ed. in Counseling and Student Affairs, and finally her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from USC.

Trustee Iino will work to better understand the culture and uniqueness of the nine colleges to then effectuate student achievements by supporting increased accessibility to essential services and resources necessary for each campus. She hopes through her efforts as a Trustee she can focus on delivering resources to provide dignity and purpose to students, staff, and faculty across the District. She seeks to provide solutions to the housing insecurity, food insecurity, and the rising cost of living students face. In addition, she seeks to provide a voice for LACCD’s nearly 15% AAPI student population.

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Kenneth-Alan Callahan (1)

Kenneth-Alan Callahan

Student Trustee

Kenneth-Alan M. Callahan is a 3rd-year first-generation, low-income Psychology major on track to attending a 4-year institution. His home college, and home community in the LACCD, is Los Angeles City College (LACC), though he attends classes throughout the district. Kenneth is a LA native whose family moved to Bakerfield, CA when he was a preteen. Kenneth returned to LA to pursue his childhood dream of higher education, and to find his identity in the socioeconomic context of LA, or, as a wise student minister would say, “the land of masqueraders”.

Kenneth has a strong background in community advocacy through the values instilled upon him from his parents, community organizers and leaders, and from doing work within his local community. He started volunteer work at his local martial arts dojo, Goju Ryu Karate-Do of Bakersfield, where he served as an assistant teacher for a few years before moving to LA. Here, he developed an appreciation and understanding of different learning styles and environments.

Upon moving to LA, Kenneth joined the Associated Student Government (ASG) of LACC as a Senator of Clubs. However, seeing the potential in him, his advisor encouraged him to run for the Executive of Clubs, where he inevitably stayed for the next academic year. During his time in ASG, Kenneth was a strong advocate for student engagement and communication. He exemplifies this through the numerous events he helped organize, such as Club Rush, Earth Day, Juneteenth, the LACCD Black Graduation, and many more.

Kenneth was also selected to be the 2021-2022 student representative for the Race, Equity, and Social Justice Center (RESJC) at LACC, where he served as an advocate for racial representation and equity. He is also a student ambassador for the African American Outreach Initiative (AAOI), a program design to connect with an empower African American students within the LACCD. Kenneth is also a student leader within the Umoja program and is an advocate for black students, staff and faculty alike.

Outside of the LACCD, Kenneth is also involved in the black community of south LA. Through the UCLA CARE at Work center and the Los Angeles Black Worker Center (LABWC), Kenneth has been working to help address the black jobs crisis of LA; a historical and national black issue where black people have little social, political, and economic power. Leading to issues of poverty, homelessness, incarceration, and more. Kenneth sees that conditions of the local community affect the conditions of the college community, so he looks to build bridges between the 9 LACCD colleges and the communities that serve them.

As a Student Trustee, Kenneth strives, above all else, to give students a platform to use their voices and exemplify the value of the Student Trustee position. He believes in the power of trusteeship, and hopes to inspire the next generation of students, particularly students of color, to follow in his wake.

“Broad access to opportunity is the key to a truly equitable America. No matter who you are or where you grew up, black faces in white places provides a blueprint to seizing opportunities at hand – and expanding opportunity for your entire community” - Angela Glover Blackwell

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Executive Members

Chancellor Francisco Rodriguez

Francisco C. Rodriguez

Ph.D., Chancellor

Dr. Francisco Rodriguez began his tenure as chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District on June 1, 2014. Prior to his appointment as head of the nation’s largest community college district, Dr. Rodriguez served as superintendent/president at MiraCosta Community College District (Oceanside, CA) for five years and president at Cosumnes River College (Sacramento, CA) for six years.

Dr. Rodriguez is recognized as a collaborator who instinctively knows how to bring people together, whether from business, civic or education communities, with the purpose of opening channels of communication and furthering the interests of students. With 30 years of experience as an educator, faculty member and administrator within California public higher education, Dr. Rodriguez is a noted scholar and speaker on topics ranging from higher education, student access and success, governance and governing boards, to workforce development, fundraising and philanthropy. Dr. Rodriguez has dedicated his career to diversity, equity and inclusion issues and to outreach to underserved communities, particularly the development of young Latino and African American males. He serves as a lecturer in the doctoral education programs at Sacramento State University and at San Diego State University.

Wherever Dr. Rodriguez has resided, he has been an active member of both service and community organizations, including the local Rotary Clubs, chambers of commerce, the Small Business Development Centers, and regional economic development councils. His call to service is demonstrated in the numerous organizations for which he volunteers and contributes.

Dr. Rodriguez serves on national panels, including the board of directors for the National Science Foundation’s Advisory Committee for the Directorate of Education and Human Resources and the National Endowment for Financial Education. Statewide, Dr. Rodriguez serves as chair of the Community College League of California’s Advisory Committee on Legislation; the executive board of the California Association of Latino Community College Trustees and Administrators Association; as a mentor for the Association of California Community College Administrators Mentor Program; and the advisory board for the School of Education for the University of California, Davis. Dr. Rodriguez also served on the UC Davis Foundation Board and is the past president of the Cal Aggie Alumni Association, UC Davis.

While at the MiraCosta Community College District, Dr. Rodriguez is credited with navigating the district through the devastating economic downturn that required deep budget cuts. Nonetheless, during his tenure there, student enrollment grew by 27 percent and student success improved, the number of student-veterans served doubled, and the college foundation raised over $5 million in private dollars and over $15 million in public grants.

At the Los Angeles Community College District, Dr. Rodriguez has set as his primary goal the building of the District’s profile and reputation as the best urban community college district to study and work. To accomplish this goal, Dr. Rodriguez is stressing an approach that includes a well-prepared and innovative faculty and responsive curriculum, excellent educational administrators, state-of-the-art buildings and equipment, superbly trained and professional support staff, and business and community engagement.

Dr. Rodriguez earned a bachelor of arts in Chicano Studies with an emphasis in education and a master of science in Community Development, both from the University of California-Davis. He also earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Education from Oregon State University.

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Rueben Smith

Rueben Smith

Vice Chancellor/Chief Facilities Executive

Dr. Rueben Smith serves as the Vice Chancellor and Chief Facilities Executive for the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD). With undergraduate degrees in civil engineering and mathematics, an MBA in environmental sustainability and a doctorate in computer science, enterprise information systems, Dr. Smith understands the need for a sustainable future as a community partner focused on taking steps to decarbonize, electrify, conserve, and preserve natural resources. As a multi-faceted Built Environment Professional with over 20 years of experience in engineering design, construction, facilities, and environmental sustainability, he has led the design, development, and post construction management of dozens upon dozens of projects of varying delivery methods including the implementation of zero-net energy (ZNE) master plans and integrated energy resource plans at various college and K-12 Districts across the State of California. With a goal to facilitate and deliver the best possible teaching, learning, and working environment, Dr. Smith recognizes the commitment required to build, maintain, and operate green, healthy/safe WELL buildings and the infrastructure to support it.

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