Eloy Ortiz Oakley is best known throughout California and the nation for implementing innovative programs and policies that help students succeed in college. Oakley strongly believes that California’s emerging economies demand a workforce with quality credentials and that the state’s 114 community colleges play a pivotal role in moving California forward. Under Oakley’s leadership, the Long Beach Community College District has received numerous awards and recognitions for its efforts to improve student completion rates and for directly supporting a strong small business and entrepreneurship eco-system throughout the greater southern California region.
Oakley was appointed as the Superintendent-President of the Long Beach Community College District (LBCCD) in 2007. While there he led one of the most diverse community colleges in the nation and provided statewide and national leadership on the issue of improving the education outcomes of historically underrepresented students. For his efforts, the James Irvine Foundation recognized him with their 2014 Leadership Award. Also in 2014, Gov. Brown appointed Oakley to the University of California Board of Regents. In this role, Oakley is using his experiences to better serve all Californians in higher education. In November of 2016, President Obama recognized him as a White House Champion of Change for his work promoting and supporting the national college promise movement.
In 2014, he was invited to provide testimony on minority serving institutions to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP) Committee. In his remarks, Oakley stresses that if America is to remain competitive, it must adopt innovative reforms to ensure its citizens are provided a realistic opportunity to succeed in college, regardless of their socioeconomic, racial or ethnic background.
Oakley’s trailblazing efforts have been acknowledged through his appointments to the California Chamber of Commerce, the University of California Board of Regents, the Fair Shake Commission, the College Futures Foundation and the LA 2024 Advisory Board. He is frequently invited to speak to education, philanthropic and business organizations throughout the nation.
Oakley himself is a community college success story. After serving four years in the U.S. Army, he enrolled at Golden West College. He then transferred to the University of California, Irvine where he received his degrees of Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Analysis and Design and Master of Business Administration.