Through their leadership the Board of Directors provides a framework for policy development assuring professional competencies and advocacy for student enrichment. The Board of Directors consists of one representative from each member college and meets monthly with The Academy's President. 

Chairman of the Board

Gari Browning, Ph.D., President / Superintendent, Ohlone Community College District

Gari Browning, Ph.D., President / Superintendent, Ohlone Community College District

Dr. Gari Browning has been President/Superintendent of the Ohlone 
Community College District since July 2008. During that time her leadership of the college has resulted in sound fiscal management in the midst of statewide budget cuts over the course of five years; resolved issues threatening the college’s accreditation that she encountered on the first day she began her tenure as president; and a successfully passed bond for $349 million. The college is now in the first phases of new construction on core academic buildings of its Fremont campus.
Dr. Browning has an exceptionally wide range of professional experience, including teaching nearly every educational level, especially as a community college professor at Orange Coast College. Dr. Browning was the Associate Director at the ACCJC WASC, the accrediting commission for California Community Colleges. Before coming to Ohlone College, she served as Vice President of Instruction at College of the Desert.
She is fluent in Spanish and has served as president and in other leadership positions for California Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (CATESOL). She led a group of ESL experts to author California Pathways: The Second Language Student in Public High Schools, Colleges, and Universities.
Gari Browning grew up in the greater Los Angeles area, attended Cypress College, earned a baccalaureate degree from UC Irvine, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from UCLA. She lived in the Dominican Republic and Hawaii, where she taught at the Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra and University of Hawaii, respectively.

Ohlone College


Vice Chairman of the Board

Dr. Kathleen Rose, Superintendent / President, Gavilan College

Dr. Kathleen Rose has been serving the California Community College system since 2002, with the past seven years as the Executive Vice President and Chairman Dr. Kathleen Rose, Superintendent / President Gavilan CollegeChief Instruction Officer at Gavilan College. Prior to coming to Gavilan Dr. Rose was the Vice President of Instruction and the Dean of Fine Arts, Language Arts and Social Sciences at Hartnell College in Salinas. Before returning to service with the community colleges, Dr. Rose was the Associate Dean and Campus Director at Chapman University for twenty years, where she administered undergraduate and graduate programs in Arizona and California at military and community locations. In addition, Dr. Rose has taught as a part time faculty member for the past thirty years at the undergraduate and graduate level in psychology and organizational leadership at a number of colleges and universities.
Dr. Rose has a BA in English and Elementary Education from SUNY Geneseo, a M.Ed in Counseling and Guidance from the University of Arizona and an Ed.D. with a major in Educational Leadership and a minor in Higher Education from the University of Arizona. Dr. Rose also has a National Counselor Certification and has worked as an agency counselor and as a private therapist. She has spoken at national conferences on topics in higher education, particularly leadership development for women and has served on a number of doctoral dissertation committees.

Gavilan College


Director of the Board

Mr. Daniel Peck, M.A., B.A., President, Mission College Mr. Rick Bennett, M.B.A., B.A., Vice President of Administrative Services, Mission College

Daniel Peck comes to Mission College from the other side of the country, as a native from the state of Florida. Daniel pursued his education at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where he graduated with highest distinction, earning a double major Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and English. Daniel remained at Indiana to being his career in education, serving as an instructor for Sociology and Statistics and working many years in the Center for Survey Research while taking an MA in Sociology along the way.

Daniel has presented at the American Sociological Association and League for Innovation in the Community College. As someone who has been an instructor at the university level and also served as a classified staff member, Daniel believes in the importance of hearing all voices through the participatory process. Daniel is passionate about student completion and success, and firmly believes that student needs must always come first.

Mission College


Director of the Board

Jeff DeFranco, M.A., Superintendent / President, Lake Tahoe Community College

A native Californian, Jeff DeFranco started at Lake Tahoe Community College in 2012. Before accepting the position as superintendent/president, he served as the college’s Vice President of Administrative Services. Jeff brings a unique array of experience, having worked in K-12, community colleges, and at four-year institutions. He earned his undergraduate degree from California State University, Chico and his Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Oregon. He is currently a doctoral student in Pepperdine University’s nationally-ranked Global Leadership and Change Ph.D.  program. Jeff is an active member of the South Lake Tahoe community with his wife, Kasey, and their two sons. He is an enthusiastic believer in life-long learning and consistently strives to broaden his thinking, especially in the areas of leadership and driving positive change.

Lake Tahoe Community College 


Director of the Board

Michael Claire, MBA, B.S., President, College of San Mateo

Michael Claire, who began his association with the San Mateo County Community College District as a student, became the ninth president of College of San Mateo (CSM) in 2006. During his career with the district, Mr. Claire has worked at all three of its colleges, including positions as an instructor, program developer, division dean and vice president of instruction.

Mr. Claire earned his A.A. degree from Canada College and a B.S. degree in Business Administration and an MBA from California State University, East Bay. He is also a certified public accountant. Locally, he has served as a board member for a number of business and educational community organizations.

College of San Mateo


Director of the Board

Gerlinde Brady, M.A., Dean of CTE and Workforce Development, Cabrillo College
Gerlinde Brady is a native of Germany and a product of the German education system. She obtained a Master's Degree in Education with an emphasis in Teaching English as a Foreign Language and a Career Technical Education certificate in teaching information Technology courses. Gerlinde came to the United States to improve her English language skills in 1989 with the plan to stay for a year and then return to Germany to start her career. Her "best-laid plans" went awry due to a Santa Cruz native. In 1991, Gerlinde married and she and her husband settled in Santa Cruz.
Gerlinde has been working at Cabrillo College for 18 years, first as an intructor and department chair in the Computer and Information Systems department and since 2016 as the Dean of Career Technical Education and Workforce Development. Gerlinde is committed to promoting student success. Gerlinde enjoys long walks and hiking with her family.

Director of the Board

Ramona S. Payne, Hartnell Community College

Alternate representative: Mr. Ben Figueroa, Vice President of Administrative Services, Hartnell Community College

Hartnell College

Director of the Board

Mr. David Martin, Vice President of Administrative Services, Monterey Peninsula College

Monterey Peninsula College

Gavilan CollegeMonterey Peninsula CollegeCollege of San MateoLake Tahoe Community CollegeCabrillo CollegeMission CollegeHartnell CollegeOhlone College