•Executive Excellence - Academia•

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Eduardo M. Ochoa, Ph.D.


California State University, Monterey Bay

Education: Ph.D., economics, New School for Social Research; M.S., nuclear science and engineering, Columbia University; B.A., physics and philosophy, Reed College. 



Dr. Eduardo M. Ochoa’s remarkable journey to the top of academia has taken him form the shores of the Rio De La Plata in his native Argentina, to the Pacific shores of the Golden State, his current home.  As the President of the California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB), a post he’s held since 2012, Dr. Ochoa oversees a $120 million budget and 878 faculty and staff and is responsible for developing and implementing university strategic priorities.  Dr. Ochoa’s strong mission of social justice and equity has taken CSUMB from a small university with three colleges to one with five, making it the fastest growing university within the 23 campus CSU system.


Young Eduardo was a high school student when his family moved from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Portland, Oregon, where soon met his future wife.  He stayed close to home after high school and pursued a bachelor’s degree in physics and philosophy from Reed College. Graduate school ambitions then took him east, to Columbia University in New York City, where he earned an M.S. in nuclear science and engineering.


After working for three years as an engineer in New York, he returned to graduate school and earned a Ph.D. in economics at the New School for Social Research.  Teaching offers took him to Fresno State University and California State University, Los Angele, where he spent 12 years as a professor in the Department of Economics and Statistics, culminating in an appointment as Acting Dean. 


After launching a reengineered MBA program at Cal State LA, he was recruited down the 10 freeway to become the Dean of the College of Business Administration at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.  At Cal Poly Pomona, he managed an annual budget of approximately $13 million and a college of over 170 faculty and 4,800 students.  He also raised nearly $8 million in donations and developed international programs with institutions in England, Russia, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brazil.


In 2003, Dr. Ochoa became Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Sonoma State University, where he managed the Division of Academic Affairs, with a budget of $50 million, five Schools, 600 faculty, and 8,900 students. He was instrumental in strategic planning for the university and worked extensively on reforming curriculum, setting up shared governance, and addressing issues in accreditation, faculty development, fiscal management, and diversity. He played a key role in securing a $1.5 million endowed Chair in Native American Studies and assumed direction of the ongoing efforts to develop the programming for the Green Music Center, for which $45 million were raised privately.


The U.S. Department of Education called on Dr. Ochoa’s talent and years of experience next when he was named Assistant Secretary for postsecondary education in 2010.  In this role, he was responsible for directing, coordinating, and recommending policies for over 70 programs awarding $2.5 billion annually, providing financial assistance to students enrolled in postsecondary educational institutions.


With numerous publications, grants, and awards to his credit, Dr. Ochoa is a member ofnumerous boards and committees, including the Board of Trustees of Reed College; the Presidents’ Trust of the American Association of Colleges and Universities; the Committee on Policies and Purposes at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities; and the Economic Development Committee of the Monterey County Board of Supervisors.

-By Vinnie Longobardo