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CONTACT: Bruce Smith
Public Information
(310) 434-4209
DATE: Oct. 29, 2003

Gov.-Elect & SMC Alum Names Robertson to Transition Team

     Santa Monica College President Dr. Piedad F. Robertson said today (Monday, Oct. 13) she is pleased that she will play a role in advising Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger – an SMC alumnus – as he begins to make important decisions facing California.

     Robertson was named to The Arnold Schwarzenegger Transition Committee and will be advising the governor on education issues.

     “After consulting with the chair and vice chair of the Santa Monica College Board of Trustees, I am pleased that Gov.-elect Schwarzenegger has named me to his transition team,” Robertson said. “An alumnus of Santa Monica College, Gov.-elect Schwarzenegger recognizes the importance of community colleges to the educational, economic and social health of California. I will do my best to advise Mr. Schwarzenegger wisely on the crucial public education issues he will face, particularly at this time of a statewide budget crisis.”

Robertson was one of 65 prominent leaders from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines – including business, government, the law, agriculture, academia and nonprofits – selected for the team. The committee includes such names as former Republican gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon Jr., former Democratic Assembly Speaker Robert Hertzberg, Hewlett-Packard Chief Executive Carly Fiorina, and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.

     “In my campaign, I said that I would reach across the political aisle and bring the best and brightest people together to help us solve the problems facing California,” Schwarzenegger said. “The Transition Committee is a distinguished group of men and women who share my commitment to restoring California to greatness.”

     Since taking over the presidency of Santa Monica College in 1995, Robertson has established herself as a leader in innovative educational programs, workforce and economic development, fundraising, community and government relations, planning, and effective management. She has won wide praise for creating the SMC Academy of Entertainment and Technology, which prepares students for jobs in the entertainment industry, particularly digital animation and new media.

     Known as a national education leader, Robertson is one of just seven members on the Gates Millennium Scholars Program Advisory Council, which oversees the $1 billion scholarship endowment created in 1999 by Microsoft founder Bill Gates. She is active with many local, state and national organizations, including the American Council on Education.

Before coming to Santa Monica College, Robertson served four years as Massachusetts Secretary of Education, a post she was appointed to by Governor William F. Weld on Sept. 1, 1991. A native of Cuba, Dr. Robertson received her B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Miami and was awarded an Ed.D. from Florida Atlantic University.

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