Chancellor Search




A portrait photo of Gregory Smith. He is wearing a black jacket with a blue shirt and tie

Following a national search, the Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the selection of Gregory Smith as the next chancellor of the San Diego Community College District.

Chancellor-Designate Smith, who has served as acting chancellor since March, has extensive executive-level experience, as well as strong familiarity with the challenges facing California’s community colleges. The Board of Trustees sincerely appreciates all who participated in the search process, which included input from District stakeholders and the community.

Chancellor-Designate Smith has nearly 20 years of public sector service experience, beginning with the U.S. Department of Labor in 2004, where he enforced equal employment opportunity and affirmative action regulations in progressive leadership roles. A former California community college student and first-generation college graduate, he joined the community college system professionally in 2016 at Shasta College in Northern California, where he served as director of Human Resources, associate vice president of Human Resources, and interim vice president of Administrative Services. He joined the SDCCD in 2020 as vice chancellor of People, Culture, and Technology Services and immediately provided steady leadership during the COVID pandemic.

Throughout his career, Chancellor-Designate Smith has worked to reframe how public, private, and nonprofit organizations operate to ensure diverse communities have meaningful access, achieve equitable success, and experience authentic belonging. He has gained a statewide reputation as a key contributor on numerous workgroups which have produced actionable policy and practice innovations to expand diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and anti-racism in teaching, learning, service delivery, and employment. He has led initiatives to redesign resource and budget allocation models to ensure equitable investments in and outcomes for diverse communities.

Chancellor-Designate Smith began his collegiate education at Cerro Coso Community College in Kern County. He went on to earn bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and English Literature at Arizona State University and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Southern California.

Chancellor-Designate Smith’s qualifications and extensive experience will ensure the District continues its progress toward growing student enrollment, maintaining the District’s fiscal health, and ensuring it is meeting local workforce needs while helping our region close equity gaps. He has a compelling vision for the SDCCD’s future which aligns closely with the 2023-2030 District Strategic Plan.

The Board of Trustees is committed to doing even more to support San Diego’s underserved populations and Chancellor-Designate Smith shares this commitment. He is a leader who will help unite our colleges around our shared vision of student success. This transition is also an opportunity for the SDCCD to build on its long tradition of academic excellence, and social justice, as well as diversity, equity, inclusion, and access.

Chancellor-Designate Smith’s appointment is pending final approval of his employment contract to be considered at the January 25, 2024 Board of Trustees meeting in public session. For now, please join the Board in congratulating him on his appointment as Chancellor-Designate.

Bernie Rhinerson
President, Board of Trustees


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