Dr. Judy K. Sakaki became Sonoma State University’s seventh president on July 1, 2016. Sonoma State is one of 23 campuses within the California State University, the largest public university system in the country. She is the first Japanese-American woman in the nation to lead a four-year college or university.
Her career in higher education has been devoted to leading, developing and implementing best practices in access, affordability, inclusion and student success. Previously, she served as Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of California-Office of the President; Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of California, Davis; and Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Fresno State.
Dr. Sakaki is the recipient of numerous community and leadership awards. She was recognized as President of the Year in 2017 by the California State Student Association. She was the Joint Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Legislative Caucus’ honoree for Excellence in Education in 2020. She also received the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, Region VI President’s Award in 2018. Dr. Sakaki is a former American Council on Education Fellow, and was a founding member of Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education. Dr. Sakaki served on Governor Newsom’s California Higher Education Recovery Equity Taskforce, and serves on the Public Policy Institute of California Higher Education Advisory Council.
Dr. Sakaki grew up in Oakland, California and was a first-generation college student. She earned her B.A. in Human Development, her M.S. in Educational Psychology both from CSU East Bay and her Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Berkeley.