Public Affairs

CSU Alumni Working for the Public

September 8, 2011
By Stephanie Thara

Awarding more than 95,000 degrees annually, the CSU graduates alumni who are leaders in high-impact fields that drive California’s economy. The CSU maintains a multitude of degree options ranging in every topic from marine transportation to public administration, which give graduates the skills necessary to navigate their way into a variety of different career choices.

With more than 2.6 million alumni, CSU graduates have taken their degrees and applied them to enrich California’s workforce. Some alumni who have impacted the fields relating to public administration include the following:

Hilda SolisHilda L. Solis - Secretary of Labor, United States Department of Labor:
- Cal Poly Pomona graduate with a degree in political science
- Leads the U.S. Department of Labor and serves as a member of the President's Cabinet
- First female recipient of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for her work to protect minority communities through environmental legislation

Millage PeaksMillage Peaks - Fire Chief, City of Los Angeles (retired):
- Graduated from CSU Dominguez Hills with a degree in psychology
- Commanded the largest metropolitan fire department in the western United States, with 106 fire stations and over 3,600 sworn and professional staff
- Served a population of over four million people throughout the 470 square miles of the city, including firefighting and rescue operations at Los Angeles International Airport, Van Nuys Airport and the Port of Los Angeles

*Learn how former City of Los Angeles' Fire Chief Millage Peaks got his start at CSU Dominguez Hills here.

Sheryl ChalupaSheryl Chalupa - President and CEO, Goodwill Industries of South Central California
- Received a bachelor’s in political science and a master’s in public administration from CSU Bakersfield
- President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of South Central California since 2001, helping people with disadvantages obtain employment and training services
- Served as executive director of Girl Scouts-Joshua Tree Council for seven years, helping girls develop character and skills

Vincent P. BarabbaVincent P. Barabba - Chairman, Board of Governors, The State of the USA
- Graduated with a marketing degree from CSU Northridge
- Headed GM's knowledge development division for two decades, overseeing the Business Decision Support Center and corporate strategic planning
- Twice served as director of the Bureau of the Census; the only person to serve in that position under the administration of different political parties and three different Presidents (Nixon, Ford and Carter)