​Jose Antonio Vargas

Member, Board of Trustees (2022-2030)
The California State University​​

​Jose Antonio Vargas

Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Emmy-nominated filmmaker and Tony-nominated theatrical producer. A leading voice for the human rights of immigrants, he founded the non-profit narrative change organization Define American.

His best-selling memoir, Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, was published by HarperCollins in 2018. His second book, White Is Not a Country, will be published by Knopf in 2024.

In 2019, he co-produced Heidi Schreck's acclaimed Broadway play, What the Constitution Means to Me, which was nominated for a Tony Award for "Best Play." His second Broadway production, a staging of David Byrne and Fatboy Slim's musical Here Lies Love, opened at the Broadway Theatre in 2023.

In 2011, the New York Times Magazine published his groundbreaking essay in which he revealed and chronicled his life in America as an undocumented immigrant. A year later, he appeared on the cover of TIME worldwide with fellow undocumented immigrants as part of a story he wrote. He then produced and directed Documented, a documentary feature film on his undocumented experience.

In 2020, Fortune named him one of its "40 under 40" most influential people in government and politics. Among other accolades he has received are the Freedom to Write Award from PEN Center USA and honorary degrees from Emerson College, Colby College, and John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

He serves on the advisory board of TheDream.US, a scholarship fund for undocumented immigrant students.

He is a proud graduate of San Francisco State University ('04), where he was named Alumnus of the Year in 2012. An elementary school named after Vargas opened in his hometown of Mountain View, California in August 2019.