Gaddi Vasquez

Honorary Degrees

California State University, Fullerton

Gaddi Vasquez has made significant contributions to humanitarian efforts both as a public servant and within the private sector. He spent his career in service of others as a champion of diversity, equity and inclusion in government programs. He has a record of lifelong advocacy to eradicate world hunger, disease and poverty, and a commitment to equitable access to quality public education.

Mr. Vasquez was the first Latinx person elected to serve on the Orange County Board of Supervisors. In 2002, he was appointed director of the United States Peace Corps by President George W. Bush, becoming the first Latinx person to serve in that post. In that position for four years, he established an agreement with Mexico to host volunteers and focused on recruiting students of color and community college graduates. At the conclusion of his service, he was confirmed as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations agencies based in Rome that include the World Food Program and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Upon retirement from the public sector, Mr. Vasquez did not forget his roots. He served as senior vice president of Government Affairs for Edison International and Southern California Edison, where he advocated for all California State University campuses, including California State University, Fullerton. Mr. Vasquez served on the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, the California Criminal Justice Council and the board of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund. Other generous service commitments include: the National Advisory Board of the Salvation Army, the Board of Trustees of Chapman University and the Orangewood Children’s Foundation board. In addition to his extensive history of community and board work, he currently serves on the board of Project Concern International and the California State University Foundation Board of Governors.

In recognition of his civic and professional accomplishments, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, Fullerton are proud to confer upon Gaddi Vasquez the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.