Richard Cordova

Honorary Degrees

California State University, Los Angeles

Richard Cordova served with great distinction in the field of healthcare for more than four decades, winning national recognition as a visionary executive and champion for diversity in his profession. His record of achievement began during his time at California State University, Los Angeles where he received his baccalaureate degree in Business Administration in 1972. In what would prove to be a fortuitous assignment after graduation, he studied public hospital budgets while serving as a management trainee for Los Angeles County. That led to his life’s calling: working to improve healthcare access, delivery and quality.

For nearly 25 years, Mr. Cordova held leadership positions in public hospitals and health
systems in San Francisco and Los Angeles, including L.A. County-USC Medical Center
which serves communities surrounding California State University, Los Angeles. After serving as president of the Southern California Region for Kaiser Permanente, Mr. Cordova joined Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. During his tenure as president and chief executive officer, Children’s Hospital opened a free-standing pediatric center funded by a $1 billion capital campaign, established four ambulatory care centers in neighborhoods that lacked access to pediatric specialty care and won a top five national ranking for children’s hospitals from U.S. News & World Report. Mr. Cordova, a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, has been a leading advocate for diversity in healthcare as well. He has served as a founding member of the National Forum for Latino Healthcare Executives and chaired the nonprofit Institute for Diversity in Health Management.

Mr. Cordova has given back generously to California State University, Los Angeles through service and philanthropy. He served on the College of Business and Economics Dean’s Advisory Board, delivered the college’s 2012 Commencement address and was named an Alumnus of the Year in 2010. He currently serves as co-chair for We Are LA: The Campaign for Cal State LA, which already has exceeded its goal of raising $75 million.

In dedicating his career to improving healthcare access and delivery, while advocating for
diversity and representation, Mr. Cordova embodies California State University, Los Angeles’s ethos of engagement and service for the public good and champions the core values of the California State University.

In recognition of his professional and civic accomplishments, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, Los Angeles are proud to confer upon Richard Cordova the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.