The University of California Board of Regents announced today (July 5) that Regent George Kieffer has been elected by his colleagues to serve as board chair for 2017-18, effective July 1, with the first board meeting scheduled for July 11-13.

Kieffer, who earned a bachelor’s degree in history from UC Santa Barbara and a law degree from UCLA, was appointed to the Board of Regents in 2009 and previously served as an alumni regent from 1978 to 1980. His election as board chair culminates decades of service to the University of California, to California higher education and to public service in general.

"By any and all measures, this is the finest public university system in the world and I'm honored to be a part of it,” Kieffer said. “ All of us — the governor, legislators, faculty, staff, regents and the public — need to work together to keep it that way and provide today's students and succeeding generations the same affordable and quality education provided by and for earlier generations of Californians."

Kieffer has served as president of the UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association, chair of the UC Santa Barbara Foundation, president of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, a founding member of the California Community Colleges Foundation and a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission for Review of the California Master Plan for Higher Education.

As Board of Regents chair, his goals include focusing on the quality of undergraduate education, examining the costs of higher education, preserving the university’s historic excellence in teaching, research and public service, and continuing to expand access to more and diverse Californians. He also intends to promote the uniqueness of all 10 UC campuses.

Kieffer is a partner and member of the executive committee of the national law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP. He served as chair of the commission charged with rewriting the Los Angeles City Charter for the first full revision in 75 years. He has been honored as one of the top 100 lawyers in California by the San Francisco Daily Journal and the Los Angeles Daily Journal and as one of the 500 most influential people in Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Business Journal. He is the former chair of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce and the Los Angeles Mayor’s Council of Economic Advisors. He is the author of The Strategy of Meetings and a contributing author of Governing Public Colleges and Universities.

The UC Board of Regents also has elected John A. Pérez to serve as vice chair for the upcoming year. Pérez previously served as speaker of the California State Assembly.

New chairs have also been appointed for the board’s various committees and subcommittees for 2017-18. These include:

  • Regent Pérez, chair of the Academic and Student Affairs Committee
  • Regent Monica Lozano, chair of the Public Engagement and Development Committee
  • Regent Hadi Makarechian, chair of the Finance and Capital Strategies Committee
  • Regent Charlene Zettel, chair of the Compliance and Audit Committee
  • Regent Sherry L. Lansing, chair of the Health Services Committee
  • Regent Richard Sherman, chair of the Investments Subcommittee
  • Regent Norman J. Pattiz, chair of the National Laboratories Subcommittee

Members of the Board of Regents are volunteers and serve without compensation.