Governor Gavin Newsom has appointed San Bernardino Community College District Trustee Joseph Williams to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors, making him the only Inland Empire resident to serve on the statewide board. The board of governors sets policy for the largest higher education system in the nation, serving more than 2.1 million students through 116 community colleges.
Williams, 44, of Rialto, will join the 17-member board.
“I am delighted to welcome Joseph Williams and Iulia Tarasova to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors. They both bring outstanding experience and a commitment to community college students that will add great value to our board,” said California Community Colleges Board President Tom Epstein. “I look forward to working with them to move our system forward in our unyielding push for equity and student success during this challenging time.”
Williams is an alumnus of Crafton Hills College and San Bernardino Valley College and served as a student trustee on the SBCCD governing board. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Redlands, and a master’s in social impact from Claremont Lincoln University.
“I am grateful for the trust and keenly aware of the responsibility to serve our community college students at a time of historical challenges but great possibilities,” said Williams.
“I am humbled that the Governor understands the importance of regional inclusion and elevating the Inland Empire into the statewide conversation as it relates to higher education. I look forward to my service on the Board of Governors, continuing my work on the SBCCD Board of Trustees, and collaborating with everyone passionate about helping students succeed.”
Williams represents SBCCD’s Area 2, which includes Rialto and the unincorporated community of Muscoy. He was appointed in 2013 to fill a vacancy on the SBCCD board, and was elected in 2014 and re-elected in 2018.
Williams is the founder of Youth Action Project and was chief executive officer from 2006 to 2018. He has been public affairs manager at Southern California Edison since 2019.
He served in several positions for the County of San Bernardino, including an offender employment services specialist from 2003 to 2006 and a contract analyst from 2001 to 2003.
Williams is president of the Youth Action Project Board of Directors, executive board member of the California Workforce Development Board, California Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, and Rotary International.