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Board Member Profiles

Board Member Profiles

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PATRICK J. AHRENS (Trustee Area 2)

Patrick Ahrens headshot Ahrens was elected to an at-large position on the Board of Trustees in November 2018 and reelected without opposition in 2022 to represent Trustee Area 2. He is a Sunnyvale resident and Silicon Valley native who has advocated to expand access and affordability for community college students as the district director for Assemblymember Evan Low in California Assembly District 28. An active community volunteer, he served on the board of directors of the Foothill-De Anza Foundation prior to his election. Ahrens became deeply interested in higher education policy as a student at De Anza College when he was the first in his family to go to college and was elected to serve as student trustee on the Foothill-De Anza Community College District's governing board. He holds an associate degree from De Anza College, a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a master's degree in public administration from San Jose State University. His term on the board expires in 2026. Contact Ahrens at ahrenspatrick@fhda.edu or through the Chancellor's Office at (650) 949-6100.

LAURA CASAS (At large)

Laura Casas Casas was elected to the Board of Trustees without opposition in 2007 after being appointed to the board in 2005, and was reelected in 2012, 2016, and 2020. She holds a law degree from Santa Clara University and a bachelor's degree in political science from California State University, Northridge. Active at the state and local levels, Casas was elected by her peers in 2011 to the statewide Trustees Board of the Community College League of California and is past chair of the League's Advisory Committee on Legislation. She is a graduate of the HOPE Leadership Institute operated by Hispanas Organized for Political Equality, and serves on the boards of Children Now, a national organization that makes children a public policy priority, and ALearn, a grassroots organization dedicated to underrepresented students' success in college. For the past decade she's mentored students through Puente, an academic preparation program focused on college success. Her past activities include the Foothill-De Anza Foundation Board of Directors, Santa Clara County's 6th District PTA, and the Santa Clara County League of Women Voters' Education Committee. She co-founded a transitional home for domestic violence victims in Los Angeles and has worked as a claims representative for an international commercial liability carrier. Her term expires in 2024. Contact Casas at casaslaura@fhda.edu or through the Chancellor's Office at (650) 949-6100. 

PEARL CHENG, Vice President (Trustee Area 4)

Pearl Cheng Cheng was appointed in 2008 to fill a vacancy in an at-large position on the Board of Trustees, elected without opposition in 2009, reelected in 2014 and 2018, and elected without opposition to represent Trustee Area 4 in 2022. Cheng is a resident of Cupertino who served for eight years on the Cupertino Union School District Board of Education and held leadership positions with the Santa Clara County School Boards Association. She has served on the De Anza Commission, an auxiliary of the Foothill-De Anza Foundation that represents De Anza College in the community. She worked for many years at the NASA Ames Research Center, most recently as associate director for management operations in information sciences and technology. Following her high-tech experience, she worked for a decade in non-profits, serving as the education manager at United Way Silicon Valley developing literacy, intervention and parent education programs in Santa Clara County. In March 2016, she was an invited participant at the College Promise Initiative planning meeting at the White House. Cheng has served for a number of years as a substitute teacher in two local public school districts. She volunteered as a contact tracer and case investigator for the county during the height of the pandemic. Cheng holds a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University and a bachelor's in engineering from the University of Iowa. Her term expires in 2026. Contact Cheng at chengpearl@fhda.edu or through the Chancellor's Office at (650) 949-6100. 

PETER LANDSBERGER, President (At large)

Peter Landsberger photo Landsberger was elected to the Board of Trustees in November 2016 and reelected in 2020. He has lived in Los Altos since 1978, the year he was named Foothill-De Anza's first general counsel. He was subsequently promoted to the position of vice chancellor, serving as the chancellor's chief deputy responsible for supervising all district office operations. Now retired, his 30-year career in community colleges includes service as president of the College of San Mateo, senior vice chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District, and interim chancellor of the Los Angeles district. The chancellor of the California Community Colleges later appointed him special trustee of the Compton Community College District after Compton College lost its accreditation, a position he held for four years. He has served on the boards of the Foothill-De Anza Foundation, the Community School of Music & Arts in Mountain View, the San Jose-Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce Foundation, and UNITE–LA, a nonprofit organization in Los Angeles that seeks to expand college access to underserved youth in the Los Angeles region. He holds a juris doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley, a bachelor’s degree in political science from UC Berkeley, and an associate degree in political science from Santa Monica College. His term expires in 2024. He can be contacted at landsbergerpeter@fhda.edu or through the Chancellor's Office at (650) 949-6100.

GILBERT WONG (At large)

Gilbert Wong photo Wong was elected to the Board of Trustees in November 2016 and reelected in 2020. He served for nine years on the Cupertino City Council, twice holding the positions of mayor and vice mayor.  After earning an associate degree at West Valley College and a bachelor’s degree at San Jose State University, he began working in his family real estate investment and property management business. He served for three years as a volunteer on the De Anza Commission, an auxiliary of the Foothill-De Anza Foundation that represents De Anza College in the community.  His extensive community experience includes leadership positions in the Rotary Club of Cupertino, Cupertino Chamber of Commence, Cupertino Educational Endowment Foundation, Asian American Parent Association, Asian Pacific American Leadership Institute, and the Organization of Chinese Americans Silicon Valley chapter. He completed the certificate program for senior executives in state and local government offered by the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government. His term expires in 2024. Contact Wong at wonggilbert@fhda.edu or through the Chancellor's Office at (650) 949-6100.

 
STUDENT TRUSTEES

Javier Gomez Tagle, De Anza College

Javier Gomez Tagle photoGomez Tagle is De Anza College's elected student representative on the Board of Trustees for the 2023-24 academic year. He is a first-year student majoring in computer science, and he also pursues a passion in cello performance. Gomez Tagle sits in the De Anza Student Government senate as a member of the Finance and Legislative Affairs committees and is a voting member of De Anza's Resource Allocation and Program Planning Committee. Being an individual who strives to give students their best quality of campus life, Gomez Tagle is driven to help students with their needs. As De Anza's student trustee, Gomez Tagle will help the De Anza student body be heard and support them at the district level. Contact Gomez Tagle at dastudenttrustee@fhda.edu or through the Chancellor's Office at (650) 949-6100.

Nicole Nguyen, Foothill College

Nicole Nguyen photoNguyen, who is studying sociology at Foothill College, has been elected as the student representative for the 2023-24 academic year. Her active involvement extends to several organizations, including the Student Senate for California Community Colleges (SSCCC) and the Associated Students of Foothill College. She also proudly stands as the founding president of Foothill's Vietnamese Student Association. Nguyen is actively researching how educational institutions can disrupt systems of oppression, focusing on the analysis of curriculum, structures, and academic policies. Driven by her passion for promoting equitable and inclusive educational environments, she's committed to creating an understanding of how institutions of learning can foster conditions that allow for all students to flourish regardless of their backgrounds..Contact Nguyen at asfc.nicolen@gmail.com or through the Chancellor's Office at (650) 949-6100.

 

The district began the transition to trustee area elections in November 2022, with governing board members elected to represent Trustee Area 2 (Central Sunnyvale) and Trustee Area 4 (Cupertino and small portions of west San Jose, southwestern Santa Clara, and northern Saratoga). Trustees elected to serve in at-large positions in 2020 will continue serving in those positions until the election to represent Trustee Area 1 (Mountain View and portions of north Sunnyvale and northeast Los Altos), Trustee Area 3 (Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and portions of south Sunnyvale and northwest Cupertino), and Trustee Area 5 (Palo Alto and Stanford) in November 2024. More information about trustee area elections is available HERE.