When the Graduate Program in Public Policy and Administration was created in 1989, Christopher Cabaldon was a member of its first class of students. He had recently begun what was to be an eight-year tour of service as a top policy expert and strategist for the California State Legislature.
He became executive officer of the Assembly Committee on Higher Education, during which time he completed the Master of Public Policy and Administration degree. Mr. Cabaldon later served as chief of staff to the chairwoman of the powerful Assembly Appropriations Committee. Since 1997, he has been Vice Chancellor of the California Community Colleges, whose 108 campuses comprise the largest system of postsecondary education in the nation.
Mr. Cabaldon is actively engaged in local and regional civic affairs, is widely respected for his work in the areas of economic development, environmental protection, quality of life, and transportation. He has served since 1996 on the City Council for the City of West Sacramento. During two terms as Mayor of West Sacramento, he helped transform the landscape and spirit of the city with the construction of Raley Field and the revitalization of the region's waterfront.
In addition, he has served as Chairman of the Regional Transportation Roundtable and the Yolo County Transportation District Board, as Vice President of the River City Regional Stadium Financing Authority, and on the Delta Protection Commission, Yolo-Solano Air Quality Management District Board, and Sacramento Area Council of Governments. He is an appointee of the Speaker of the Assembly on the Commission on Regionalism, and of the Governor on the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.
Active in the Asian and Filipino American community, Mr. Cabaldon has served as President of Asian Pacific Americans in Higher Education, a statewide professional association, and as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project.
Mr. Cabaldon earned a bachelor of science degree in environmental economics from UC Berkeley.
"For our pioneering group of new students entering a brand new master's program, graduate study at CSUS catalyzed a powerful change in how we perceived social structures and problems, and in how we frame new approaches to public challenges. But the interplay between faculty and students about academic inquiry also proved extraordinarily practical. As a CSUS graduate student, for instance, I analyzed the theoretical and quantitative foundations of economic-impact studies for new professional sports facilities. A few years later as Mayor of West Sacramento, my deep knowledge of the flaws of such studies provided the basis for negotiating what has been called the best municipal deal in the nation for a professional ballpark."