Karen Y. Zamarripa received the Master's Degree in Public Policy and Administration from Sacramento State in 2001. She is presently the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Advocacy and Institutional Affairs at the California State University (CSU). In this role, Ms. Zamarripa leads the system's Sacramento-based team working with state government and the Legislature and plays a lead role in the development and implementation of system and campus advocacy and strategic communications. She also oversees the new Office of Institutional Affairs, charged with alumni and community relations.
A native of Los Angeles County, Ms. Zamarripa earned her Bachelors of Science in Urban Planning at the University of Southern California. Prior to joining the CSU in 1991, she represented K-12 schools as an advocate for the California School Boards Association (CSBA) and served on the staffs of two members of the California State Senate. She got her start in state government and politics as a Senate Fellow in 1981, a program now administered for the Legislature through the Center for California Studies at CSU, Sacramento.
A strong advocate of women in leadership roles, Ms. Zamarripa served for seven years on the board of directors (two years as president) of Leadership California, and received its Leadership Award in 2001. She has served as president and board member of Capitol Network, an organization committed to helping women legislators, government appointees, and lobbyists while raising money for state and local charities serving women, children, and families.
Ms. Zamarripa currently serves as a member of the State Relations Task Force created by four national education organizations - the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASLGC), the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) -- to provide professional development and support for university advocates.
Karen Zamirripa is proud of her education at Sac State, and faculty of the department of Public Policy and Administration at Sac State is immensely proud of her, as demonstrated by the selection of her as the program's Alumna of the Year in 2002.
"Pursuing the Masters in Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) at CSUS was one of the greatest investments I have made in myself. Each course and every faculty member showed me another way to look at an issue, examine a problem, and develop a solution. The knowledge I gained through the MPPA program gave me new tools to help policy makers. I will always be proud to be a gradate of CSU, Sacramento."