OUR TEAM

 

William M. Vega, Ed.D.

Chairman of the Board

An educator for more than 40 years, Dr. Vega currently serves as the Distinguished Faculty in Residence at California State University, Long Beach, in the College of Education’s Ed.D. program in Educational Leadership. He has held positions in several California community colleges, and retired as Chancellor Emeritus of the Coast Community College District in 2004. He also has experience with the University of Maryland in Europe and in 2007 completed a three-year assignment as Director (President) of Dubai Men’s College in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Dr. Vega received his doctorate in higher and post-secondary education from the University of Southern California. He also holds an MA in economics and business from Appalachian State University in North Carolina and a BS degree in management from Indiana University.

SENATOR RICHARD POLANCO (RET), FORMER SENATE MAJORITY LEADER,

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS

Elected in 1986, Richard Polanco served in the State Assembly for 8 years and served as the Assistant Speaker Pro-Tem. He has served on the Los Angeles County Supervisor Ed Edelman, Assemblyman Richard Alatorre and Governor Jerry Brown. He was elected to State Senate and served as Senate Majority leader (1998 to 2002). Polanco works with the Latino Legislative Caucus and chaired from 1990 to 2002. He founded the California Legislative Latino Caucus Institute for Public Policy, the Chrysler/CLCI Elected Officials Training Academy, and the Polanco Fellow Program. He served as a member of the California Public Utilities Commission Low Income Oversight Board, California Delta Dental Board of Directors, Board of Directors at Meruelo Maddux Properties Inc., as Chairman of Latino Caucus Institute for Public Policy, and as Advisor to Slyvatex Inc. Senator Polanco provides consulting services to many government agencies, non-profits, and companies.

ABDI LAJEVARDI

CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

Abdi began his career in education in 1985 as Regional Executive Director of Associate Technical College in California, after which he co-founded the International Education Corporation (IEC). Lajevardi has had a significant impact on a number of institutions and has served as the President of the United Education Institution, COO of Fairmont Private Schools and as the Chair of the Distance Education sub-committee of the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET). Since co-founding Pro Education Group, Mr. Lajevardi has provided key staffing and consulting services to numerous academic institutions.

Martin C. Yousef

Ed.D. CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Dr. Yousef has devoted his professional life to students and has spent his career promoting transformation and change. He is part of a very small group of corporate senior executives in higher education with significant combined experience in the 3 key inter-related areas of academic, operations, and business. Dr. Yousef has spent significant time successfully building and fostering winning cultures with focus on values, inclusion, participation, and self-accountability.

With a highly diverse professional and academic background, Dr. Yousef has a wide array of experiences. His 15-year career thus far has spanned a wide array of leadership roles including Vice President of Admissions/Marketing, Provost, College President, and Chief Operations Officer. Dr. Yousef also has an extensive teaching background and has served on several dissertation committees. In such roles, Dr. Yousef has led the development of an array of systems to effectively deliver content to both online and traditional educational systems. While developing such systems, his focus and motivation has always been on creating effective environments for the success of the students.

Dr. Yousef has remained active in the research arena and continues to be interested in such topics as online education, adult learners, generational learning modalities, and curriculum design. Dr. Yousef has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from California State University, Master’s of Science in Cell Biology from University of the Pacific, and a Doctorate in Organization/Education Leadership from University of La Verne. Dr. Yousef is currently serving on several educational boards and continues to remain an active professor and speaker.

Ali Ebrahimipour

CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER

Mr. Ebrahimipour’s experience is extensive. He has worked as a test engineer focusing on electronic command signal programming, as a mainframe script writer for JES , JCL,MVS operating systems, and as a managing director of high end computer systems for the European market. His past experiences also include Vice President, CTO ,and CIO roles.

Mr. Ebrahimipour also has an extensive teaching background and enjoys study Western and Eastern philosophy and history.

TAMI ERICKSON, PH.D.

VICE PRESIDENT OF COMPLIANCE

Dr. Erickson has more than 16 years of experience in higher education and compliance. Past positions include: Executive Director of Education and Compliance, Regulatory Operations Consultant, Director of Compliance, Registrar and Adjunct Faculty member. Dr. Erickson has experience in academics, admissions, student services, student retention, teaching and compliance. She has been involved in a variety of Advisory Boards, Texas Historical Associations, accrediting agencies, and has built relationships with many state agencies. Dr. Erickson holds a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies from Our Lady of the Lake in San Antonio, Texas. She holds a Master’s in Public Administration, a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and in Criminal Justice from California State University San Bernardino.

Raghu P. Mathur, Ed. D.

Executive Vice President, Academics

American Summer Academy

Dr. Mathur has a long history in education administration. He was appointed Chancellor of the South Orange County Community College District in February 2002. A position he held until his retirement in 2011.

Chancellor Mathur dedicated his professional career to the South Orange County Community College District since he began his service there as an adjunct professor of Chemistry in 1976. He spent more than two decades on the faculty of Irvine Valley College as a chemistry professor, Chair of the school of physical sciences and technologies, and Academic Senate President, Vice President, and Clerk, before ultimately becoming the college president in 1997.

As Chancellor, Dr. Mathur led the launch of a third campus, the Advanced Technology & Education Park (ATEP) in Tustin, CA, and guided the District through construction and renovation initiatives at the highest level in district history since the first building construction phase of Saddleback College over 40 years ago.

Chancellor Mathur earned an associate's degree from Intermediate College in Banaras, India with triple majors in physics, chemistry and math, and a bachelor's degree with Honors from Banaras University with triple majors in chemistry, geology, and geography. He earned a master's degree in chemistry from California State University, Fresno and a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration and Leadership from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. He attended a Management Institute at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA and was invited to present a lecture on Leadership in Higher Education at Oxford University, London, U.K.

Uwe Gemba

Headmaster

American Summer Academy

Uwe Gemba is an experienced educator with work practice on three continents: Europe, Asia and the United States.

Having held various teaching and leadership roles, Mr. Gemba is a highly diverse educator. His experience includes teaching business management and ESL, SVP of Business Development, and Headmaster. His expertise is in education, HR development, marketing, and school administration.

Mr. Gemba has also served as a consultant to develop and to build Educational Systems for a Global Community. In 2006, he co-founded Eucasia Schools Worldwide, Inc. and served as CEO & President till 2009. Before coming to the US, Uwe Gemba served as a German Official with diplomatic rank in the Philippines, where he was heading the German School while building the EUROCAMPUS in collaboration with multiple European schools under one roof in Asia from 1993 to 1999.

Uwe is an American citizen since 2003. In 1979, Uwe earned two master degrees in Education: Sports Sciences with emphasis on Sports Medicine and Psychology and Romanic Languages at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany.