WestEd Appoints Marsha Hirano-Nakanishi as New Board of Directors Chair
Marsha Hirano-Nakanishi is the newly elected chair of the WestEd Board of Directors. Most recently serving as Assistant Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at the California State University (CSU) System, Hirano-Nakanishi brings 30 years of education leadership to her position. Hirano-Nakanishi begins her one‑year service as board chair on July 19.
“As a long-standing member of the board, I’m looking forward to stepping into this new role,” says Hirano-Nakanishi. “I strongly believe in the need for equitable education, and I look forward to collaborating with the board to support WestEd’s mission of making a positive difference in the education and development of all chldren and adults.”
Hirano-Nakanishi worked in the CSU System for more than 30 years, primarily addressing issues of accountability and supporting higher education initiatives. She also coordinated the development of the Early Assessment of Readiness for College English and Mathematics, a joint project of California public schools and the CSU system to ensure college readiness.
WestEd’s Board of Directors is composed of leaders from public and private education, business, human services communities, and the public. Board members take an active role in agency leadership and strategic planning.
“Dr. Hirano-Nakanishi has been an integral member of the WestEd board for over two decades,” says Glen Harvey, WestEd CEO. “With her extensive experience in the higher education system and her enduring commitment to supporting diverse learners, she consistently brings an insightful, valuable perspective to the board.”
Hirano-Nakanishi is taking over the board leadership role from William A. Thorne, Jr., a retired judge from Utah who served as chair during 2017–18.
In addition to her leadership position on WestEd’s board, Hirano-Nakanishi’s civic activities include serving on the board of Los Angeles City Library Commissioners, the board of Cal Humanities, and the board of the Los Angeles Library Foundation.
Before entering higher education administration, Hirano-Nakanishi was co-editor-in-chief of the Harvard Educational Review and a policy consultant and analyst on issues regarding education finance reform, desegregation, language policy, and K–12 attrition. She has published on diversity in American education, chaired the Asian American Education Commission of the Los Angeles Unified School District, and been a panelist urging the need for the inclusion of diverse perspectives and peoples in the fabric of American life.
Hirano-Nakanishi received a BS in mathematics from Stanford University and an EdD in social policy analysis from Harvard University.
WestEd is a nonpartisan, nonprofit research, development, and service agency that works with education and other communities throughout the United States and abroad to promote excellence, achieve equity, and improve learning for children, youth, and adults. WestEd has more than a dozen offices nationwide, from Washington and Massachusetts to Arizona and California, with headquarters in San Francisco.
Posted on July 17, 2018