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Chancellor Announcement: Chief Operating Officer Finalists and Public Forums

Update June 13, 2024

Zoom recording links and Feedback Form links have been removed as the deadline for feedback has now passed.

Update June 10, 2024

Zoom recording links have been added.

Updated June 9, 2024

Dr. Stephen Schoonmaker has withdrawn from consideration.  The forums will proceed on Monday, June 10th, following the revised schedule below.


Dear Peralta Community,

I am pleased to announce that the Search Committee has identified finalists for consideration as our next Chief Operating Officer (COO). The finalists are listed in alphabetical order below along with their biographical information.

  • Dr. Omar Gutierrez
  • Mr. Greg Nelson
  • Dr. Leigh Sata

Sincere appreciation goes to the Search Committee representatives from our faculty, classified professionals, and administrators who invested much time and care in this critical search process. Special thanks go to Dr. Denise Richardson, President of Berkeley City College, who chaired the committee.

Participation in Public Forums with Finalists
On June 10, we will hold public forums with the finalists at the District Service Center Boardroom. You are encouraged to contribute to the forum process in three ways:

  1. Recommend Questions: You may recommend questions for the finalists in advance by submitting them online via this form by Thursday, June 6 (submission period has ended).

  2. Attend/Watch: You can attend the forums in person on Monday, June 10, in the District Service Center Boardroom, watch live via Zoom Webinar, or review the recordings.

    1. 11:30 – 12:15  Mr. Greg Nelson
      Zoom Recording: (Viewing deadline has passed)
      Feedback Form: (Feedback deadline has passed)

    2. 12:30 – 1:15  Dr. Omar Gutierrez
      Zoom Recording: (Viewing deadline has passed)
      Feedback Form: (Feedback deadline has passed)

    3. 1:30 – 2:15  Dr. Leigh Sata
      Zoom Recording: (Viewing deadline has passed)
      Feedback Form: (Feedback deadline has passed)

    Forum recordings will be shared via PCCD Announcement by close of business on Monday, June 10, for viewing through midnight, Wednesday, June 12.
  3. Provide Feedback: You may provide finalist feedback through the online forms  (see links above) which will be available June 10-12. I will review internal and external community feedback before making my final decision and recommendation to the Board.

I am pleased with the inclusive process underway to identify our new Chief Operating Officer. Thanks again to all who have and will participate as we complete the next search phase. I aim to announce our final selection by the end of June, with their anticipated start date as soon as possible in our new fiscal year. 

Sincerely yours, 

Dr. Tammeil Gilkerson
Peralta Community College District


Omar Gutierrez Headshot

Dr. Omar Gutierrez

Forum at 12:30pm

Dr. Omar Gutierrez is the current Vice President of Administrative Services at Fresno City College, the largest college within the State Center Community College District. He completed his doctoral degree at CSU, Fresno, where his dissertation focused on the role of management in embedding equity within resource allocation models. He holds a Master's in Accountancy from Golden Gate University, a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management from Fresno Pacific University, and an Associate in Arts Degree in Liberal Arts from College of the Sequoias. His prior work experience includes community college positions at College of the Sequoias and West Hills Community College

District. Dr. Gutierrez has also served K-12 school districts in roles at Fresno Unified School District and the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools. Dr. Gutierrez is a first-generation college goer who strongly believes in education's influential power. In his spare time, Dr. Gutierrez volunteers in educational programs and participates in events involving his children.


Greg Nelson Headshot

Mr. Greg Nelson

Forum at 11:30am

Greg Nelson's extensive experience in higher education is a testament to his versatility and adaptability. His career began with the Technical College System of Georgia at the system office and college level, where he honed his skills in various roles. In 2011, he embraced a new challenge in California, serving as Vice President for Administrative Services at San Jose City College. His diverse experiences led him to the executive team at the College of Marin, where he assumed the role of Assistant Superintendent/Vice President of Administrative Services and has served since 2013. Greg's educational background is equally diverse, with a master’s in business administration with a concentration in public administration and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science & Statistics. He has also earned certifications in government accounting (CGFM) and project management (PMP). As an adjunct faculty member, he continues to broaden his horizons and share his knowledge by teaching project management courses at Sonoma State University and the College of Marin.


Leigh Sata Headshot

Dr. Leigh Sata

Forum at 1:30pm

Dr. Leigh Sata is a seasoned leader with over 35 years of experience working in higher education as an operations executive, program manager, and architect. Currently, he serves as the Vice President of Operations at the California College of Arts. He is a cross-functional leader who approaches each problem with creativity, innovation, and a solutions-based mindset. He prioritizes teamwork and collaboration, recognizing that solutions created collaboratively lead to a more accurate representation of the entire institution, including the community of students, faculty, professional classified staff, administration, and the governing board. His dissertation research focused on sustainability policy in the California Community College system, and his coursework included classes in educational theory, teaching, and social justice. He has two grown children and has served on several community and arts-focused volunteer boards.



Tags: Tammeil Gilkerson, District, Chancellor, Leadership


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