Sandra Chen Lau, a museum executive and nonprofit consultant, has announced she will run for a seat on the Pasadena City College Board of Trustees’ Area 1 in the June 5 election.
The Pasadena resident works as associate vice president of development for the Japanese American National Museum and runs consulting firm Trans-Adaptive Philanthropy, which serves nonprofit organizations such as the San Marino School Foundation and Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles.
She also sits on the board of directors for the Pasadena City College Foundation and on the school’s Pacific Islander Advisory Council.
In a March 8 statement, Chen Lau recognized PCC’s recent challenges, including the July 2017 resignation of Supt.-President Rajen Vurdien and a two-year probation imposed on the campus in 2015 for noncompliance with requirements and standards set forth by the Accrediting Commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.
“As a trustee, my goals will be simple: work to rebuild campus morale and stability, focus on success for all students, including returning veterans, and build for the future within a strong framework of fiscal responsibility,” she said.
Chen Lau’s background includes running development campaigns at UCLA and USC as well as serving on the city of Pasadena’s Northwest Commission.
A graduate of UC Riverside, who earned a master’s degree in urban planning from UCLA, she credits her time at Whittier’s Rio Hondo Community College for exposing her to the transformative power of community college.
“I’m an example of a student whose life was turned around by community college, and I want future students (including my own two kids) to have the same opportunities I had — or better,” she said.