President Judy K. Sakaki announced that Dr. Mario A. Perez, associate vice president of advancement at California State University, Los Angeles, will become the new vice president for advancement at Sonoma State University, effective Feb. 10, 2020.
Perez comes to Sonoma State with more than 25 years of experience in the higher education and corporate sectors including six years serving on Cal State L.A.’s development leadership team. Since assuming the role of associate vice president of advancement in 2014, Perez has played an integral role in the planning and launching of the university’s first comprehensive campaign, which has raised more than $61 million to date.
“Dr. Perez brings to us extensive development experience and expertise from both inside and outside the CSU system,” said Sakaki. “We are excited to have him join our team and community.”
Under Perez’s leadership, Cal State LA has received the two largest gifts in school history, which involved the naming of the Xu College of Health and Human Services and the Chin School of Nursing. Prior to arriving at Cal State LA, he served as senior director of development at University of La Verne and, before that, director of development, corporate relations. His service in the public sector included holding the position of assistant director of public relations for the Oakland Raiders during the 1990s.
Perez holds a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations and a Doctor of Education in organizational leadership and management from the University of La Verne. He has held a variety of board positions including with the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the NFL Alumni Association. He currently serves on the President’s Leadership Team at Cal State LA.
“I’m very excited about joining the Sonoma State team and helping the university achieve its goals on behalf of the students they serve,” said Perez. “The thoughtful and visionary leadership of President Sakaki coupled with a strong cabinet has positioned Sonoma State to hold true to the mission while broadening fundraising opportunities. During my visit, I was impressed with the passion I observed among the staff, faculty, students and alumni, and I look forward to sharing that Seawolf Spirit and helping the university grow in new ways.”