John A. Pérez, Speaker Emeritus of the California Assembly, was appointed to the University of California Board of Regents in November 2014 by Governor Brown. In May 2019, Speaker Pérez’s colleagues on the Board of Regents elected him to serve as Chair.
As Chair, Speaker Pérez is committed to building on the system’s reputation for excellence while improving outcomes for students, applicants, faculty, and employees at all 10 UC campuses.
Speaker Pérez’s commitment to higher education goes back to his days as a student and activist at UC Berkeley, and carried forward into his service in the California Legislature. In 2008, he was elected to the California Assembly, representing downtown Los Angeles and surrounding communities. In 2010, his peers elected him Speaker of the Assembly, making him the first openly LGBTQ person to serve in that position.
As Assembly Speaker, he helped save the state’s finances during the great recession, establishing California’s rainy day fund and eliminating structural budget deficits. Speaker Pérez is the author of landmark legislation creating California’s Middle-Class Scholarship and first-in-the-nation Health Benefits Exchange under the Affordable Care Act.
A long-time advocate for the Latino and LGBTQ communities, Speaker Pérez is also an elected member of the Democratic National Committee.