Daniel J. LaVista, Ph.D.


Dr. Daniel J. LaVista became Chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) on August 1, 2010.  He was selected in April 2010 by the District’s Board of Trustees to lead the nation’s largest community college district, which is comprised of nine community colleges serving more than 240,000 students annually.

As chancellor, Dr. LaVista’s principal responsibility was to provide the vision, leadership, and strategic direction to ensure that the LACCD achieved the goals set forth by the Board of Trustees.  Included in this responsibility was oversight of the District’s $6 billion bond construction program and its commitment to student achievement.

Dr. LaVista retired from LACCD in June 2013.  Previously he served as executive director of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) from 2004 to 2010. In that position, he provided day-to-day leadership of the state agency that coordinated efforts among the 23 community colleges of the Virginia Community College System (VCCS), along with the state’s 16 public four-year colleges and universities, Virginia private institutions, and out-of-state institutions with educational service operations in Virginia.

Among his other responsibilities with SCHEV, Dr. LaVista directed system-wide strategic planning and policy development for Virginia higher education. He also provided reports and recommendations about education policy issues to Virginia’s Governor and General Assembly.

Prior to his leadership experience in Virginia, Dr. LaVista served as the executive director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE), the state coordinating board for higher education, from 2002-2004.  From 1987-2002, he was president of two Illinois community colleges, McHenry County College and College of Lake County, and served as chancellor for the Community Colleges of Baltimore County System (MD).

Dr. LaVista, a native of upstate New York, earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Siena College (NY).  He went on to receive a master’s degree in English from the University of Dayton (OH) and a Ph.D. in Speech and Dramatic Art from Syracuse University (NY). He also earned a certificate for participation in Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management.

Dr. LaVista and his wife, Rosemary, have two grown children and live in Charleston, South Carolina.