A letter from Victor:
I am running for City College Board of Trustees because I began my academic career at a community college and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without that opportunity. This is a critical time for City College, and I will apply my experience as an educator and former senior university administrator to make a lasting impact on this pillar of our community and make City College of San Francisco stronger than ever for the next generation of students.
My experience as an educator, Chief of Staff to the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor, and City Commissioner has prepared me to help guide City College into a new era. City College is just now coming out of the accreditation crisis and we have many things to prioritize beyond fostering enrollment. What we do next will have a lasting impact for the students we serve today and well into the future.
I began my academic career at a community college before transferring to a four-year university and earning a BA in Political Science. Since then, I served in the US Army as a Military Intelligence Officer, earned a PhD in Political Science, held a Fellowship at one of the most prestigious universities in the world, taught various courses at the university level, and went on to help run one of the most diverse major research universities, right here in California.
I have experienced the power of education and now I hope to work with other Trustees to ensure good governance for City College of San Francisco so others can have the same opportunity. My vision for the college is simple: establish a foundation of fiscal discipline, expand enrollment by focusing on the jobs of the future, and leverage local strengths through partnerships with community institutions.
The most critical function of City College in the coming years is to make sure every student has a path forward for academic and career success—that is the core of the kind leadership I will provide. I believe that I am uniquely qualified to serve as a City College Trustee, and with your support and your vote, I can help build a stronger City College of San Francisco for our students, faculty, staff, and community.
Thank you for your support,
Victor Olivieri, PhD
Victor Olivieri, PhD
Victor is a nonprofit Director and a City Commissioner, a former university administrator and an educator with a PhD in Political Science, a US Army veteran, and a proud product of community college. He is a Delegate to the California Democratic Party and an advocate for progressive values and transparency on the Resolutions Committee. Locally, he serves on the Geary Community Advisory Committee, as Trustee of a nonprofit arts company, and on the Board of Directors of the most active and fastest growing democratic club in San Francisco.
Today, Victor helps veterans access education and employment in the technology sector, and is a member of the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Commission. He was part of the senior leadership team at UC Riverside, overseeing 9 major academic colleges, over 900 faculty, nearly 200 degree programs, and over 22,000 students. Victor is uniquely qualified to serve on the Board of Trustees and he is ready to help improve student success, support our community, and embrace innovation at City College of San Francisco.
Victor was born and raised in Spain as a U.S. citizen born abroad. He immigrated to the U.S. when he was 12-years-old, speaking only Spanish. He struggled to adjust and as his family struggled to make ends meet. By the time Victor graduated high school, he was working multiple jobs while his family was on food stamps and a four-year university was out of reach, and his only chance for higher education was to compete in track in his local community college on a partial scholarship. Victor persevered through tough economic, cultural, and academic challenges, eventually becoming the first in his family to graduate college, going on to earn a Master’s Degree, and ultimately a PhD.
When running track wasn’t enough to pay for college, Victor became an EMT and continued to work several part-time jobs to make ends meet. Learning that he needed a four-year degree, he left track behind to focus on his education, and joined the National Guard to help cover his tuition. After transferring to Arizona State University with the help of the National Guard, GI Bill, a need-based grants, and three part-time jobs, Victor was finally on the path to a four-year degree.
When the U.S. was attacked on September 11, 2001, Victor’s unit in the National Guard was put on alert, and that is when he decided to devote his life to public service. After graduating two years later with a Political Science degree and certificate in International Relations, Victor joined US Army active duty and excelled, becoming a Military Intelligence Officer and being selected to advanced training opportunities and Ranger School. When an airborne training accident left Victor temporarily paralyzed from the waist down, he went through months of painful physical therapy, traction, epidural shots, and what seemed like endless treatments to walk and eventually run again.
That’s when Victor went back to where it all started: pursuing an education. Along the road to recovery and after serving as a Platoon Leader, Victor was accepted into the University of Louisville and started graduate school with a full-ride graduate assistantship. Going to physical training and therapy at 6:30am, working a full day on post as an Operations Officer from 9am-5pm, and attending graduate classes from 5:30-8:30pm, Victor completed his initial term of service and was able to graduate in under two years with a Master’s Degree in Political Science.
Victor continued to excel in higher education, with a full-ride graduate assistantship at University of Florida where he earned a PhD in Political Science and took on new leadership positions, guiding the next generation of students as Founder and Director of the Junior Fellows Program, and as a Graduate Assistant in the Department of Political Science. Victor helped undergraduate students gain meaningful research experiences, insight into the profession of political science, and the ability to work closely with faculty members on advanced research. Victor also earned a Fellowship at University of Edinburgh, where he designed and conducted cutting-edge research on the relationships between national identity, physiology, and social behavior. Victor taught International Relations and Comparative Politics upon returning to the US and before moving to California to become an university administrator.
As the Chief of Staff to the Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor at the University of California at Riverside, Victor was a member of the senior leadership team and integral to supporting the academic mission of one of the most diverse major research universities in the nation. Victor will bring this experience to City College, focusing on how to make City College of San Francisco stronger for the future.
Now, with over a decade of experience in higher education, Victor serves as Director of Development and Community Outreach for VetsinTech, a nonprofit supporting current and returning veterans with access to education, employment, and entrepreneurship in the technology sector in the Bay Area and nationwide. He also serves on the Veterans Affairs Commission for the City and County of San Francisco, helping connect local veterans to services and support, and making recommendations to the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor regarding the problems, interests and needs of veterans.
Victor has bold plans to improve student success, support our community, and embrace innovation. Learn more about Victor’s plans here, and please consider contributing to his campaign to help Victor connect with voters and share his ideas for City College of San Francisco.
Background & Accomplishments
Immigrated to the United States as a U.S. citizen born abroad when he was 12-years-old, speaking only Spanish.
First in his family to graduate college, attending Pima Community College and then Arizona State University to earn a Bachelor’s Degrees in Political Science and in Spanish Language and Literature.
Earned a Master’s Degree in Political Science from University of Louisville and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Florida.
Certified Emergency Medical Technician, trained at Pima Community College.
Pell Grant Recipient, joined Army National Guard to help pay for college and was put on alert when the U.S. was attached on September 11, 2001.
Fluent in English and Spanish, and with conversational ability in French, Italian, and Arabic.
Graduated top of class in Basic Training, Advanced Individual Training, Officer Candidate School, Advanced Officer Basic Course, Scout Leaders Course, and Airborne School; selected for Ranger School.
Platoon Leader responsible for 19 soldiers and $18 million worth of equipment.
Operations Officer for post-level policies affecting thousands of soldiers and their families.
Received various commendations throughout service and an honorable discharge after the completion of first term of service.
While earning a PhD, elected Student Government Senator, President of Political Science Graduate Student Council, and served as an Editorial Committee Member for the Council for European Studies at Columbia University.
Completed PhD with dissertation project focused on identity politics and its effects on political behavior.
Founder and Director of the Junior Fellows Program at the University of Florida, a leadership development program that gained full adoption by the university; received a mentoring award for establishing and running the program for two years.
As a Graduate Teaching Assistant and Lecturer at the University of Florida, received instructor evaluations that were consistently higher than the average departmental and college ratings.
Published author with a book chapter, peer-reviewed article, and several conference papers.
Received numerous grants, scholarships, and awards, including a Fellowship at the University of Edinburgh to conduct cutting-edge research.
Developed, coordinated, and helped ensure the success of special projects and strategic initiatives that affected thousands of students at UC Riverside.
Supported the academic mission of UC Riverside by coordinating with teams throughout the university, serving as a conduit to the Provost for school units, project partners, and key stakeholders.
Helped formulate UC Riverside’s internal and external strategic communications.
City Commissioner and Secretary – Veterans Affairs Commission
Delegate and Resolutions Committee Member – California Democratic Party
Board of Trustees – Smuin Contemporary Ballet
Geary Community Advisory Council – SFMTA
Board Member – United Democratic Club
- Member – Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club
Member – City Democratic Club
- Member – Eastern Neighborhoods Democratic Club
Member – Marines Memorial Club
- Member – Sierra Club, San Francisco Bay Chapter
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Local leaders we trust have endorsed Victor Olivieri, PhD:
- GAVIN NEWSOM Lieutenant Governor of California*
- NANCY PELOSI Congresswoman (CA-12), House Democratic Leader*
- BETTY YEE California State Controller*
- TOM TORLAKSON State Superintendent of Public Instruction*
- FIONA MA, CPA Vice Chair, Board of Equalization*
- SCOTT WIENER Senator, 11th District, California State Senate*
- DAVID CHIU Assemblymember, 17th District, California State Assembly*
- LONDON BREED Mayor of San Francisco*
- MARK FARRELL Former Mayor of San Francisco*
- CARMEN CHU San Francisco Assessor-Recorder*
- JEFF ADACHI San Francisco Public Defender*
- VICKI HENNESSY Sheriff of San Francisco*
- DAVID CAMPOS Chair, San Francisco Democratic Party*
- MALIA COHEN President, San Francisco Board of Supervisors, District 10*
- CATHERINE STEFANI District 2 Supervisor, San Francisco Board of Supervisors*
- VALLIE BROWN District 5 Supervisor, San Francisco Board of Supervisors*
- HILLARY RONEN District 9 Supervisor, San Francisco Board of Supervisors*
- ALEX RANDOLPH City College Trustee*
- SHANELL WILLIAMS City College Trustee*
- TOM TEMPRANO City College Trustee*
- SHAMANN WALTON Member and Former President, San Francisco Board of Education*
- MATT HANEY Member, San Francisco Board of Education*
- RACHEL NORTON Member, San Francisco Board of Education*
- KEITH BARAKA Firefighter, Second Vice-Chair of the San Francisco Democratic Party*
- LESLIE KATZ Former San Francisco Supervisor and Former City College Trustee*
- ANDREA SHORTER Former City College Trustee* and Comissioner, Commission on the Status of Women*
- LAWRENCE WONG Former City College Trustee and Former Commissioner, Human Rights Commission*
- AMY BACHARACH Former City College Trustee*
- STEVE NGO Former City College Trustee*
- TIM WOLFRED Former City College Trustee*
- HALA HIJAZI Commissioner, Human Rights Commission*
- KEN CLEAVELAND President, SF Fire Commission*
- NIMA RAHIMI Commissioner, Immigrant Rights Commission*
- ZAK FRANET Commissioner, Youth Commission*
- LEIF DAUTCH President, San Francisco Juvenile Probation Commission* and Deputy Attorney General, Office of the Attorney General*
- DWANE KENNEDY President, Veterans Affairs Commission*
- PAUL COX Chair, American Legion War Memorial Commission*
- And many more....