HomeCommunity NewsClaremont Graduate University Board Taps Estrada as Chairman

Claremont Graduate University Board Taps Estrada as Chairman

The 27-member board of trustees of Claremont Graduate University has appointed Rudolph Estrada as its new chairman for a four-year term beginning July 1. 

Estrada, an accomplished figure in business and education, succeeds Tim Kirley, who had been selected to serve as the university’s interim president. He makes his home in San Marino and Pacific Grove, California, with his wife Irene.

Estrada has an extensive background in business and academics. He served as CEO of a business and bank consulting firm and recently served as lead director for East West Bank, a $69-billion bank and the largest independent bank headquartered in Southern California.  He was the former district director of the federal agency U.S. Small Business Administration, the largest district in the United States, and served as a professor for the California State University system for more than 40 years. Estrada also was appointed twice by the president of the United States, first as White House Commissioner on small business and then to the commission on White House Fellows. 

He served as vice chairman of the Didi Hirsch Mental Health organization, was part of the executive board of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America in Washington, D.C., and was the former chairman of the Personnel Commission for the Los Angeles County Office of Education, which oversees more than 90 school districts in California. Estrada also served as president of the board of trustees at Sias University, a business management and liberal arts university located in Zhengzhou of the Hunan Province in Beijing, China.  

Estrada earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from California State University, Los Angeles, and the University of Southern California, respectively.  He completed his doctoral coursework at the Claremont Graduate University, Peter Drucker Graduate School of Management.  Peter Drucker, the father of modern management, once said of Estrada, “He [Estrada] has by far been the best student — and one of the very best I’ve had over many years.” 

Estrada served in the Military Intelligence Corps of the U.S. Army and was awarded the Army Commendation Medal in 1969. The National Association of Corporate Directors awarded Estrada the NACD Fellow status, the highest level of credentialing for corporate directors and corporate governance professionals.

Estrada will oversee a significant milestone as board chair.

“Claremont Graduate University will proudly mark its 100-year anniversary next year, a testament to our enduring commitment to excellence in education and research,” President Kirley said.

Estrada acknowledges the challenges faced by small independent private colleges and universities and expresses his unwavering commitment to Claremont’s legacy. He looks forward to upholding the university’s excellent reputation, earned over many decades of nurturing some of America’s finest executives, educators, researchers, and entrepreneurs. His vision and dedication are sure to steer the university through these challenging times, ensuring its continued success.

First published in the May 23 issue of the San Marino Tribune

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