32. Eloy Oakley
Eloy Oakley is the chancellor of California’s community college system, the largest postsecondary system in the United States with 2.1 million students, 73 districts and about 115 colleges. The community college system is hugely important in California, and Oakley, who has been chancellor since 2016, makes no bones about keeping that message in front of the governor and legislators. Apparently, President Biden thinks highly of him, too, because he named Oakley a special adviser to the U.S. Department of Education, a temporary gig. That means Oakley will be out of California for a few months, but he’ll be back at his community college job in the fall. Oakley, who is a member of the UC Board of Regents, earlier served as president and superintendent of the Long Beach Community College District, and before going to Long Beach he was vice president for college services at Oxnard College. An Army veteran, he has a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree from UC Irvine.