Member Spotlight: Thomas A. Parham, California State University, Dominguez Hills

Thomas A. Parham, Ph.D., is a family man who resides in the Southern California area with his wife, Davida. Dr. Parham is the 11th president of California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), a highly diverse, metropolitan university primarily serving the South Central and South Bay areas of Los Angeles County. Established in 1960, CSUDH, an institution anchored in the roots of social justice, is one of the 23 campuses that comprise the California State University system, the largest system of public higher education in the nation.

The partnership between CSUDH and LAEDC is about bringing cutting-edge knowledge and education to the community. We are proud to be partners working to frame the discourse on issues impacting our region, state, and country. Dr. Parham regularly speaks about the campus’s work in transforming the lives that transform America. By serving a diverse population, when measured by race, gender, and socioeconomic class, we are playing an integral part in helping the region meet its needs for a diverse and competent workforce.

A psychologist by training, with a strong background as an academician, clinician, and scholar, President Parham distinguishes between what he does for a living and who he is at the core of his being. What he does is serve as president of CSUDH and all that that entails; who he is is a healer who seeks to be a healing presence in the lives of those people he touches through his array of activities: university policymaking, speaking engagements, journals, and simply talking one-on-one.

Among the pride points for the CSUDH institutionally is our president’s message about not judging our academic worth by our selectivity ratios alone, like so many other institutions do. Rather, he takes pride in the lives the institution can transform and the elevated trajectories of students’ and their families’ lives. One indication of our success in this area is the CollegeNET Social Mobility Index, which ranks CSUDH first in the nation on an index based on early career salary, affordability, and outcomes for students who came from low-income backgrounds. Making that kind of difference in students’ lives is how we measure our success as an institution.

The LAEDC is grateful to have President Parham and CSUDH as LAEDC members!

Membership with the LAEDC directly supports our mission. It allows you to partner with like-minded organizations and an expert team of economic development professionals and economists to promote innovation around economic and workforce development, small business assistance, and Los Angeles’ leading and emerging industry clusters.

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