Adela Irene de la Torre


San Diego State University (CA)

Adela de la Torre is the first woman and first Latina to serve as a permanently appointed president of San Diego State University (SDSU) (CA). She joined SDSU in June 2018 after a distinguished career within the California State University system, the University of Arizona, and the University of California, Davis. An accomplished economist, public health researcher, and higher education leader for more than three decades, she is known for her authenticity and collaborative approach to leading by listening and example. Since arriving at SDSU, she has focused on significantly expanding the campus through SDSU Mission Valley; growing the university’s research enterprise; expanding access to SDSU and SDSU Imperial Valley degrees; and launching the university’s new five-year strategic plan. Through her leadership, SDSU has recorded reduced equity gaps for underrepresented minority students and Pell Grant recipients, along with improved student and employee diversity. Her tenure is also marked by improved graduation rates across all student categories. She earned her bachelor’s degree in the political economy of natural resources from the University of California, Berkeley, where she also received her master’s degree and Ph.D. in agricultural and resource economics.