Campaign for College Opportunity President, Michele Siqueiros, Receives 2024 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award

March 8th, 2024

(California) – Michele Siqueiros, president of the Campaign for College Opportunity, is a recipient of the 2024 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award, which includes a $350,000 grant to support the Campaign’s work expanding college access and completion for Latinx, Black, Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (NHPI), and American Indian/Alaskan Native (AIAN) California students through its advocacy, research, and coalition building efforts. The James Irvine Foundation Leadership Awards recognize innovative and exemplary leaders whose solutions to critical challenges in the state demonstrably improve lives, create opportunity, and contribute to a better California.

Under Siqueiros’ 20-year tenure with the Campaign, the organization has advocated for policies and initiatives resulting in clear improvements to California’s higher education landscape, contributing to a diverse, educated workforce that sustains the state’s position as the fifth largest economy in the world and a leader in advancing racial/ethnic equity. The Campaign has secured over $6.5 billion in state dollars for higher education investments, produced over 90 publications examining and offering solutions to long-standing, entrenched inequities faced by students, and supported policies and legislation strengthening college access and success. These include a straightforward transfer pathway from community colleges to universities benefiting over 500,000 students, the end of discriminatory remedial course placement practices at community colleges, the elimination of standardized testing in university admissions, the strengthening of financial aid, particularly for undocumented students, and more.

“We worked together to make it easier for community college students to transfer to four-year universities and earn their bachelor’s degrees,” said U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla of California. “It was revolutionary at the time and all the credit goes to the Campaign for all the work they did to make it possible.”

“I am deeply honored to receive this recognition from The James Irvine Foundation, and proud to be numbered among such a stellar array of other leaders working to make our state better for every Californian,” said Siqueiros. “This funding, along with the Foundation’s recognition and support, will go a long way in furthering our efforts to advance racial/ethnic equity and ensure an equal opportunity to higher education for a strong economy and democracy, especially for Latinx, Black, Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (NHPI), and American Indian/Alaskan Native (AIAN) California students. With the current political environment fostering increasing pushback on every advancement made to support these students, our work remains vital in not only preserving these achievements but in continuing to expand them.”

For more on Campaign for College Opportunity President Michele Siqueiros’ 2024 James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award, click here. To view a video profile of President Siqueiros’ and the Campaign’s impact, click here.


About The Campaign for College Opportunity:

The Campaign for College Opportunity is a California bipartisan policy and research non-profit organization focused on a single mission: to ensure all Californians have an equal opportunity to attend and succeed in college in order to build a vibrant workforce, economy and democracy. For more information, visit / or follow @CollegeOpp.

About The James Irvine Foundation

The James Irvine Foundation is a private, nonprofit grantmaking foundation dedicated to expanding opportunity for the people of California. The Foundation’s focus is a California where all low-income workers have the power to advance economically. Since 1937 the Foundation has provided more than $2.6 billion in grants to organizations throughout California. The Foundation ended 2023 with $3.1 billion in assets and provided $180.3 million in grants. For more, please visit