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Paula Cordeiro and Irma Cota join Board of Directors of the Conrad Prebys Foundation

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

The Conrad Prebys Foundation is proud to announce the addition of two distinguished members to its Board of Directors – Paula Cordeiro, Dammeyer Distinguished Professor of Global Leadership and Education at the University of San Diego; and Irma Cota, formerly the President & CEO at North County Health Services and a current Board Director for The California Wellness Foundation.


“We are thrilled to welcome Paula and Irma to the Board of Directors,” said Conrad Prebys Foundation President Grant Oliphant. “Their extensive experience and long-term commitment to the San Diego community will be invaluable assets to our foundation and the people we serve.”


Paula Cordeiro is the former dean of the School of Leadership & Education Sciences at the University of San Diego and is now a professor in the Kroc School of Peace Studies there, where she specializes in social innovation and the intersection of peace and justice. She has published extensively in the field, and her work has been recognized with a long list of awards and honors. She serves on numerous regional and national boards, including the Burnham Center for Community Advancement in San Diego.


Irma Cota is a devoted community leader and businessperson. In December 2020, she was elected to serve on The California Wellness Foundation’s Board of Directors and continues to serve on that board. As a 16-year-old farm worker, Ms. Cota began volunteering with the United Farmworker Union’s free clinics, which exposed her to the health disparities and inequities of farmworkers and opened a fulfilling career path and a passion to help others. She served as President & CEO of North County Health Services for over 20 years and has been highly active in the San Diego nonprofit sector. Among her achievements, Cota is most proud of being awarded the 2016 San Diego State University (SDSU) Cesar Chavez Service Award and the 2017 outstanding achievement award from the National Association of Health Centers.


“The Conrad Prebys Foundation has the potential to make a meaningful difference in the lives of so many people,” said Irma Cota. “I am especially delighted to play a role in addressing the disparities in health care and medical research that affect many of our San Diego Communities.”


“San Diego has a deeply dedicated and highly activated non-profit community,” said Paula Cordeiro. “Our role at The Conrad Prebys Foundation is to help support that incredible energy and continue to build the non-profit sector as well as the philanthropic sector in our community. I’m excited to contribute to that work in any way I can.”


“We are extremely fortunate to have Irma and Paula join our board,” said Conrad Prebys Foundation Board Chair Anthony Cortes. “In addition to their long experience in advancing social change, they both have a deep commitment to creating an inclusive and equitable future for all San Diegans. I look forward to working with them to serve San Diego communities for many years to come.”

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