Trustee Bios

President John Knight (Area 3)

John Knight has been on the Los Rios Board since 2014, when he was elected to complete the remaining two years of the term of former Trustee Terry Cochran. Prior to being elected to the Los Rios Board of Trustees, John was a Supervisor for the County of El Dorado. He also served four and a half years on the County Planning Commission and two years as a board member of the El Dorado Hills Fire Department where he served as a lieutenant for 19 years. While serving as a county supervisor, John participated in at least 15 boards and commissions which included First 5 El Dorado, El Dorado County Transit Board, El Dorado County Transportation Commission, Sacramento Area Council of Government (SACOG), Sacramento Area Trade Organization (SACTO), Joint Powers Authority for the Capital South East Corridor, El Dorado Water & Power Agency, and the oversight committee for the dissolution of South Lake Tahoe and Placerville redevelopment agencies.

John's involvement in the El Dorado County community spans more than 25 years. Some of the organizations he has been involved with include the El Dorado Hills Rotary (he has twice served as president), the El Dorado Hills Chamber (past president), the American Red Cross, Habit for Humanity (twice past president), and the Folsom Chamber of Commerce.

This involvement has given John a broad and deep knowledge and understanding of El Dorado County, Folsom, and Gold River, including the dynamics of population, resources, needs, and issues. It has also given him substantial experience in governance, policy, budgets, personnel negotiations, and operations. This experience comes with time and multiple opportunities that have prepared him to be an effective Los Rios Trustee.

John believes the Los Rios Community College District is and will continue to lead the region into the future. He has a strong interest in issues relating to workforce development, career education, and the transferring of students from Los Rios to one of California's 4-year universities.

He is a graduate of Cal-State Long Beach with a B.S. in finance and minor in economics. He attended Pasadena City College and took post-graduate classes in real estate at UCLA. John has spent over forty years in commercial real estate, which includes working for a mining company, a number of commercial banks in various senior management capacities and commercial real estate companies.

John’s wife, Georgianne, is a board trustee of the El Dorado County Office of Education. They have two adult children – a daughter, Joy, who attended Sacramento City College and graduated from Cal-State Sacramento and a son, Cliff, who attended Folsom Lake College and graduated from San Diego State.

On the Los Rios Board, he represents Area 3 residents of the city of Folsom and most of El Dorado County.

Serves through 2020

Vice President Robert Jones (Area 2)

Robert Jones is Vice President Emeritus, California State University, Sacramento. His life-long commitment to California public higher education includes teaching American Government at San Mateo, Lassen and Shasta Community Colleges; Executive Dean at Cal State Dominguez Hills; Professor of Political Science and Assistant Dean of Students at CSU Chico; Director of Public Service for the University of California; and staff to California's Assembly Committee on Education. He has also served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Community College League of California. He completed undergraduate, graduate and advanced studies at UC Santa Barbara, Universidad Nacional de Mexico, San Francisco State University, Harvard and Contra Costa Community College. He has held professional positions with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, The Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee, Peace Corps, US Office of Economic Opportunity and the International Association of University Presidents for which he was Treasurer. In the Sacramento Region he has been a trustee for the Sacramento Valley Conservancy and a member of the Capital Public Radio governing board. As a Los Rios Trustee he brings a collaborative and results oriented perspective to his responsibilities which have included President of the Board and currently a member of the Los Rios Foundation. He has a strong interest in workforce development, career education and the seamless transfer of community college students to California's colleges and universities.

Serves through 2022

Trustee Pamela Haynes (Area 5)

Pamela Haynes was first appointed to the Board in 1999 and first elected in 2000. She also serves on the Los Rios Foundation Board. She has a background in K-12 and higher education policy and economic and community development. She has consulted and provided program evaluation, technical and strategic planning assistance to non-profit and community-based organizations, foundations and labor unions. A Santa Monica City College transfer student, she has a bachelor's degree from UCLA and a master's degree in Public Administration from Harvard University. She represents Area 5 residents of South Land Park, Land Park, Curtis Park, Oak Park, College Park, Hollywood Park, Lawrence Park, Tahoe Park, Colonial Heights, Med Center, Freeport Manor, Valley Hi, Parkway, Woodbine, Golf Course Terrace, City Farms, Meadowview, Greenhaven and the Pocket areas of Sacramento.

Serves through 2020

Trustee Dustin Johnson (Area 1)

Dustin Johnson is a criminal defense attorney who was first appointed to the Board in 2009 and first elected in 2010. He served as president in 2015. He attended American River College - during which he served as Student Trustee - and he received his bachelor's degree from Sacramento State and his law degree from McGeorge School of Law. He represents Area 1 residents of the northwest part of Sacramento County, including the communities of Del Paso Heights, Natomas, North Highlands and Rio Linda.

Serves through 2022

Trustee Tami Nelson (Area 7)

Tami Nelson is an alternative education high school teacher and long-time teacher in the Elk Grove Unified School District. She previously taught English, yearbook and AVID at traditional schools, and has been involved in education for many years, earning multiple teaching credentials and earning an Administrative Services credential. As well, she completed a Community College Faculty Certificate program and the Excellence in Trusteeship program. Immigrating to the United States at a young age, she learned English as a second language and is the first in her family to attend college. Her first experience with community college was through dual enrollment, when she took community college classes while in high school. She represents Area 7 residents of Elk Grove, Florin, Sloughhouse, Jackson Road, and part of Rancho Cordova.

Serves through 2020

Trustee Deborah Ortiz (Area 6)

Deborah Ortiz is a native Sacramentan and health care consultant on primary care and community clinics who was first elected to the Board in 2010. She has served in many elected positions, including as a member of the Sacramento City Council, the California state Assembly and the California state Senate. She represents Area 6 residents of downtown and midtown Sacramento, East Sacramento, River Park, Campus Commons and parts of Carmichael and Rancho Cordova.

Serves through 2022

Trustee Ruth Scribner (Area 4)

Ruth Scribner was first elected to the Board in 1996 and is a librarian and resource teacher at Franklin High School. She has served as Board president four times. She represents Area 4 residents of Laguna, Valley Hi, Pocket, Clarksburg, West Sacramento and Davis.

Serves through 2020

Student Trustee Danny Thirakul

Danny Thirakul is the 42nd student trustee in Los Rios’ history. The 21-year-old is currently studying Economics at Sacramento City College (SCC). After working for two weeks after high school in a job he describes as a “dead end,” Thirakul followed his brother and sister to SCC and Los Rios in search of a path to a rewarding and fulfilling career. He hopes to transfer to the University of California system next year, but as a strong proponent of community colleges, he intends to continue taking community colleges courses even after he completes his transfer.

After graduation, Thirakul plans to pursue a career in public service, perhaps even running for elected office. He is particularly interested in advocacy around the issues of workforce development, education, and housing.