Mario Peraza Appointed to Lead Alumni Engagement Efforts

In this joint appointment between the Institute and the Caltech Alumni Association (CAA), an independent 501c3 organization, Peraza will lead efforts to nurture relationships with 25,000 Techers worldwide. He will oversee Caltech’s alumni relations program within the Department of Advancement and Alumni Relations (AAR) and work closely with the CAA’s board of directors to deliver meaningful programming, services, benefits, and support to alumni globally.

“Caltech’s continued growth and global impact are tied closely to the support of its exceptional alumni, who engage as mentors to students and advocates for the Institute,” says CAA Board Chair Jennifer Lee (PhD ’10). “As we continue to strengthen and grow the alumni experience, I am confident that Mario’s deep knowledge and “can-do” approach—one that he shares with our alumni—will greatly benefit both the Institute and the Techer community.”

Peraza possesses more than 20 years of experience in higher education, most recently at University of San Francisco where he served as associate vice president, campaign and engagement, managing alumni engagement, special events, development communications, and campaign planning. Before that role, he led alumni relations at University of California San Francisco for nearly a decade.

“As an expert in the field, Mario’s experience will be a catalyst for our program in support of our diverse, global alumni community,” says Dexter A. Bailey, vice president for advancement and alumni relations. “Our goal is to deliver high-quality, dynamic, multifaceted programs and services of value for our alumni.”

Peraza — who regularly presents on alumni relations topics and creates continuing education coursework—was recently placed on the Fulbright Specialist Roster through a competitive selection process. Candidates on the roster of this US Department of State program are matched with host institutions for brief, 2–6 week projects to share their knowledge and build capacity at their overseas host institutions. These projects can also be edifying to the specialists, who bring home new perspectives and insights.

“Caltech’s alumni have made invaluable contributions that have advanced our understanding of the world around us and have amplified the impact of the Institute globally,” Peraza says. “I am thrilled to partner with the Caltech Alumni Association and colleagues in Advancement and Alumni Relations to grow and sustain the cherished bonds between graduates and their alma mater. Our focus will be to foster an engaged alumni community that remains tied to campus where their lifelong journey of curiosity began.”

Peraza earned a BS in chemistry from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Education in higher education administration from University of Maryland, College Park. He began his career in higher education as a residence hall director at The Ohio State University followed by a position as director of the LGBT Resource Center and Coordinator for Student Involvement at George Washington University before becoming director of Alumni Volunteer Programs at University of Maryland, College Park.

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