Board Member Profiles

Board Member Profiles

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Patrick Ahrens headshot Ahrens was elected to the Board of Trustees in November 2018. He is a Cupertino resident and Silicon Valley native who has advocated to expand access and affordability for community college students as an education policy advisor and district director for Assembly member Evan Low in California Assembly District 28. An active community volunteer, he served on the board of directors of the Foothill-De Anza Foundation prior to his election. Ahrens became deeply interested in higher education policy as a student at De Anza College when he was elected to serve as student trustee on the Foothill-De Anza Community College District's governing board. He holds an associate degree from De Anza College, a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of California, Los Angeles, and is currently a candidate for a master of public administration degree from San Jose State University. After graduating from UCLA, he worked in Washington, D.C., for U.S. Rep. Janice Hahn of California. His term on the board expires in 2022. Contact Ahrens at or through the Chancellor's Office at (650) 949-6100.


CasasFrier: Laura Casas Frier Casas was elected to the Board of Trustees without opposition in 2007 after being appointed to the board in 2005, and was re-elected in 2012. She holds a law degree from Santa Clara University, and a bachelor's degree in political science from California State University, Northridge. Active at the state and local levels, Casas was elected by her peers in 2011 to the statewide Trustees Board of the Community College League of California, and is past chair of the League's Advisory Committee on Legislation. She is a graduate of the HOPE Leadership Institute operated by Hispanas Organized for Political Equality, and serves on the boards of Children Now, a national organization that makes children a public policy priority, and ALearn, a grassroots organization dedicated to underrepresented students' success in college. For the past decade she's mentored students through Puente, an academic preparation program focused on college success. Her past activities include the Foothill-De Anza Foundation Board of Directors, Santa Clara County's 6th District PTA, and the Santa Clara County League of Women Voters' Education Committee. She co-founded a transitional home for domestic violence victims in Los Angeles and has worked as a claims representative for an international commercial liability carrier. Her term expires in 2020. Contact Casas at or through the Chancellor's Office at (650) 949-6100. 

PEARL CHENG, President

Cheng: Pearl Cheng Cheng was appointed in 2008 to fill a vacancy on the Board of Trustees and was elected without opposition in 2009 and re-elected in 2014. Cheng is a resident of Cupertino who served for eight years on the Cupertino Union School District Board of Education and held leadership positions with the the Santa Clara County School Boards Association. She has served on the De Anza Commission, an auxiliary of the Foothill-De Anza Foundation that represents De Anza College in the community. She worked for many years at the NASA Ames Research Center, most recently as associate director for management operations in information sciences and technology. Following her high-tech experience, she worked for a decade in non-profits serving as the education manager at United Way Silicon Valley developing literacy, intervention and parent education programs in east San Jose. In March 2016, she was an invited participant at the College Promise Initiative planning meeting at the White House. She holds a master's degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University and a bachelor's in engineering from the University of Iowa. Her term expires in 2022. Contact Cheng at or through the Chancellor's Office at (650) 949-6100. 


Peter Landsberger photo Landsberger was elected to the Board of Trustees in November 2016. He has lived in Los Altos since 1978, the year he was named the Foothill-De Anza Community College District’s first general counsel. He subsequently served as district vice chancellor before becoming an instructor and then dean of business and computer science at De Anza College. Now retired, his 30-year career in community colleges includes service as president of the College of San Mateo, senior vice chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District, and interim chancellor of the Los Angeles district. He acted as special trustee of the Compton Community College District for four years after Compton College lost its accreditation, appointed by the chancellor of the California Community Colleges. He has served on the board of the Foothill-De Anza Foundation and continues as a longtime board member of UNITE–LA, a nonprofit affiliate of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce that promotes collaborations for developing highly effective schools, promoting business-education partnerships, and expanding college access for underserved youth. The San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce has begun a similar initiative, Strive San Jose, and Landsberger serves on the board of the chamber foundation. He holds a doctor of law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, a bachelor’s degree in political science from UC Berkeley, and an associate degree in political science from Santa Monica College. His term expires in 2020. He can be contacted at or through the Chancellor's Office at (650) 949-6100.


Gilbert Wong photo Wong was elected to the Board of Trustees in November 2016. He served for nine years on the Cupertino City Council, twice holding the positions of mayor and vice mayor.  After earning an associate degree at West Valley College and a bachelor’s degree at San Jose State University, he began working in his family real estate investment and property management business. He served for three years as a volunteer on the De Anza Commission, an auxiliary of the Foothill-De Anza Foundation that represents De Anza College in the community.  His extensive community experience includes leadership positions in the Rotary Club of Cupertino, Cupertino Chamber of Commence, Cupertino Educational Endowment Foundation, Asian American Parent Association, Asian Pacific American Leadership Institute, and the Organization of Chinese Americans Silicon Valley chapter. He completed the certificate program for senior executives in state and local government offered by the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government. His term expires in 2020. Contact Wong at or through the Chancellor's Office at (650) 949-6100.


Hayman C. Wong, De Anza College

Photo of Hayman Wong, De Anza student trustee 2018-19 Wong is the De Anza College student trustee for 2018-2019. She is a sophomore at De Anza College, double majoring in political science and history. Wong is passionate about social justice and activism work. An immigrant and Asian woman, she focuses on immigration rights, higher education, LGBTQ+ rights, and rent control in the Bay Area. At De Anza College, Wong has been actively involved in community organizing work at the Vasconcellos Institute for Democracy in Action as a public policy advocate and an alumnus of De Anza Public Policy School. As a senator of the De Anza Associated Student Body, she represented and echoed students' voices on the floor of the student senate. Wong is also an activist in the Hong Kong-American community in the Bay Area, promoting Hong Kong’s self-autonomy and advocating for democratic progress in Hong Kong. Contact Hayman Wong at


Apurwa Ojaswi Baral, Foothill College

Photo of Apurwa Baral, Foothill student trustee 2018-19 Baral is the Foothill College student trustee for 2018-2019 and a sophomore majoring in business administration. An international student from Nepal, she comes from a humble background and grew up understanding the importance of education and social-cultural differences in a diverse society. She aims to vigorously pursue and support diversity and acceptance in her immediate surroundings. She is actively involved in the issue of affordable housing for students and is passionate about environmental issues and decreasing the use of plastic packaging on campus. Civic engagement is her top priority. Baral previously served as marketing director on the Activities Board of the Associated Students of Foothill College and serves as an intern with the Foothill-De Anza Faculty Association Political Action Committee. Contact Apurwa Ojaswi Baral at