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Tod Burnett's position as President of Saddleback College is the culmination of years of work in education and government. While managing more than 1,350 employees and a $95 million annual budget, Tod Burnett leads an academic institution that serves more than 40,000 students every year in Mission Viejo, California. He joined the college in 2008, and oversees all operations, including athletics, community education, and student support programs, all in addition to the college's general education offerings.As the head of an academic institution, Tod Burnett claims a lengthy personal history in higher education. After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Administrative Studies from the University of California at Riverside, Burnett went on to earn a Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California, as well as a graduate certificate in Senior Executives in State and Local Government from Harvard University. He also earned a Doctor of Education from Pepperdine University, emphasizing Organizational Leadership.Between 1996 and 2005, Tod Burnett served as an Appointee at the local, state, and federal levels for groups including the Los Angeles Board of Public Works, the Office of the Governor of California, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. In 2006, he joined the California Community Colleges system as its Vice Chancellor. In overseeing the largest higher education system in the United States, Burnett helped implement system-wide emergency planning procedures and facilitated philanthropic gifts benefiting the 110-college system.Today, Tod Burnett continues to utilize his education and professional experience to the benefit of Saddleback College. Outside of work, he spent years as an active supporter of the non-profit organization Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership, Inc, being recognized as its National Volunteer of the Year in 1999.

Work experience

Aug 2008Present


Saddleback College

I have had the honor and pleasure to serve as president of Saddleback College since 2008. I am the chief executive of this comprehensive community college on 200 acres with an annual budget of 0 million and over 1,200 employees serving over 40,000 students each year. The college offers over 2,000 courses and 300 degree and certificate programs and is one of the leading transfer and career technical education institutions. Saddleback features highly recognized athletics, fine arts, lifelong learning, community education, and student support programs.

Jan 2006Jul 2008

Vice Chancellor

California Community Colleges

I  was honored to be able to work on state-wide higher education issues as vice chancellor for the California Community Colleges—the largest higher education system in the nation, with 110 colleges and just under 3 million students annually. In this capacity, I coordinated implementation of the first System Strategic Plan and led the first system-wide emergency planning and preparedness effort. My greatest achievement was my role in facilitating a million private philanthropic gift for student scholarships which is the nation’s largest gift ever made to a community college system.

Sep 1996Dec 2005

Presidential, Gubernatorial, and Mayoral Appointee

U.S. EPA, Office of the Governor, and Los Angeles Board of Public Works

I have had the honor and privilege to serve at the federal, state, and local levels of government as a political appointee for a President, Governor, and Mayor. I was the director of state and local government relations for the U.S.Environmental Protection Agency, deputy appointments secretary for the Governor of California, and commissioner on the City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works. Each of these positions enabled me to serve the public while gaining valuable and rare experience at all levels of government.

Tod Burnett



Pepperdine University


University of California, Riverside


Harvard University


University of Southern California