About Our Founder — Dean FlorezSenator, Retired

Dean Florez is an accomplished seasoned executive in the education technology and water sectors with over 20 years of public policy and business development experience. Dean is a thought leader on higher education issues appearing in New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Slate and other national publications. Dean has been a motivating speaker at educational events held at White House and an expert panelist at conferences such as annual “The New York Times School for Tomorrow” and South by Southwest (SXSW) conferences.

Over the past four years of his retirement from political life, Dean was President of the 20 Million Minds Foundation (20MM), allocating time to advance the use of innovative technologies to create more affordable, accessible, and effective opportunities for all learners in higher education. Dean now serves as a board member of California’s Awards for Innovation in Higher Education charged with awarding $50 million dollars to California community colleges, California State University (CSU) campuses, and University of California (UC) campuses that have changed existing policies, practices, or systems which have allowed students to complete their bachelor’s degrees within four years after beginning higher education.

Dean Florez is a Harvard MBA and past California Senate Majority Leader who served in the State Senate and Assembly over 12 years. He chaired the Senate Select Committee on Wireless Technology and Consumer Driven Programming and the Senate Governmental Organization Committee that oversaw major technology purchases and implementation. Dean is also past investment banker and received his degree in constitutional law from UCLA, where he also served as Student Body President.

Dean was first elected to the State Assembly in 1998, serving two terms before being elected to the State Senate in 2002. He was elevated to the position of Senate Majority Leader in November 2008. He served as chairman of several committees, including: Banking, Finance and International Trade; Governmental Organization; Assembly Water Committee and the Food and Agriculture Committee. His emphasis during his tenure in the Legislature was overseeing high technology implementation, water policy and educational reform.

Dean attended Bakersfield College before earning his bachelor s degree in Political Science from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), where he served as student body president. In 1993 he received a MBA from the Harvard Business School.

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