Beth Lesen, Ph.D.

Beth Lesen, Ph.D.

Long Beach, CA

Vice President Student Affairs
California State University-Long Beach

Beth Lesen, Ph.D., is vice president of student affairs at California State University (CSU)-Long Beach, a position she has held since June 2020. As one of the largest public universities in California, CSU-Long Beach serves a diverse student body, primarily comprised of first-generation college attendees and those eligible for PELL grants. Before assuming her role at CSU-Long Beach, Lesen served as assistant vice president and dean of students at Sacramento State. Prior to that, she dedicated 12 years to the City University of New York (CUNY) system in New York City and held various positions at the State University of New York (SUNY) Buffalo.

Throughout her career, Lesen has focused on key areas, including (but not limited to) mental health, disability services, DEI work and basic needs support for students in financial crisis. Noteworthy accomplishments include originating the Basic Needs program at Sacramento State, building a fully staffed Office of Multicultural Affairs with several cultural resource centers, and spearheading the development of a comprehensive mental health strategic plan at CSU-Long Beach, receiving national attention.

Lesen earned her Ph.D. in psychology and a master’s degree in education from SUNY Buffalo. In addition to her work on various college campuses, Lesen serves on the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Region VI Board and the board for the American Council on Education’s Women’s Leadership Network for Southern California. Additionally, she is a Long Beach City Commissioner, holds a position on the board for the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services and is mother to two pretty great kids.

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