Dan LaVista Joins William Spelman Executive Search


William Spelman Executive Search (WSES), one of the nation’s leading executive search firms, announced today that Daniel J. LaVista, PhD, has joined the firm as a Senior Associate.

Dr. LaVista has over 25 years of experience in executive leadership with community colleges and higher education associations.  Dr. LaVista will provide WSES with specialized consulting skills and higher education expertise to assist institutions in identifying, recruiting, and hiring exceptional leaders.

Dr. LaVista served most recently as Chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD), the nation’s largest community college district, with nine community colleges serving over 240,000 students annually.  Of note was his responsibility for oversight of the District’s $6 billion bond construction program.

From 2004-2010 Dr. LaVista served as Executive Director of the State Council of HigherEducation for Virginia (SCHEV), providing day-to-day leadership, coordinating efforts of  23 community colleges and 16 public four-year colleges and universities, Virginia private institutions, and out-of-state institutions offering educational services in Virginia.

Previously Dr. LaVista served as the Executive Director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, the state coordinating board for higher education, from 2002-2004.  From 1987-2002, he served as president of two Illinois community colleges, McHenry County College and College of Lake County, and as Chancellor for the Community Colleges of Baltimore County System (MD).

Dr. LaVista, a native of upstate New York, earned a bachelor’s degree from Siena College (NY), a master’s degree from the University of Dayton (OH) and a PhD from Syracuse University (NY). He also earned a certificate for participation in Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management.

Dr. LaVista and his wife, Rosemary have two grown children and live in Charleston, South Carolina.

Contact Dr. LaVista at Dan@wspelman.com or 804-426-5444.