David Leon, Ph.D.

David Leon

Professor of Ethnic Studies
Director of Chicana/o Studies
Sacramento State

Office: 462B Amador Hall
Office Phone: (916) 278-6344
Email: leondj@csus.edu

Background Information

For 20 years, Dr. León served as professor in the Ethnic Studies Department at California State University–Sacramento (CSUS). He also served as chair of Ethnic Studies, director of Chicana/o Studies, founding director of the Serna Center, and assistant vice president for Academic Affairs—Educational Equity.

In addition, he has taught at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, the University of Hawaii, and California State University–Fresno.

He received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California–Santa Barbara, his M.A. in sociology from the University of California–Riverside, his B.A. in sociology from California State University–Long Beach, and his A.A. in social science from MiraCosta College.

Research Interests

In 2003-2004, Dr. León was awarded a year-long Kellogg Fellowship, where he advanced and benefited from discussions on diversity, strategic planning, development, theory, and communication. In addition, Dr. León visited minority campuses (Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Black Colleges and Universities, and Tribal Colleges and Universities) across the nation and had insightful, wide-ranging conversations with senior level administrators on the details of university leadership.

Dr. León co-created and co-directs the Institute for Latino/a Higher Education Leadership for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). Now in the seventh year, the Institute offers one- and two-day programs to prepare Latino staff and faculty to climb the administrative ladder in higher education. Using the Institute as a model, Dr. Leon also co-created and co-directed a leadership institute for the California-based Chicano-Latino Intersegmental Convocation.


  • Dr. León is the editor of two books: LESSONS IN LEADERSHIP: EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP PROGRAMS FOR ADVANCING DIVERSITY IN HIGHER EDUCATION (2005) and LATINOS IN HIGHER EDUCATION (2003), both published by Elsevier. He is also the author of dozens of journal articles and conference papers, all focused on minorities in higher education.

  • Dr. León has served as a consultant for colleges and universities seeking to improve the diversity of their students, faculty, and staff. He also been a diversity consultant for McDonald’s and Mansanto.