George Kieffer, a partner at West L.A.’s Manatt, Phelps & Philips, was elected on Wednesday to serve as chair of the University of California’s Board of Regents for a one year term, making him one of the most powerful education officials in the state.

Kieffer, 69, was named to the UC Board of Regents in 2009 by then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. He serves as head of the government and regulatory policy division at Manatt.

Kieffer has a long history of service to higher education, including a tenure as president of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges.

Kieffer succeeds as board chair former La Opinión Publisher Monica Lozano, whose term expired.

Public policy and energy reporter Howard Fine can be reached at hfine@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.