George Kieffer, a partner at West L.A. law firm Manatt Phelps & Phillips, was elected last week to serve as chair of the University of California’s Board of Regents, making him one of the most powerful education officials in the state.

Kieffer, 69, was named to the board 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 in higher education, including a tenure as president of the board of the California Community Colleges. He chaired a commission that rewrote the charter of the city of Los Angeles in the late 1990s, and is chair of the Los Angeles Civic Alliance, a group of business, nonprofit and civic leaders formed a decade ago to weigh in on major policy issues affecting the city.

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

The 26-member board elects a chairperson for a one-year term on an annual basis.

– Howard Fine

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