Justice, Community & Leadership Professor Monica Fitzgerald Appointed to California Children and Families Commission

Professor Monica Fitzgerald

Saint Mary’s College of California Associate Professor Monica Fitzgerald has been appointed to the California Children and Families Commission by the state Senate Rules Committee. Also known as First 5 California, the California Children and Families Commission is dedicated to improving the lives of children and their families in the Golden State through a comprehensive system of education, health services, childcare, and other crucial programs.

“Professor Monica Fitzgerald is a thoughtful scholar who is engaged in progressive change for Saint Mary’s and our surrounding communities,” said President James Donahue. “Under her leadership, our Justice Community and Leadership department has been nationally recognized as an innovative academic program that promotes civic-learning and democratic-engagement. I have no doubt that as a result of her participation on this important commission, the children and families of California will benefit from her service.”

After recognizing Fitzgerald for her academic scholarship, expertise on women’s history and community and family equity matters, the state Senate Rules Committee unanimously appointed her to serve on the commission.

“We are pleased to welcome Professor Fitzgerald as she joins us in our continuing effort to improve the lives of California’s children and families,” said Camille Maben, executive director of First 5 California. “Professor Fitzgerald will bring a unique lens and expertise to our work on the gender equity crisis of child care vacuums and inadequate family leave,” added Ms. Maben.

Senator Kevin de León ((D-Los Angeles), president of the California state senate, also welcomed the appointment. “Professor Fitzgerald possesses the right mix of academic scholarship and practical experience which make her ideal to serve on this commission,” said de León.

“I am excited for the opportunity to serve the families of California,” said Fitzgerald. “I have spent my entire adult life working on policies that will improve the lives of women, children, and families. The commission will be a vehicle to bring these policy ideas to reality.”

The First 5 California Commission is made up of seven members appointed by the governor, the speaker of the Assembly, and the Senate Rules Committee. The commission works with 58 First 5 county commissions statewide to develop and fund programs for young children that are tailored to the needs of local communities.

Fitzgerald received several recommendations to serve on the commission, including encouragement from Senator Steve Glazer (D-Orinda). "I was pleased to support the application of Professor Fitzgerald for the Children and Families Commission,” said Glazer. “Her impressive background and commitment to the well-being of our most vulnerable will benefit all Californians.”

Fitzgerald is a resident of Walnut Creek. Her term on First 5 California begins in April and expires in December 2021.


Michael McAlpin
Director of Media Relations
(925) 631-4222 office

About SMC
The Saint Mary's College of California experience inspires learning that lasts a lifetime. For more than 150 years, the College has provided students with a rigorous education that engages their intellect and spirit, and awakens a desire to transform society. Guided by the Christian Brothers, the Catholic Church's oldest order dedicated exclusively to teaching, the College enrolls nearly 4,000 students in undergraduate and graduate liberal arts and business programs. For more information visit Saint Mary's College at stmarys-ca.edu and just 23 miles east of San Francisco.