Keynote Speakers

Day 1

Mr Hal Plotkin

Hal Plotkin is a writer, journalist, activist and former government official at the local and federal levels. During the Obama administration, Mr. Plotkin served as the Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of the Under Secretary of Education, which oversees all federal higher education programs and policies.

Mr. Plotkin was one of the early leaders of the international OER movement. In 2003, he authored the first board policy at a community college in the United States that promoted the use of OER while serving as a member and then president of the Silicon Valley-based Foothill-De Anza Community College District Governing Board. He is currently Senior Scholar at ISKME.

Mr. Plotkin has authored more than 650 articles for a variety of outlets, including Harvard Business School Publishing, Inc. magazine,, the website of the San Francisco Chronicle, and International Business magazine. He was a founding editor of the public radio program Marketplace, the former Silicon Valley Correspondent for, and Senior Open Policy Fellow at Creative Commons USA from 2014-2017. Mr. Plotkin earned his A.A. from Foothill Community College and his B.A. from San Jose state University. He is the first graduate of Foothill College ever elected to its governing board.

Day 2

Ms Lark Park

Lark Park is the director of the California Education Learning Lab. Lark was a senior advisor for policy in the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. until October 2018, where she worked on higher education, health and human services, and childcare/early learning issues In addition to her two decades of policymaking experience, she has worked as a business and technology journalist and a management consultant. She is the current chair of the Academic and Student Affairs Committee on the University of California, Board of Regents, and vice chair of a UC special committee dedicated to advancing innovation and entrepreneurship. Between 2002 and 2010, Lark worked for the California State Legislature, primarily as a policy consultant. She holds a Master of Arts in English from Georgetown University, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Berkeley.

Day 3

Dr Keith Curry

Dr. Curry is the President/CEO of the Compton College and Compton Community College District (CCCD). Compton College is the 114th California Community College, achieving initial accreditation status on June 7, 2017. Dr. Curry is responsible for overseeing all departments and functions of Compton College and Compton District. He brings an abundance of energy and innovative ideas to Compton College, along with a wealth of experience as a postsecondary education administrator.

As President/CEO for Compton College, Curry is responsible for promoting student enrollment, success and retention, while working with the college’s vice presidents to develop strategic plans and procedures that enhance their academic and student services programs. Curry is dedicated to the development of new programs and the redirection of existing programs to meet the instructional and student services needs of Compton College students. He is personally invested in delivering on the mission of Compton College, which is to offer a welcoming environment where the diversity of its students is supported in pursuing and attaining academic and professional excellence.

Dr. Curry is an active member of the Foundation for Compton Community College District, the Association of California Community College Administrators, the California Community College Athletic Association, the Statewide Association of Community Colleges (SWACC), the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice Advisory Board, and the President’s Roundtable. He has participated on Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) Visiting Teams, most recently for San Quentin University Prison Project.

In 2018, Dr. Curry received the Harry Buttimer Distinguished Administrator Award. It is the most prestigious award given by the Association of California Community College Administrators (ACCCA), paying tribute to those administrators who demonstrate integrity, principle, compassion, strength in leadership, and who have made significant contributions to the college district and community. At the 2019 Community College League of California (CCLC) Annual Conference, Dr. Curry was honored as one of three 2019 Champions of Equity by the Campaign for College Opportunity and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational fund.

In June 2020, Dr. Curry was invited by Governor Newsom’s Senior Policy Advisor for Higher Education Lande Ajose to serve on the California Higher Education Recovery with Equity Task Force.

Dr. Curry earned his doctorate in educational leadership from the University of California, Irvine, and a bachelor’s degree in American studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz.