Following a rich and varied professional career at some of the leading institutions in higher education, Charlene Aguilar applies her many talents to identifying mission-driven, transformational leaders for public and private institutions – from college and university presidents and vice presidents to provosts and deans. She brings considerable knowledge and experience to equity and inclusive excellence and to the recruitment of cabinet level diversity officers across the non-profit landscape. Charlene has received two firm-wide quality awards in recognition of her striving to meet clients’ needs and standards of excellence while exemplifying firm values of honesty, integrity and transparency.
Before joining WittKieffer in 2015, Charlene held numerous higher education administrative leadership posts. She served as director of undergraduate education initiatives and special assistant to the executive vice provost at the University of Washington, where she also was on the executive council of the Latina Faculty and Professional Staff Group. Previously at Stanford University, she served as associate director for an interdisciplinary academic research center focused on the intersections of that research with LatinX communities; interim dean of students, and associate director of undergraduate admission. In addition, Charlene was director of undergraduate admissions at Santa Clara University; associate director of the annual fund at the University of Chicago Law School; an admissions and school relations counselor with significant responsibility for undergraduate recruitment, and director of summer orientation/associate registrar at the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Charlene engages as an active advocate in public service locally and nationally. Across noteworthy volunteer roles in the community, she has provided insights on strategic governance, policy and programs as a trustee of diverse non-profits committed to racial and social justice, school boards and community foundations. Currently she is on the board for St. Joseph High School in South Bend, IN. She served more than ten years in varying capacities including Board Chair for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization.