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Christopher Cabaldon

Mayor in Residence, Institute for the Future

Christopher Cabaldon is Mayor in Residence at the Institute for the Future and a partner at Capitol Impact. He was appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate to four terms as California’s delegate to the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education. He served as Chief Consultant to the Assembly Higher Education Committee and then Chief of Staff to the Assembly Appropriations Committee chair, before joining the California Community Colleges as Vice Chancellor for Policy, Planning & External Affairs. He was CEO of EdVoice and then the Linked Learning Alliance. Cabaldon was later appointed as the Hazel Cramer Endowed Chair and Professor of Public Policy & Administration at Sacramento State University, teaching graduate courses in design thinking and public sector prototyping, state and local government, and urban economics.  

Cabaldon became Mayor of West Sacramento in 1998 and served as chair of Jobs, Education and Workforce for the U.S. Conference of Mayors. His West Sacramento Home Run initiative implemented universal preschool, college savings accounts, paid career pathway internships, digital badges, free community college, and, first in the nation, letters of admission to college to every graduating high school student in his city. He led the NewDeal Leaders task force on education in partnership with All4Ed.

Cabaldon was inaugural chair of the national LGBTQ Mayors Alliance, and chair of both the Asian-Pacific and LGBT caucuses of the League of California Cities. A column he wrote for USA Today was cited as evidence of changing social norms in cases cementing marriage equality in US jurisprudence. His columns have also been published in the Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee, and Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Globally, he has been a featured speaker at the World Urban Forum, the New Cities Summit, the Innovation Growth Lab, the Global Parliament of Mayors, WRLDCTY, and the Mayors’ Food Policy Compact.

Cabaldon is a founding partner at Capitol Impact, a Sacramento-based firm which propels breakthrough ideas, programs, and policies through strategy design, capacity building, program management, and policy and philanthropy advising to the social sector. Capitol Impact is a leading provider of strategy design, capacity building, program management, and policy and philanthropy advising to the social sector. In this role, he has served as program officer for the California Education Policy Fund, co-director of the California Legislative Staff Education Institute, and policy and strategy counsel to the Regents of the University of California.

He is a board member for EdSource and California Competes, advisory council member for the California Education Learning Lab, national executive committee member for College Promise, and vice chair of Project Attain.

He earned a B.S. in environmental economics from UC Berkeley and a M.P.P.A. from Sacramento State.