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Division Leadership

Michele M. Cesca

Vice President for University Relations and Development

Michele joined Long Beach State in 2018, previously serving for nearly ten years as associate vice president for development at California State University, Fullerton. As vice president, she also serves as executive director of the 49er Foundation. Her prior positions include serving as national executive director of the Assistance League and holding key development positions at Cal State Northridge, UC Irvine, University of Southern California, and the California Museum of Science and Industry. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Chapman University and received an executive management certificate from USC.

Susan Berkman

Assistant Vice President for Gift Planning

Susan manages the team that works with donors who want to support students and faculty with gifts from their wills, trusts, and other assets. She is a licensed attorney who provides education to donors, staff, faculty, and the community at large to help them on their estate-planning journeys.

Jeffrey D. Cook

Associate Vice President for Strategic Communications

Jeff came to The Beach in 2019 after more than a decade leading the Strategic Communications and Brand Management unit at California State University, Fullerton. He previously held fundraising, enrollment, and communications-related positions at organizations including Hartwick College, Philanthropy Ohio, and Cal State East Bay, where he also taught marketing for nearly 15 years. Jeff earned his bachelor's degree from Hartwick College and his master's degree from the University of San Francisco.

Kevin Crowe

Associate Vice President for Development

Kevin joined the university in 2006. In addition to leading development, he serves as chief operating officer of the 49er Foundation. Prior to coming to Cal State Long Beach, Kevin held development positions at the University of Southern California and Occidental College. He is a graduate of the University of Redlands with a double major in Business Administration and Psychology and went on to attain the Certified Specialist in Planned Giving (CSPG) designation from the American Institute for Philanthropic Studies.

Christopher J. Reese

Associate Vice President for University Relations

Chris joined Long Beach State in 2019 after serving as vice president for workforce and economic development at the Orange County Business Council. He has two decades of previous government and constituent outreach and advocacy experience through positions in the California State Legislature, Iger & Associates, and Cal State Fullerton, where he is a two-time alumnus and taught political science for six years. In his current position, he also serves as secretary of the 49er Foundation.