USD Announces New Director of Executive Leadership Program

Editors -- Please consider Christina as a source for issues of corporate leadership and governance. She’d be happy, for example to comment on Steve Jobs stepping down at Apple and can be reached at 619-260-7821 or on her cell at 858-717-2158. 

Christina de Vaca has joined the University of San Diego as director of its Master of Science in Executive Leadership (MSEL) program.

De Vaca has held senior executive positions in operations, administration and governance. Previously, de Vaca served as chief governance officer, vice president and corporate secretary for Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, a global specialty pharmaceutical company. Prior to Valeant, she served as operations vice president at Premier Inc., a privately held group purchasing organization. Both companies were previously based in southern California. 

USD’s MSEL program is an innovative, values-based business degree for established and emerging executives. The MSEL is offered through a partnership between USD’s School of Business Administration and The Ken Blanchard Companies. The program prepares candidates to execute strategic initiatives to effect organizational change, deliver results and achieve industry leadership. 

“We are delighted that Christina will be leading the MSEL program,” said David Pyke, dean of USD’s school of business. “She holds a wealth of executive experience in industry, is a passionate advocate of leadership education and has been very involved with corporate director and board development training in San Diego and Orange counties. She has also worked extensively with the MSEL team over the last couple of years on course offerings and executive programs and is in a great position to take the program’s helm.”

De Vaca is also Six Sigma black-belt trained and remains engaged in a variety of efforts to improve governance practices. She is a member of the Governance Practices Committee and the Small and Mid-Cap Companies Task Force of the Society of Corporate Secretaries and Governance Professionals based in New York City. She chairs the Programs Committee of the Corporate Directors Forum in San Diego and is a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors.

She also chairs the Governance Committee of the Ronald McDonald House Charities in San Diego and is a member of its board of directors. 

De Vaca holds a bachelor of business studies degree from Dallas Baptist University and an MBA from the University of  California, Irvine.

Applications are being accepted for this fall’s MSEL program. For more information go to or call (619) 260-4828.

The University of San Diego School of Business Administration is committed to developing socially responsible leaders and improving global business practice through innovative, personalized education and applied research. For more information, go to

About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 8,000 students from 75 countries and 44 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. USD’s eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD recently concluded our successful $317M Leading Change: The Campaign for USD, which represented the most ambitious fundraising effort in the history of the university. In September 2016, USD introduced Envisioning 2024, a strategic plan that capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.