Gwen Finestone, PhD


Dr. Gwen Finestone is CalSouthern’s fifth President. She brings four decades of non-profit, board, and community service experience to the University and serves as the Chief Executive Officer with overall responsibility for the University’s operational affairs.

Brett O’Rourke, MBA

Executive Vice-President

As the senior member of the Executive Staff, he provides leadership, strategic planning, and collaborative support towards the actualization of the university’s mission and strategic goals while managing the overall operational components of the university. Through an entrepreneurial lens, he focuses on both the future success and day-to-day operations by leading the various divisions, departments, and functional units with a commitment to continuous improvement.

Glenn R. Roquemore, PhD


The first Chancellor of California Southern University, Dr. Roquemore reports directly to the President and oversees the administration of all academic programs as well as institutional effectiveness. He also assists the deans, academic and institutional officers, faculty, learners, and staff in academic policy, business affairs, and accreditation procedures and requirements.

Amanda Steed

Vice-President & Chief Operating Officer

Ms. Steed oversees all operational affairs, marketing and communications, advises the President on internal and external university issues, and supports various strategic planning committees.

Maria Dillon-Owens, MS

Vice-President & Chief Student Affairs Officer

Ms. Dillon-Owens is dedicated to improving learner-centric programs, student retention, graduation rates, and supporting new co-curricular programs through strategic resource planning.

Manila Pillai, MCom, MBA

Vice-President & Chief Finance Officer

Ms. Pillai is a principal member of the university’s executive team responsible for maintaining, strategizing, and strengthening the University’s financial processes.

Kathryn Hamel, PhD

Senior Vice-President, Human Resources & Organizational Development

Dr. Hamel is a Senior Vice-President of Human Resources & Organizational Development. She is responsible for all aspects of human resources as well as the professional development and training of university staff. Dr. Hamel is the primary agent overseeing our internal leadership program: Leadership for 2029.

Sam Qasem

Vice-President, Enrollment Management

Mr. Qasem is responsible for enrollment services, managing the team of Admissions Representatives, lead generation, and developing strategies and processes for continual improvement.

Bonny S. Nickle, EdD

Vice-President, Instruction & Accreditation Liaison Officer

Dr. Nickle reports directly to the Chancellor and oversees all academic affairs for the University, including academic outcomes, performance metrics, strategic planning, and program evaluation. She is also responsible for assessment, accreditation, and the instructional quality of the University’s academic programs and services. Dr. Nickle is an experienced executive bringing to CalSouthern over 20 years of demonstrated leadership, management, and instructional experience with post-secondary institutions. This experience is seen daily as she establishes processes, programs, and metrics to objectively measure academic goals to support continued continuous improvement.

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