Dr. Sunita “Sunny” Cooke began her tenure as the superintendent/president of the MiraCosta Community College District on January 2, 2015. She has been a community college educator and administrator since 1993, and a president since 2007. A recognized community college leader, Dr. Cooke came to MiraCosta from Grossmont College, located in El Cajon, California, where she served as president from 2007 to 2014.
Dr. Cooke received her bachelor's degree in biology and a teaching certificate from American University in Washington, D.C. After being awarded a doctorate in biology at Georgetown University, she completed a postdoctoral training program at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, in the molecular aspects of cell adhesion and metastasis. She then became a founding faculty member of Lone Star-Montgomery College in north Houston. She has taught full and part time for more than 13 years and occasionally teaches in the San Diego State University Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership.
Dr. Cooke is a collaborative and innovative leader with a deep commitment to the comprehensive community college mission. Since 2012, she represented San Diego community colleges on the Workforce Investment Board and is the liaison with the State Chancellor's Office regarding economic and workforce development efforts at the regional and state level. She is the chair of the statewide "Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy" campaign, a community college and industry collaboration that aims to close the skills gap.
Dr. Cooke is an active member of the greater San Diego community. She is a board member of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, the San Diego Economic Development Corporation, Biocom, and the San Diego Workforce Investment Board. She also serves as the president of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Community Colleges Association (SDICCCA).
Dr. Cooke serves on a number of national boards, including Education Testing Services, Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE), and the National Academies' Board of Science Education.