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—Outstanding Alumna 2016

Lea Deesing is a 1990 CHC Honors Graduate with an associate in science degree. She completed her bachelor of science degree in Information Systems at University of Redlands, and a master’s in public administration from Cal State, Dominguez Hills. Deesing serves as the Chief Innovation Officer for the City of Riverside, where she leads and inspires a nationally award-winning department of 60 information technology professionals. She also serves as the Executive Director of SmartRiverside, a nonprofit which aims to narrow the digital divide in her region by training underprivileged youth to refurbish computers which are then offered at no cost to low income families. 

Deesing has received national recognition for her articles on technology use within government. Among over 75 speaking engagements to date, last year she served as a panelist at Harvard University’s Strategic Innovation Summit, and was a speaker at the Girls Who Code conference aimed at educating, inspiring, and equipping high school girls with the skills and resources to pursue opportunities in computing fields.