Joanna Iwata Headshot

Joanna M. Iwata

Joanna Iwata’s professional career in student affairs spans over thirty-five years and includes having worked on both private liberal arts college to public state universities with student enrollments ranging from 1,000 to 33,000 on the East Coast, West Coast and Hawai’i.

As a former chief student affairs officer at several different private liberal arts colleges in North Carolina, Hawai’i and California, Iwata remains active with NASPA in various volunteer leadership consultant roles, currently with the Center for Women and the Online Learning Community.

Having once served on the NASPA Northern California Executive Board as their former staff development coordinator, Iwata was responsible for spearheading a two-year study on inclusive excellence with her board members and in hosting the region’s first Institute for Inclusive Excellence featuring the work of Dr. Damon Williams at the University of Pacific.  

Over the years, she has presented workshops focusing on inclusive excellence, leadership and management at both regional and national conferences. Iwata has published articles in the NASPA Leadership Exchange on change management and a chapter on transformational leadership in a NASPA publication of best practices for SSAO’s.  

Previously, she was active with the Association of College Unions International in having served as a former regional director, ACUI Diversity Council representative from Region I and inclusivity coordinator. Iwata has published on-line articles as a Commons Contributor and recently received the Region I (CA/HI/AZ/NM/Guam/Australia) Don & Noel Hinde Distinguished Service Award (2018).

Her professional experiences outside of higher education includes having worked with clients both in the private and public sector as a former program associate at the Center for Creative Leadership (Greensboro, North Carolina) and as an independent senior leadership consultant with other firms based out of North Carolina, Michigan and Atlanta. Iwata has also previously worked with youth foundations and for-profit graduate professional schools.

She is currently at California State University, Monterey Bay as the Senior Coordinator for Governance and Operations (2013 to present).