About Dr. Mattison

Leonie H. Mattison, EdD, MBA
President & CEO, Pacifica Graduate Institute

Dr. Leonie H. Mattison, Ed.D, the fourth president, and chief executive officer of Pacifica Graduate Institute, ushers in a new chapter as the first black female to assume leadership of the 45-year-old institution. Formerly Chief Operating Officer of a community agency that provides education and support services for vulnerable Santa Barbara residents. She began her term on October 3, 2022.Other leadership positions include adjunct professor and lecturer at Antioch University and Santa Barbara City College School of Extended Learning and Chief of Organizational and Talent Development at the County of Santa Barbara, where she was instrumental in developing the Employees University, an open-source university created through a partnership between the county and Santa Barbara City College that has provided high-quality training and cutting-edge leadership development for over 4,700 county employees.

Dr. Mattison brought her extensive experience as a transformational, people-first philosophy to increase the impact of Pacifica. She will ensure Pacifica becomes a world-class institution that improves lives and communities through collaboration among students, alums, faculty, and staff. This starts with listening to the Pacifica community to ensure she can provide the highest-quality education to students and equip them with the tools to better the world.

Since taking office, President Mattison has focused on engaging diverse voices on and off campus in conversation about Pacifica’s past, present, and future. A champion of meaningful engagement, student success, and timely communication, President Mattison has seen impressive results through the implementation of the following key initiatives:

  • Implemented a 100-Day Listening, Learning, and Connecting Tour and engaged with over 300 students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community
  • Reached over 2K individuals through the Eye on Pacifica bi-weekly video updates with news and celebratory moments from the Institute.
  • Reinstituted Holiday Winter Wonderland on-campus celebration to increase staff and faculty engagement.
  • Joined the Chamber of Commerce and briefed the community on updates.
  • Established Holiday Quiet Period to promote employee rest, care, and morale.
  • Instituted Teamwork Thursdays to increase staff and faculty engagement and connect from across departments and sectors of the organization to foster positive relationships and morale.
  • Launched a new Office of the President webpage with information about the office, communications log, and an engagement surveys tool. Share your insight, ideas, and concerns anytime or anywhere.

Born in Jamaica, West Indies, Dr. Mattison grew up learning from her mother, who taught her how to interpret dreams, and her grandmother, who taught her the power of turning imagination into reality through quilting. Moving to New York City in her teen years, she witnessed the potency of education to elevate people out of poverty and change lives, including her own. She earned a Master’s in Business from Georgian Court University and a Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership from Argosy University.

She is the proud mother to her three daughters and a grandmother to one granddaughter. In 2018 she was recognized by the Pacific Coast Business Times as a 40 Under 40 recipient 2018 and an emerging Black leader in 2021. An author, Dr. Mattison, recently published her book, The Thread: Six Steps to Intentional Transformation After Trauma or Crisis, which was recently recognized by the Santa Barbara Independent.