Marvin Lopez graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and engineering; he also holds certificates in business administration as well as student affairs and higher education administration from UC Berkeley Extension. Previously he had an extensive career in software development, managing increasingly critical systems and teams at Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E). Along the way, he found a passion for discovering and developing talent as well as championing diversity and inclusion. He followed this passion by taking on a number of global leadership roles in diversity and inclusion and university relations at organizations as diverse as PG&E, Intuit, and Advanced Micro Devices. In 2016, Marvin made a major career change and moved from the corporate world to academia. At Berkeley, he is currently director of student programs in Engineering Student Services, which aims to provide inclusive programs to develop Berkeley Engineering undergraduates’ academic, professional and leadership excellence. Marvin credits his success to the support he received through MESA. He resides in Walnut Creek with his wife, Jill, a scientist at Genentech. In his spare time, he travels the world, hikes and avidly follows UCLA (and Cal) sports.
How do you contribute to Berkeley Engineering’s equity and inclusion mission?
Through the programs I direct with my team and my personal engagement with students, I’m helping to level the playing field such that, regardless of where a student is from, regardless of their zip code or background, they will have the knowledge, resources and support they need to thrive at Cal and beyond. Our philosophy is the 4 C’s To Success: Community, Collaboration, Capital and Confidence.
How did your career path lead you to your current role?
I’m a product of similar programs at UCLA and am a first-generation engineer, so this work is very personal to me. Over time, I took on corporate roles that better leveraged my passion for discovering and developing talent, especially university students from backgrounds like mine. These roles took me from being an engineer and technical manager to diversity and global university relations and recruiting leader. When my current role opened up, destiny pushed me to pursue it. It’s now the best job I’ve ever had.
Besides your work, what’s something that you’re passionate about?
Traveling with my wife. We’ve traveled the world over the years and cannot wait to get back on the road. Some favorite destinations: Hawai’i for the beaches and the people, Barcelona for the tapas and the people, Singapore for the shopping, food and the people.
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
I’d love to play a musical instrument. I love music but it appears that I either have no musical talent or the patience to learn so it would be great to overcome both and learn to master an instrument — preferably the piano.