Penny Portillo started her career in the software industry, first working in technical support and later in management positions for Santa Cruz Operation and IBM.

Drawn to higher education, the next phase of her career was at the University of California. She initially led the international student and scholar office at the Santa Cruz campus, and later served over 10 years as Assistant Dean for Finance & Administration for the School of Humanities at the Irvine campus, the position from which she retired in 2022.  An undergraduate alumna of UCI, she holds two graduate degrees from Stanford — an MA in Education and an MBA.

She and her husband Roni were active in their church in Irvine, where Penny sang in the choir and served on the administration board for several years. Penny and Roni were delighted to move back to the central coast and to live closer to their daughter Sofia.

Penny’s hobbies include singing, knitting, plant-based cooking, and going on walks in beautiful places.