Gonzalves begins as new UC Cooperative Extension director for Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties

Gonzalves begins as new UC Cooperative Extension director for Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties

David Gonzalves started on Feb. 1 as director for University of California Cooperative Extension in Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz counties. UC Cooperative Extension connects communities across California with UC research and science-based solutions through agriculture, natural resources, nutrition and 4-H youth development programs.

Responsible for the overall operation of UCCE educational and applied research programs in the region, Gonzalves also will build and expand partnerships with county and city governments, public agencies and community organizations.

“David brings tremendous expertise in administration, fostering strong relationships, and building effective teams,” said Deanne Meyer, interim associate vice president for programs and strategic initiatives at UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, which administers UCCE statewide. “His track record of engaging local agencies, business partners, stakeholders and community groups will be invaluable as we explore new collaborations to reach and serve more Californians.”

Gonzalves was most recently a campus building official at UC Merced. Beginning his career at the County of Merced as a fire inspector, Gonzalves worked his way up to supervising building inspector and eventually assistant development services director. Then, for the City of Merced, he filled the role of chief building official and ultimately director of development services, leading the city's Building, Planning and Engineering teams. For three years, Gonzalves served as Tuolumne County's Community Resources Agency director.

“David's past experience as an administrator in county government and at UC Merced makes him the ideal candidate for the work we do at UCCE, as he has demonstrated success in being able to successfully negotiate these two worlds,” said Lynn Schmitt-McQuitty, interim director for county Cooperative Extension at UC ANR.

Gonzalves said he looks forward to meeting with county leaders, members of local boards, growers, UC Master Gardener volunteers, 4-H members and community members to learn how UC Cooperative Extension can help meet local needs.

“My big picture goal is to allow UCCE advisors, administrative teams and local county leaders to have a coordinated approach to our local challenges and successes,” Gonzalves said. “Our efforts will concentrate on freeing up our research teams' calendars to ensure they can continue producing cutting-edge accomplishments here in the tri-county area.” 

Based at the UCCE Monterey County office in Salinas, Gonzalves can be reached at dgonzalves@ucanr.edu or (831) 392-5916.