Dianne Dobbs’ ‘96, MBA ‘98, successful career in public service and advocacy led to her appointment to Commissioner to the Board of Parole Hearings by Governor Brown.
Dobbs was driven to make a strong public impact from a young age. Her family immigrated to the US from Jamaica to escape political upheaval, and she watched her parents work hard to build a better life for their family.
Though she was intent on going to college, she made an impulsive decision in her second year at college to drop out and join the Army. The army brought her to California, where she was stationed as a secretary at the Presidio army base. She met her former husband and moved to Louisiana, Texas, and Germany before settling down in Oakland.
Dobbs worked in various administrative and secretarial roles in the Bay Area until she realized she could only move up so far without a degree. It was time to go back to school. She enrolled in the weekend business program at HNU and earned both her bachelor’s degree and an MBA.
“HNU was the best thing that happened to me,” Dobbs said. “The thing that stood out about HNU, and stuck with me, was the emphasis on making our community a better place. It was the thread that ran through all the programs and classes. The instructors challenged students to bring our responsibility to the community into the classroom.”
After going on to earn her Juris Doctor degree, Dobbs worked as an attorney for Sacramento Child Advocates and the California Department of Consumer Affairs. She took a position as Deputy Commissioner at the Board of Parole Hearings in February 2017 and was appointed as a Commissioner to the Board of Parole Hearings later that year. Dobbs feels fortunate to be part of the rehabilitation process for inmates.