Regent Emeritus Art Torres

Art Torres

Art Torres is the Vice Chair of the Governing Board of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, a public agency charged with distributing $3 billion in funding for stem cell research authorized by Proposition 71 in 2004.

Senator Torres served as the longest serving state Democratic Party chair in US history between 1996 and 2009. During his twenty years in the California Legislature, he chaired the Assembly Health Committee, the Senate Insurance Committee, founded the Senate Toxics Committee and chaired the UC Admissions Committee. From 1974 to 1982, he served in the California State Assembly and in the California State Senate from 1982 to 1994. 

Senator Torres serves as one of five members of the board of Covered California which oversees Obamacare in California, appointed to a four-year term in 2016, by the California State Senate.

He served for four years as a member and President of the San Franicso Public Utilities Commission, appointed by then Mayor Newsom in 2010, and previously served on the board of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. 

Senator Torres authored the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, known as Proposition 65, which protects our drinking water from carcinogens. This proposition helped create the sole toxic reporting repository that helps scientists determine environmental and health impacts.

He appropriated university research funding at the height of the AIDS crisis with Dr. Marcus Conant before the severity of the epidemic was recognized. He also advocated for insurance reimbursement for breast cancer treatments.

Senator Torres helped create the only national Japanese American museum in Little Tokyo, while also coauthoring the Museum on Tolerance both in Los Angeles. 

He led international delegations to release Vietnamese prisoners detained in “educational camps” in Hanoi, Vietnam; and, later led the first Vietnamese American delegation of Vietnamese US citizens to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city. 

In 1989, he assisted in drafting Pope John Paul II’s environmental message along with Nobel laureates who presented their message to the Holy Father before his delivery in St. Peter’s Square in Rome on New Year’s Day 1990.

He was also appointed by the US Senate, by the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, to the Commission on International Migration and Cooperative Economic Development, which led to the last immigration reform law in 1986 signed by President Reagan.

Senator Torres served as the President of the Kaitz Foundation, dedicated to increasing diversity in the cable television industry with a board composed of all the top CEOs in the cable television industry.

He currently serves as the Vice Chair of the One Legacy Foundation, the largest organ transplant foundation in the US, headquartered in Los Angeles.

He has served as a John F. Kennedy teaching fellow at Harvard University’s John F Kennedy School of Government. He also recently served as the University of San Francisco Diversity Scholar Visiting Professor.

Senator Torres received his bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Cruz, and a J.D. from the UC Davis School of Law. 

Senator Torres was the 2021-22 President of the Alumni Associations of the University of California (AAUC). He was an Alumni Regent for one year commencing July 1, 2021.

Term of Appointment

Term as Alumni Regent-designate 
July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021

Term as Alumni-Regent
July 1, 2021 - June 30, 2022