California Renewable Energy Lab at Kern Community College District
Jan 11, 2023 6:45 AM
Nicole Parra
California Renewable Energy Lab at Kern Community College District

Born and raised in Bakersfield, California, Parra has spent most of her life in public service working for the residents of the Central Valley.  Parra has more than 30 years of extensive legislative and political experience.  She spent ten years, working on behalf of Central Valley residents, for U.S. Congressman Cal Dooley (retired), was elected to the California State Assembly (2002-2008), and appointed to a high- level position within the Business, Transportation and Housing agency by Governor Schwarzenegger. 

Parra graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1992 with a B.A. in Economics. In 1998, she earned a J.D. from the Catholic University School of Law in Washington D.C. 

Parra has been recognized over the years by her community and academic institutions including the Mark Bingham Award for Excellence in Achievement by U.C. Berkeley in 2009 and in 2017, Parra was inducted into the first class of the Highland High School Alumni Hall of Fame. 

In 2014, Parra was hired as an Adjunct Professor at California State University Bakersfield where she was an instructor for American Government and Politics, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties courses for two years.  In 2016, Parra was hired as the campaign manager for the Measure J Campaign for the Kern Community College District, a $500M school bond that passed with a 2/3 vote.  In 2017, Parra was hired as the State Government Affairs Manager for Marathon Petroleum Corporation where she worked directly with representatives from the Legislative and Executive branches of government, regarding energy policy. In 2020, Parra was nominated (and later elected) to the Women in California Politics (WICP) Board by California Treasurer Fiona Ma.  The mission of WICP is to educate, empower and inspire future generations of women to foster the spirit of public service and encourage community involvement.

Currently, Parra is the Director of the California Renewable Energy Laboratory (CREL) at the Kern Community College District. As a result of recent legislative advocacy, CREL working in partnership with national laboratories, government organizations, community-based organizations, employers, and workers will support a comprehensive cluster of Energy Centers of Excellence.  These Energy Centers of Excellence will focus on Carbon Management, Clean Energy & Grid Reliance, and Clean Transportation