June 10, 2010
Danielle McNamara
 (510) 987-0230

Press Release


Joseph M. Rivera, director of gas engineering at Southern California Gas Company, is now chair of the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement board of directors.


Rivera has served on the MESA board for 15 years and brings 36 years of experience at Southern California Gas Company and other Sempra Energy utilities to the program.


“Joe’s extensive experience in industry always made him a valuable member of our board. Now that professional experience and his long history with MESA combine to create the strong leader the board chair must be in these difficult economic times,” said Oscar Porter, MESA executive director. “His continued strong interest in encouraging students to become engineers and scientists aligns his goals well with MESA’s mission of helping to build the technical workforce of the future.”


Rivera began his career at the Gas Company in 1974 as an associate engineer. Now he directs all activities related to engineering policy and standards and design for a gas distribution and transmission system that consists of 60,000 miles of pipeline, five underground storage fields and 20 compressor stations. Rivera has a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.


The MESA board of directors comprises of industry and education professionals and highlights the program’s strong relationship with industry and all segments of K-12 and higher education throughout the state.


MESA is an academic preparation program that serves 20,249 California pre-college, community college and university students who are educationally disadvantaged. Seventy percent of schools served by MESA are among the lowest-performing in the state. Almost two-thirds of MESA high school graduates go on to college as math, engineering or science majors. In 2001, 14,000 California jobs requiring science or engineering degrees went unfilled, making award-winning programs such as MESA an imperative. MESA is administered by the University of California.


For more information about MESA please visit