Funeral services were pending Tuesday for Bonnie Reiss, a senior aide to former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and a member of the University of California Board of Regents.
Reiss died Monday at her Malibu home after a battle with cancer, according to the USC Schwarzenegger Institute. She was 62.
“Bonnie Reiss was a true treasure to California, the United States, the world and everyone she has ever met,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement posted on his Facebook page. “For the past year, she has bravely fought cancer, just as she fought for equality and justice, students and the environment, and every other important issue you can imagine throughout her life of public service. It was in her DNA — Bonnie never accepted things as they are — she was born to shake the status quo to its core and shape the world.”
After running an entertainment law practice in the 1980s, Reiss worked in a number of political roles in California, including as a senior adviser to Schwarzenegger from 2003 to 2007 and as the state’s secretary of education from 2010 to 2011.
She had also served on the Board of Regents since 2007, and as global director of the USC Schwarzenegger Institute since 2013.
“The University of California has lost one of its most passionate, caring and effective advocates with the passing of UC Regent Bonnie Reiss,” University of California President Janet Napolitano said. “She worked tirelessly on behalf of this institution that she so loved. Our students, faculty, and staff — both current and those to come — have benefited from Bonnie’s efforts to improve policies that combat sexual harassment and sexual assault, and her work to ensure that California’s public research university maintains its academic excellence while remaining accessible to our state’s students.”