Becky Morgan’s lifelong interest in education is evident. Since her graduation from Cornell University with a B.S. degree in 1960, she completed an MBA from Stanford University in 1978 and was awarded honorary degrees from the Peninsula Law School, Golden Gate University, and Santa Clara University. Morgan work as a teacher from 1960 to 1962. In 1972, she became the district office manager for Congressman Pete McCloskey. From 1973 to 1978, she served as an elected member of the Palo Alto Unified School District Board of Education. In the 1970s, so many women were being elected to government positions in Santa Clara County that it became known as the "feminist capital" of the nation. When Rebecca Morgan and Zoe Lofgren were elected to the board of supervisors in 1980, they joined Supervisor Susanne Wilson, creating the first female majority. As a supervisor, Morgan began the effort to build a new children's shelter in the county. After holding the first advisory committee meetings on the topic, she visited other children's shelters around the state, initiating a project that would be completed by her successor, Dianne McKenna. Likewise, she was instrumental in construction of the new jail, touring other jails in the state and advocating its current location as the most efficient. Supervisor Morgan's most significant contribution in transportation was working to get Highway 85 constructed and making progress on development of the light rail system. Morgan was particularly concerned that county spending be controlled with well-planned and restricted budgets, putting in place more efficient accounting methods. Morgan gave up her District 5 seat after one term when she was elected in 1984 on the Republican ticket to serve District 11 in the state senate. During her tenure in the Senate, she was Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Child Care and Development and Vice Chair of several other Senate committees. She was also a member of the Education; Budget and Fiscal Review; Transportation, Energy and Public Utilities; and Revenue and Taxation Committees in the Senate. In 1986, when Southern Pacific sought to withdraw from managing the Caltrain commuter rail system and consequently, shutting the system down, Morgan wrote the legislation that created the Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board to save the Caltrain by enabling the new board to run the system. In an effort to resolve one of her long-standing frustrations with government – it takes so long to get things done -- Morgan resigned from her senate seat to return to Santa Clara Valley in 1993 to direct Joint Venture: Silicon Valley, a nonprofit organization composed of business, government, and education groups seeking to improve the Silicon Valley region's economic growth and quality of life the following the early 1990s recession. Later that year, she co-founded the Morgan Family Foundation, which awards grants to youth programs, education, and environmental conservation, and served as President until 2020.
Becky Morgan was featured in our Interview Project, highlighting the life and accomplishments of select Santa Clara County Supervisors.Supervisor Becky Morgan Interview