At the convergence of the fields of social work, urban planning and policymaking, the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs identifies and develops emerging areas of research and teaching, cultivating leaders and change agents who advance solutions to society’s most pressing problems.
Founded in 1994, UCLA Luskin incorporates the best practices in scholarship, research and teaching in the fields of social work, urban and regional planning, and policymaking. The unique intersection of these disciplines within one school allows for academic cross-collaboration and a rich education that values diverse perspectives at the macro- and micro- organizational levels. Graduates of the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs are well prepared to take leadership roles and effect change as practitioners, researchers and policymakers in the public, private and non-governmental sectors.
Faculty of the Luskin School of Public Affairs are actively engaged in research that addresses pressing national and regional issues including immigration, drug policy, prison reform, health care financing, transportation and the environment, national security, economic development, and an aging U.S. and world population. The School is named after Meyer and Renee Luskin—UCLA alumni, Angelenos and philanthropists—who generously gave a $100 million gift to UCLA, half of which funded endowments in the School of Public Affairs. On March 18, 2011, the School was officially named the UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin School of Public Affairs.
Master’s degrees in Public Policy, Social Welfare, and Urban and Regional Planning.
Doctoral programs in Social Welfare and Urban Planning.
Bachelor of Arts in Public Affairs.
Undergraduate minors in Public Affairs, Gerontology, and Urban and Regional Studies.
Dean Gary M. Segura
Professor of Public Policy
Before beginning his appointment as Dean at UCLA Luskin in January 2017, professor Segura served as the Morris M. Doyle Centennial Professor of Public Policy, professor of political science, and professor and former chair of Chicana/o-Latina/o studies at Stanford University. A member of the Stanford faculty since 2008, he was a faculty affiliate of African and African American studies; American studies; feminist, gender and sexuality studies; Latin American studies; and urban studies. In addition, he was the director of the Center for American Democracy and the director of the Institute on the Politics of Inequality, Race and Ethnicity at Stanford. In 2010, Professor Segura was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Prior to joining Stanford, he was a member of the faculty at the University of Washington (2005-08), the University of Iowa (2001-05), Claremont Graduate University (1996-2001) and the University of California, Davis (1991-96).
Professor Segura received a B.A. magna cum laude in political science from Loyola University of the South, and an A.M. and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on issues of political representation and social cleavages, the domestic politics of wartime public opinion and the politics of America’s growing Latino minority. Professor Segura has published more than 55 articles and chapters, and he is a co-editor of “Diversity in Democracy: Minority Representation in the United States” and a co-author of four books — “Latino America: How America’s Most Dynamic Population is Poised to Transform the Politics of the Nation;” “Latinos in the New Millennium: An Almanac of Opinion, Behavior, and Policy Preferences;” “The Future is Ours: Minority Politics, Political Behavior, and the Multiracial Era of American Politics;” and “Latino Lives in America: Making It Home.”
Active in professional service, he has served on numerous committees and editorial boards, and he is a past president of the Western Political Science Association, Midwest Political Science Association and Latino Caucus in Political Science. From 2009 to 2015, he was the co-principal investigator of the American National Election Studies. Moreover, he has briefed members of Congress and senior administration officials on issues related to Latinos, served as an expert witness in three marriage equality cases heard by the Supreme Court, and has filed amicus curiae briefs on subjects as diverse as voting rights, marriage equality and affirmative action.
Board of Advisors
Robert J. Abernethy is Chairman of American Standard Development Company. Robert received a BA from Johns Hopkins University, an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, certificates in RealEstate and Construction from UCLA and was formerly the Controller of the Technology Division of Hughes Aircraft Company.
Robert is a member of the Advisory Council for the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (Washington and Bologna), and is a member of the Board of Trustees of Johns Hopkins University, Davidson College and Loyola Marymount University. He serves as Vice-Chairman of the Atlantic Council and is on the Executive Board of the International Refugee Assistance Project. He is also a member of the Chairman’s Forum of the Council on Foreign Relations and the State Department Advisory Committee on International Economic Policy.
Bob is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Brookings Institution and serves on the Boards of the RAND Corporation Center for Global Risk & Security, New Leaders Council, Truman Center for National Policy, Integrity Initiatives International, and the Los Angeles World Affairs Council.
He serves on the UCLA Arts Board, UCLA Health Systems Board, and the Board of Directors of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is also Vice Chairman of the Music Center of Los Angeles.
Robert served as Commissioner of California Transportation Commission, Los Angeles Telecommunications Commission, and Los Angeles Planning & Zoning Commission and was Director of the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Metropolitan Water District. He was a Member of the California State Board of Education and of the California Arts Council.
David Ambroz is the Executive Director, Corporate Citizenship & Social Responsibility, Disney | ABC Television Group. He leads DATG’s pro-social and philanthropic efforts, aligning charitable giving and other pro-social activities with the business and brand objectives of DATG family of channels including ABC, ABC Family, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Jr., Radio Disney, the OTV, ABC News, and Fusion.
Also in this role, David convened more than 100 partners to create FosterMore – a multi-media effort to communicate with the American public during Foster Care Awareness Month. Private sector companies, foundations, non–profits and Disney|ABC joined forces to create a campaign that shines a light on the potential of the 400,000 plus youth and countless families in the system. As an alumnus of foster care, Ambroz has demonstrated a lifelong passion to child welfare reform; from his work to establish the National Foster Youth Advisory Council (1997), the GLBT Foster Care Joint Initiative (1998), and more recently his service on the California Child Welfare Council, and his service on the ABA Commission on Youth At Risk – he continues to engage.
Prior to joining Disney, David was the Executive Director of Los Angeles City College Foundation. In that role, he led all aspects of fundraising, grant application & management, marketing & communication, alumni affairs – and taught American Political Science. Earlier, David was an active attorney.
David received a juris doctorate from the UCLA School of Law. He also has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, VA.
David resides in Hollywood, California with his husband. In his free time, he serves as the President of the Los Angeles City Planning Commission, serves as a California Child Welfare Commissioner, is a contributing writer to Huffington Post, serves as the co-Chair of the Central Hollywood Neighborhood Council Beautification Committee (and is a past board member), currently serves on the CHA Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital, and is the recent past chair of the East Hollywood Business Improvement District.
Keenan Behrle is the Executive Vice President of Westminster Capital, Inc., a diversified private company with operations in secured lending, real estate development, packaging and displays, and electronic presentation equipment.
Prior to joining Westminster, Keenan served as President and CEO of First City Properties, a real estate development company that specialized in entitling and developing planned communities. Keenan began his career as an attorney in private practice focusing on business and real estate law.
Keenan is a graduate of the UCLA School of Law and has served in a number of volunteer roles at UCLA, including as a member of the Board and President of the UCLA Foundation, Vice President for Governmental Relations of the UCLA Alumni Association, member of the Board of the UCLA Law School Alumni Association and Chair of the UCLA Annual Fund. In 2012, Keenan received the UCLA Award for University Service.
Keenan also serves as Chairman of the California Heart Center Foundation devoted to support of clinical research in heart failure and heart transplantation. He has also served as a director of Coro, a director of UNOS, the United Network for Organ Sharing, and a member of the Board of Regents of Loyola Marymount University.
Ann Cattalini Sinclair
Ann Cattalini Sinclair is the Director of Special Events at the XQ Institute. Ann brings a strong public affairs background to her work at XQ, with a particular expertise in building strategic partnerships. Prior to joining XQ, Ann was an independent consultant, providing leading national foundations and education organizations with communications and development strategy. She also served as the Development Director for Maria Shriver’s Women’s Conference, building strategic partnerships with major corporations and foundations for the nation’s largest forum for women. Before her work with The Women’s Conference, Ann directed the San Francisco office of Public Strategies Inc. where she created national public affairs campaigns, led strategic communications outreach, and developed charitable giving strategies for Fortune 500 corporations and leading national non-profit organizations. She also served as a communications strategist for a major telecommunications firm, guiding all public affairs activities including media outreach, community relations and legislative positioning. Ann began her career in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs where she coordinated congressional event and bill signing ceremonies and managed congressional travel and national events with the President. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from UCLA with a B.A. in Political Science.
Stephen Cheung leads World Trade Center Los Angeles, which attracts foreign direct investment into L.A. County, provides trade facilitation and increases exports out of L.A. County; all of which drives innovation, jobs creation and prosperity for the region’s communities and residents.
Mr. Cheung was most recently the Secretary General of Foreign Affairs and Trade for City of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, and was responsible for managing policies and programs related to Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles World Airports, International Affairs and Global Trade. Mr. Cheung was also the lead organizer for Mayor Garcetti’s international trade missions to China, Japan, Korea and Mexico.
Concurrently, Mr. Cheung was the Director of International Trade for the Port of Los Angeles – the busiest container port in North America, where he was responsible for developing programs to increase trade through the Port of Los Angeles and facilitate goods movement throughout the region. He also served as Managing Director of International Trade and Clean Technology for former Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa, where he was responsible for enhancing international trade opportunities for Los Angeles-based companies, and expanding the city’s role as a leader in international trade, entertainment, tourism, manufacturing and professional services. In this position, Mr. Cheung served as the City of L.A.’s lead organizer for the historic visit to Los Angeles by Chinese President, Xi Jinping in 2012.
A proud Angeleno, Stephen Cheung was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Los Angeles where he received both his Bachelor’s in Psychobiology and Master’s in Social Welfare from UCLA. He currently teaches a course on public policy at the Luskin School of Public Affairs, and serves on the Advisory Council of USC’s Center for International Business Education and Research and the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator. Mr. Cheung is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese.
Marcia Choo is the Vice President of Community Development at Wells Fargo Bank, where she focuses on reinvestment in and revitalization of low income communities. She was previously a director for two national museums and in municipal government. She was the Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Dispute Resolution Center, where Marcia was at the forefront of race relations conflict resolution for three years. She helped facilitate policy initiatives between the City of Compton and the Samoan community following a double police shooting. She also engaged in training and community building efforts around boycotts, protests and public policy disputes in the aftermath of the 1992 Riots and Civil Unrest in Los Angeles. She handled conflicts at construction sites as well as disputes between homeowners and immigrant day laborers. She has also taught a course on community conflict resolution at California State University, Dominguez Hills and served as guest lecturer with the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law.
Marcia assisted with oversight of the departments of Health and Human Services, Neighborhood Housing and Community Development, Parks and Recreation, Libraries, Primary Care Clinics and Special Projects dealing with issues such as homeless shelter services, day labor site management, and community relations for three years with the City Manager’s Office in the City of Austin, Texas. She was appointed as Chair of the Hiring Committee to select the City’s first civilian Police Monitor and established the inaugural office. Assigned to head the new Office of Dispute Resolution to facilitate public policy conflicts, Marcia facilitated a consolidated preserve land management plan among multiple stakeholders, and delivered a new Noise Ordinance drafted by opposing parties of police, night club owners, musicians, and residents. The ordinance was unanimously passed by City Council.
Marcia currently serves on the boards of Genesis LA (CDFI); Taller San Jose Hope Builders (youth training and social enterprise) and the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. She is a graduate of UCLA and holds a MSSW in Social Enterprise from Columbia University. She also earned a certificate in Management Development for Entrepreneurs at UCLA Anderson School of Management and is a graduate of Coro’s “City Focus” Public Affairs Program.
Tracy Colunga is the Director of the Innovation Team for the City of Long Beach. Previously, Tracy served as the City’s Neighborhood Relations Officer. Under her leadership, the City garnered $3.1 million in federal, state, and private grants to improve community safety and neighborhood livability gaps. She spearheaded the development of Safe Long Beach Violence Prevention Plan, the City’s Language Access Policy and My Brother’s Keeper Long Beach Local Action Plan. Colunga has worked to secure major grants for community safety and neighborhood livability gaps, such as the planning grant from the California Endowment which funded the Violence Prevention Plan in its first stages of development. She has focused her career around community improvement.
Colunga’s involvement with the community has gone into the community in her role on the Board of Directors with Goodwill Serving the People of Southern Los Angeles County and as organizer for the annual EmpowerHER Young Women’s Empowerment Conference for girls who are in foster care, on probation, or at-risk in Long Beach. Colunga also worked as a field instructor for the Luskin School and recently taught as a part-time lecturer in the Social Work Program.
She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work UCLA Luskin and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN. She is as a lecturer at California State University Long Beach (CSULB) Masters of Social Work Program, and she was name the 2015 Joseph A. Nunn Social Welfare Alumna of the Year by UCLA Luskin. Tracy and her family reside in Long Beach.
Gov. Michael Dukakis
As a distinguished professor of political science at Northeastern University and a visiting professor of public policy at the UCLA School of Public Affairs, Gov. Michael Dukakis brings four decades of experience as an attorney, state legislator, governor, and presidential candidate to the classroom. Born and raised in Brookline, Massachusetts, Gov. Dukakis graduated from Swarthmore College in 1955 and served two years in the Army in Korea before entering Harvard Law School. He was a practicing attorney with three years’ experience as a member of the Brookline Town Meeting when he was elected to the Massachusetts Legislature in 1962.
He went on to serve three terms as governor of Massachusetts (1975-78, 1983-1990), interrupting his last to run as Democratic nominee for president against Republican nominee George Bush in 1988. Gov. Dukakis has been a Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Northeastern University in Boston since 1991, and a visiting professor of public policy at UCLA since 1996. Formerly a lecturer and director of intergovernmental studies at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, he has also served as a visiting professor or guest lecturer at Rutgers University, Florida Atlantic University, and the University of Hawaii. An ardent supporter of public and mass transportation, he has recently served as a member and vice-chairman of the Amtrak Board of Directors.
Among the courses Gov. Dukakis teaches at UCLA are an undergraduate class, “Public Policy and the California Economy”, offered jointly with Daniel J.B. Mitchell, Ho-su Wu Professor of Management and Policy Studies, and a graduate course, “Bureaucracy and Public Management”. At Northeastern, he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses on the American presidency; public policy, with an emphasis on health policy and politics; state and local government; public management; and urban and community development.
David I. Fisher
David I. Fisher is chairman emeritus of Capital Group International, Inc. and Capital Guardian Trust Company, as well as an officer and director of numerous affiliated companies. He is a portfolio manager of global and emerging market assets and has been responsible for the organization’s international investing activities since 1982. He joined Capital in 1969 as a financial analyst and was the director of research for 10 years. A graduate of UC Berkeley, he also holds an MBA from the University of Missouri Graduate School of Business Administration.
Mr. Fisher is a member of the Los Angeles Society of Financial Analysts, as well as the International Society of Security Analysts. In addition to serving as a Trustee Emeritus of The J. Paul Getty Trust, he serves on the board of trustees for Harvard-Westlake School, CalArts, The Lowe Institute, and Alternative Living for the Aging. He also serves as an Advisory Board member of the International Monetary Fund Retirement Plan. He is based in Capital’s West Los Angeles office.
Michael Fleming has served as the David Bohnett Foundation’s executive director since 2000. He works closely with Mr. Bohnett to promote the foundation’s mission of improving society through social justice, developing quantitative and qualitative goals for funding progressive programs in education, LGBT issues, arts, gun violence prevention and cognitive animal language research.
With a background in broadcast media and public affairs, Fleming has deployed his strengths in communications, strategic planning and cause-oriented advocacy to help steer nearly $53 million to organizations that share the Foundation’s vision.
In August 2013, newly elected Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti nominated Fleming to serve on the Board of Water and Power Commissioners – the five member panel that oversees the nation’s largest public utility. He was unanimously confirmed by the Los Angeles City Council. He previously served as the President of the East Los Angeles Area Planning Commission and as a Commissioner on the Board of the Los Angeles Convention Center.
In December 2010, President Barack Obama named Fleming to the White House Council for Community Solutions — a select group of business, non-profit and education leaders that studies growth and the impact of innovative, community-developed solutions to address some of the nation’s most serious challenges.
Under Fleming’s stewardship, the Foundation established and funded leadership development graduate programs at some of the country’s top schools of public service including New York University, UCLA, Harvard and the University of Michigan. He currently teaches graduate courses on public policy at UCLA and NYU and has, since 2003, taught an undergraduate humanities course at UCLA.
He began his career as an associate producer for PBS’ flagship station, Boston’s WGBH-TV, and remains active in broadcasting as the chairman of the Board of Directors for the Santa Monica-based KCRW Foundation, one of the country’s most influential public radio stations.
Fleming has a B.A. from Colorado College and was a Victory Fellow (now Bohnett Fellow) at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. A Boston native, Fleming lives in Los Angeles and is married to Superior Court Judge Luis Lavin.
Chuck Gatchell has worked at Nike, Inc. for over 13 years. He currently leads Nike’s efforts related to the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics and the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, where he is the global general manager across a variety of areas including overall strategy, innovation, product, marketing, and marketplace development, among other areas. He is also responsible for working across Nike to develop cross-functional plans for some of Nike’s top sponsored athletes globally.
Based in Portland, Oregon, Chuck has grown up at Nike within the Strategic Planning, Innovation, and Product Management functions after starting with the Corporate Responsibility group in 2004. His first job was developing Nike’s public sustainability reports and leading corporate transparency efforts related to labor relations, environmental sustainability, and community affairs, diversity and inclusion, and government affairs. Prior to Nike, Chuck was a Senior Consultant at Ernst & Young LLP in the strategic finance and business valuation practice in Los Angeles.
Chuck holds an undergraduate degree in Management from the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business, where he also earned a minor in Creative Writing and ran cross-country and track (steeplechase). He holds master’s degrees in Accounting from the University of Virginia and Public Policy from UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs.
A first generation college graduate, Chuck co-founded Advance!, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing college awareness, information, and access in his hometown of La Habra/Whittier, California. He has served on the Advance! Board of Directors since it was established in 2002. Chuck also serves as a Nike leader as part of the Nike School Innovation program and coaches various youth sports including soccer, basketball, and track & field.
Chuck spends time away from work with his wife, Melissa, who holds a PhD in Public Health from UCLA, and their four children: Nate, Dylan, Zach, and Charlie).
Brad Gluckstein, a real estate executive by day and an avid salsa dancer by night, is the founder and majority -owner of The Conga Room – the celebrity-owned, renowned Latin music nightclub at L.A. LIVE and CEO/Founder of Conga Kids, 501 c (3) non-profit that teaches dance to underserved school communities totaling over 10,000 kids per annum.
In 1998, Mr. Gluckstein assembled a group of celebrity owners including Jimmy Smits, Jennifer Lopez, Paul Rodriguez and Sheila E. to create the Conga Room, a world-class venue for Latin music in Los Angeles. Located in the Miracle Mile neighborhood of L.A., The Conga Room hosted iconic performances by influential artists including Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Carlos Santana, and Buena Vista Social Club.
In 2008, The Conga Room relocated to L.A. LIVE to include celebrity and athlete co-owners will.i.am, Trevor Ariza, Baron Davis, and Amaury Nolasco. The downtown L.A. LIVE venue diversified its music to include Hip-hop, rock, and R&B performances by Lenny Kravitz, Prince, Stevie Wonder, and Avici. The Conga Room has featured internationally recognized Latin artists at the L.A. LIVE venue including the Gypsy Kings, Prince Royce, J Balvin, Maluma, Bad Bunny Ozuna.
Along with The Conga Room and Conga Kids, Mr. Gluckstein is the founder and CEO of Apex Realty (1986). It oversees a robust portfolio of retail, industrial, mixed-use neighborhood shopping centers, and apartment buildings. Apex Realty has recently focused its efforts on “impact development” in underserved communities and works with the faith-based community of South L.A. including West Angeles CDC to develop these projects. In 2018, West Angeles Community Development Corporation named Mr. Gluckstein Business Partner of the Year.
Active in philanthropic endeavors, Mr. Gluckstein shares his love of dance with L.A.’s youth and founded Conga Kids in 2016. A non-profit, 501c (3) corporate citizenship partner of The Conga Room, Conga Kids utilizes a standards-based program to teach fifth and sixth grade students partnership dances including Salsa, Merengue, Swing, Tango, and Foxtrot. Conga Kids develops students’ creativity and sets a framework for respect, teamwork, confidence, and leadership. Conga Kids currently reaches more than 10,000 students in 11 school districts throughout L.A. County. Mr. Gluckstein also serves as an Advisory Board member of the Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission and the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs Board of Advisors. He is a very proud father of 2 daughters, Leila and Sonya, and son Jonah and lives in Los Angeles, California with his wife, Yanka Burgos.
Lori Greene Gordon
Lori Greene Gordon began her career in politics and public service as a volunteer on George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign while still a student at Beverly Hills High School. A chance meeting with then-California Secretary of State Jerry Brown led to her becoming the first volunteer in his 1974 gubernatorial campaign. Her early involvement enabled her to serve as the chair of his UCLA campaign during her freshman and sophomore years. Following the successful results of this gubernatorial election, she chose to focus her efforts on her hometown and, at just 19 years of age, became the youngest-ever candidate to run for the Beverly Hills Board of Education. Her grassroots campaign and practical approach to the significant issues of the day enabled her to place sixth in a field of 13 candidates. She has remained active in Beverly Hills politics ever since, chairing a number of city council and school board campaigns. In 2015, she was appointed to a seat on the Beverly Hills Planning Commission, serving as its Chair in 2017-18.
Lori is a Phi Beta Kappa, summa cum laude graduate of UCLA, with an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. She is an owner/manager of GTL/KG Properties, a property management and development firm that specializes in prime commercial real estate in Beverly Hills and on the Westside.
When not working in business or public policy, Lori is an accomplished harpist who currently performs with the Los Angeles Lawyers Philharmonic. Her civic involvement extends to event management for charitable causes; she has produced concerts and fundraising events benefitting such organizations as The Salvation Army, Shriners Hospital for Children, The William Holden Wildlife Foundation, and Friends of Robinson Gardens. Additionally, she a member of her local Rotary Chapter, and has served on the Board of Directors of the Salvation Army’s Westwood Transitional Village; Friends of Greystone; and the Premiere Patronesses of the American Cinematheque.
Lori resides in Beverly Hills with her husband of 26 years, Neil, and daughters Victoria and Natalie.
A working mom and lifelong Angeleno, Wendy Greuel attended L.A. public schools and graduated from UCLA. Wendy started her career in public service working for her mentor, former Mayor Tom Bradley, where for ten years she worked on a wide range of public policy issues including child care, senior care homelessness, housing, public health and education.
While in Mayor Bradley’s office, Wendy was a leader in the creation of LA’s BEST, a nationally recognized after-school program that provides a safe and supervised environment for children after school, and helped found the city’s first childcare center.
Wendy’s commitment to affordable housing led her to Washington, D.C., where she served in President Clinton’s administration as the Deputy Director of the Interagency Council on Homelessness and later as the Southern California Regional Director at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In 1997, Wendy transitioned into the private sector, working for five years in the film industry as an executive at DreamWorks SKG. She provided strategic guidance in their civic and philanthropic efforts in the Los Angeles Region.
In 2002, Wendy was elected to the Los Angeles City Council and quickly developed an impressive record of accomplishment by creating jobs, preserving open space and reducing traffic congestion. In 2009, Wendy was elected City Controller, becoming only the second woman in L.A.’s history elected to citywide office. As Controller, she brought a laser focus to examining government finances ensuring our taxpayer dollars were spent efficiently, and she brought greater transparency to government.
In 2013, Wendy was engaged by the Orange County Discovery Science Center to help open their new facility, Discovery Cube L.A., in the San Fernando Valley. She is providing strategic advice on Board development, fundraising and civic engagement for Discovery Cube L.A.
In addition, in 2016, Wendy was appointed as an Executive in Residence and Strategic Advisor at the California State University Northridge Nazarian College of Business and Economics.
She currently serves as Vice-Chair of the LAHSA Commission working on homeless issues, as Co-Chair of the LAUSD Task Force, as a member of the L.A. County Women and Girls Initiative Governing Council and on the boards of Emily’s List, Emerge CA, East Valley YMCA, the Oakwood School, Discovery Cube L.A., Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project and CAUSE.
Xavier A. Gutierrez is the Managing Director of Clearlake Capital, Inc. He joined Clearlake in 2017, focusing on investments, operations, and strategic development.
Gutierrez is a member and contributor to Clearlake’s Executive and Investment Committees. Prior to joining Clearlake, he was Chief Investment Officer of Meruelo Group, the Family Office of US business executive Alex Meruelo, and President & Chief Investment Officer of Meruelo Investment Partners, the firm’s investment affiliate. At Meruelo Group, Gutierrez oversaw investments and acquisitions, deal origination, underwriting, execution, capital sourcing, and led the strategic management of a portfolio of 35+ companies. Prior to Meruelo Group, he was Principal & Managing Director with Phoenix Realty Group, a real estate private equity firm managing approximately $1 billion in institutional capital. In addition, Gutierrez has held positions with the law firm of Latham & Watkins, as a financial analyst with the investment bank Lehman Brothers, and as a financial analyst in the League Office of the National Football League.
Gutierrez also serves and has served, on the board of directors of several public and private companies. Notably, he currently serves on the Board of Directors for Commercial Bank of California, the largest Latino-owned bank in California. Previously, he served as a voting member of the United States Securities Exchange Commission Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies. Gutierrez has been very active with a number of non-profit, academic, and philanthropic organizations, including having served on the Board of Directors for the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Government cum laude from Harvard University and his Juris Doctorate from Stanford Law School.
Hon. Richard Katz
The Honorable Richard Katz is the owner of a successful public policy and government relations firm based in Los Angeles, Richard Katz Consulting (RKC), Inc. RKC offers a wide variety of services, including strategic advice, message development, negotiations/mediation and government relations strategies.
Richard Katz was California’s lead negotiator for the landmark Colorado River Agreement between the State of California, the Federal Government, four California Water Agencies, and the six Colorado River Basin States, furthering his expertise as a negotiator on issues of statewide significance. Katz had already played a pivotal role in renegotiating $30 Billion worth of California’s Energy contracts and developing California’s Transportation Blueprint for the 21st Century, which the voters approved as Proposition 111 in 1990.
Shortly after his election in June of 2005, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed Katz to serve with him on the Governing Board of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. After the horrific Metrolink accident in 2008, the Mayor appointed Katz to the Metrolink Board, where he served as Chair from 2011-2013. In Jan. of 2003, Governor Davis appointed Katz his Senior Advisor on Energy and Water issues. In 2001 Katz was appointed to the State Water Resources Control Board, confirmed by the Senate and served for six years, occupying the water quality seat.
Katz was first elected to the California State Assembly in 1980 and served continuously for 16 years. For 10 years, Katz served as Chair of the powerful Assembly Transportation Committee. Katz authored Proposition 111, a 10-year Transportation Blueprint passed by the voters. He created the Congestion Management Plan, requiring cities and counties to measure and mitigate impacts of land use decisions on their streets, highways and transit systems. Katz also spearheaded numerous investigations of governmental waste.
In addition to serving as Chair of the Transportation Committee, Katz worked in policy areas including education, environment, criminal justice and consumer issues. Some of his accomplishments include laws he wrote dealing with prison reform, groundwater protection, computer education, a $100 million school bus replacement program, Mono Lake restoration and landmark water market legislation. Katz was Chair of Angelenos for Better Classrooms, which led the successful 1997 campaign to pass a $2.4 billion L.A. school bond.
Gadi Kaufmann is the Managing Director and CEO of RCLCO (Robert Charles Lesser & Co.), a premier end-to-end solutions provider in the real estate sector around the world. The firm offers entity-level and portfolio-level strategy planning; economic and market analysis advisory work; due diligence and underwriting services; workouts and restructuring work; turnkey development management services; and transaction services. RCLCO completes several hundred assignments per year, serving developers, lenders, private and institutional investors and non-real estate entities (such as corporations, trusts and foundations, not-for-profit entities and the government/public sectors) worldwide.
Gadi joined RCLCO in 1979. He specializes in economic consulting for real estate projects and portfolios; entereprise-level corporate strategy planning and management consulting; transactional and negotiation services; and in financing and capital formation strategy formulation and implementation.
Gadi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from UCLA, and is married to Karen Kaufmann, a Professor of Political Science at UCLA. Gadi is active and holds leadership and/or board positions in numerous organizations, including the Urban Land Institute; the UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate; Young Presidents’ Organization and World Presidents’ Organization (YPO-WPO); PREA, the Pension Real Estate Association; and The Institutional Real Estate Letter as an Editorial Advisory Board Member.
Joanne Corday Kozberg
Joanne Corday Kozberg is a recognized leader on regulatory reform, organizational effectiveness, and governance, having held senior positions in state government and some of California’s most prominent educational and arts institutions. Her career in public, not-for-profit and private sectors spans 35 years, and her expertise helps clients navigate the complex regulatory and permitting processes, develop realistic business strategies and secure funding from both private and public sources. She focuses on finding the simplest, most direct solutions in order to provide clients with certainty in their dealings with both state and local governments. Joanne joined California Strategies in January 2003 and opened the firm’s Los Angeles office.
Kozberg served as Secretary of State and Consumer Services under Governor Pete Wilson, where she managed an agency with 14,000 employees, a budget of $1.4 billion, and 12 departments, including Consumer Affairs, General Services, the Public Employees’ Retirement System, the Franchise Tax Board, the Building Standards Commission, State Teachers’ Retirement System, and Office of the Insurance Advisor. On behalf of Governor Wilson, she launched and led the Construction Industry Roundtable, the Governor’s Council on Information Technology, and the Competitive Government Task Force, which was initiated to create a transformation plan to reduce bureaucracy and increase positive results in state government. She also led the Task Force on Camarillo State Hospital Re-Use. Kozberg also served as Wilson’s Senior Policy Consultant during his term as U.S. Senator, specializing in entertainment and film, transportation, land-use and arts issues. She also served as Co-Chair of Governor Schwarzenegger’s California Performance Review Commission and was a member of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s transition team.
In 2011, Kozberg completed a 12-year term as a Regent of the University of California, and is now Regent Emeritus. She is a Trustee of the J. Paul Getty Trust, a Director of the California Community Foundation and serves on the California Forward Leadership Council.
From 1999 to 2003 she was President and Chief Operating Officer of the Music Center of Los Angeles County, a world-famous performing arts complex that includes the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Ahmanson and Mark Taper theatres and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. She has served in leadership positions for the California Arts Council, serving as its Chairman and then Director; Executive Director of the Coro Foundation in Southern California; and Southern California Director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.
Kozberg earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from University of California, Berkeley and a Master of Arts degree in public policy from Occidental College. She is also a graduate of the Coro Fellowship program.
Randall W. Lewis
Randall W. Lewis is the Executive Vice President and Director of Marketing for Lewis Operating Corp. The Lewis Group of Companies is one of the nation’s largest privately held real estate development companies and focuses on developing mixed-use planned communities and residential subdivisions in California and Nevada, as well as building golf courses, apartments, retail, office and industrial space.
Mr. Lewis oversees marketing activities for all regions of the organization. His broad areas of expertise include land acquisition, market research, product design, pricing, advertising and sales.
In 1999, the Lewis family sold a portion of their business, Lewis Homes, to Kaufman and Broad (KB HOME).
Today, more than 60,000 families live in Lewis-built single family attached and detached residences and apartment communities throughout California and Nevada. Since 1955, the Lewis organization has constructed more than 55,000 homes, 7,600 apartments and approximately four million square feet of retail, office, and industrial space. The company has developed new communities in California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah totaling in excess of 20,000 acres.
Meyer Luskin left his investment counselor business in 1961 to become President of Scope Industries, a company in the food waste recycling industry, and currently serves as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
He is an investor and director in a number of private and public companies. He served as Chairman of the Orthopedic Institute for Children and the Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center, and is currently on the Board of Directors of both organizations. He also serves as a director for Alliance for College Ready Public Schools, UCLA Foundation, Jazz Bakery, UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, OSI Systems, Inc. and Myricom, Inc.
Luskin graduated from Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights. While attending UCLA, he served two and a half years in the U.S. Air Force before receiving a bachelor of arts degree in economics in 1949. He earned his master of business administration from Stanford University in 1951. He is married to Renee Luskin and they have three children and four grandchildren.
Michael Mahdesian is currently Chairman of the Board of Servicon Systems, Inc., a business based in Los Angeles. He was appointed by former Mayor James Hahn to the Los Angeles City Planning Commission. He is on the Board of Directors of Operation USA as well as the Democracy Council, is a member of the Pacific Council on International Policy, and is on the Board of the Los Angeles Business Council.
Servicon Systems is a building service contractor specializing in green cleaning and other green building services. Servicon was recognized as one of the fastest growing companies by Inc. Magazine and the LA Business Journal in 2008.
Michael served as the Deputy Assistant Administrator for USAID’s Bureau of Humanitarian Response from 1993 to 2000, where he oversaw the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and the Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI). During this period, he was integrally involved in shaping USAID’s response to Haiti, Rwanda, Bosnia, Kosovo, Indonesia, and other crisis spots around the world. Mr. Mahdesian led the first U.S. assessment team to the Democratic Republic of Congo after the fall of Mobutu, and played a key role in helping shape the U.S. assistance program there. He participated in USAID’s Bosnia Task Force as coordinator of the humanitarian and transition programs for Bosnia. In addition, Mr. Mahdesian has chaired several U.S. Interagency Task Forces on improving U.S. and International Response to Complex Humanitarian Emergencies.
Mr. Mahdesian was formerly Executive Director of the United Armenian Fund’s airlift to the earthquake victims in Armenia. A native of California, he earned a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning with a focus on international development from UCLA in 1983. During that time, he was involved in many community projects, and won a contract to train Vista Volunteers in community organizing throughout the western states. A longtime Democratic activist, Mr. Mahdesian moved to Washington and served as Special Assistant to Rep. Tony Coelho and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee from 1983 to 1985. Returning to California, he spent seven years running a successful business in Los Angeles, and in 1992 served as a Deputy Campaign Manager for the Clinton/Gore California campaign.
Daniel Maldonado is a senior policy advisor in Holland & Knight’s Washington, D.C., office and a member of the firm’s Public Policy & Regulation Group. Mr. Maldonadohas over 35 years of federal appropriations, legislative and budget experience. He has extensive expertise in a range of public policy areas, including local government, community economic development, surface and air transportation, sustainable energy, water and environmental policy, K-12 and higher education policy, and hospital and healthcare systems. His local government experience includes advancing a collaborative sustainability initiative engaging leading Western states’ mayors.
Mr. Maldonado served 11 years as the chief of staff for former Los Angeles Congressman Edward Roybal, one of the “cardinals” on the Ho
use Appropriations Committee who served on the Subcommittees on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education; Treasury and General Government; and Foreign Operations; and chaired the House Select Committee on Aging. As the Congressman’s chief of staff, he provided appropriation analyses and recommendations for House Appropriations Committee and House-Senate Conference committees.
In addition, Mr. Maldonado worked with the Congressman to found the two leading Hispanic leadership organizations in the U.S., the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO). His work also encompassed several important legislative policy areas, including voting rights amendments, migrant and farmworker rights, bilingual education and immigration reform. During this time, Mr. Maldonado staffed the Congressman’s
successful efforts to authorize and fund the LA Metro’s commuter rail system and its intermodal hub, fund a series of public health initiatives in HIV-AIDS and Alzheimer’s disease, and fund the rebuilding of the Centers for Disease Control’s aging national laboratories’ infrastructure.
He served four years in the Carter Administration, serving first as the Director of Legislation and Intergovernmental Affairs for ACTION/Peace Corps, and then as Associate Director of the President’s Regulatory Council and overseeing safety and environmental regulatory policy analysis. He was appointed by the President as a public member to the Secretary of Interior’s Oil Shale Environmental Review panel. Previously, he served as a Contracts and Grants Officer for the University of California at Los Angeles.
Mr. Maldonado, a native of Los Angeles, graduated magna cum laude from Loyola University (now Loyola Marymount) and earned an M.S. with honors from UCLA. He also graduated from Georgetown University Graduate School in Washington, D.C. on a John Hay Whitney Foundation Fellowship.
He serves on the advisory board of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, as well as on the board of advisors for Luskin School of Public Affairs and on the board of the Roybal Foundation.
Before becoming a Client Account Manager, Gerard Orozco coordinated business development and government affairs efforts under various CH2M big city initiatives. In addition to his CAM role, Gerard is Los Angeles area manager. Gerard helps coordinate teaming, crisis management and project delivery.
Gerard joined CH2M 10 years ago after holding several posts at both the federal and local level. In addition, he held leadership positions at a number of infrastructure companies such as URS and STV. Over the years he developed deep-rooted contacts on the city, state and federal levels.
Gerard is a big part of the LA political fabric. His early career included jobs in politics and transportation. He was working as chief of staff for the city council budget committee where he helped balance big city budgets. He also spent time working in the legislative analyst’s office. In addition, he coordinated efforts to help Los Angeles comply with state law that ultimately lead to the creation of the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Gerard speaks Spanish fluently and has a basic knowledge of French.
George L. Pla
George L. Pla is CEO and founder of Cordoba Corporation, a statewide full-service civil engineering firm specializing in the delivery of infrastructure projects in transportation, education, water, and energy sectors. For over 30 years, Cordoba has worked on complex infrastructure projects that span across California and are serviced through office locations in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Ana and San Diego. Cordoba Corporation is currently ranked by Engineering News-Record (ENR) as one of the Top 50 Program Management Firms and one of the Top 100 Construction Management Firms.
George L. Pla’s recent philanthropic and civic activities include serving as a Board of Trustee of the California Science Center where he chaired the planning and engineering efforts of Cordoba Corporation’s historic transport of the Space Shuttle Endeavour and ET-94 fuel boosters through the streets of Los Angeles. His efforts to support academic institutions spans many years and include serving as Regent Emeritus at Loyola Marymount University, Presidential Associate at the University of Southern California, and co-founder of the USC Latino Alumni Association. He also serves as a member of several advisory boards including the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at USC’s Viterbi School of Engineering and USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy.
George is the former Co-Chair and member of the Southern California Leadership Council, a non-partisan, non-profit public policy partnership comprised of business and community leaders. He is a co-founder of the City Club, a premier private business club in Los Angeles that embraces and reflects the diversity and spirit of the city. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Catalina Island Conservancy, which stewards approximately 42,000 acres through a balance of conservation, environmental protection, and education. He has been named by Hispanic Business Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Latinos in the nation.
George L. Pla was recognized as Alumnus of the Year by California State University, Los Angeles, and the University of Southern California, and is the 2016 recipient of the California State University, Los Angeles Joe Shapiro Humanitarian Award. In 2017, George was received the Presidential Medallion from California State University Los Angeles. He is a graduate of California State University, Los Angeles and holds a Masters of Public Administration degree from the University of Southern California. He is also the co-author of an upcoming formative book on Latino politics, Power Shift, The Invention of Latino Politics & Transformation of America.
Richard Garcia Polanco
Mr. Richard Garcia Polanco is a former California State Assembly Member and Senator, having been first elected in 1986. Mr. Polanco served in the State Assembly for eight years. In 1994, he was elected to the State Senate and served as Senate Majority Leader since 1998 until his retirement in 2002. Mr. Polanco chaired the California Latino Legislative Caucus from 1990 to 2002.
In October 2002, Mr. Polanco established the California Latino Caucus Institute for Public Policy, a non-profit organization to serves as a broad based public policy, educational and leadership development organization. Prior to elected office, Mr. Polanco served on the staff of Los Angeles County Supervisor Ed Edelman, Assemblyman Richard Alatorre and former Governor Jerry Brown.
Mr. Polanco attended East Los Angeles College, the University of Redlands and the Universidad de Mexico where he majored in Business Administration.
Vivian Rescalvo most recently served as a senior director in Metro’s Countywide Planning and Development Department. In this capacity, she managed numerous Joint Development projects including five sites in Boyle Heights, Division 6 in the Venice community, as well as other sites throughout the County of Los Angeles.
Prior to joining Metro, Ms. Rescalvo spent nearly 20 years with Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, including the five years he served as Councilmember in the City of Los Angeles. During her time with Mr. Yaroslavsky, she handled various policy issues including transportation, land use and development, and children, family and social services. Ms. Rescalvo also spent four years at the law firm of Manatt, Phelps and Philips as a Land Use Specialist in the firm’s Government Practice group.
She holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning and Architecture from UCLA Luskin and a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Urban Studies from San Francisco State University. Ms. Rescalvo is a long-time resident of Pasadena, is currently Co-President of the Arts High Foundation for the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, and is on the Board of St. Anne’s which provides services to pregnant and parenting teens in the foster care and probation systems. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and playing tennis.
Hon. Vicki Reynolds
The Honorable Vicki Reynolds has been an exemplary community leader for thirty years. An unprecedented 3 term mayor of Beverly Hills, she was elected the City Council for 12 consecutive years and earned acclaim for initiating far-reaching and impactful projects. Vicki spearheaded the purchase of The Historic Beverly Post Office from the Federal Government for its adaptive re-use, which is now known as The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. She serves as Vice President and Chair of the Capital Campaign to oversee the completion of this significant cultural facility.
Vicki brought her passion for improving California’s education to both local and State levels. After the passing of Prop 13, Vicki spearheaded an unprecedented Joint Powers Agreement between a city and school district to fund joint services as President of the Beverly Hills Board of Education. She was appointed to the California State Board of Education for a four year term, then served as President of the Los Angeles Country School Trustees Association. She was also a Board Member and President of the Dubnoff School for Educational Therapy and served on both State and National School Board Associations, advocating for quality public education and policy development and fiscal planning. She also led a seminar on “Women in Public Service” at Havard University’s prestigious Kennedy School of Government, and is currently a Trustee of the California State Summer School for The Arts.
Vicki has served UCLA on the Dean’s Council of the Department of Letters and Science, as Chair of the Professional Achievement awards Committees, the Board of Counselors, and is a Chancellor’s Associate. In 2002, Vicki was named UCLA Alumna of the Year for Public Service.
Mrs. Reynolds has served on the Board of Public Broadcasting affiliate KCET, The California Creativity Forum (an initiative of the California Arts Council), the Advisory Committee of the Los Angeles County Strategic plan for Arts Education. She is on the Modern and Contemporary Art Council at the Los Angeles County Museum, Beverly Hills Police Foundation Board, local chapter of Rotary International, and is a long time Sponsor of Concern Foundation for Cancer Research.
Vicki Reynolds graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from UCLA in Political Science and has a Degree Superior from La Sorbonne at The University of Paris. She was awarded the esteemed Legion D’Honneur by the French, its highest honor given to a foreign citizen.
Vicki Reynolds is married to Murray Pepper, Ph.D. and has two children. Together they have six grandchildren.
Dr. Susan Rice
Dr. Susan Rice is a management consultant, specializing in fundraising for non-for-profit organizations with her firm, SFR Consulting. She is also a senior consulting associate with Brakeley Briscoe Inc. Prior to establishing her business, Dr. Rice was the president and chief executive officer of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association. Before this appointment, Dr. Rice was employed as vice president of Business Executives for National Security (BENS) in Washington, D.C.
She is a charter founder of the Women’s Refugee Commission and serves on the boards of the UCLA Foundation, Radlink, Inc. – a digital medical imaging company — and is an officer of Pepperdine University Board of Regents. She also serves on the Board of Advisors for the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and Women and Philanthropy at UCLA.
Dr. Rice earned her doctorate in education from Pepperdine’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology. She holds an MPA degree from UCLA and a bachelor’s degree from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame.
Hon. David Ryu
Los Angeles City Councilmember David E. Ryu represents the 4th council district which include the neighborhoods of Sherman Oaks, Toluca Lake, Hollywood, Hollywood Hills, Los Feliz, Silverlake, Miracle Mile, Hancock Park, Windsor Square, Larchmont and a portion of Koreatown.
Ryu studied economics at UCLA; Public Policy and Administration at Rutgers; won a prestigious United Nations graduate internship; and was a Netkal Fellow at USC’s School of Social Work.
As Senior Deputy to Los Angeles County Supervisor Yvonne Burke, he worked for years on issues like public health, housing, children and family services, transportation and senior services. He helped oversee the County budget and worked for a time as a Special Investigator for the Auditor-Controller, rooting out waste and fraudulent expenditures.
Ryu returned to the non-profit world and served as Director of Development and Public Affairs at one of Los Angeles’s largest non-profit health care providers: Kedren Acute Psychiatric Hospital and Community Health Center.
On July 1st, 2015 Ryu became the first Korean American to serve on the LA City Council and only the second Asian American.
Tom Safran is Chairman of Thomas Safran & Associates, developers and managers of affordable multifamily residential housing. His firm specializes in both family and senior low-rent housing and mixed use developments.
Nationally, Mr. Safran has belonged to such organizations as the Home Builders, the Urban Land Institute, the National Housing Coalition, NAHRO, and the National Leased Housing Association, of which he was a member of the Board of Directors. He has been active locally in Los Angeles nonprofit housing organizations as President of Alternative Living for the Aging and as Vice President of Menorah Housing Foundation, and as a member of the Corporate Fund for Housing. In addition, Mr. Safran has volunteered in his community serving on local boards: homeowner associations in Brentwood and Bel Air, 15 years on the San Vicente Design Review Board, Chair of the San Vicente Improvement Association, Treasurer of Brentwood Green, and Business Representative on the Brentwood Neighborhood Community Council. He is also a founder of both the Museum of Contemporary Art and on the Board of The Music Center of Los Angeles County.
Mr. Safran has a Bachelor’s degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut (where he was on the Board of Fellows), and an MBA from UCLA where he is a Chancellor’s Associate. Prior to establishing his own company in 1974, he held various positions over a five-year period with the Los Angeles Area, Chicago Regional, and Washington, D.C. Central offices of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Miguel A. Santana
Miguel A. Santana is the President and CEO of the Los Angeles County Fair Association, a private nonprofit Association that manages the nearly 500-acre Fairplex in Pomona. With a mission to build community and strengthen the economy, Mr. Santana’s vision for the Fairplex campus is to create an experiential environment for the community to live, learn, work and play. By forging collaborative relationships with the region’s educational institutions, government officials and community residents Mr. Santana is focused on the transformation of Fairplex into a 21st century sustainable globally-recognized venue and economic engine grounded in its agricultural roots. Mr. Santana is one of only five presidents since the Fair’s inception in 1922 and looks forward to leading the organization to its 100-year celebration in 2022 – an event that will celebrate the annual Fair’s rich traditions in a manner that is relevant to Southern Californians today.
Prior to his employment at Fairplex, Mr. Santana was the City Administrative Officer for the City of Los Angeles since 2009. Mr. Santana reported directly to the Mayor and the City Council. As the CAO, his office directed oversight over the City’s $8.1 billion budget, labor negotiations, debt management and major policy issues as directed by the Mayor and/or City Council, including the proprietary departments of Department of Water and Power, Airport and Harbor.
Mr. Santana has more than 25 years of experience managing numerous fiscal, legislative, political, and community issues. Previously, Mr. Santana served as one of five Deputy Chief Executive Officers for Los Angeles County. As Deputy CEO, Mr. Santana provided oversight to all of the County’s social service departments including the Department of Children and Family Services, Public Social Services, Child Support, Military and Veterans Affairs and the Human Relations Commission. Collectively, these departments represented $9 billion of the $22 billion annual County budget.
Mr. Santana has a B.A. in Sociology and Latin American Studies from Whittier College and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University. Mr. Santana serves on the Boards of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, United Way of Los Angeles and Discovery Cube Los Angeles.
Karen Hill Scott, Ed.D.
Karen Hill Scott, Ed.D., is the creator, co-founder and Chair Emeritus of Crystal Stairs, Inc., a social entrepreneurship venture that became one of the most highly respected private non-profit child development organizations in the country. Crystal Stairs supports parental employment, early education from infancy to age 5, and health and wellness initiatives for over 20,000 children annually.
After transitioning from the front lines of community development and public policy, Hill Scott moved full time into content consulting for children’s television and on-screen media. She has worked on over 2,000 produced episodes of commercial and public television, including setting and executing standards for Educational/Informational compliance with the federal Children’s Television Act. Her clients are international leaders in children’s TV, starting with NBC, and expanding to Nickelodeon, Discovery Communications, the Disney Channel, the Public Broadcasting System, several independent producers.
Hill Scott is a graduate of the UCLA School of Education (M.A., and Ed.D. degrees), and a former faculty member of the UCLA Urban Planning Program. She was a California State Commissioner for the Children and Families Commission. She sits on the Boards of the Parsons Foundation, GreatSchools.org, and serves on the YOU TUBE Think Tank for children’s video content.
Gary Segura was named as the new dean of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs in September 2016, succeeding Lois Takahashi, who had served as interim dean since August 2015.
Previously, he was the Morris M. Doyle Centennial Professor of Public Policy, professor of political science, and professor and former chair of Chicana/o-Latina/o studies at Stanford University. A member of the faculty since 2008, he was a faculty affiliate of African and African American studies; American studies; feminist, gender and sexuality studies; Latin American studies; and urban studies. In addition, he directed the Center for American Democracy and was the director of the Institute on the Politics of Inequality, Race and Ethnicity at Stanford. In 2010, Professor Segura was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Prior to joining Stanford, he was a member of the faculty at the University of Washington (2005-08), the University of Iowa (2001-05), Claremont Graduate University (1996-2001) and the University of California, Davis (1991-96).
Gary received a B.A. magna cum laude in political science from Loyola University of the South, and an A.M. and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. His research focuses on issues of political representation and social cleavages, the domestic politics of wartime public opinion and the politics of America’s growing Latino minority.
He has published more than 55 articles and chapters, and he is a co-editor of “Diversity in Democracy: Minority Representation in the United States” and a co-author of four books — “Latino America: How America’s Most Dynamic Population is Poised to Transform the Politics of the Nation;” “Latinos in the New Millennium: An Almanac of Opinion, Behavior, and Policy Preferences;” “The Future is Ours: Minority Politics, Political Behavior, and the Multiracial Era of American Politics;” and “Latino Lives in America: Making It Home.”
Active in professional service, he has served on numerous committees and editorial boards, and he is a past president of the Western Political Science Association, Midwest Political Science Association and Latino Caucus in Political Science. From 2009 to 2015, he was the co-principal investigator of the American National Election Studies. Moreover, he has briefed members of Congress and senior administration officials on issues related to Latinos, served as an expert witness in three marriage equality cases heard by the Supreme Court, and has filed amicus curiae briefs on subjects as diverse as voting rights, marriage equality and affirmative action.
Jeffrey A. Seymour
Jeffrey A. Seymour combined over 40 years of experience in both the public and private sectors to establish Seymour Consulting Group (SCG), a governmental relations firm specializing in areas of planning, zoning and land use consulting as well as public policy analysis and ordinance studies. SCG serves a diverse portfolio of clients throughout southern California.
Prior to forming SCG, Seymour served as a senior deputy to former Los Angeles County Supervisor Edmund D. Edelman as deputy in charge of field operations throughout West Hollywood, West Los Angeles and the City of Beverly Hills. Seymour also reviewed budget for the Los Angeles County Regional Planning Department the County General Plan, community plans and all variances, conditional use permits, zone changes and subdivisions that came before the Board of Supervisors. In addition, he was Edelman’s liaison with the Los Angeles County Departments of Parks and Recreation, Senior Citizen Affairs, Forester and Fire Warden and the Registrar Recorder’s Office.
In 1984, Seymour and Donn F. Morey co-founded Morey/Seymour and Associates (MSA) a governmental and land use consulting firm based in Los Angeles. During its 18 year existence MSA was considered one of the most successful firms of its kind representing such clients as The Getty Trust, AT&T Wireless Communications, The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, Vons Shopping Centers, Paramount Pictures, ABC and CBS Studios.
In 2002, Seymour founded SCG headquartered in Westlake Village California. With a team of experienced professionals, the firm continues to provide its clients with a blend of services focusing on both the technical side of preparing maps, applications and environmental assessments required to file discretionary permits and the ability to negotiate and represent clients before both elected and appointed decision makers at all levels of government. SCG clients include Occidental College, Combined Properties Inc., Innovative Dining Inc., Equinox Fitness Centers, Soho House West Hollywood, Monarch Group, Mani Brothers Real Estate Managers, Inc. and Marriott International.
Seymour has served on a number of public and private boards and committees including as Alumni Regent on the Board of Regents of the University of California, President of the Alumni Associations of the University of California, President of the UCLA Alumni Association, and as a member of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. He currently sits as Chair of the UCLA Foundation’s Audit Committee and a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Seymour co-founded the California Coalition for Public Higher Education and chairs the West Hollywood Library Foundation’s Board of Directors.
Seymour received both a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s in Public Administration from UCLA.
Annette Shapiro was born in Los Angeles, married Leonard Shapiro in 1948, and has been a professional volunteer for over 55 years. Her first leadership position as a married woman was in 1953, as president of the Junior Matrons of Hadassah, in the San Fernando Valley in California.
Mrs. Shapiro is a Member of the Board of Governors at Cedars-Sinai, and immediate past Co-Chair of the BOG $15,000,000 campaign for the Cedars-Sinai Center for Cancer Research.
She is also a founding member and now President of the Board of Directors of Beit T’Shuvah, an organization that offers men and women afflicted by drug and alcohol addictions a recovery program rooted in ethics, values and community. In 1994, she co-authored a book titled “Annette Shapiro, Professional Volunteer,” to share her enthusiasm about her lifetime of various volunteer experiences and roles.
She was the first woman Chairman of the Board of the Jewish Community Foundation and is past Chair of the U.J.F. Women’s Campaign of Los Angeles. Mrs. Shapiro served as a member of the Board of Directors, Los Angeles Jewish Federation Council, who in 1998 awarded her the Golda Meir award for outstanding service.
In 2004, she was honored at the International Lion of Judah Conference with the Kipnis- Wilson/Friedland Award for the outstanding impact she has made in the local Jewish community through her commitment to tzedakah and tikkun olam.
In 1986, Mrs. Shapiro was given the Addison B. Scoville award for her outstanding contributions to the National American Diabetes Association, and while on the Premiere Committee for the ADA, helped raise more than $5 million for diabetes research.
Mrs. Shapiro currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Leonard. She is very proud of her three children (one, David, of blessed memory), seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. In fitting memory to their son David, Annette and Leonard have generously given funds to the American Jewish University (formerly The University of Judaism) to build a new Chapel on the campus, to be named the David Alan Shapiro Memorial Synagogue Center.
Peter Shapiro and his family have a special interest in the care and research for people with disabilities.
Laura Shell has maintained a 20-year career working in local government and with environmental organizations. She has served on the Los Angeles County Planning Commission and the Lower Merion Township (PA) Planning Commission. She worked for former Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky for 10 years, serving as his Planning Deputy for 5 years. Her work included oversight of all development applications within his district, with a focus on land and resource protection in the Santa Monica Mountains. While living in the Philadelphia area, Laura served on the boards of the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the Lower Merion Conservancy.
Ms. Shell received a B.A. from UCLA, and Master’s in Public Administration from USC.
Leonard Unger was born in Germany to Holocaust survivors Henry and Rose Unger on February 20, 1947. He attended public schools in Los Angeles and obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with honors from UCLA in 1967. He was selected to various scholastic honor societies including Phi Beta Kappa.
He attended law school at the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall) and received a Juris Doctor degree 1970. He was admitted to the California and New York Bars in 1971. Upon graduation from law school, he became associated with the New York law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. He moved to Beverly Hills in 1973 after becoming associated with the law firm of Kaplan, Livingston, Goodwin, Berkowitz & Selvin, and joined the Beverly Hills law firm of Levine & Unger (then known as Levine & Krom) one year later. He became a named partner and he has practiced law with the firm for the last 39 years.
Mr. Unger’s practice has been in the estates, trusts and litigation areas of the law and he has represented companies such as Citicorp Card Acceptance Services, Citicorp Diner’s Club, Inc. and City National Bank, as well as numerous entities involved in the commercial, real estate and business areas. He has been retained by real estate, talent agency, and manufacturing clients to negotiate structure, strategize and implement business initiatives as well as to resolve business disputes.
Mr. Unger is a life member of the Board of Directors of the Pacific Region of the Arthritis Foundation where he was a Past Chair, and has served on the Board of several other nonprofit foundations. Mr. Unger served on the National Board of Trustees of the Arthritis Foundation for four years as a Vice-Chair and as a Chair of its Public Policy and Advocacy Committee. In 2000, he received Southern California Chapter’s highest award, the Jane Wyman Humanitarian Award. He served on the Board of Directors of the Boalt Hall Alumni Association for six years and as its President during 1996-97. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the U.C. Berkeley Foundation from 1996-97 as well as on its investment committee. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of the American Jewish Committee, Los Angeles Chapter, and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
Mr. Unger serves as Trustee or Co-Trustee of various trusts and has been an investor in several start-up companies for his own account. During his career he has acted as a Judge Pro Tem, been a member of the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills Bar Associations, participated in various bar sections within his fields of interest, was a member of the 1984 Rules Committee of the Democratic Party and of various community civic and cultural organizations, including the Los Angeles Music Center Leadership Council, where he serves as a Vice President on its Board, and is a member of the Order of the Golden Bruin. In 1998 he received the Thurgood Marshall Award from the Bar Association of the City of New York for his pro bono death penalty work. Currently, he is in his tenth year of service as a Trustee of the Board of Investments of the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association.
Mr. Unger lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Catherine Lavine Unger, a consultant and community and political activist. They have two children, Daniel Unger who is married to Susan Hirschberg Unger, and Laura Dudley who is married to Randy Dudley, and five grandchildren; all of whom live in Los Angeles.
Jill Black Zalben
Jill Black Zalben joined Black Equities Group in 2004. She is involved with the operation and management of her family’s real estate portfolio. Jill is also a Director of the Stanley and Joyce Black Family Foundation. She is on the Board of several philanthropic organizations which include: Adopt The Arts, Beit T’Shuvah, Cedars Sinai Board of Governors, Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust, The David Lynch Foundation, Temple of the Arts, and University Kidney Research Organization. She is also committed to ending chronic homelessness.
Jill is also a member of the Southern California Grantmakers and Council on Foundations. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Communications from the American University in Washington, D.C. Jill has two children, Zach and Torie Zalben.
Faculty Executive Committee 2018-2019
Chair: Michael Stoll (Public Policy)
Vice Chair: Laura Wray-Lake (Social Welfare)
Public Policy Representative: John Villasenor
Social Welfare Representative: Alfreda Iglehart
Urban Planning Representative: Ananya Roy
The UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs has used the opportunity presented by the generous $50-million naming gift from Meyer and Renee Luskin to rethink and plan how to meet the challenges of our time. This Strategic Planning effort begins to redefine the future of the School, the future of the field of public affairs, and the future for how public universities respond to society’s greatest problems.
This comprehensive planning project has focused on identifying the world’s most pressing problems, developing new opportunities for UCLA Luskin to address them, and creating the knowledge base, tools and initiatives that are required for the School to play a leadership role for the next 20 years.
Documents related to the plan may be accessed as PDFs at these links:
1. Executive Summary (PDF)
2. Draft Plan (PDF)
3. Conceptual Framework (PDF)
You may also download all 3 documents in zipped format – (ZIP)
The Luskin School of Public Affairs building is located in the northeast section of the UCLA campus adjacent to the Murphy Sculpture Garden. Visitors to the School should plan on entering campus through the Hilgard entrance and park in Structure 3.
Find out more about visiting UCLA.
UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
337 Charles E. Young Dr. East