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.
Student body: 1,190 students
- 163 Public Policy students
- 250 Social Welfare students (38 Ph.D.)
- 182 Urban Planning students (35 Ph.D.)
- 595 Undergraduate (248 continuing majors, 210 pre-majors, 164 minors)
Numbers accurate as of Fall 2022
- 1,171 Public Policy
- 4,787 Social Welfare
- 2,973 Urban Planning
- 233 Public Administration
- 165 Undergraduate Program
Interim Dean Anastasia Loukaitou-Sideris
Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning
Before beginning her appointment as Interim Dean at UCLA Luskin in January 2023, Professor Loukaitou-Sideris was Associate Dean (2012-2022) and a core member of the UCLA Urban Humanities Initiative.
She has also served as UCLA’s Associate Provost for Academic Planning from 2016 to 2019 and as the Chair of the UCLA Urban Planning Department (2002-2008).
She holds degrees in architecture and urban planning. Her research integrates social and spatial issues and emphasizes the need in planning, urban design, and policymaking to understand the perspectives of those who live and work in a community, and especially those of the most vulnerable populations.
She is the author or editor of 13 scholarly books and over 150 scholarly articles and chapters, and she has written on issues relating to mobility and safety, women’s travel, homelessness in transportation environments, gentrification and displacement, ethnic neighborhoods, and inner-city and downtown development and revitalization, among other topics.
Professor Loukaitou-Sideris’s research on sexual harassment in public and transit environments was instrumental in the passing of the SB 1161 in California against sexual harassment on transit, and she was recently invited and gave a briefing to the White House Gender Policy Council on this topic.
Board of Advisors
Alex J. Rose
Alex J. Rose serves as Senior Vice President for Continental Development Corporation in El Segundo, California. He is responsible for leading all development, acquisition, disposition and redevelopment activities for the suburban office/medical/R&D park developer, whose holdings cover nearly 5 million square feet in Southern California’s Los Angeles County South Bay and City of San Francisco markets.
Over the past thirty years, Rose has overseen the development and acquisition of over 4 million square feet of Class A office, medical, recreation and retail space and the redevelopment of over 3 million square feet of single-tenant R&D facilities into multi-tenant general and medical office space, restaurants, retail, entertainment and education uses, collectively totaling several hundred projects and nearly $3 billion in real estate development activity. Previous company responsibilities have also included planning and execution of all tenant improvement, core and shell renovation and new construction work; major facilities maintenance and upgrades; project budgeting and cost controls; internal project management; architect, engineer and contractor management; asset and property management. Rose also has extensive experience in title insurance and is a licensed California attorney, with experience in general civil and bankruptcy litigation practices.
He is an Urban Land Institute Trustee and Foundation Governor, has served as Chair of ULI’s Los Angeles District Council Executive Committee, Chair of ULI’s Commercial and Retail Development Council and numerous other national and local leadership positions. Rose has chaired and served on over 40 national and local ULI Advisory Service assignments focusing on downtown and transit corridor redevelopment, revitalization and strategies as well as office and mixed use development issues.
Rose serves on the Board of Trustees of the California Science Center Foundation, on the Board of Trustees of AltaSea, a public-private venture developing a marine industry, science and education campus at the Port of Los Angeles, on the Advisory Board of The Bay Club, a multi-campus, premier active lifestyle and hospitality company, on the Board of Business Advisors of Tideline Partners, a San Diego-based small scale, infill development firm, and in various leadership positions in numerous other non-profit, civic, community and academic organizations. Rose regularly mentors numerous students and young professionals through formal mentoring programs organized through ULI as well as UCLA and USC undergraduate/graduate programs in business and real estate.
Rose received his MBA from the University of Southern California, his JD from Southwestern University School of Law and BA, Political Science from UCLA.
Alex has nearly twenty years of successful cross-sector experience working with policymakers, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and philanthropy to solve complex problems and advance change. He currently serves as Vice President at Bryson Gillette, a minority-owned public affairs firm where he works on a broad range of issues for corporate, non-profit, and government clients. Most recently he served as Chief of Staff at The California Wellness Foundation, one of the largest private health foundations in the state. Alex led efforts to address gun violence as a preventable public health issue, reimagine the youth justice system, and address issues ranging from health equity, environmental justice, and immigration.
Prior to Cal Wellness, Alex managed the development and execution of Californians for Safety and Justice overall strategy and goals to advance best practices in justice reform; build coalitions with diverse stakeholders; engage in high-impact communications; and elevate the voices of diverse crime survivors in the debate on public safety policy. While at Children’s Defense Fund-California, Alex led statewide policy advocacy, program and organizing efforts focused on access to quality affordable health coverage and care for children and low-income families, reform the youth system, promoting educational equity, and ending child poverty. Under his leadership the organization won a long-fought battle to end solitary confinement in juvenile institutions.
Alex also brings significant government experience, having worked for a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. He served as a senior advisor on education, early childhood development, youth justice, and public safety issues impacting the Second District. In addition, Alex served two terms on the Los Angeles County Board of Education, including time as President, working to effectively shape policies and programs in the best interests of students and families. He began his career in New York City advocating for domestic violence victims as an assistant district attorney in Bronx County.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Alex is a graduate of Morehouse College and American University, Washington College of Law. He serves on the boards of Southern California Grantmakers, Trust for Public Land-California Advisory Board, and the Wiley Center for Speech and Language Therapy. Alex’s writings have appeared in Huffington Post, The Guardian, Los Angeles Daily News, San Jose Mercury News, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, California Health Report, and Sacramento Bee.
Alex resides in Los Angeles with his wife, Dr. Ashley Wiley Johnson, their two precocious children, and a Cockapoo named Peeja.
Andy Cohen is one of two co-CEOs of Gensler, the world’s top architecture and design firm. Since 2005, he and co-CEO Diane Hoskins have exemplified collaborative leadership, overseeing the firm’s global platform and day-to-day operations. Under their strategic guidance, Gensler has organically grown to become the largest in the field, with some 5500+ people networked across 50 offices, serving clients in more than 120 countries.
A registered architect, Andy is a champion of the power of design to enhance and enrich the human experience. He works as a dynamic and hands-on leader, mentoring and advising Gensler’s talented teams and ensuring that the firm’s vision to redefine the future of cities endures for decades to come. An advocate for resilience and sustainability, he also leads Gensler’s board committee responsible for global design innovation initiatives, spearheading design excellence strategies and pioneering cutting-edge technology across Gensler’s 28 practice areas.
Andy also invests heavily in client and community relationships, lending his decades of expertise to a diverse roster of organizations. In addition to serving on the Board of Advisors of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, he is a member of the USC School of Architecture Board of Councilors, the Policy Advisory Board of the Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, and the Urban Land Institute’s Urban Development and Mixed-Use Council, among others. An alumnus of the Pratt Institute, Andy has delivered keynote talks and presentations for groups including the Young Presidents Organization, CREtech, Schools That Can, and TEDx.
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.
Brien R. Kelley
Brien R. Kelley is a partner of Sklar Kirsh in the Real Estate Department. Brien’s practice focuses on complex real estate transactions, with significant experience in commercial and multi-family residential acquisitions and dispositions, real property secured financing, joint venture formation, mezzanine financing and all aspects of real estate due diligence including title and survey review. Brien’s real estate practice experience includes representation of institutional and family office real estate investors, syndicators, developers and operators, and borrowers in a broad range of real-estate related matters including acquisition, development, financing and disposition and commercial leasing; securitized, mezzanine and preferred equity financing; forming and representing joint ventures, limited liability companies, general and limited partnerships and negotiating joint venture agreements.
While attending law school, Brien began his professional career at the commercial brokerage firm RE/Max Commercial, eventually obtaining his sales license and assisting investors in the acquisition and disposition of multi-family assets. In 2005 Brien began his legal career in the real estate department of the boutique law firm Kulik, Gottesman, Mouton & Siegel LLP and later spent time as an associate with Ervin, Cohen & Jessup LLP in Beverly Hills. Most recently, Brien was an associate with Epport, Richman & Robbins, LLP where he handled general business and complex real estate, corporate and transactional matters.
Born and raised in the Los Angeles area, Brien attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where he was a Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholar and a Ralph J. Bunche Alumni Scholar, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in History in 1996. He then attended USC Gould School of Law where he received his Juris Doctorate in 2000, was a Legion Lex Merit Scholar, served as Vice-President of the Black Law Students Association and was a member of the Hale Moot Court Honors Program.
Brien has served as an Adjunct Professor of real estate law at UCLA Extension, teaching “Advanced Legal Aspects of Real Estate” and has served as an executive board member for the Los Angeles Urban League, Young Professionals. Brien is currently a member of the Western Region Scholar Advisory Committee for the Jackie Robinson Scholarship Foundation and is a member of the State Bar of California and the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
Cynthia McClain-Hill, co-founder of Strategic Counsel, has long been one of the State’s most sought after policy strategists, relied upon by both clients and policy makers alike for her keen insight and sophisticated problem-solving skills. She is serving her second term on the Luskin School Board of Advisors, having served from 2012 to 2016.
She is also consistently recognized as one of California’s “Super Lawyers” – a distinction reserved for attorneys ranked in the top five percent of their profession by a survey of their peers. In addition to providing advice to a range of public policy makers, her record of civic activity includes service on the California Coastal Commission, the California Fair Political Practices Commission, the City of Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency, the Los Angeles Small and Local Business Advisory Commission, and the Mayor’s Economic Advisory Council. She currently serves as a member of the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners.
Ms. McClain-Hill earned her B.A. and J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).
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.
Jacqueline Waggoner is president, Solutions Division, for Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. She leads a team of over 300 talented Enterprisers across the country, driving Enterprise’s programmatic, policy and advisory work in alignment with our strategic priorities: Increase Housing Supply, Advance Racial Equity, and Build Upward Mobility and Resilience.
Prior to her promotion to president in October 2020, Jacqueline was vice president and Southern California market leader. She led Enterprise’s affordable housing, community development, investment and strategic programs serving the state’s Central Coast to San Diego, with particular focus to the Los Angeles region.
Jacqueline started with Enterprise in 2005. During her tenure, she has deployed capital, intellectual resources and capacity building tools to achieve Enterprise’s strategic and production goals, leading to more than $1.3 billion in Enterprise investments locally. With her experience in commercial real estate lending spanning more than 24 years, she has worked with the city of Los Angeles, banks and nonprofit developer partners to create local funds for affordable housing, advocate for low-income families and advance Enterprise’s vision of providing affordable homes in vibrant communities.
Jacqueline serves on a number of public, nonprofit and coalition boards, including the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority Commission (vice chair) and its Ad Hoc Committee on Black People Experiencing Homelessness (chair), the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, the Los Angeles Business Council and the Committee for a Greater LA. A Los Angeles native, she holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a master’s degree in urban planning from UCLA.
Jarrett Barrios serves as the Senior Vice President of Strategic Community & Programmatic Initiatives for the California Community Foundation. At the Foundation, he oversees organizational strategy and leads all CCF programmatic initiatives, marketing, communications, policy and advocacy.
Prior to CCF, Barrios has served as CEO of American Red Cross of Los Angeles, the Massachusetts Red Cross, GLAAD and the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation. From 1999 to 2007, he served in the Massachusetts legislature with a focus on progressive policy issues including affordable housing, community safety, health access and consumer protection. Barrios is an appointed member of the Covered California Board of Directors, is the immediate past president of the Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission, and serves on the boards of the Nathan Cummings Foundation in New York City, the Center on Law and Social Policy in Washington, DC and the Online Progressive Engagement Network (OPEN) in Barcelona, Spain. He has previously served as vice-chair of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund in New York, and on the boards of Families USA, the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators, and Preservation of Affordable Housing, Inc.
Barrios earned his A.B. magna cum laude in Social Studies from Harvard College and his J.D. cum laude from Georgetown University Law Center. He is currently a candidate for an M.A. in Spanish Language & Literature from California State University in Los Angeles.
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.
Kafi D. Blumenfield is a philanthropic and social justice change-maker. Kafi’s inclusive vision of the world allows her to build bridges, inspire transformative change, and ensure that equity is at the heart of her leadership and impact. Whether as the founding Executive Director of Discovery Cube LA or President/CEO of the Liberty Hill Foundation or Deputy Director of Neighbor to Neighbor, Kafi has mentored dozens of change agents from diverse backgrounds and collaborated with them to erect systems and create programs that expand opportunity and build more equitable communities. She believes that one test of leadership is the ability to foster and uplift the leadership of those around her in order to drive lasting change.
In 2020 Kafi founded Alisyo, a leadership development organization. Alisyo supports change making leaders and amplifies their impact by providing social-emotional and wellness-based skills.
In her personal and professional philanthropy, Kafi is most proud of her efforts to support multi-racial coalitions advancing inclusive agendas for social, political and economic prosperity. Over the last decade, she has led fundraising efforts that resulted in millions of dollars for organizations serving the needs of Angelenos.
Kafi is the Chair of the James Irvine Foundation. She also serves as a board member of Tides, the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands, and Self Help Federal Credit Union. She is an advisory board member of River LA, and Pomona College’s Draper Center, and an appointee on the Los Angeles County Women and Girls Initiative. Kafi is also a founding member of Susan’s Circle, a giving circle, dedicated to helping community leaders reach their potential. In addition, she has served as a Luskin School Senior Fellow since 2015.
Kafi’s work has been recognized by organizations such as LAANE, the National Women’s Political Caucus LA Westside, National Council of Negro Women, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. She holds a law degree from UCLA and a B.A. from Pomona College. She and her husband live in Woodland Hills with their two children.
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, Esq.
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 42 years. He now practices as Leonard Unger, Esq.
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 served 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. He also served 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, and Laura Dudley, who is married to Randy Dudley, and five grandchildren; all of whom live in Los Angeles.
Lourdes Castro Ramírez
California Governor Newsom appointed Lourdes Castro Ramírez to serve as Secretary of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency on March 2, 2020. She leads and oversees 10 state departments responsible for expanding affordable housing, developing comprehensive solutions to end homelessness, guarding civil rights protections, regulating banking and financial services, and strengthening consumer protections with the licensing of nearly 4 million working professionals.
Secretary Castro Ramírez currently serves on the California Strategic Growth Council, the California Housing Finance Agency Board, chairs the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council, and has been actively engaged in the state’s COVID-19 response and recovery serving on the Governor’s Business and Jobs Taskforce.
Secretary Castro Ramírez has held notable and prominent positions including being appointed by President Barack Obama to lead the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Public and Indian Housing, President and CEO of the San Antonio Housing Authority, Director at the LA City Housing Authority overseeing rental assistance and resident development programs, and most recently serving as the President University Health System Foundation in San Antonio.
She is an accomplished public servant and executive dedicated to building public, private and philanthropic partnerships efforts to improve community and system-level solutions to expanding housing, health, business, economic and educational opportunities.
Secretary Castro Ramirez has served on several community and national boards and received the 2019 Community Partner Award from the San Antonio chapter of the American Institute of Architects for chairing the Mayor’s Housing Policy Task Force. She is the recipient of the Hispanas Organized for Political Equality’s 2020 Ray of HOPE award, and 2020 San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame Inductee.
She earned her master’s degree in Urban Planning and bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Chicano Studies at UCLA.
After the loss of her son Nico in 2012, she and her family established an annual Kick Childhood Cancer Soccer Camp to raise awareness and funds to support pediatric cancer research. Nico loved soccer.
Marcia has worked in the private and public sectors as well as holding teaching assignments. She consults with nonprofit organizations committed to addressing issues of racial equity. She previously served as Vice President of Community Relations at Wells Fargo Bank focused on reinvestment in and revitalization of low-income communities. She held director level positions at two national museums and in municipal government. She holds a MSSW from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts from UCLA. She serves as a board member for the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, Genesis LA (CDFI), LA Más Advisory Board, Los Angeles Business Council, and Trust for Public Land California Advisory Board.
At the City Manager’s Office in Austin, Texas, 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 such issues as homeless shelter services, day labor site management, and community relations. In her capacity as the Executive Director of the Asian Pacific American Dispute Resolution Center, 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. Committed to developing partnerships for resolving inter-group conflicts, she engaged in training and community building around boycotts, protests, and public policy disputes in the aftermath of the 1992 Los Angeles Civil Unrest.
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 Fleming is the Executive Director of the David Bohnett Foundation – a grant making foundation charged with “improving society through social activism”. Since 2000, he has shepherded more than $120 million dollars to organizations and institutions that share the foundation’s goals and vision.
Michael has been appointed to boards and commissions at every level of government. In 2021, Governor Gavin Newsom named him as one of his two appointees to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Commission, a Joint Powers Authority between the City of Los Angeles, the County of Los Angeles, and the State of California. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Getty House Foundation, dedicated to civic education, community engagement, and the preservation of Getty House, the official residence of the Mayor of Los Angeles.
From 2013 to 2017, Michael served on the Los Angeles Board of Water and Power Commissioners – the five member panel that oversees the nation’s largest public utility. 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 2010, President Barack Obama named Fleming to the White House Council for Community Solutions.
Michael sits on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations including The Carr Center at Harvard Kennedy School, Southern California Grantmakers, and public radio powerhouse KCRW, where he served as Chairman of the Board and Co-Chair of their capital campaign. For more than 20 years he’s been an adjunct professor of organizational development and public policy at UCLA; from 2013 to 2016 he was also an adjunct professor of public policy at NYU.
Michael is married to California Court of Appeal Justice Luis A. Lavin.
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.
Peter Shapiro and his family have a special interest in the care and research for people with disabilities.
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.
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.
Robert J. Abernethy
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.
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.
Travis Kiyota is the Senior Vice President, Head of Global Corporate Affairs for East West Bank. Based in California, East West Bank is the 25th largest bank in the U.S. with over 125 offices across seven states and overseas. As a member of the Bank’s senior leadership team, Mr. Kiyota leads the Bank’s public policy and governmental relations strategy, oversees the communications and marketing function, and directs the company’s corporate security and crisis management.
Mr. Kiyota has broad and extensive experience in public affairs, strategic communications, corporate philanthropy, and crisis and risk management, spanning more than 25 years. Prior to joining East West Bank, he spent 17 years at Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), one of the largest regulated electric and gas utilities in the nation, where he most recently served as Vice President, California External Affairs and Executive Director of the PG&E Foundation. In this capacity, Mr. Kiyota was the corporate officer responsible for overseeing state and local government relations, public affairs, community relations, and crisis management.
Mr. Kiyota started his career working for the Mayor of Los Angeles as a neighborhood liaison. He later joined the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. where he served as a program officer working with state, local and community-based leaders to implement federal public safety programs. Mr. Kiyota also served as a senior policy advisor to former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, Jr.
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.
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.
Board Members Emeriti
The UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs recognizes the contributions and ongoing support of the following Board Members Emeriti since the school’s founding in 1994:
- Joanne C. Kozberg
- Miguel A. Santana
- Keenan Behrle
- Susan F. Rice
Faculty Executive Committee 2021-2022
Chair: Ananya Roy (Social Welfare)
Vice Chair: Veronica Herrera (Urban Planning)
Public Policy Representative: Fernando Torres-Gil
Social Welfare Representative: Laura Wray-Lake
Urban Planning Representative: José Loya
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)
OFFICE OF THE DEAN
Executive Assistant to the Dean
Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development
Research Development Associate
Assistant Director of Recruitment & Admissions
Associate Director of Admissions & Recruitment
Associate Director of Admissions & Recruitment
General Inquiries and Advising
Senior Executive Director of External Relations
Senior Director of Development
Associate Director of Development
Associate Director of Stewardship
External Relations Coordinator
Mark A. Peterson
Stacey Yukari Hirose
Manager (Faculty, AP, and Finance)
Director of Student Affairs
Academic Program Coordinator
Director of Student Services
Director of Undergraduate Administration and Experiential Learning
Director of Student Services
STUDENT AFFAIRS & ALUMNI RELATIONS
Director, Office of Student Affairs & Alumni Relations
Director of Alumni Engagement
Student Support Coordinator
Executive Director of Communications
Assistant Director of Communications
Media Relations Manager & Principal Writer
Director of Events
OPERATIONS AND COMPUTING
Luskin IT Computing
Director of IT Systems
Chief Financial Officer
Director, Research Administration
Human Resources Director
DIVERSITY, DISPARITIES AND DIFFERENCE (D3) INITIATIVE
Luskin Equity Advisor
Department of Public Policy
Staff Advisor, D3 Initiative
Executive Assistant to the Dean
D3 Student Project Managers
Eric Henderson MPP
Loren Lewis MSW
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.
UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
337 Charles E. Young Dr. East
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