A Word From the Dean

It’s a very exciting time for us at Luskin – in many ways, a milestone moment. First, we are celebrating our 25th anniversary as a school. We also are starting the 2019-2020 school year with our first group of Public Affairs majors, who are helping us extend the tradition of excellence here at Luskin. We now have the privilege of helping prepare bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree students to become leaders in addressing pressing issues close to home and far afield. With support from the entire UCLA Luskin community, we have been able to make a positive impact on the lives of people not only in Los Angeles, but nationally and globally. As we look to the future, and our next 25 years, I am excited to think about what we can accomplish together.

We are encouraged by the enthusiasm we see in our students, alumni and friends. We simply would not be what we are today – a school whose students go out into the world to effect change – without you.  So, throughout this year of celebration, we celebrate each and every one of you.

Gary M. Segura, dean

Your Support Matters

At the convergence of the fields of social work, urban planning and policymaking, UCLA Luskin cultivates leaders and change agents who advance solutions to society’s most pressing problems. We invite you to invest in the future of our students and faculty and the communities that are impacted by their work.


See your giving in action at any of these silver anniversary commemorative levels:


Student Engagement – Provide access for one student to participate in community events.


Student Events – Fund programs and activities fully produced and led by Luskin student groups.
Academic Enrichment – Enable one student to attend a conference or workshop relevant to their field. Our students are encouraged to speak to public issues and/or address audiences that lie beyond the university.
Professional Development – Support a faculty member’s attendance in training or forums related to their area of research or discipline. Luskin faculty actively contribute to public debate and influence policy decisions.
Alumni Interaction – Sponsor community-building activities with alumni, including council meetings and regional gatherings.


Graduate Workshops – Help us provide more opportunities for students to attend career-building seminars, networking nights, and meaningful lectures or panels hosted by UCLA Luskin.
Capstone Awards – Financial support for student theses, Applied Policy Projects (APPs), Applied Planning Research Projects (APRPs) or other capstone projects specific to a plan of study.


Junior Faculty Research FellowshipsAllow up-and-coming faculty to receive additional research time.
Expert-in-ResidenceProvide support for distinguished guest faculty to teach a course, hold office hours to guide students, present a lecture and attend meetings during their residency.
Faculty Seminar SeriesSupport Luskin faculty in advancing shared scholarship and transdisciplinary thinking.
Faculty Support Help fund recruitment and retention efforts that enable world-class faculty to teach and mentor students. Because many top professors receive job offers from other leading academic institutions, these funds help to preserve the excellence of a UCLA Luskin education, which is critical in continuing to attract and retain top students and faculty.

Quarterly giving

Celebrate our quarter of a century milestone as the School of Public Affairs by making your gift quarterly during this academic year.

For more information, contact Associate Director of Development Laura Scarano at lscarano@luskin.ucla.edu

Celebrate With Us

Commemorate our 25th year at an upcoming UCLA Luskin event:

Block Party

September 26, 2019 — 25th anniversary celebration for all past and present students, faculty, staff and board members. Dickson Court North, UCLA

Dawn of a New Day: Asian American Women Who Are Changing Media

October 17, 2019 — Panel of Asian American women in film and television who continue to use their platform for change. Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles; part of the Meyer and Renee Luskin Lecture Series

Locking Up Our Own: A Conversation with James Forman Jr.

November 7, 2019 — Pulitzer Prize-winning author and leading critic of mass incarceration and its disproportionate impact on people of color. California African American Museum, Los Angeles; part of the Meyer and Renee Luskin Lecture Series

We Gon’ Be Alright: Screening and Panel Discussion

January 15, 2020 — A series that explores the new dimensions of racial resegregation in the United States in the 21st century. James Bridges Theater, UCLA; part of the Meyer and Renee Luskin Lecture Series

The Cult of the Gun in U.S. Culture: A Conversation with Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz

February 11, 2020 — A people’s history of the Second Amendment, as seen through the lens of those who have been most targeted by guns: people of color. Location TBA; part of the Meyer and Renee Luskin Lecture Series

Luskin Summit

April 22, 2020 —  A research-informed, cross-sector conversation about the major issues facing the Los Angeles region. Luskin Conference Center, UCLA

A Conversation with Dolores Hayden

May 7, 2020 — Urban historian, architect, author, poet and professor emerita of architecture, urbanism and American studies at Yale University. This lecture is also a part of the 50thAnniversary Celebration of the Department of Urban Planning. Location TBA, UCLA; part of the Meyer and Renee Luskin Lecture Series

Super Quiz Bowl

May 28, 2020 — Teams made up of UCLA Luskin students, faculty, alumni and staff compete in this fun-filled trivia night. Public Affairs Roof, UCLA


June 12, 2020 — Royce Hall, UCLA

Need more information about upcoming events? Contact the Events Hotline at (310) 206-8034 or email events@luskin.ucla.edu.

25 Milestones

1 July 1, 1994: Following approval by the UCLA Academic Senate and the UC Board of Regents, the new UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research officially opens.  And in 1996, Public Policy welcomes its inaugural class.

2 October 1997: The Senior Fellows Leadership Program is launched, promoting interchange between graduate students and civic leaders across Los Angeles, the nation and the world.

3 1997: The Public Affairs minor is created, headed by Professor Eric Monkkonen, giving undergraduates access to a broad-based curriculum of public affairs courses. The Urban and Regional Studies minor is added in 2006, followed by the Gerontology minor in 2011.

4 1998: Social Welfare instructor Mary Brent Wehrli is the first of four from the School to be named Social Worker of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers; those later recognized are Megan Berthold Ph.D. ’98, Marshall Wong MSW ’86 and Gerry Laviña MSW ’88. The tradition of excellence continues through 2018, when four of the six inductees into the California Social Work Hall of Distinction are UCLA Luskin alumni.

5 1998: The U.S. State Department chooses the School as its Southern California campus to host Diplomats in Residence, one of just 17 nationwide.

6 1999: The School hosts the Global City-Regions Conference, drawing policymakers, scholars, business leaders and community activists from around the world.

7 2000: The School announces its first Advisory Board.

8 September 23, 2004: The School of Public Policy and Social Research is renamed the UCLA School of Public Affairs.

9 2005: Urban Planning Professor Donald Shoup publishes his landmark book, “The High Cost of Free Parking.”

10 2006:  The UCLA Alumni Association honors Theresa Elders MSW ’78 with its highest award – UCLA  Alumnus of the Year. In 2019, William “Rusty” Bailey III MPP ’99 is also honored.

11 2007: The David Bohnett Fellowships and, in 2013, the Ann C. Rosenfield Public Affairs Fellowships are established as full-year student programs to award tuition remission and executive internships.

12 Fall 2009: The Luskin Center for Innovation is established with a $5 million gift from Meyer and Renee Luskin and, in 2010, joins three other high-profile research centers based at the School: the Ralph and Goldy Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, the Institute of Transportation Studies and the Center for Civil Society.

13 January 26, 2011: Meyer and Renee Luskin make a $100 million donation to UCLA, half of which is dedicated to programs at the School of Public Affairs, including the Meyer and Renee Luskin Lecture Series on topics relevant to the betterment of society. The School is renamed the Meyer and Renee Luskin School of Public Affairs in their honor.

14 2011: Social Welfare Professor Fernando Torres-Gil is selected by President Obama to serve on the National Council for Disability.

15 2012: Public Policy Professor Mark Kleiman founds a cannabis consulting firm, BOTEC, and leads the effort in Washington State to implement its regulations governing legal marijuana.  This same year, Public Policy alumna Nurit Katz MPP ‘08 is named UCLA’s first Chief Sustainability Officer.

16 2013: The Center for Neighborhood Knowledge, dedicated to positive social change through actionable neighborhood-related policies and programs, is reinstituted by Urban Planning Professor Paul Ong. It was first established in 1997 as part of the Advanced Policy Institute.

17 2014: Urban Planning Professor Evelyn Blumenberg is honored as a White House Champion of Change for her research on the links between transportation access, employment and poverty.

18 2016: The Institute on Inequality and Democracy, led by Professor Ananya Roy, is launched to identify and address society’s most pressing problems. The institute was a part of the 2011 strategic plan that included the creation of the Global Public Affairs program, which was launched to broaden the School’s international reach.

19 2016: Urban Planning is ranked number No. 1 for the most influential faculty, based on scholarly citations in North America. The School’s Master’s and Ph.D. departments continue to be ranked in the top ten graduate degree programs at public universities worldwide.

20 2017: Latino Policy and Politics Initiative, a think tank dedicated to research and analysis of policy issues from a Latino perspective, is launched. The California Policy Lab is also created to partner with state and local governments to generate scientific evidence that solves the state’s most urgent problems.

21 2018: The School launches its Public Affairs undergraduate major, which quickly grows to more than 250 students. With significant gifts for undergraduate scholarships from Laura and Jeff Shell and Richard Lieboff, the School reaches its $70 million Centennial Campaign goal in March 2019.

22 April 24, 2019: The School marks its 25th anniversary with the inaugural convening of the Luskin Summit, a cross-sector conversation about the major issues facing the Los Angeles region.

23 2019: Three new initiatives expand the School’s reach: the Latin American Cities Initiative, led by Associate Professor Paavo Monkkonen, strengthens ties among urban planning and policy students, educators and professionals across the Americas; International Development and Policy Outreach, founded by Professor Manisha Shah, focuses on global health and education; and the Hub for Health Intervention, Policy and Practice, led by Professor Ian Holloway, pursues research aimed at improving community health.

24 2019: UCLA Luskin Professors David Cohen and Ron Avi Astor and Professors Emeritus Yeheskel “Zeke” Hasenfeld and Robert Schilling are recognized in the Journal of Social Service Research’s list of the “100 Most Influential Contemporary Social Work Faculty.”

25 2020: Department of Urban Planning will celebrate its 50th anniversary.  Social Welfare celebrated its golden anniversary in 1998, and Public Policy marked 20 years in 2018.