Pete Peterson was the first executive director of the bi-partisan organization, Common Sense California, which in 2010 joined with the Davenport Institute at the School of Public Policy to become the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership. In 2008, he developed the organization's annual Public Engagement Grant Program, which has provided over $300,000.00 in grants over the last several years to municipalities and special districts across California - from La Mesa up to Eureka, and Morrow Bay to Riverbank. Peterson has also consulted on several of these "participatory planning" and "participatory budgeting" projects in cities ranging from Salinas to Palmdale, and has directly facilitated public meetings. Peterson has co-created and currently co-facilitates the training seminar, "Public Engagement: The Vital Leadership Skill in Difficult Times" – a program offered to California leaders from city planners to regional officials. To date over 500 city, county, school district, and nonprofit officials have attended these seminars. He has written extensively on public engagement and technology for an array of print and online journals, and from 2008 to 2011 co-authored the California Civic Health Index. Peterson created, and is the executive editor of the Institute's four blogs: "inCommon", "Gov2.0Watch", "Golden Governance", and "BigSocietyWatch". Peterson earned his BA in history from George Washington University, and an MPP from Pepperdine University's School of Public Policy. He was also a public affairs fellow at The Hoover Institution in 2006. He serves on the advisory committees to the Institute for Local Government's Public Engagement Program, the California Civic Innovation Project, and the University Network for Collaborative Governance.
Ashley Trim has worked in public policy at the local, state and national level, for both governments and non-profit organizations. As communications specialist for the City of Lancaster, CA, she worked with various city departments on public engagement and information efforts. This experience established her interest in the public engagement process, while also providing insight and understanding into the challenges and fears facing local government officials who wish to engage their residents. Trim has a BA in Government from Patrick Henry College and an MPP from the Pepperdine School of Public Policy. After receiving her Master’s degree, she spent a year teaching in a low-performing public school, an experience which reinvigorated her interest in the potential of public engagement to address some of our most pressing public issues – particularly at the local level. She currently serves as Senior Editor of the Davenport Institute's four blogs and writes about public engagement issues for local and online news organizations. Trim also coordinates Davenport’s training seminars and events, and works with Pete Peterson on the Institute’s research and engagement projects.
Ed Everett served as been co-chair of Common Sense California's City/Regional Task Force from 2008-2010 and now serves on the Davenport Institute Advisory Council. He helped develop and co-facilitate the organization's training programs in public participation. Everett is a nationally-known speaker on issues related to public participation and community-building. He is the recently-retired city manager of Redwood City, where he held the position since 1992. Prior to that, he served as city manager of Belmont, assistant county manager for Washoe County, Nevada, and program analyst/fire chief for the City of Palo Alto. After obtaining a degree in economics from the University of California, Davis, and a graduate degree in urban affairs from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School, Everett gained valuable experience during several years as a VISTA volunteer. While overseeing what some call the renaissance of Redwood City, he focused a great deal of research and study on the concept of "community building" - what makes a real community.
David B. Smith is the Chief of Programs and Strategy at the National Center for Service & Innovative Leadership at The Presidio in San Francisco. Prior to this appointment, he spent five years as the Executive Director of the Congressionally chartered National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) where he helped craft the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, expand America's Civic Health Index to include over 25 state and local reports, create the Civic Data Challenge, launch The Civic 50 with Bloomberg Businessweek, and publish reports on civic education, service learning, and proving the correlation between civic engagement and unemployment rates.
Prior to joining NCoC, David founded and directed Mobilize.org, a national organization that works with over 200,000 young adults to improve democracy by investing in Millennial led solutions. He has been honored with awards including the Independent Sector's "American Express NGEN Fellowship", YouthVote Coalition's "30 under 30" and the International Youth Foundation's "YouthActionNet Fellowship" for social entrepreneurship. He has been featured in many magazines, blogs and newspapers, including the New York Times, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, Miami Herald, Huffington Post, NPR's Marketplace and CSPAN. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a degree in Political Science. While at Cal, he taught a class on National Youth Policy and researched the causes and possible solutions to the "Youth Civic Engagement Crisis in America."
David is the Vice chair of the Board of Directors for the Corps Network and serves on the Advisory Board of the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, the Bipartisan Policy Center's Democracy Project, the Concord Coalition, Reimagining Service Council, Mobilize.org and on the Steering Committee of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools.
Michael Warder is a vice chancellor at Pepperdine University. Prior to coming to Pepperdine, Warder was executive director of the Southern California Children's Scholarship Fund (2001-05); vice president for development at The Claremont Institute based in California (1995-01); executive vice president of The Rockford Institute in Illinois (1985-95); executive vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington DC (1983-84); and director of administration at the Heritage Foundation (1980-83). He has written newspaper columns on a variety of topics for hundreds of newspapers including: Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, San Diego Union Tribune, and many others. While in Illinois, Warder was a weekly commentator for WNIJ, the NPR affiliate for Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. He won four Silver Dome Awards for his commentaries. He has appeared as a guest on a wide variety of television and radio programs including: O'Reilly Factor and Hannity and Colmes on Fox, Politically Incorrect on ABC, Fox News, Chicago Tonight on WTTW, Life & Times and Frontline on KCET, CBS Network news, and many others. Warder created, produced, and hosted a weekly public affairs television program, Stateline Newsmakers. He has traveled broadly and led delegations to the former Soviet Union, the Baltic States, London, Hong Kong, Jerusalem, Rome, and China. Listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World, Warder is a member of the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, Council for National Policy, Philadelphia Society, and the Board of Directors of the Americanism Educational League. He is a graduate of Stanford University with a degree in political science.
Steven Frates is the author of numerous studies and reports on state and local government finance and public policy issues. His research has addressed areas ranging from public education system finances to municipal government expenditure patterns. He is often quoted in the media and has written columns for the Los Angeles Times, the Orange County Register, and other newspapers. Frates has served on the California State Constitutional Revision Commission, the Technical Advisory Commission of the State Solid Waste Management Board, and the Technical Advisory Group of the State Storm Water Runoff Program. In June 2004, Governor Arnold Schwarzeneggar appointed Frates to the California Performance Review Commission. Frates received his B.A. from Claremont McKenna College, and his MPA and PhD from the University of Southern California. He has taught graduate level courses in government finance, public policy and public administration at the University of Colorado, the University of Southern California, California State University Fullerton, and San Diego State University. He currently teaches graduate courses in public policy analysis and government finance at the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University. Prior to his current appointment as director of research at the Davenport Institute, Frates was a Senior Fellow at the Rose Institute of State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna College. He has also been an assistant to the city manager for the City of Fullerton, California, executive director of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, and a high school teacher instructing students in civics, economics, mathematics, and history. In addition to his responsibilities at Pepperdine University, Frates is president of the Center for Government Analysis.
Jim Keene, City Manager – City of Palo Alto
Rick Bishop, Executive Director – Western Riverside Council of Governments (COG)
Rod Gould, City Manager – City of Santa Monica
Bev Perry, Former Mayor – City of Brea
Susan Sherry, Executive Director – Center for Collaborative Governance at Sacramento State University
David Smith, Executive Director – National Conference on Citizenship
Fred Diaz, City Manager – City of Fremont
Matt Bronson, Assistant City Manager – City of San Mateo
Tim O'Donnell, City Manger – City of Brea
Dennis Donohue, Mayor – City of Salinas
Ken Hampian, City Manager (retired) – City of San Luis Obispo
Terry Amsler, Executive Director – Institute for Local Government (League of California Cities)
Rich Ramirez, City Manager – City of American Canyon
Mike Parness, City Manager – City of Napa
Tony Eulo, Program Administrator – City of Morgan Hill
Mark Linder, City Manger – City of Campbell