Administration and Fellows | Davenport Institute | School of Public Policy | Pepperdine University

Administration and Fellows

Pete Peterson - Executive Director

Pete Peterson

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 dozens of municipal governments across California. Peterson has also consulted on several of these projects with local governments, 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 that has been attended by over 1,000 municipal officials. Peterson created, and is the executive editor of the Institute's two main blogs: "inCommon", and "Gov2.0Watch". Peterson earned his BA in history from George Washington University, and an MPP from Pepperdine University's School of Public Policy. Pete has been a public affairs fellow at The Hoover Institution, and he serves on the Leadership Councils of the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) and California Forward, and on the advisory committees of the University Network for Collaborative Governance, and the Institute for Local Government.

Ashley Trim – Assistant Director

Ashley Trim headshotAshley 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 public engagement 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.

Rod Gould - Senior Fellow, Local Government Solutions 

Rod GouldRod Gould has successfully managed five cities over 29 years in both northern and Southern California, retiring as City Manager of Santa Monica in 2015. He has held leadership roles in the city management profession, including serving as vice president of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA), on the Board of Directors of the League of California Cities, and as president of the City Manager's Department. He currently serves on the boards of the Institute for Local Government, the Davenport Institute, and SAGE Publication's "State and Local Government Review."  Rod received his undergraduate degree in political science and economics from Yale, and his graduate degree in public management and finance at Harvard University. He has taught at the USC Price School of Public Policy, San Francisco State University, and California State University Long Beach. You can find out more about Rod here.

Ed Everett - Senior Fellow, Civic Engagement Practice

Ed Everett

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 - Senior Fellow, National Civic Engagement 

David Smith HeadshotDavid B. Smith is the Managing Director at the Presidio Institute 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, 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, and on the Steering Committee of the Campaign for the Civic Mission of Schools.  

Steven Frates - Director of Research

Steven Frates

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.

Davenport Institute Advisory Council:

Anne Ambrose, Director of Administrative Services - City of Palmdale

Rick Bishop, Executive Director – Western Riverside Council of Governments (COG)

Matt Bronson, Assistant City Manager – City of San Mateo

Dennis Donohue, Former Mayor – City of Salinas

Tony Eulo, Program Administrator – City of Morgan Hill

Artie Fields, City Manager - City of Inglewood

Jim Friedl, General Manager – Conejo Recreation and Park District 

Rod Gould, City Manager – City of Santa Monica

Ken Hampian, City Manager (retired) – City of San Luis Obispo

Ingrid Hardy, Community Services Superintendent – City of Santa Clarita 

Jim Keene, City Manager – City of Palo Alto

Mark Linder, City Manger – City of Campbell

Tim O'Donnell, City Manager – City of Brea

Mike Parness, City Manager – City of Napa

Bev Perry, Former Mayor – City of Brea

Rich Ramirez, City Manager (retired) – City of American Canyon

Sarah Rubin, Program Manager, Public Engagement - Institute for Local Government

Susan Sherry, Executive Director – Center for Collaborative Governance at Sacramento State University

Kathleen Tiegs, Director – Cucamonga Valley Water District


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