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Pepperdine | School of Public Policy

Meet the Staff

The School of Public Policy staff are dedicated to serving the needs of students in a variety of areas. These administrative staff with extensive experience at Pepperdine, broad exposure to policy and student service, and exceptional commitment to the mission and success of the school are identified below with job functions and service areas.

Administrative Staff

Pete Peterson - Pepperdine University
Pete Peterson (MPP '07)

Dean,
Braun Family Dean's Chair
Senior Fellow, Davenport Institute

310.506.8054

Email Pete Peterson

Pete Peterson's Full Bio

  • Administration and Faculty
  • Development and Strategic Planning
  • Consulting/Training, Public Engagement Skills
  • Training, Online Engagement
  • Writing/Speaking, Public Engagement
Sheryl Covey - Pepperdine University
Sheryl Covey

Assistant Dean for Administration

310.506.7470

Email Sheryl Covey

  • Academic Affairs
  • Administrative Services
  • Budget Management
  • Information Technology
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Student Affairs
Matt Cutler - Pepperdine University
Matt Cutler

Director of Development

310.506.6513

Email Matt Cutler

  • Advancement
  • Board of Advisors
  • Community Affairs
  • Donor Relations
Pooja Di Giovanna
Pooja Di Giovanna

Assistant Director for Professional Education
Davenport Institute

310.506.4052

Email Pooja Di Giovanna

  • Davenport Institute Communications
  • Strategic Partnerships
  • Professional Development
  • Professional Certificates
  • Research & Writing
Eric Duarte-McDermott - Pepperdine University
Eric Duarte-McDermott

Assistant Dean for Admissions & Program Relations 

310.506.7492

Email Eric Duarte-McDermott

  • Admissions and Recruitment
  • Enrollment Management
  • Program Relations
  • Strategic Partnerships
Melissa Espinoza - Pepperdine University
Melissa Espinoza

Assistant Director of
Engagement & Programs 

310.506.7686

Email Melissa Espinoza

  • Communication and Marketing
  • Donor and External Relations
  • Events
  • Graduate Assistants
  • Student Affairs
  • Student Organizations
Natalie Helton - Pepperdine University
Natalie Helton

Program Services Manager for Admissions and Office Management

310.506.7572

Email Natalie Helton

  • Admissions
  • Administrative Services
  • Enrollment Management
  • Recruitment Initiatives & Programs
Christopher Jones - Pepperdine University
Christopher Jones

Director of Program Services and Admissions

310.506.7369

Email CJ Jones

  • Academic Advising
  • Academic Tutors 
  • Enrollment Management
  • Financial Aid
  • Recruitment/Admissions
  • Student Affairs 
Ashley Trim - Pepperdine University
Ashley Labosier (MPP '09)

Senior Advisor
Davenport Institute

310.506.6878

Email Ashley Labosier

Ashley Labosier's Full Bio

  • Davenport Institute Administration
  • External Relations
  • Research & Writing
  • Speaking & Training
  • Program Development
Taylor Palmer - Pepperdine University
Taylor Palmer

Administrative Assistant Advancement and Davenport Institute 

310.506.6803

Email Taylor Palmer

  • Administrative Services
  • Community Affairs
  • Donor Relations
  • Events
Jaclyn Ramirez - Pepperdine University
Jaclyn Ramirez

Manager of Marketing and Communication

310.506.7497

Email Jaclyn Ramirez

  • Communication and Marketing
  • Community Relations
  • Creative Services
  • Media Advisor/Public Relations
  • Web and Social Media
Michael Shires - Pepperdine University
Dr. Michael Shires

Associate Dean for Strategy and Special Projects

310.506.7692

Email Michael Shires

Michael Shires' full Bio

  • Institutional and Curriculum Design
  • Strategic Planning & Assessment 
  • Program Collaboration
  • Public Policy and Public Affairs
  • Public Speaking
Kirsten Vassie - Pepperdine University
Kirsten Vassie

Program Services Manager for Professional Development and Alumni Affairs

310.506.7488

Email Kirsten Vassie

  • Alumni Affairs
  • Career Coaching and Guidance
  • Employer Relations
  • Internship Management 
  • Professional Development
James R. Wilburn - Pepperdine University
James R. Wilburn

Dean Emeritus

310.506.7490

Email James Wilburn

  • Advancement and Development
  • External Relations
  • Instruction
  • Research