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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)

Braun Family Dean's Chair
Senior Fellow, Davenport Institute


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 (MDR '20)

Assistant Dean for Administration


Email Sheryl Covey

  • Academic Affairs
  • Administrative Services
  • Budget Management
  • Information Technology
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Student Affairs
Pooja Di Giovanna - Pepperdine University
Pooja Di Giovanna

Assistant Director for Professional Education
Davenport Institute


Email Pooja Di Giovanna

  • Davenport Institute Communications
  • Strategic Partnerships
  • Professional Development
  • Professional Certificates
  • Research & Writing
Lynda Havard
Lynda Havard

Administrative Coordinator
Advancement/Davenport Institute


Email Lynda Havard

  • Administrative Services
  • Community Affairs
  • Donor Relations
  • Events
Melissa Espinoza - Pepperdine University
Melissa Espinoza

Director of Strategic Initiatives
and Student Engagement 


Email Melissa Espinoza

  • Communication and Marketing
  • Donor and External Relations
  • Events
  • Graduate Assistants
  • Student Affairs
  • Student Development & Programming 
  • Student Organizations
CJ Jones - Pepperdine School of Public Policy
CJ Jones

Senior Director of Student Services


Email CJ Jones

  • Academic Advising
  • Academic Tutors
  • Enrollment Management
  • Financial Aid
  • Recruitment/Admissions
  • Student Affairs
Emily Milnes - Pepperdine School of Public Policy
Emily Milnes (MPP '21)

Director of Recruitment and Program Relations


Email Emily Milnes

  • Admissions and Recruitment
  • Enrollment Management
  • Program Relations
  • Public Engagement
  • Strategic Partnerships
  • Writing/Speaking
Jaclyn Ramirez - Pepperdine School of Public Policy
Jaclyn Ramirez

Manager of Marketing and Communication


Email Jaclyn Ramirez

  • Communication and Marketing
  • Community Relations
  • Creative Services
  • Media Advisor/Public Relations
  • Web and Social Media
Michael Shires - Pepperdine School of Public Policy
Michael Shires

Vice Dean for Strategy and Online Programs


Email Michael Shires

Michael Shires' Full Bio

  • Institutional and Curriculum Design
  • Online Programs
  • Program Collaboration
  • Public Policy and Public Affairs
  • Public Speaking
  • Strategic Planning & Assessment
Karin Taylor - Pepperdine School of Public Policy
Karin Taylor (MS '02)

Office Manager


Email Karin Taylor

  • Academic Affairs
  • Administrative Services
  • Faculty Support
  • Information Technology
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Project Management
Maureen Tobin
Maureen Tobin

Executive Director, Davenport Institute


Email Maureen Tobin

  • Davenport Institute Administration
  • External Relations
  • Research & Writing
  • Speaking & Training
  • Program Development
Kirsten Vassie - Pepperdine School of Public Policy
Kirsten Vassie

Assistant Director of Career Services


Email Kirsten Vassie

  • Alumni Career Engagement
  • Ask-An-Alum Career Series
  • Career Coaching and Guidance
  • Employer Relations
  • Internship Management
  • Professional Development
James Wilburn
James Wilburn

Dean Emeritus


Email James Wilburn

  • Advancement and Development
  • External Relations
  • Instruction
  • Research