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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


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 and Writing
Lee Eksteen
Lee Eksteen

Admissions and Office Manager


Email Lee Eksteen

  • Admissions
  • Administrative Services
  • Enrollment Management
  • Recruitment Initiatives & Programs
  • Tours and Visits
Melissa Espinoza
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


Lynda Havard - Pepperdine University
Lynda Havard

Administrative Coordinator
Advancement/Davenport Institute


Email Lynda Havard

  • Administrative Services
  • Board of Advisors
  • Community Affairs
  • Donor Relations
  • Events
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, LLM '23)

Director of Recruitment and Program Relations


Email Emily Milnes

  • Admissions and Recruitment
  • Enrollment Management
  • Program Relations
  • Public Engagement
  • Strategic Partnerships
  • Writing/Speaking


Lena Pacifici
Lena Pacifici

Manager of Marketing and Communication


Email Lena Pacifici

  • Communication and Marketing
  • Community Relations
  • Creative Services
  • Media Advisor/Public Relations
  • Social Media
  • Web Design
Karin Taylor - Pepperdine School of Public Policy
Karin Taylor (MS '02)

Assistant Director of Career Services


Email Karin Taylor

  • Career Coaching and Guidance
  • Employer Relations
  • Internship Management
  • Professional Development
  • Alumni Relations
Maureen Tobin
Maureen Tobin

Executive Director, Davenport Institute


Email Maureen Tobin

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

Dean Emeritus


Email James Wilburn

  • Advancement
  • Development
  • External Relations
  • Instruction
  • Research