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Pepperdine | School of Public Policy
Kurt Wilson

Kurt Wilson

Adjunct Faculty
School of Public Policy


With nearly 30 years of senior government experience, Dr. Kurt Wilson is a local government advocate, researcher, and educator who is best known as the city manager during Stockton’s journey from being the largest bankrupt city in America to the second most fiscally healthy large city in America.  Along with crisis leadership and the equitable delivery of public services, his primary research interest is the Policing of Black America, which leverages his background in front-line, oversight, and regulatory law enforcement roles. With a career spanning the private and nonprofit sectors, four cities, two state agencies, one county, and two federal agencies, he draws on the diversity of his professional experiences for classroom conversations. He currently serves as the executive director of the Western Riverside Council of Governments and the general manager of the Riverside County Habitat Conservation Agency. Wilson holds a BS in organizational management and an MBA from the University of La Verne, a master in educational administration from California Coast University, and a doctor of law and policy at Northeastern University.  In addition, he holds certifications in public leadership from Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; governmental accounting from University of Georgia; is a credentialed manager by International City/County Management Association (ICMA); and holds certifications in human resources, certified labor relations, and project management.  Wilson served as the City Manager in Residence at Pepperdine’s School of Public Policy in 2015-2017 and 2019-2020.


  • DLP, Law and Policy: The Policing of Black America, Northeastern University 
  • MBA, Management and Leadership, University of La Verne
  • MA, Education Administration, California Coast University
  • BS, Organizational Management, University of La Verne


  • City Management
  • Crisis and Public Leadership
  • Labor Relations
  • Local Government Advocacy
  • Policing and Criminal Justice Reform