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Maureen Tobin Headshot

 Maureen Tobin - Executive Director
Maureen Tobin is the executive director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership. She began her career in public engagement with the City of Morgan Hill where she spent almost 14 years in community outreach.  Tobin has been an Advisory Council Board Member for Davenport Institute as well as a trainer and speaker for the Professional Certificate in Advanced Public Engagement.  While at Morgan Hill Tobin was the first-ever communications and engagement manager, where she created the City's community engagement from the ground up. Tobin at the same time acted as the emergency operations center public information officer where she would communicate with media and other agencies and emergency personnel to provide accurate and timely information to the community in times of significant emergencies and natural disasters. Tobin has a BS in Health Science from San Jose State University. 


Pooja Di Giovanna - Assistant Director for Professional Education
Pooja Di Giovanna works with Executive Director Maureen Tobin and our new panel of trainers to help promote and coordinate training opportunities, identify participants and partners for certificate offerings, and foster relationships with potential hosts and strategic partners with an eye to new programming. Previously, she served as Social Media Manager at the Alliance Defending Freedom in Washington, DC; as Director of Communications for Young Americans for Liberty; and as Assistant Director for the Institute for the Study of Democracy and Liberalism at Long Island University.

Taylor Palmer headshot

Taylor Palmer - Administrative Assistant
Taylor Palmer is the assistant to the executive director at the Davenport Institute. She is a recent graduate of Pepperdine's Seaver College where she double-majored in Writing and Rhetoric and Creative Writing. Palmer brings skills in digital marketing and communications to the position and is passionate about contributing to the mission and vision of the Davenport Institute as she begins her own career serving local governments.




Pete Peterson - Senior Fellow, Civic Engagement Training
Pete Peterson was the first executive director of the bi-partisan organization Common Sense California (CSC). In 2010, CSC became the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at Pepperdine University. Currently, Peterson serves as dean of Pepperdine's School of Public Policy. Along with teaching a class on the subject at Pepperdine, Peterson co-developed the Davenport Institute's training seminars which have been offered to more than 1,000 public sector leaders. He's also consulted on many participatory governance projects throughout California on issues ranging from budgets to water policy. Pete serves on the advisory boards of California's Institute for Local Government, and the Public Policy Institute of California, as well as the DaVinci Charter Schools in Hawthorne, CA. Pete earned his BA in History from George Washington University, and his Masters in Public Policy from Pepperdine's School of Public Policy. He was the 2014 Republican nominee for California Secretary of State.

Ashley Labosier

Ashley (Trim) Labosier - Senior Fellow
Ashley Labosier (MPP'09) is Senior Fellow to the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy and Director of the Consortium of Public Service Organizations. She served as executive director of the Davenport Institute for 5 years, during which time she co-designed and launched the Professional Certificate in Advanced Public Engagement for Local Government. Ashley is a national writer and speaker on issues related to civil discourse, public engagement, and transparency, as well as an adjunct professor at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy. She has a BA in Government from Patrick Henry College and an MPP from the Pepperdine School of Public Policy.


Rod Gould - Senior Fellow, Local Government Solutions
Rod 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.



  Davenport Institute Advisory Council

The Davenport Institute Advisory Council is a key group of leaders with years of experience leading and practicing engagement in their communities. These decision makers help guide the strategic mission, vision and efforts of our organization.

  • Lynne Ashbeck, Councilmember – City of Clovis
  • Jamil Barnett, Deputy Probation Officer – County of Los Angeles; Adjunct Professor – Azusa Pacific University
  • Rick Bishop, Executive Director – Western Riverside Council of Governments (COG)
  • Matt Bronson, City Manager – City of Grover Beach
  • Dennis Donohue, Former Mayor – City of Salinas
  • Artie Fields, City Manager — City of Inglewood
  • Jim Friedl, General Manager – Conejo Recreation and Park District
  • Michael Kasperzak, Public and Government Affairs Consultant — Kasperzak Public Affairs; Former Mayor – City of Mountain View
  • Jim Keene, City Manager (retired) – City of Palo Alto
  • Justin Lovell, Administrative Services Department Manager — Richmond West County Wastewater District
  • Meagan MacPherson, Public Affairs and Communications Director - City of Roseville
  • Mike Parness, City Manager – City of Napa
  • Bev Perry, Former Mayor – City of Brea; City of Mountain View
  • Drew Powers, City Manager — City of Thousand Oaks
  • Lydia Romero, City Manager — City of Lemongrove
  • Yvette Sennewald, Neighborhood Engagement Division Manager — City of Riverside
  • David B. Smith, CEO — X Sector Labs, LLC
  • Kurt Wilson, Former City Manager- City of Stockton

  Davenport Institute Trainers

Davenport Institute is regularly training skilled facilitators to help us expand our public engagement programming.
Learn about our current trainers.

Interested in becoming a Trainer? 

Contact davenport.institute@pepperdine.edu.

   Public Engagement Champions

Our public engagement champions are advocates for Pepperdine and the Davenport Institute across the state of California.

  • Anne Ambrose, Director of Administrative Services - City of Palmdale
  • Ed Everett, City Manager (retired) - City of Redwood City
  • Tony Eulo, Program Administrator - City of Morgan Hill
  • Ingrid Hardy, Director of Cultural and Community Services - City of Oxnard
  • Ken Hampian, City Manager (retired) - City of San Luis Obispo
  • Deb Linden, Former Police Chief - City of San Luis Obispo
  • Mark Linder, City Manger (retired) - City of Campbell
  • Tim O'Donnell, City Manager - City of Brea
  • Kathleen Tiegs, Director - Cucamonga Valley Water District