Maureen Tobin - Executive Director
As the Executive Director, Maureen infuses her passion for effective public engagement in guiding the work of the Institute. Tobin comes to Davenport after 14 years in local government where she served as the first Communications and Engagement Manager (subsequently Director) for the City of Morgan Hill. In her role, she developed, implemented and led several significant community engagement efforts including a complete street pilot project that received national attention and the most significant infrastructure project in the history of Morgan Hill. She also led and facilitated a year-long community conversation regarding funding, priorities and options for fiscal sustainability. Maureen brings a breadth of perspective to the table from past leadership roles in healthcare, medical transportation, education and consulting work in the private sector. She has a Bachelor's degree in Health Science from San Jose State University and certificates in public participation. She has been a guest lecturer, speaker and trainer on many topics including public engagement, work life balance, and municipal budgets.
Pooja Bachani Di Giovanna - Assistant Director for Professional Education
As the Assistant Director, Pooja works with our panel of trainers to help promote and coordinate training opportunities, develop certificate and training curriculum, and foster relationships with strategic partners. Bringing a breadth of communications experience to her role, she manages the promotion and marketing of all Davenport offerings including a growing writing portfolio for the Institute. She works closely with our Graduate Assistant team and serves as the Faculty Advisory for the student ICMA chapter. She also serves on the Board of Directors at the National Steinbeck Center and on the Steering and Teaching committee for the University Network of Collaborative Governance. Previously, she worked in Washington D.C. in communications, advocacy, and partner relations. She has a Masters degree in English Education from Long Island University, a Masters in English Literature and Literary Theory from the University of Freiburg, Germany, and Bachelors degrees in English and Philosophy from Boston University.
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 (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, Former Executive Director – Western Riverside Council of Governments
- Matt Bronson, City Manager – City of Grover Beach
- Dennis Donohue, Director of Western Growers Center for Innovation and Innovation and Technology; Former Mayor – City of Salinas
- Artie Fields, City Manager — City of Inglewood
- Jim Friedl, General Manager – Conejo Recreation and Park District
- Caitlin Robinett Jachimowicz, Treasurer – City of Morgan Hill
- 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
- Meagan Scheid, 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, Executive Director — Western Riverside Council of Governments; Former City Manager — City of Stockton
Davenport Institute Trainers
Interested in becoming a Trainer?
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