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Pepperdine | School of Public Policy

Politics and Pandemic Webinar Series

Corona Virus

In the midst of the global COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, the Pepperdine School of Public Policy is hosting webinars with policy experts, regarding various topics such as: the response of the federal government, the calling to public service, and more to come.

Event Details

Online Zoom Session

For more information about this event, please email sppevents@pepperdine.edu, or call 310.506.7490


Past Webinars

  The Federal Government's Response to COVID-19

Thursday, April 16, 2020

David Mansdoerfer

David Mansdoerfer

Michael Shires

Michael Shires

Join David Mansdoerfer (MPP '11), former deputy assistant secretary for health at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), for an engaging virtual discussion regarding the federal government's response to COVID-19. Learn the inner workings of Washington's emergency management processes in this unprecedented crisis—how it's worked effectively, and where it demands improvement for the future.

Dr. Michael Shires, associate dean for strategy and special projects at Pepperdine School of Public Policy, will be moderating an interview with Mansdoerfer followed by a public Q & A.

Topics to discuss:

  • How do federal agencies interact in "whole of government" approach?
  • How have the agencies been interacting with state governments?
  • Were the testing problems as bad as reported?
  • What federal crisis management processes need to change in a "Post-COVID-19 World"?
  • All individuals who register will receive the recording of the webinar via email.
  COVID-19 and the Calling to Public Service

Friday, April 24, 2020

Pete Peterson - Dean Pepperdine School of Public Policy

Pete Peterson

As someone who had his own career path upended by 9/11, Pete Peterson, dean of Pepperdine School of Public Policy, came to understand the concept of "vocational calling" as a new lens through which to see his professional career. He confesses, "Starting with a comfortable life in the private sector 15 years ago, today, I'm not doing a single thing professionally, that I thought I'd be doing in policy and politics. 9/11 did that for me, and for many people in my generation and younger."

Will the pandemic prompt a new "COVID-19 Generation" to consider careers in public service?

Join Pete for this interactive presentation and conversation about "vocational calling," and how crisis can be formative in making career decisions. From his own personal experiences and the writings of great thinkers on the topic, Peterson will explore:

  • What is "vocational calling" and how do you find it?
  • How does an understanding of calling influence actual career decisions?
  • How can calling redeem tragedy?
  • What does a calling to public service look like . . . and doesn't it look like?
  • A public Q & A will follow Peterson's remarks.

Registration is limited. All individuals who register will receive the recording of the webinar via email.

  The 2020 Election & the Pandemic

Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Dan Schnur

Dan Schnur

Join Dan Schnur, Pepperdine School of Public Policy adjunct faculty, for an engaging virtual discussion regarding implications of the COVID-19 crisis across the country and how this will affect the 2020 elections.

Schnur, teaches a seminar course at Pepperdine School of Public Policy entitled, "Political Issues: Political Communication and Strategy." He is the founder of the USC/LA Times statewide political poll. Previously, Schnur worked on four presidential and three gubernatorial campaigns as one of California's leading political strategists and served as the national director of communications for the 2000 presidential campaign of US Senator John McCain and was the chief media spokesman for California Governor Pete Wilson.

In this fast-paced and interactive webinar Schnur will explore the following questions:

  • Will the coronavirus unite America—or will it divide us further?
  • How will Trump be judged by the voters on his handling of the COVID-19 crisis?
  • With voters so distracted by the coronavirus, will Biden be able to be heard?

Registration is limited.

  The Pandemic Hits Home: COVID 19, Local Government and the Four Horsemen of the Fiscal Apocalypse

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Rick Cole

Rick Cole

During this pandemic, while much of the public's political focus has been on Washington, DC and our state capitals, the greatest fiscal impact of the crisis will be felt at the city level - particularly here in California. Join one the America's leading local government practitioners and observers, Rick Cole (recent city manager of Santa Monica), for an important conversation about what a "Post-Pandemic World" may look like for America's cities and local governments.

In this fast-paced FREE webinar, Cole will address these vital questions:

  1. In describing the pandemic era as the "Four Horsemen of the Fiscal Apocalypse"(cratering revenues, neglected infrastructure, pension debt and community need), what's the path forward for city governments against these challenges?
  2. What kind of leadership is needed in these times?  What are the roles of elected officials and city managers?  What role is there for the private sector, civic organizations and academics?
  3. What are the biggest threats to ward off and what are the biggest opportunities to seize in these times?
  4. And your questions!

Registration is limited.



  Is It Safe Yet? Business Liability & Constitutional Considerations in Reopening

As businesses begin re-opening, criminal prosecutions are ramping-up for alleged fraud in connection with CARES Act relief funds, including the Paycheck Protection Program. This is just the beginning of what will likely become many years of government investigations and litigation. What are the emerging trends in pandemic-related fraud enforcement by law enforcement agencies, and how can companies receiving federal aid position themselves to demonstrate compliance and manage enforcement and litigation risk?

Join a panel of policymaking and legal experts as we explore these questions and more:

  • What are the Constitutional considerations for business reopening policies?
  • At what level should these policies be set? Federal? State/local?
  • How can businesses best prepare themselves for the "Post-Pandemic Era"?
  • And more!


For more information on the webinars, please email sppevents@pepperdine.edu or call 310.506.7490.