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Davenport Discussion Highlights Economic Development in Local Government

Amanda Rotella speaking to room of studnets

On March 11, 2024, the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy hosted Amanda Rotella from the City of Mountain View Economic Development Division to speak to students on her professional journey and work in local government.

Rotella emphasized the importance of diligence and hard work in pursuing a career in public service. She initially desired to work in international relations, but ultimately found fulfillment in local community government. She says her primary role in economic development is to act as the intermediary between local businesses and the local government. It is no secret that there can be a disconnect from theory to practice in policy development and implementation. However, Rotella, and others in her field, help businesses work within the policy implementations by providing guidance and support. On the other hand, within the city departments, Rotella serves to ensure new economic policies are in lockstep with the economic development division.  

She also emphasized the value of the Davenport Institute’s Certificate in Public Engagement For Local Government. She said that she regularly pulls lessons learned from the program into her daily work. Her biggest piece of advice to students was to be committed to leadership at every level. She said it is a value and attitude you hold when you show up and less about a specific role.