Institutional Member Spotlight: Pepperdine School of Public Policy
The Pepperdine School of Public Policy offers a two-year, full-time Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree, as well as joint degree programs with the Graziadio School of Business and Management (MPP/MBA), and with the Pepperdine School of Law (MPP/JD) and its Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution (MPP/MDR).
Located in Malibu, California, the nationally ranked Pepperdine School of Public Policy was founded almost two decades ago as a response to what was being offered on the policy school landscape. While many programs offer a technocratic approach to policy development, we invite students to consider the multiple dimensions that affect actual policy implementation. This demands a singular core curriculum—our James Q. Wilson Core includes coursework in policy analysis along with understanding policy's moral and distinctly American elements.
Today's public leaders not only need to possess the tools of effective policy analysis, but they must understand how these policies will be accepted and sustained by a public. Our distinctively comprehensive curriculum, contemplates that there is, indeed, a "public" in public policy – one that must be both involved and informed to form sustainable solutions. Watch more.
The faculty of the School of Public Policy is comprised of leading academics and practitioners in the various fields of public policy who have been carefully chosen not only for their expertise, but for their alignment with the mission of the school and their ability to translate their respective academic disciplines into prevailing policy terms.
A distinctive feature of the school is the use of distinguished public policy scholars and practitioners to augment its own full-time faculty and the faculty of the University’s four other schools. This significant use of visiting scholars and practitioners, more widely accepted in a teaching professional school than in a research university setting, contributes to the distinctiveness of the Pepperdine program.
Dr. Luisa Blanco
Luisa Blanco, associate professor of public policy, is an economist specializing in economic development and international economics, with a focus on the Latin American region. She is affiliated with the Center for Latin American Social Policy at the RAND Corporation as a Research Fellow. Blanco is also a scholar at the Resource Centers for Minority Aging Research - Center for Health Improvement for Minority Elders (RCMAR-CHIME) at University of California, Los Angeles. In May of 2013, Blanco was unanimously elected as a Research Fellow at Harris Manchester College, Oxford University. Read more.
Dr. Angela Hawken
Angela Hawken, associate professor of public policy, directs the Swift, Certain, and Fair Resource Center for the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) Bureau of Justice Assistance. Hawken's research focuses on drugs, crime, and corruption. She is the principal investigator of several studies that test swift, certain, and fair (SCF) strategies to reduce recidivism and incarceration. She led the randomized controlled trials of HOPE probation in Hawaii and the SCF pilot in Seattle (called WISP). She led the advisory team that assisted Washington State in its statewide rollout of SCF and leads the advisory team that supports New York State's experimentation with corrections reform, called RESET. Hawken works with 11 states and an American Indian nation on implementation of SCF probation and parole, on behalf of U.S. DOJ. Hawken is the founder and director of BetaGov, a center for practitioner-led trials that provides tools to conduct experimental tests of operations and policies. Read more.
Dr. Robert Kaufman
Robert G. Kaufman, professor of public policy, is a political scientist specializing in American foreign policy, national security, international relations, and various aspects of American politics. He has written frequently for scholarly journals and popular publications. He is the author of four books, including his most recent, Dangerous Doctrine: How Obama's Grand Strategy Weakened America (University Press of Kentucky, May 6, 2016). His other publications include In Defense of the Bush Doctrine; a biography, Henry M. Jackson: A Life in Politics, which received the Emil and Katherine Sick Award for the best book on the history of the Pacific Northwest; and Arms Control During the Pre-Nuclear Era. Kaufman also assisted President Richard M. Nixon in the research and writing of Nixon's final book, Beyond Peace. Read more.
Dr. Ted McAllister
Ted McAllister, the Edward L. Gaylord Chair and associate professor of public policy, is an intellectual historian who brings a historical imagination to the public policy curriculum, a perspective not typical of such programs. His training well equips him to press students to ask the foundational moral questions concerning public policy, leading them back to first principles. A recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation's Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, he also received the Leland Sage Fellowship as well as several additional grants including one from the Earhart Foundation. McAllister has lectured frequently on the nature and future of American conservatism, in addition to his research into conservative philosophy. McAllister serves (with Jean Bethke Elshtain and Wilfred McClay) as an editor of Rowman & Littlefield's book series, American Intellectual Culture, which is designed to produce books that examine the intersection of culture and politics in American history. Read more.
Dr. James Prieger
James Prieger, professor of public policy, is an economist specializing in regulatory economics, industrial organization, and applied econometrics. He has written for scholarly journals on policy topics such as the impact of telecommunications regulation on innovation, the broadband digital divide, state and local taxation of communications providers in California, and efficient universal service funding for telecommunications. His research in the area of econometrics has dealt with techniques for duration data and biased survey data. Prieger sits on the editorial board of Applied Economics Quarterly, and his own research has been published in Review of Economics and Statistics, Economic Inquiry, Journal of Applied Econometrics, and Journal of Regulatory Economics. He has also put his academic knowledge to practical use through consulting for major telecommunications companies. Read more.
Dr. Michael Shires
Michael Shires, associate professor of public policy, was previously was a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California and a doctoral fellow at RAND's Graduate School of Policy Studies, concentrating on domestic education policy, California fiscal policy, and international trade policy. His primary areas of teaching and research include state, regional, and local policy; technology and democracy; higher education policy; strategic, political, and organizational issues in public policy; and quantitative analysis. Shires has been active as a consultant to local and state government on issues related to finance, education policy, and governance. Read more.
We equip our graduates with knowledge and skills that are valuable across many disciplines. Our graduates have chosen careers in all segments of the public sector, including local, state, and federal governments, and nonprofit organizations. Other graduates chose the private sector with careers such as consulting, research, and lobbying. Learn more about where our graduates serve.
Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership
The Davenport Institute at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy helps to solve California's public problems by promoting citizen participation in governance by working with city and county governments, special districts, regional governance associations, and non-profit organizations to both promote and support legitimate civic involvement.
Washington, D.C. Summer Seminar
This four-week/3-credit seminar is based on one of one of our "James Q. Wilson Core" courses. Students will engage in a fast-moving conversation about a series of crisis points in American history – each of which re-shaped the relationship between citizens and their government as they re-examined America's Founding Principles. The process of discovery will help students develop the skills to "think historically" not only about past events, but about current public policy debates. The seminar is a terrific introduction to the School of Public Policy's distinctive approach to preparing public leaders who consider the variety of factors that determine the success or failure of a public policy.