Master of Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) Advisory Council
The Advisory Council is a group of local professionals who serve as advisors to the Master of Public Policy and Administration (MPPA) program and faculty. The members of the Advisory Council come from a variety of sectors within the area. Their focus is on advising on program improvements, developing learning opportunities, and promoting close cooperation among the community. They also support the MPPA program on a wide range of other activities involving students, faculty and alumni.
President and Chief Executive Officer of Lutheran Social Services of Southern California
In her early career, she fast tracked to becoming one of the highest-level executives in the Army and Airforce Exchange Services, serving as a Vice President in the predominately male led military structure. Using her business acumen and leadership skills, she has held many recent positions in higher level academia including two Orange County universities - Hope International University in Fullerton and California Southern University in Costa Mesa. She is well known for bringing leadership training and profitable results with a sought-after specialty in building consensus and resolving conflicts. An inspirational speaker and author, she is also known for implementing diversity and inclusion strategies long before today’s heightened public awareness. In fact, Profiles in Diversity Journal named her a 2011 Women Worth Watching Award Winner. Driven by her heart for women who faced temporary hardships, she used her platform as the founder of Professional Christian Women in Service to support causes like The Gatehouse and others -- providing programs designed to impact women’s financial, emotional, and spiritual health. Additionally, she served many years on Anaheim’s My Safe Harbor’s Board of Directors, a powerful local agency that strengthens families by empowering and equipping mothers. As President and Chief Executive Officer at Lutheran Social Services of Southern California, Dr. Beckwith oversees the strategic direction and execution of the agency’s core mission: Ignited by faith, we live out God’s love by embracing, equipping, and empowering vulnerable people in Southern California. Establishing a vision for community impact that works across private, public, and corporate sectors, Dr. Beckwith leads a diverse team of 190+ employees across 18 offices in six counties, to create holistic and trauma-informed approaches to improving health in underserved communities.
“My personal mission statement is to enable, encourage, empower, and energize others to be all that God has called them to be. This mission statement has driven my over three decades of personal and professional growth and development” reflected Dr. Beckwith. “Everything I do is informed by what I believe to be my purpose and calling in the Body of Christ. Ultimately, my desire is to live out Proverbs 31:8-9 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Dr. Beckwith holds dual Doctoral degrees of Business Administration and Philosophy in Strategic Leadership and Organizational Management from California Southern and Capella universities respectively. She holds lifetime professional certifications in the area of strategy from the University of Michigan and in leadership from both the Center of Creative Leadership and the Wharton School of Business. She also holds a Master of Business Administration with Distinction from Embry-Riddle University and Master of Arts in Business Management from Webster University.
Professor and Director, Economics, Executive Director, Center for Economics of Social Issues, California Lutheran University
During the last two and a half decades he has become more focused on the economic analyses of social issues and published in professional and popular journals as well as books edited on such subjects/issues. His research endeavors on the topic of investing in children resulted in publication of multiple pioneering studies on the economic impact of Boys & Girls Clubs of America in a number of states and metropolitan areas within the USA. In all of his recent studies on children and youth, there is a strong emphasis on the impact of socio-economic status (SES) of children on their academic performance and social behavior and their opportunity to be successful in their lives as they grow up.
He served as a consultant for a number of organizations such as Boys & Girls Clubs across various states, Public Health, First 5, United Way, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, various foundations within Ventura and LA Counties, and a number of other non-profit organizations.
His other scholarly work includes a broad spectrum of current social and economic issues such as: project design and evaluation, methods of capacity building during time of crisis, crisis prevention and recovery, causes of economic imbalances, aid coordination, privatization of industries, monetary and financial problems, and economic and social impact assessments of policies or institutional establishments.
While he worked at UNDP and later as an international consultant with UNDP and the United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS) he conducted a number of studies on economic issues of Somalia and the Horn of Africa. His studies relate to the economic and political issues of the area faced with political instability and economic crises. He writes op-eds a number of regional newspapers and he is often interviewed by various news media. His views and commentaries on international economic issues are frequently sought by international media such as BBC and other international radios and televisions.
Director of the RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy
Rafiq Dossani is director of the RAND Center for Asia Pacific Policy, a senior economist at the RAND Corporation, and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He works on education, finance, regional development, security, trade, and technology issues. Recent projects include security in the Korean peninsula, the Belt and Road Initiative, Track II diplomacy between the United States and China, and Asia's democratization.
Previously, Dossani was director of Stanford University's Center for South Asia and a senior research scholar at Stanford University's Institute for International Studies. He holds a Ph.D. in finance from Northwestern University, an M.B.A. from the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, and a B.A. in economics from St. Stephen's College, Delhi.
Adjunct Faculty Instructor
PJ holds a BA degree in Political Science with a Minor in Asian American Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. He holds Master’s degrees in Public Policy and Urban Planning from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. PJ earned the distinction of becoming one of the first Accredited California Economic Developers from the California Association of Local Economic Development. He is also a graduate of the USC Ross Program in Real Estate, Public Policy International Affairs Program, New York City Urban Fellows Program, and Ventura County Leadership Academy.
Professor of Political Science, California Lutheran University
Interim Area Director at Lutheran Social Services of Southern California
City Manager, City of Pasadena
Chief Technology Officer, Ventura County Employees’ Retirement Association
Director of Economic Development, Central Houston Inc.
Robert Pieroni has a proven track record for developing innovation ecosystem initiatives that bridge the gaps between startups, startup development organizations, corporate entities, investors, academia and government. His latest vision led to the creation of a 17,000-SF Downtown innovation hub. The inspiration behind his project Downtown Launchpad was to integrate specific ecosystem elements in a distinct space, fostering a robust environment to support high-growth, high-impact startups. The project is anchored by nationally recognized startup accelerators MassChallenge and gener8tor, and globally recognized incubator Impact Hub.
He serves as an advisory board member for Austin-based venture fund Ecliptic Capital, multiple startups across different verticals, and startup development organizations gener8or and MassChallenge Texas. Robert holds a Master of Public Administration & Policy from California Lutheran University, earned his Bachelor of Science in Sociology with Criminal Justice Emphasis on Law from Abilene Christian University, and graduated from the University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute.
Council Member, City of Moorpark
David is passionate about preserving the environment and is a board member of the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District. He serves as chair of the Environment Quality Committee for the League of California Cities and served as chair of the Energy & Environment Committee for the Southern California Association of Governments from 2020-2022. David also is an advisor to Luminace, the North American decarbonization-as-a-service platform for Brookfield Renewable.
In his professional life, David is the director of client relations for The Green Law Group, LLP in Simi Valley. He holds an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School and a BS degree from Pepperdine University.
City Manager, City of Thousand Oaks
Prior to his work in Thousand Oaks, he managed media relations, web development, and community partnerships for the City of Ventura, CA Civic Engagement Division and oversaw marketing, corporate relations, and program development for the City of Raleigh, NC Parks & Recreation Department. Andrew holds a BS degree from North Carolina State University and a Master's in Public Policy and Administration from California Lutheran University. On a personal note, he resides in Ventura, CA with his wife Ashley where they spend much of their free time surfing and exploring the globe.
Land Use Consultant, Sespe Consulting