School of Management

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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. 

Jamshid Damooei, Ph.D.

 Professor and Director, Economics, Executive Director, Center for Economics of Social Issues, California Lutheran University

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Jamshid Damooei is a Professor of Economics, Director of Economics Program, and the Executive Director of the Center for Economics of Social Issues (CESI) at California Lutheran University. Prior to joining California Lutheran University, Dr. Damooei served as a Senior Economist for the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Back in early 1980's he was the Director General of the Department of Economic Studies and Policies of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Finance of Iran.

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.
Herb Gooch, Ph.D.

 Professor of Political Science, California Lutheran University

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Dr. Herbert Gooch is Professor of Political Science at California Lutheran University. He formerly served as Director of the Masters in Public Policy and Administration program and Assistant Provost for Graduate Studies at Cal Lutheran. A graduate of U.C. Berkeley in History, he holds a M.B.A in Management and both masters and doctoral degrees in Political Science from U.C.L.A. He has written extensively and is a frequent commentator on political affairs locally and statewide. He has been at Cal Lutheran since 1987 and lives in Newbury Park with his wife and son who attends Cal Lutheran. His interests include politics, film and travel.
Dichele Harris

 Interim Area Director at Lutheran Social Services of Southern California

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Steve Mermell

 City Manager, City of Pasadena

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Mr. Mermell was appointed City Manager by unanimous vote of the City Council and assumed his duties February 15, 2016. As City Manager he is the Chief Administrative Officer of the City and is charged with supervising, coordinating, and administering the various functions of the City. He has direct responsibility for all departments, divisions, and offices of the City with the exception of the City Attorney/Prosecutor and City Clerk which are separately appointed by the City Council.
Leah Oliver

 Chief Technology Officer, Ventura County Employees’ Retirement Association

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Andrew Powers

 City Manager, City of Thousand Oaks

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Andrew Powers, a native of North Carolina, has over 17 years of local government experience in cities on the East and West Coast. He currently serves as Interim City Manager for the City of Thousand Oaks, CA where he's worked for the past nine years including stints as Assistant City Manager and Chief of Staff / Public Information Officer, where he is credited with building the organization's first full service Communications Division. As Interim City Manager, Andrew is responsible for overseeing municipal operations servicing 130,000 residents with over 500 employees and an annual budget in excess of $150 million.

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.
Sandy Smith

 Land Use Consultant, Sespe Consulting

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In his role as Land Use Consultant, Sandy Smith is responsible for providing strategic analysis and counseling, comprehensive land use planning and project planning and entitlement, and public hearing strategy development and representation- at the local and state levels. In addition, Sandy has years of experience as a facilitator and mediator- specializing in collaborative community problem solving, neighborhood design and land use dispute resolution.
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