USC Price School of Public Policy

Dora Kingsley Vertenten

Dora Kingsley Vertenten

Professor (Nonresident Teaching)

Ph.D. in Public Administration/Political Communications

University of Southern California


Public policy, intergovernmental management, non-profit management, strategic planning, social media and information technologies useful in collaborative and participatory democracy

Biographical sketch

Dora Kingsley Vertenten is a practitioner of public policy through the American political system. Since joining USC’s faculty in 1996, she focuses her teaching in public administration and political management including USC’s Semester in Washington Politics program. Kingsley-Vertenten is an elected lifetime Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration (, an independent organization chartered by Congress to help public organizations’ strategic planning and managing for results. She has worked with federal, state and local government as well as private clients advising senior decision makers on governance and public policy initiatives. Dr. Kingsley has served in numerous non-profit organizations and is particularly interested in K-12 education reform. Her leadership responsibilities have included service as President of a charter school Board of Trustees and as senior manager of a national education foundation.

As CEO of Trenton West, Dr. Kingsley is an avid participant in social media useful for public policy debates and studies new information technologies. She has advised Governors, Attorney Generals and other statewide Constitutional officeholders, U.S. House of Representatives’ leadership, Ambassadors, senior Party officials and major donors. She has directed statewide political operations beneficial to the White House Administration and its federal surrogates as Senior Advisor to the Chairman of the University of California’s Board of Trustees, Gerald L. Parsky for six years and was director of the California Republican National Convention Delegation 2004 in New York, NY. In 2008, Kingsley participated in her seventh national Presidential nominating convention, five times as a voting Delegate representing the State of California. A commentator on current political activities with implications for the future of American Democracy, Dr. Kingsley has written columns for Campaigns and Elections Magazine’s Campaign Insider on today’s tactics and strategies and appeared in interviews on NBC, PBS, BBC and New York One. She is an oft requested keynote speaker and provider of seminars nationwide for elected officials, staff and volunteers in opposition research, targeting and strategic campaign management.

Kingsley-Vertenten has held positions working with the California State Treasurer’s office for Jesse Unruh, the Reagan Administration’s U.S. Department of Energy Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration, U.S. House Appropriations Committee member Steny Hoyer (MD), and the City of Concord, CA Redevelopment Agency. Dr. Kingsley worked on Wall Street for Bear, Stearns and in San Francisco for an institutional investment advisory firm, Dynamic Funds Management.