USC Price School of Public Policy

Events and News

July 2016

Denhardt earns academic excellence awards in public administration from ASPA


In recognition of his outstanding scholarly contributions, USC Price School of Public Policy Professor Robert Denhardt has received academic excellence awards from the American Society for Public Administration’s Los Angeles and Sacramento chapters this summer. Denhardt was honored with the Chester Newland Award from the Sacramento chapter in early June, and then the Harry Scoville Award from the Los Angeles chapter in July.
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February 2016

Price master’s students examine the ‘Art of Leadership’


Art is meant to be felt and experienced, a visceral stimulation of the senses that generates personal reflection. But there’s also a lot that can be learned about leadership from the dynamics of how art comes together. The Executive Master of Leadership (EML) program at the USC Price School of Public Policy explored the creative side of leadership in January with a two-and-a half-day examination of art and leadership.
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February 2015

NHM President, former Price Dean Jane Pisano leads talk on museum’s organizational change


Cohort 8 took a field trip to the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum (NHM) this afternoon and was treated to a talk by Jane Pisano, president of the NHM and former dean of the Price School. Dr. Pisano discussed the organizational change process she employed in bringing the museum to its current state as an absolutely top-ranked museum of its kind. She then gave the group a personal tour of the facility, pointing out many of the changes she discussed in her talk.

Jane Pisano, Ph.D., joined USC in 1991 as dean of the School of Public Administration. In 1994, Dr. Pisano was appointed vice president of external relations at the university; and she was promoted to senior vice president in 1998. In this role, Dr. Pisano not only worked with the USC’s chief management team, but was also responsible for establishing and maintaining communal, public, governmental, and alumni connections and relations. Currently, she is president and director of the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum.

Read more stories from the February 2015 EML newsletter »

January 2015

Former L.A. Mayor Villaraigosa visits EML


Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa visited EML Cohort 8’s PPD 641 class this past fall semester on November 21 to discuss his experiences and philosophy of leadership with the class. His presentation largely drew from his time as Mayor of Los Angeles, as he discussed some of the leadership challenges he faced during that period.

Villaraigosa, 41st Mayor of Los Angeles, is a professor of the practice of policy at the USC Price School of Public Policy.

Throughout his tenure as mayor of the City of Los Angeles, Villaraigosa made significant progress in key policy areas including: transportation and infrastructure development, public safety, port security, and the environment.

The title of professor of the practice is reserved for faculty appointments of individuals who have made significant contributions in the public practice of their field of expertise. Villaraigosa’s policy achievements as mayor included the expansion and reform of the Los Angeles Police Department, major improvements in public transportation, and the introduction of green technologies to the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Through this faculty appointment at the USC Price School, Villaraigosa will help to identify innovative, large-scale approaches to significant policy issues facing the State of California.

L.A. Chamber President Toebben Spends Time with EML


Gary L. Toebben, President and CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the largest business association in L.A. County representing more than 1,600 member companies and serving the interests of more than 235,000 businesses across the Los Angeles region, visited EML Cohort 8’s PPD 642 class on January 23 and talked about leadership from the perspective of the business community in Los Angeles and from his experience as a long-time Chamber executive.

He stressed the different psychological types that are represented in groups and organizations, but emphasized that no one type was preferable for leadership. Indeed, the secret, he suggested, is to be able to communicate effectively with all types, whatever your own.

Since taking the helm of the L.A. Area Chamber in July 2006, Toebben has served on the Mayor’s L.A. Economy and Jobs Committee, the L.A. County Health Care Options Task Force and the City Council’s Business Retention and Attraction Task Force. He has championed local and state ballot initiatives on transportation and economic development and represented the Chamber as a co-sponsor of Proposition 11 (November 2008) to create a citizens commission to redistrict California after each census and Proposition 28 (June 2012) to create a 12-year term limit for all new members of the California Senate and Assembly. He is highly involved in statewide business groups including the CalChamber and a coalition of regional economic development associations spanning the entire state. Each year, Toebben co-leads the region’s largest consensus advocacy trip to Washington, D.C.

Prior to joining the L.A. Area Chamber, Toebben served as President of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce for seven years. Toebben began his chamber career in 1975 at the North Platte, Nebraska Chamber of Commerce, and from 1981 to 1999 he served as President of the Lawrence, Kansas Chamber of Commerce.

Read more stories from the January 2015 EML newsletter »

Spring 2014

Denhardts’ article among Public Administration Review’s most influential

Congratulations to Dr. Robert Denhardt and Dr. Janet Denhardt for their article being recognized by the Public Administration Review as being one of the most influential articles ever published in the journal.

By Mike Gaetani

Professors Robert and Janet Denhardt

A landmark article co-authored by USC Price School of Public Policy professors Robert Denhardt and Janet Denhardt published in Public Administration Review, “The New Public Service: Serving Rather than Steering,” has been selected as one of the 75 most influential articles ever to appear in the journal.

The article, published in 2000, was chosen from more than 3,500 articles that have appeared within PAR’s pages since its inception in 1940.

Both Robert and Janet will discuss their work – including their article and subsequent book of the same title, now in its third edition – and its impact at the American Society of Public Administration’s annual national conference later this month in Washington, D.C. Public Administration Review is ASPA’s premier journal for those working in, studying or teaching public management.

The selection of the 75 most influential PAR articles celebrates ASPA’s milestone of 75 years dedicated to the professionalization of public service.

In 2013, Janet, the Chester A. Newland Professor of Public Administration and director of the USC Price School in Sacramento, received the Charles Levine Memorial Award for Excellence in Public Administration, presented jointly by ASPA and the National Association of School of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA). In addition, Robert, who directs USC Price’s leadership programs including the Executive Master of Leadership degree, is a past national president of ASPA.

Summer 2013

Alum Ricardo Lara EML ’10 featured in Los Angeles Times


State Senator Ricardo Lara, a former EML student, was profiled in the L.A. Times on July 27 as “The point man in the push for immigrant rights.” Quoting from the article, Lara has “emerged in recent years as a key figure in the push for immigrant rights — the point man on the caucus’ often controversial agenda. His out-front role frequently puts him at odds with those who oppose the use of taxpayer resources to benefit people in the country illegally.”

Senator Lara’s legislative record includes many important victories for immigrant rights. “He has helped pass college scholarships for undocumented students, more on-the-job protection for California farmworkers and a law preventing police from seizing undocumented drivers’ cars, among other policy changes. That’s a turnabout in a state where less than 20 years ago voters passed Proposition 187, containing some of the harshest treatment in the nation for those here illegally. The measure would have cut off government services to such immigrants but was voided by the courts.”

“I just hope,” said Lara, “that one day we get to the point where we embrace our diversity, we embrace our differences.”

EML launches “Leadership@USC” online magazine on Flipboard

The Executive Master of Leadership program has established a new Flipboard magazine called “Leadership@USC.”

Flipboard, the app, can be downloaded at or through the various app stores. While Flipboard is best viewed on an iPad, Kindle Fire, or similar device, it is now available for desktop or laptop use as well.

Once you sign into Flipboard, go to the search box at the upper right of the screen and enter Leadership@USC. You will then be able to access the magazine and “subscribe” to it (include it in your list of favorites).

Leadership@USC will help students, alumni, and friends of the program keep up with some of the latest articles and blogs on leadership today. It will also be used to house articles to be used in EML classes.