Executive Education Administration and Presenters

Robert Denhardt

Robert Denhardt

Robert Denhardt, Ph.D., is a Professor and Director of Leadership Programs at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. Dr. Denhardt is well-known for his scholarship on the public service, public administration, organizational development, ethics, and leadership. His major books include The Dance of Leadership, The New Public Service, Theories of Public Organization, Managing Human Behavior in Public and Nonprofit Organizations, The Pursuit of Significance, and In the Shadow of Organization, in addition to publishing over 100 articles in professional journals. Dr. Denhardt has served as president of the American Society for Public Administration and was elected a Fellow in the National Academy of Public Administration. He was a winner of the Dwight Waldo Award for Lifetime Achievement in Scholarship in Public Administration and the Charles H. Levine Award for teaching, scholarship, and service to the profession. Dr. Denhardt served as director of the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University before coming to the University of Southern California and has been a consultant to public and private organizations, including public universities. [email protected]

Paul Danczyk


Paul Danczyk, Ph.D., is the Director of Executive Education in Sacramento for the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy. Since 1997, his professional contributions concentrate on transforming governance practices in rural and urban settings.

In his current capacity, Paul designs, directs, and presents in leadership and management programs impacting national, state and local governmental and nonprofit organizations, teaches master-level classes, both in-person and online, on strategic management, leadership and public administration in California and Mexico, and is an executive coach. His presentations impact over 300 senior and mid-career public administrators a year.

With his organizational partners, he is a director of and presenter in these annual programs: the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Legislative Staff Management Institute, the California Institute for Mental Health’s Leadership Institute, the County of Los Angeles Executive Leadership Development Program, and the Asian Pacific State Employees Association (APSEA) Navigating Leadership series.

His featured presentations focus on designing flexible organizations, strategic management, customer service, leadership frameworks, negotiation and influence, role of reflection, and cross-sectoral relationships.

Paul is National Council Representative for the American Society for Public Administration, serving the eight-state District 5 membership (Arizona, California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah); a past president and current board member of ASPA Sacramento Chapter; and a past president of the USC Alumni Club of Sacramento. He actively serves on the APSEA Steering Committee and the World Affairs Council/Sacramento Chapter executive board.

In his local community, he was appointed to the Amador County Behavioral Health Advisory Board, which advises the Board of Supervisors, county administration and local agencies on mental health and substance use disorders policy, programs, and services; and serves on the Amador Community College Foundation board, which advocates, facilitates, and supports sustainable higher education in the County.

He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Namibia, where he was the acting national director of a teacher-training program at the National Institute for Educational Development.

Paul earned his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh, focusing on Public and International Affairs; Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California; and BS in education from the Pennsylvania State University. [email protected]

Tommy A. Royston


Tommy Royston, a recent transplant from the East Coast, is the Program Administrator for Executive Education at the USC Price School of Public Policy. In this role, Tommy coordinates and manages leadership and management programs offered through the Price School in Sacramento.

Tommy’s professional career began in his native Tennessee, where he worked at both the local and state levels before moving to Washington, DC in 2006 to join the staff of the American Legacy Foundation (Legacy), a national public health foundation. While at Legacy, Tommy worked with national organizations, state health departments, federal agencies, and local communities to expand life-saving tobacco prevention and cessation programs. Most recently, Tommy served as the Director of Operations, Training and Technical Assistance for the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC). While at NACHC, he oversaw operational aspects of providing educational programming for staff and board members at 8,000+ nonprofit health center sites around the country.

Tommy is a member of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) and is active with the ASTD Sacramento Chapter. He earned a Masters in Educational Psychology (MEd) from George Mason University and a BA in Sociology from Randolph-Macon College. [email protected]

Recently Featured Presenters

Jei Africa


Jei Africa is currently the Health Equity Initiatives Manager at the Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) Division of the San Mateo County Health Department. In this role he provides leadership and guidance to promote effective and culturally responsive services into the core functioning of County health services.

Dr. Africa is a licensed clinical psychologist and a certified addiction treatment counselor. He is a consultant and teacher in the area of mental health, domestic violence, substance abuse, cultural competence and diversity. Jei has also been featured in numerous newspapers and television shows as a consultant of health and wellness. He also maintains a consulting and private psychotherapy practice in the Bay Area. Previously, he was the Clinical Director at Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse (CORA) and Manager of Youth Treatment Services at Asian American Recovery Services (AARS).

Recently, Dr. Africa was recognized as one of the 2012 LGBT Local Heroes from KQED and Union Bank at the Castro Theater. He is also a recipient of the 100 Most Influential Filipinos in the United States (2009), and the California Statewide Cultural Competence Professional Award (2009) &mdsah; in recognition of his leadership, professional contributions and service promoting health equity and cultural competence.

David Baker


David Baker, PhD, is a Professor of Public Administration in the College of Business and Public Administration, California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB). He teaches Government-Business Relations, Governmental Budgeting, Senior Assessment Seminar in Public Administration, Project Management, Public Financial Management, Public Budgeting and Finance, Management of Local Economic Development, Management of Public Organizations, and Executive Leadership for Public Service. He provides pro bono confidential advising to city and county government officials and presents seminars to local government staff. He has authored over 30 publications including three books. Prior to coming to CSUSB, David served as County Administrator in two California counties (San Joaquin and Tuolumne) for over 12 years. He also has served as a consultant, Assistant County Administrator, Superior Court Executive Officer/Jury Commissioner/County Clerk, and in a host of administrative positions.

Jonathan Ball


Jonathan Ball is Utah’s Legislative Fiscal Analyst. He leads a team of non-partisan financial analysts and economists, who forecast state revenue, recommend budgets, estimate the cost of proposed legislation, and staff the Legislature’s appropriations committees. Appointments to his position are endorsed by a management committee evenly comprised of Democrats, Republicans, Representatives, and Senators.

Jonathan has enjoyed twenty years of public service including jobs in the executive and legislative branches of both state and federal government. Before moving to Utah, he lived in the Washington, DC area where he held positions at the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, the Washington Office of Michigan Governor John Engler, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and the White House Office of Management and Budget.

Jonathan is Immediate Past President of the National Association of Legislative Fiscal Officers (NALFO) and Staff Chair of the National Conference of State Legislatures’ (NCSL) Budgets and Revenue Committee. He was President of the Western States Legislative Fiscal Officers’ Association (WSLFOA) from 2008 – 2010 and served on NCSL’s Executive Committee from 2008 – 2011.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University. His wife Samantha is a Utah native and a researcher at the University of Utah. They have three daughters.

Gale Bataille


Gale Bataille, M.S.W., is an emeritus County Mental Health/Behavioral Health Director and now works as an independent consultant with the California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions (CIBHS) and the Integrated Behavioral Health Project.

She is the CIBHS principal consultant for the CIBHS Leadership Institute offered annually through a partnership with the University of Southern CA. Gale serves as a consultant for CIBHS Primary Care/Mental Health/Substance Use Integration Projects including serving as director of two CIBHS Care Integration Learning Collaboratives and currently Co-Chair of the Care Coordination Collaborative. Gale has also served as a policy consultant to the California Mental Health Directors Association regarding criminal justice system issues. She retired as Mental Health/Behavioral Health and Recovery Services Director for San Mateo County in January of 2008 and worked in Solano County and Contra Costa Counties as Mental Health Director/Assistant Director beginning in 1981.

Gale has been active in state policy issues with the California Mental Health Directors Association and the California Institute for Mental Health and has served on the Boards and as President of both organizations. She has been a Fellow of (since 1997) and is currently serving on the Board of Directors of ACMHA, the College for Behavioral Health Leadership.

Tara Blanc

Tara Blanc

Tara Blanc, PhD, is an assistant professor in the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. Dr. Blanc, has taught courses in public management, public service ethics, leadership, organizational behavior, and the MPA capstone. Her research interests include civic engagement, political behavior, and direct democracy. In addition to teaching full time, Dr. Blanc is a consultant and author with more than 25 years of experience providing research and consulting services to clients in both the public and private sectors. Her publications include: Denhardt, R. D., Denhardt, J. V., & Blanc, T. A., Public Administration: An Action Orientation (Seventh edition).

Steve Boilard


Steve Boilard, PhD, is the executive director of the Center for California Studies at the California State University, Sacramento. The Center carries out its mission of “strengthening democratic governance” through a variety of programs, including the renowned Capital Fellows Programs, the high school civic education program LegiSchool, research programs, the annual Envisioning California conference, and other programming. Prior to coming to the Center in 2012, Steve spent 14 years with the California Legislative Analyst’s Office, where he directed the office’s work related to higher education. He has also served as a university professor, and is currently on the faculty at Sacramento State. Steve holds a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Raúl Burciaga


Raúl Burciaga joined the New Mexico Legislative Council Service (LCS) in 2000 after graduating from the University of New Mexico School of Law. Prior to that, he worked for 15 years in the administration of federal health care programs, primarily Medicare and Indian Health Service, and also served as a Medicare consultant for several companies before attending law school.

Raúl has served as lead attorney for numerous legislative interim committees, primarily those dealing with health care issues. He has also served as staff liaison to various joint legislative-executive health policy committees and task forces. He served as LCS assistant director for drafting services from 2004 until 2010 when he was named as the director of the LCS.

As director, Raúl is responsible for the operation of the LCS, the legislature’s legal research and bill drafting agency, which includes general assistance to other state agencies. He is also responsible for Legislative Building Services, which is responsible for the care and management of the State Capitol.

Raúl currently serves on the Executive Committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the Executive Committee of NCSL’s Legal Services Staff Section. Previously, he served as Staff Chair of NCSL’s Standing Committee on Health and as a member of the NCSL Task Force on Federal Health Care Reform and the NCSL Legislative Health Staff Network.

He is a 2012 graduate of the Council of State Government’s Henry Toll Fellowship Program. He is a member of the New Mexico Compilation Commission, which is responsible for the official, annotated compilations of the New Mexico statutes, and also a member of the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws.

Cathy Eden


Cathy Eden, PhD, is a Professor of Practice at the College of Public Programs at Arizona State University. Prior to full time teaching she was Director of the Ramsey Executive Education Program which provides innovative professional development programs. Prior to coming to the University Cathy was Director of four large state agencies and advisor to four governors in the State of Arizona. She was the County manager in Coconino County also in Arizona. Coconino County is the second largest geographic land mass county in the United States. She is active in the community in a variety of areas.

Jerry Estenson


Jerry Estenson, DPA, served as chief administrative and operations officer of a public agency and chief executive officer of two private corporations. Estenson consults extensively in the United States, Russia and Asia. In the public sector, his list of past and current clients include: California Department of Transportation, Sacramento Regional Transit District, Alameda Contra Costa Transit, Placer County, and the cities of Vallejo, Walnut Creek and Vacaville. Since 1980, he has taught organizational behavior for California State University, Sacramento, and management for the University of California, Davis, St. Mary’s College of California, and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. He is actively engaged in research related to leadership behaviors of exemplary senior executives in business, government and the military.

Cristina Filippo


Cristina Filippo, Ph.D. – Serving as a founding partner of IMPACT Consulting, Cristina has a wealth of experience in human behavior and group dynamics with a special focus on organizational culture and assessment processes. She is a hands-on, strategic business partner that designs solutions while taking cultural nuances into account.

As a consultant for more than a decade, Cristina works with individuals and organizations to create people-centered relationships and cultures. She shares her expertise, service, and resources to help transform work environments. On an individual basis, Cristina helps IMPACT the business bottom line by selecting, developing and coaching leaders and managers to every level. From an organizational perspective, she assists in engaging and aligning teams with the organization’s vision, thereby helping languishing work cultures flourish.

Prior to launching IMPACT, Cristina received a Masters in Education and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Oklahoma. Since then, she has held positions in a variety of organizations and higher-education settings, as well as owned her own clinical practice. She began her consulting career working alongside several small regional start-up businesses and has since focused her consulting work at the senior level in a wide array of industries nationwide. Along with co-founding a successful consulting firm in Oklahoma City, Cristina is also part of a faculty team that develops and delivers curriculum through the Leadership Institute at the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy. With energy and passion for her work, her penchant for clarity and her skill with organizational development tools, Cristina helps align teams and influence individuals, which gets them moving toward success.

Ron Gilbert


Ron Gilbert is a professor of Management at Florida International University, Miami, Florida. He is faculty director of executive education and management development for the Center for Executive and Professional Education within the business school at FIU. Gilbert has also taught at the University of Colorado, University of Virginia, University of Southern California, and George Washington University. He has received numerous recognitions from his students and the graduate school for his teaching.

He is involved in business and government as a speaker, workshop leader, management consultant, and organizational development specialist. He works with corporate boards of directors, top executives in government and business (including the U.S. Office of the President), senior executive development centers, as well as professional societies, trade associations and key civic groups. Several of his client organizations have received awards and distinctions for their attainment of world class quality status.

Gilbert is widely published in the areas of human resources management, policy management, organizational development and organizational design. He has conducted original research in organizational quality, leadership, and individual and team performance. His assessment instruments are used internationally in a variety of industries—having over 200,000 working adult respondents. Gilbert is able to provide unique tailor-made programs for his clients who are dedicated to organization-wide participation for quality-driven performance. He targets managing for quality in the workplace through service excellence, leadership, followership, tactical and strategic planning, team building and organization-wide improvement problem solving and performance enhancement strategies.

Gilbert has published over 35 peer reviewed scientifically based journal articles and has co-authored the text Beyond Participative Management and authored the book The TQS Factor and You, Learn To: Lead Yourself, Manage Your Boss, Delight Your Customer.

Roderick Q. Hickman


Roderick Q. Hickman is a nationally acclaimed corrections executive,
reformer and consultant. Professionally he is recognized for his work in leading the historic reorganization of corrections in California, the largest government reorganization in California history. Additionally, he is credited with returning rehabilitation to the mission of California corrections. Mr. Hickman’s experience encompasses a wide range of public and private sector expertise, in addition to a wealth of leadership and high level executive knowledge.

Mr. Hickman is an acclaimed public speaker and has published articles on staff safety in prisons, transferring technology into correctional settings and the impact of the press, special interest groups and politics on correctional policy. Mr. Hickman has presented sessions to leaders of the following organizations: California District Attorneys Association, California Legislature, California Little Hoover Commission, National Conference of State Legislatures, American Psychiatric Association, American Probation and Parole Association, and American Correctional Association.

Mr. Hickman is currently the President of his own consulting practice, specializing in ethical leadership development and building collaborative relations between the public, private and social sectors.

Peggy Kerns


Peggy Kerns is director of the Center for Ethics in Government, located at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), Denver, CO. Funded by NCSL’s Foundation for State Legislatures, the center champions ethical standards for legislators, legislative staff, and advocates in the legislative process. The center conducts seminars in value-based ethics and provides 50-state research on ethics laws on its web site: www.ncsl.org.

Kerns’ prior work experience includes elected offices at the state and local levels, presidential appointment to a federal agency, and private sector positions in two manufacturing companies. Prior to becoming the center’s first director in 1999, Kerns was deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Intergovernmental and Interagency Affairs at the U.S. Department of Education, in Washington, D.C. From 1989 to 1997, she served in the Colorado House of Representatives, including two years as minority leader. Her most important legislative work was in the areas of education, welfare reform, and domestic violence. She received outstanding legislator awards from a variety of business, nonprofit, and education groups. Before being elected to the Colorado General Assembly, she served on the Aurora (CO) City Council for six years.

Kerns and her husband (deceased) have two children and have four grandchildren. A former businesswoman, Kerns worked for the Samsonite Corporation and Mountain Medical Equipment, both in Denver, CO. She graduated from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, in journalism, holds a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado and completed the Executive Program at the Harvar d School of Government.

Laree Kiely


Laree Kiely, PhD, President of The Kiely Group–Organizational Effectiveness Consultants–currently serves on the faculties of Duke CE, USC, Thunderbird International Business School, Ivey University (Toronto, Canada), and UCLA in the field of executive leadership and organizational development bridging all four sectors: Government, Non-Profit, Education, and Corporate/Private. She also served for 15 years on the faculty of the Marshall School of Business at the USC, where she taught in the graduate programs, Executive MBA, executive education, and founded and directed the school’s Center for Teaching Excellence. She has 25 years’ experience consulting, facilitating, and teaching organizational behavior in the US, Canada, Europe, South Africa, Australia, the Czech Republic, and the People’s Republic of China. She specializes in Leadership, Organizational Readiness, Organizational Capacity Building, and effective adaptation and innovative contribution during times of transformational change.

Prior to joining the faculty at USC, Dr. Kiely led Technology Services at First Interstate Bank where she also led the strategic planning process. She received her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Colorado and her Ph.D. from the USC Annenberg School with specialties in Organizational Development and Information Technology in all sectors. Simply stated, the focus of her research and practitioner efforts is on how people interact with information and how we interact with each other for more impact and less effort.

David Landis


David Landis is director of urban development for the city of Lincoln, a former Nebraska state senator, an award-winning teacher and a skilled negotiator in the public arena. Many of the over 391 bills he has passed in twenty-eight years in the Nebraska Unicameral were consensus measures forged by negotiation that brought contesting parties to agreement. Landis has brokered legislative agreements between labor and management, utilities and ratepayers, big banks and small banks, insurance companies and trial attorneys and other seemingly intractable foes.

Landis has passed legislation to create a statewide network of mediation centers, establish a system for negotiated administrative rulemaking in state government, extend the use of arbitration to resolve disputes and create the state labor-management collective bargaining system.

His skill has been developed at training seminars at Harvard, MIT and the University of Illinois. Currently he teaches lawyers and graduate public administrators to negotiate at the University of Nebraska College of Law and the Department of Public Administration. Landis has three times been the Best Teacher award winner at Doane College. His workshop clients include: Internal Revenue Service, Pacific Public Policy Program, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, State Farm Insurance Co., Western Fire Chiefs Association, Rocky Mountain Public Policy Program, California League of Cities and the Southwest Leadership Program.

Landis graduated from the University of Nebraska with a B.A. (1970), Juris Doctor (1971), a Masters of Public Administration (1984), and a Masters in Regional and Community Planning (1995).

Gerald J. Langley


Gerald J. Langley, M.S., is a statistician, author and consultant whose main focus in both his consulting work and his research is helping organizations make improvements more rapidly and effectively.

As a Senior Fellow of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Langley has served on the faculty of numerous improvement initiatives in areas such as improving medication safety, innovations in planned care, and improving services in health care, but much of his work has been focused in helping reduce health disparities in underserved populations.

He is co-author of The Improvement Guide: A Practical Approach to Enhancing Organizational Performance, 2nd Edition (2009, Jossey-Bass).

Dave Logan


Dave Logan is a New York Times bestselling author, faculty member at USC, and management consultant. Dave co-founded CultureSync, a management consulting firm specializing in cultural change, executive coaching, and strategy, in 1997. CultureSync’s clients include dozens of Fortune 500 companies, major nonprofits, and governments all around the world.

Dave is also a faculty member in the Management & Organization department at USC’s Marshall School of Business at USC. From 2001-2004, he served as Associate Dean/Executive Director of Executive Education. During that time, he started the Master of Medical Management (MMM), a business degree for mid-career medical doctors. He also initiated new executive education programs (often, in concert with the USC School of Policy, Planning and Development) with organizations as diverse as the Sierra Health Foundation, Northrop Grumman, and the City of Los Angeles. He continued to oversee many programs, including one of USC’s first distance learning education courses for managers in Japan and a senior executive program at Toyota. He has taught in the Marshall MBA since 1996, including courses in Management, Leadership, Organizational Design, Innovation, and Organizational Transformation. Dave is also on the faculty at the Foundation for Medical Excellence in Portland, and teaches in the International Center for Leadership In Finance (ICLIF) in Kuala Lumpur, endowed by the former prime minister of Malaysia.

About 20% of Dave’s clients are not-for-profits, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. He also serves of the board of governors (and vice chair of the board) of the Los Angeles Stage Alliance, a performing arts service organization.

He is also a best-selling author, having written (or co-authored) dozens of articles, training programs and four books, including Reinventing Your Career (1996, McGraw-Hill), The Coaching Revolution (2000, Adams), Tribal Leadership (2008, HarperCollins), and The Three Laws of Performance (2009, Jossey-Bass). His work has appeared in many academic and professional journals, including a 2006 “agenda” in Sloan Management Review.

Dave has a Ph.D. in Organizational Communication from the Annenberg School at USC.

Hunter Merritt


Hunter Merritt is a Water Resources Planner for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and he is also a Lecturer for the Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Department at California State University, Sacramento. Facilitated programs focus on adult learning outcomes and leadership development opportunities provided by experiential education and programming.

His own training and education includes mediation and alternative dispute resolution (CSUS Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution), Army Public Affairs (DINFOS), and Master’s degree in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration from California State University, Sacramento. His Master’s thesis focused on the impact of ropes course programs on Leadership Development Programs. His history as a leader includes youth program administration, kayaking, climbing, and skiing instruction.

A list of California-area educational clients includes: California State University, Sacramento, the University of Southern California; Stanford University; Butte College; the University of California at Davis, UC Riverside, UC Irvine, and UC Berkeley; and University of the Pacific. As a corporate facilitator and trainer, a partial client list includes: Travis Air Force Base, Hewlett-Packard Corporation, Merck Incorporated, Daimler-Chrysler, Panattoni Development Company, Wells-Fargo, and the Target Distribution Center. Public service sector clients include the California Department of Conservation, the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development, the Office of the Inspector General, CALPERS, Americorps, and the Army Corps of Engineers.

He and his wife Lori are the proud parents of two beautiful children, Eben and Sunny. They live in Sacramento, California.

Brint Milward


Brint Milward, PhD, is the Providence Service Corporation Chair in Public Management and the Director of the School of Government and Public Policy at the University of Arizona. He has been president of two national associations: the Public Management Research Association and the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration. In 2005 he was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and in 2010 won the Distinguished Research Award given by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration and the American Society for Public Administration for a “coherent body of work over a career.” Dr. Milward’s research interests revolve around networks and collaboration.

Juliet Musso

Juliet Ann Musso

Juliet Musso, Ph.D., holds the Houston Flournoy Professor of State Government at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy in Sacramento.

She has expertise in federalism and urban political economy, with specific research interests in intergovernmental fiscal policy, state and local institutional reform, and collaborative governance. She has published on state budgeting and intergovernmental finance, the political economy of municipal incorporation, and neighborhood governance in the City of Los Angeles.

Other current research topics include local government use of advanced telecommunications technologies and intergovernmental fiscal capacity in the Southern California region.

Afsaneh Nahavandi


Afsaneh Nahavandi, PhD, is a University of San Diego professor and the Department of Leadership Studies chair. Dr. Nahavandi’s experience includes a strong teaching and educational leadership foundation, robust publishing and research portfolio, and a range of consulting expertise to public and private agencies. Dr. Nahavandi’s expertise is in the field of leadership with a focus on cross-cultural issues. Her textbook The Art and Science of Leadership, currently in 7th edition, is one of the best-selling leadership textbooks in the United States. She has authored countless additional books, articles, and chapters about leadership and culture and has been recognized with numerous teaching awards.

Sandra Naylor Goodwin


Sandra Naylor Goodwin, Ph.D., M.S.W., is the founding (1993) Executive Director of the California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions. With nearly 30 years of professional experience, Dr. Goodwin has experience and knowledge of administration, treatment and service methodologies, and planning and policy development at the county and state levels. Dr. Goodwin served as the Director of the Placer County Mental Health, Alcohol, and Drug Abuse from 1981 to 1988. During that time she was active with the California Conference of Local Mental Health Directors, serving in many capacities, including president. Dr. Goodwin also possesses a wealth of knowledge concerning the governance structure of the California Mental Health System. While serving as Principal Consultant to the Assembly Health Committee of the California State Legislature, she developed a series of fiscal and program reform legislation, including mental health realignment, MediCal consolidation, California Mental Health Master Plan requirements, and California compliance to the ADA.

Dr. Goodwin was deeply involved in developing the county-based system of care with the managed care for the delivery of specialty mental health MediCal services. More recently, she has been directing a CIBHS initiative on Values Driven Evidence Based Practices, with a major focus on cultural competency, recovery, and resiliency. And currently Dr. Goodwin is developing a strategy for implementation supports, training and technical assistance to assist the implementation of the Mental Health Services Act (Proposition 63), passed by California voters in November 2004. The focus of this effort is on transformation of mental health services to support a recovery process.

Dr. Goodwin serves on a number of boards and commissions, including the National Association of County Behavioral Health Directors, the County Behavioral Health Institute, the California State Council on Women’s Health, the California Women’s Mental Health Policy Council, and the Placer County First Five Commission. Dr. Goodwin possesses a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology and a Master of Social Work degree.

Robert E. Oakes


Robert E. Oakes, J.D., M.B.A., brings over 20 years of experience in government and advocacy, currently as the Executive Director of the California Mental Health Directors Association (CMHDA), a non-profit advocacy association representing the county mental health programs in each of California’s 58 counties. From 2004 to 2013 he served as the Vice President and General Counsel for the Association of Independent California Colleges (AICCU). From 1986 through 2010 he was an adjunct faculty member at McGeorge School of Law, where he taught Alternative Dispute Resolution and Legal Research and Writing, and team-taught other courses in advocacy and public agency law. He has also taught Business Law and Negotiation & Conflict Management courses at CSU-Sacramento. Mr. Oakes created the Santa Barbara Superior Court’s “Court Administered Dispute Resolution (CADRe)” program that provides early settlement alternatives to litigants, and was a Settlement Judge Pro-Tem. He served as the Regional Director of the Governor’s San Francisco Bay Area Office, and has worked for the City and County of San Francisco, and U.S. Congressman Robert T. Matsui. Mr. Oakes earned his undergraduate degree from the University of the Pacific, his law degree from Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law, and his MBA from CSU-Sacramento.

Tom Renfree


Tom Renfree is the Deputy Director of Substance Use Disorder Services for the County Behavioral Health Directors Association of California (CBHDA). As the statewide advocacy association representing the behavioral health directors from all of California’s counties, CBHDA was formed from the recent merger of the California Mental Health Directors Association and the County Alcohol & Drug Program Administrators Association of California (CADPAAC).

Prior to his current position, for almost fourteen years Tom worked for and represented CADPAAC, first as a legislative advocate, and from 2006 – 2014 as Executive Director of the association. In this role Tom was active in statewide efforts to increase local government funding and support for both adult and adolescent alcohol and other drug prevention and treatment services.

Tom has prior legislative experience working with two other public policy associations, including the California Association of Psychiatric Technicians. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in history and political science from the University of California. Among his leadership goals are a commitment to work toward better public understanding of substance use disorder issues, and a commitment to help advance public support for behavioral health programs, their clients, and the workforce that directly provide prevention and treatment services.

Mira Ringler


Mira Ringler is an executive coach, leadership consultant and facilitator. She works with clients to maximize their personal competitive advantage by focusing on their executive presence, leadership style and interactions with others. Mira builds on the fundamental elements that make her clients unique and helps leverage strengths and hone qualities that will influence others and get results. Mira’s previous experience was as a Vice President at BlessingWhite, a global human resources consulting firm, where she served on the executive team and managed a team of sales professionals. Mira’s coaching certification is from the Coaches Training Institute (CTI). She is certified in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and a number of leadership development and career-based solutions by The Energy Project and BlessingWhite. She is on the faculty of The Energy Project.

Mac Taylor


Mac Taylor was appointed to the position of Legislative Analyst in October 2008, as the fifth person to serve in that capacity since the office was founded in 1941. In his 35-year career with the office, he has served in various capacities – Program Analyst, Section Head, Deputy, and now Legislative Analyst. As Program Analyst he worked in the tax area (primarily income-related taxes), authoring reports on state and local spending limits, tax expenditure programs, and tax auditing issues. As Section Head Mac managed the General Government section in the office, covering a wide variety of assignments (retirement, employee compensation, labor issues, and housing). He served for 17 years as deputy to the prior Analyst, Elizabeth Hill, overseeing the work of the K-12 Education, Higher Education, Local Government, State Administration, and Economics and Taxation sections. As Legislative Analyst, Mac serves as the nonpartisan fiscal advisor to both houses of the California Legislature and oversees the preparation of annual fiscal and policy analyses of the state’s budget and programs. His office is also responsible for preparing impartial analyses of all initiatives and constitutional measures qualifying for the state’s ballot.

Mac earned a bachelor’s degree, with highest honors, in political science from the University of California, Riverside, and a master’s degree in public affairs from Princeton University. He serves on the Statewide Leadership Council of the Public Policy Institute of California. Mac resides in Carmichael with his wife Sherry. They have three children—Michael, Katie, and Jessica.

Jan Yamane


Jan Yamane is the Hawai‘i Acting State Auditor. Prior to assuming this role in December 2012, Jan was the Deputy Auditor/General Counsel for the Office of the Auditor. Jan has over 20 years of experience in state government and holds a BA from Vassar College; a MA from Harvard University; a JD from the Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa; and an MBA from Hawai‘i Pacific University.

Dora Kingsley Vertenten

Dora Kingsley Vertenten

Dora Kingsley Vertenten, DPA, has served on the faculty of the University of Southern California (USC) since 1996. She is responsible for graduate level courses in public policy focused on public administration, leadership, and political management. Dr. Vertenten has a wealth of experience in both intensive classroom teaching and in online course work where she excels at crafting curriculum for distance learning utilizing information technologies and multimedia. Dr. Vertenten is a National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) Fellow. As a practitioner of political communications, organizational leadership and strategic planning, research and development, Dr. Vertenten has directed her own consulting firm, Trenton West, and served numerous non-profit foundations.

Brian Weberg


Brian Weberg is director of the Legislative Management Program at NCSL. During his over three decades of work for state legislatures he has focused primarily on staff organization and management issues. Brian has consulted with many legislatures on management and staff compensation studies and he has written extensively on these topics. In recent years, Brian has explored how human resource management (HR) practices are applied in state legislatures. His work in this area also has expanded to include international consultations and trainings. Brian’s alter ego is attracted to photography, guitars (never will be very good) and travel. He holds an undergraduate degree in political science from Southern Illinois University, a masters degree in public administration from the University of Denver and is a certified Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR).