Undergraduate Alumni Profiles
Health Policy & Management
Jeff Van Hoy, BS ’94, MHA ’97
Associate Administrator, Business and Strategic Development, JFK Memorial Hospital
“My undergraduate degree in Public Administration with a specialization in Healthcare Administration from USC provided me with the academic foundation, professional contacts, and social experience necessary to be successful in a field that I am passionate about and was the gateway to many relationships both personally and professionally.”
As the Associate Administrator at JFK Memorial Hospital in Indio, Ca, I am a member of the executive team and have responsibility for business & strategic development, physician recruitment, marketing and program development.”
Dora Leong Gallo, BS ’90
Chief Executive Officer, A Community of Friends
“My bachelor’s degree in Public Administration gave me the foundation for exploring an early career in government and helped me to solidify my area of interest. I also had multiple internship opportunities that came because of the USC connection.”
I am currently the Chief Executive Officer of A Community of Friends, a nonprofit housing development corporation that develops supportive housing for people with special needs.
Grace Cainoy Weltman, BS ’97, MPP ’99
Program Director, Community Partners
“My undergraduate experience was a life changing opportunity as it created a career path that has been rewarding and meaningful. As result of my undergraduate experience, I was prepared to pursue my career goals in a focused and dynamic manner, helping me be grounded academically but also build my leadership capacity. My undergraduate degree grounded me in core academic principles and theories related to public policy and management. I grew professionally and personally because of the opportunities provided through internships, leadership roles in the school, and networking opportunities. My leadership skills were cultivated and supported, enabling me to thrive in the areas of public policy and nonprofit leadership.”
Vince R. Wong, BS ‘03
Assistant Director of Government and Community Relations, UCLA
“Receiving my degree at USC Price gave me the skills and knowledge to begin my career as a government relations professional. It is through my education at USC that I better understand my community and myself, and am able to use what I learned and apply them to real-world solutions.”
Vince is assistant director of government and community relations for the University of California, Los Angeles, where he advises on transportation, land use, energy and environmental policy, and liaises from the university to elected officials and dignitaries, civic organizations and business associations. In addition to being a mentor with USC Price for the last three years, he is a member of the USC Alumni Association Board of Governors, president of the USC Lambda LGBT Alumni Association, and member of the USC Young Alumni Council
Public Policy & Law
Brian M. Hom, BS ’02
Attorney, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
“As a litigator, I often find myself relying on the skills I learned while an undergraduate at USC Price. In addition to its challenging curriculum and dedicated professors and staff, USC Price taught me to think critically and write analytically – two skills I use every day.”
Jacqui C. Hood, BS ’77, MPA ’77
Attorney/Owner, Southern California Workers’ Compensation Center
“My undergraduate (and MPA) degrees from USC, including my participation in the Washington Semester in my junior year and the Delinquency Control Institute broadened my world outlook and helped me to focus in on how I could use my skills to help the most people. My time at USC and later at Yale Law School allowed me to identify my interests in the fields of law, medicine and social work and how I could mesh those interests together. I eventually chose the field of workers’ compensation law as I felt that in representing workers who are injured on the job I could truly make a difference in their lives and help them rebuild careers after some devastating injuries. I even continued to commute back to Southern California from Vermont since 1996 because I truly loved what I did. Unfortunately, since the changes in the law brought about by the Schwarzenegger administration, I have had to rethink whether I am still truly able to make a difference and may be choosing a new career path that more closely utilizes my public administration education in the next few years. I am actively exploring those alternatives at this time.”
Yeghig L. Keshishian, BS ’04
External Affairs Liaison, Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
“USC Price instilled in me the foundational training, intellectual curiosity and practical real-world lessons to further my professional career. I remain grateful to the faculty and staff – especially, Professor Martin Krieger for making it possible for me to embark on an undergraduate research grant while at USC Price.”
Yeghig is currently External Affairs Liaison at the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Prior to that, he was the Government Relations & Policy Manager at Central City Association of Los Angeles, after having spent the several years working in business, nonprofit and government circles. He began his formative career as a Policy Aide for Congressman Ed Royce, advising on international affairs and defense-related issues. In September 2008, Yeghig was appointed to the position of Western Region Director for the Armenian Assembly of America, a nationwide political advocacy firm. As Director, he managed the government and community relations outreach in the tri-state area of Arizona, Utah and California. Yeghig previously oversaw the business development and community outreach for the Los Angeles County Business Federation. Yeghig holds a Bachelor of Science in Policy, Planning & Development from the University of Southern California and a Master of Arts in European Politics & Policy from New York University.
Ingrid Lee, BS ’04
“The Public Policy, Management, and Planning degree prepared me for dynamic career in consulting. I learned how to approach and break down complex problems, and was able to hit the ground running when I started my career. Immediately I was able to add value to my project team and contribute in a meaningful way. Each day, I continue to leverage the multidisci-plinary critical thinking skills that I developed during my time at USC to solve major problems for my clients.” As a manager in PwC’s advisory practice, I help our clients address critical business challenges and needs. My work includes guiding clients as they define their target operating models to working with them hand in hand in key business processes and systems transformation. Each and every engagement is unique, and I am constantly solving new problems in our ever changing world.
James R. Lewis, BS ’97
Assistant City Manager, City of Atascadero, California
“There is no pathway more direct to success in public administration than a degree from USC. USC has been my greatest career partner. My early career success was enabled by strong analytical techniques, practical tools and high ethical standards learned in class. As my career advanced, access to USC resources and an unsurpassed alumni network have helped me navigate bigger challenges and take on new opportunities. The USC experience is a competitive advantage to anyone entering public service.”
Steve McGuire, BS ’98
Attorney, Lesser & Associates PLC
“My degree from USC Price provided the perfect foundation for my career as an attorney. The law is an expression of public policy and my degree provided me with the fundamental building blocks I needed both for law school and for my career as a lawyer.”
Lori Meloch, BS ’87
Senior Counsel, State Bar of California’s Client Security Fund
“My B.S. in Public Administration from USC has been an invaluable asset in attaining my career goals. My public administration background gave me the analytical skills necessary for law school and the practical experience for working in the real world. As Senior Counsel for the State Bar of California’s Client Security Fund, which reimburses the victims of attorney theft, I use both of my USC degrees every day. My public administration degree gave me the background for the administrative side of being part of a quasi-governmental agency and my USC law degree provided the legal education for serving in my role as legal counsel.”
Nicole Sharma, BS ’10
Master’s student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Education Policy & Management program
“What will America’s education system look like in 2050? What trade-offs must be considered when implementing a policy? How can we work together for a better tomorrow? These are just some of the pressing questions I was faced with as an undergraduate student within the [USC Price School]. This degree exposed me to a variety of social issues including health care, homelessness, and education while simultaneously strengthening my capacity to analyze policies through a variety of useful methods and tools. Through this didactic exposure paired with my professional experiences, I discovered that my passions lay within improving the urban public school system across the nation. While these skills are important, the most invaluable part of my degree has been the relation-ships I have established with my colleagues, professors, and mentors. No issue can be solved alone. Relation-ship-building and collaboration are fundamental in our efforts to ultimately impact the future direction and success of our public school systems.”
Greig Smith, BS ’00, MPA ’02
Councilman, 12th District, City of Los Angeles
“After many years in my job, I was ready to move on to something different. After gaining my MPA (02) I was re-energized and excited about taking my career to the next level. Thanks to USC I was able to present new ideas and expertise to the voters of my district and was elected to the Los Angeles City Council.”
The Los Angeles City Council is the legislative body of the second largest city in America, and the only “full time” elected Council of any major city. As such the Council writes all city laws, and pro-vides oversight to all operating departments of the city as well as sets the budget. I serve as the Chairman of the Public Safety Committee and Vice Chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee where every day I utilize the skills I learned while getting both a BA and MPA at USC.
Viet N. Tran, BS ’00
Region Manager, Southern California Edison
“My undergraduate degree has assisted me in my career in so many ways, from preparing me to serve as an Area Director for the Mayor of Los Angeles and as a staffer to several elected officials to giving me the writing skills needed for the policy papers that I am constantly writing today in my current job.”
I serve as Southern California Edison’s Region Manager for the many cities of Southwest Riverside County. In this capacity, I am the company spokesman to local media, primary contact to local elected officials and SCE’s “public face” to the customers and cities we serve.
Real Estate Development
Brittany DeBeikes, BS ’05
Director of Acquisitions and Investments, DeBeikes Investment Company
“USC Price taught me a great deal about how the public and private sector must work together when changing the landscape of our community. I have been told by many colleagues, in the field of commercial real estate development and investments, what a rare gift that is to have when first beginning a career.”
Scott Felix, BS ’99 Vice President, Hutton Development Company
“The uniqueness of the USC Price curriculum provides fundamentals to thoroughly analyze public policy, creating a comprehensive understanding of its impact upon everything from society as a whole to real estate valuations.”
Aja Brown BS ’04, MPL ’05
Mayor, City of Compton
Before being elected Compton’s mayor in 2013, Brown had a decade-long career of public-sector service in urban planning and community development. From 2009 to 2011, she was the project manager of Compton’s Community Redevelopment Agency. Prior to that, she held posts that included planning commissioner for the City of Pasadena, senior administrative analyst and senior planner for the City of Inglewood and economic development analyst for the City of Gardena. In 2011, she co-founded the Urban Vision Community Development Corporation, a Compton-based nonprofit focusing on community economic development and youth development.
“[USC and the Price School] made a tremendous impact on my professional career. The in-depth training that I received – from the foundation of American cities by pioneers such as Daniel Burnham, the importance of green space in urban communities through the study of Frederick Law Olmsted, to the history of Los Angeles – truly inspired me to… make a contribution to the future of the cities that I’ve served.”
“My favorite thing about being a USC student was the access to cutting-edge curriculum, state-of-the-art facilities and the expectation to do well and make a difference. If I had to select one word to sum it up, it would be: Opportunity.”
Mitch Glaser, BS ’01
Supervising Regional Planner, Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning
“My undergraduate degree helped me understand the dynamic political, social, and economic forces that shape our built environment, preparing me to engage with a wide range of stakeholders in planning for vibrant, prosperous, and environmentally sensitive communities.”
I am a Supervising Regional Planner at the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning. I am currently responsible for long-range planning in the unincorporated Antelope and Santa Clarita Valleys.
Kathleen Hill, BS ’86
Planning Director, Alston & Bird LLP
“The USC [Price School] has an outstanding reputation in the development community. Having an undergraduate degree from SPDD was a major factor in getting hired for my first entry level City Planning position 25 years ago to my current position as Planning Director for the Land Development Practice Group of a national law firm.”
Shane Swerdlow, BS ’10
Associate, Chattel Architecture, Planning & Preservation, Inc.
“My USC Price education enhanced my awareness of the strong relationship that exists between people and our built environment and the critical role that responsible planning and development play in shaping strong communities.”
At Chattel, Shane is engaged in a wide variety of rehabilitation and preservation planning projects. His work includes collaborating with project architects and evaluating impacts of rehabilitation and expansion of a Mid-century Modern motel lobby for use by the Neon Museum Las Vegas; consulting on restoration of historic gates to Los Angeles Chinatown Central Plaza; and writing historic context statements and surveying historic resources for SurveyLA, a program of the City of Los Angeles Office of Historic Resources.