USC Price School of Public Policy

Redefining Leadership and Innovation in State Government

May 8, 2014

Paul Danczyk speaks at the Conversations in Leadership in Sacramento April 29

On April 29, co-chairs Paul Danczyk, director of executive education at the USC Price School of Public Policy in Sacramento, and Bekah Christensen, CEO of ORA Systems Inc., moderated the first of a three-part series on Conversations in Leadership. Distinguished practitioners offered their leadership insights by sharing their personal stories and identifying the core characteristics that shape who they are.

Speakers included: Jana Boccalon, California Office of the Inspector General; Yolanda Sandoval, California Employment Development Department; Ying Wang, ALLDATA; and Jake Johnson, Department of Rehabilitation.

The program was hosted at the USC State Capital Center in Sacramento and attracted more than 50 attendees, including state executives such as the Inspector General, undersecretaries from CalVet, the special advisor to the Office of Emergency Services and department directors.

Conversations in Leadership is part of the year-long “Navigating Leadership” forum leading up to a statewide symposium on Nov. 13, which will include TED Talk-style sessions on innovative public administration approaches as presented by California State secretaries, public executives and leadership experts. “Navigating Leadership” is a collaboration with the Asian Pacific State Employees Association, the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, state agencies and corporate sponsors.

Future Conversations in Leadership will take place on June 24 (titled “Human Systems and Technology — Leadership and Innovation in Today’s Technological World”), and September 23 (“A Call to Action — Innovation and the Unlimited You”). More information, including on how to RSVP and program videos, can be found online at