News and Events
School of Public Policy Graduation 2007
The School of Public Policy held its 2007 commencement ceremony in Firestone Fieldhouse on Apr. 13 on the Malibu campus. Edwin Meese III, Ronald Reagan Chair in Public Policy at the Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C., was the recipient of the Honorary Doctor of Laws award. SPP alumnus Hanna Skandera was honored with the Alumni of the Year award. A reception in Alumni Park immediately followed the ceremony.
About the Honorable Edwin Meese III
Edwin Meese III holds the Ronald Reagan Chair in Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C., and serves as chair of the Heritage Foundation’s Center for Legal and Judicial Studies. Meese is also a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He lectures, writes, and consults on a variety of topics, and is the author of Leadership, Ethics, and Policing (Prentice Hall 2004).
Meese was the 75th United States attorney general from 1985 to 1988 within the Reagan Administration. His tenure was particularly distinguished in leading international efforts to combat terrorism, drug trafficking, and organized crime.
During the first term of the Reagan Administration, Meese served as counselor to the president, the senior position on the White House staff which functions as the president’s chief policy advisor. He also chaired both the Domestic Policy Council and the National Drug Policy Board.
Prior to his service to the nation, Meese served the State of California as then Governor Reagan’s executive assistant and chief of staff (1969-1974) and as legal affairs secretary (1967-1968). In addition to his public service, Meese was a business executive in the aerospace and transportation industries.
Meese is a retired colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve and is active in numerous civic and charitable organizations such as Intercollegiate Studies Institute, the Southeast Legal Foundation, the Patrick Henry Center, and the National College of District Attorneys.
From 1977 to 1981, Meese held a professorship of law at the University of San Diego. He has served as a rector on the board of George Mason University in Virginia. He earned his bachelor’s from Yale University, Class of 1953, and holds a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
Meese lives with his wife, Ursula, in McLean, Virginia.
About Hanna Skandera
Hanna Skandera is senior policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Education, focusing on a range of issues related to K through 12 and postsecondary education. In this pivotal role, Skandera is charged with the goal of reauthorizing the Federal No Child Left Behind Act as laid out in President Bush’s 2007 State of the Union Address, as well as other duties.
Previously, Skandera served as deputy commissioner of education in Florida, functioning as a policy and legislative advisor, media and public spokesperson, and overseer of the Division of Accountability, Research, and Measurement. Prior to that appointment, Skandera served in the administration of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as undersecretary for education in the Office of the Secretary for Education. A prolific author, she has written, edited, and coauthored numerous books and papers while a research fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution.
From 1993 to 1998, Skandera led the development and expansion of a peer education program for the Catholic Charities organization. She also served as vice president of a local Republican Women Federated organization, board member and board president of New Creation Home, a teenage mother’s home, and as member and volunteer of the Palo Alto University Rotary Club and Belle Haven Elementary School. She has also been the assistant coach for the women’s track and field and cross country teams at Sonoma State University.
Skandera earned her bachelor’s degree in business from Sonoma State and received her master of public policy from the Pepperdine School of Public Policy in 2000. While at Pepperdine she cofounded Fireside Chats (public policy discourse) and was a charter member of the Women in Public Policy Forum. She has guest lectured at UC Berkeley, Menlo College, and at Pepperdine, where she has been an adjunct professor.
Skandera lives in Washington, DC.