Dean, Braun Family Dean’s Chair, School of Public Policy
Pete Peterson (MPP '07), dean of the School of Public Policy, began his career at Pepperdine as a teacher of public decision-making in 2007. He launched the school's Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership, becoming its first executive director in 2010. He continues to serve as a Senior Fellow of the Institute, training hundreds of local government officials in public engagement skills each year.
Under Peterson's leadership, the school has begun a number of innovative initiatives, including the Homeland Security Council at School of Public Policy in 2019, which maximizes community resilience by advancing technological innovation and prepares leaders in crisis management and disaster response, and the American Project in 2017, a unique effort to gather scholars and activists to deliberate over, write about, and discuss the future of the conservative movement. Peterson has been a Public Affairs Fellow at the Hoover Institution, and he serves on the leadership councils of the Public Policy Institute of California and California Forward, a bipartisan political reform organization. Peterson was the Republican nominee (top-two race) for California secretary of state in 2014.
Peterson earned a BA in history from George Washington University and an MPP from the Pepperdine School of Public Policy.