Our Team

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chairman

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chairman

Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the most recognized individuals on the planet, having led an amazing life and achieving beyond his dreams in Hollywood, fitness, and public service. In an effort to give back to the country that allowed him to accomplish so much, Schwarzenegger ran for public office and was elected California’s 38th Governor.

Called “The People’s Governor,” Schwarzenegger worked with leaders of both major political parties to address the greatest challenges facing the state in a bold and historic manner. His leadership put California at the forefront of the nation in addressing climate change, pushing for the development of renewable energies, rebuilding our critical infrastructure, investing in stem cell research, and putting in place health care and political reforms. Schwarzenegger pushed for historic investment in California’s roads, bridges, water delivery systems, and schools. He proposed a comprehensive health care reform initiative and ensured California was the first state to create a Health Benefits Exchange. He also put politics back in the hands of the people through citizen-based redistricting and primary election reform.

Recognizing that states have the responsibility to provide the best possible education to every child, Schwarzenegger committed himself to offering top-quality early childhood development programs, comprehensive after-school programs for all elementary and middle schools, parental choice through high-performing charter schools, and expanding career technical education programs.

Continuing his commitment to environmental leadership, in 2011 he co-founded R20, a global non-profit of sub-national governments and regional leaders working together to address climate change and build a green economy. In 2012 he partnered with USC to launch the USC Schwarzenegger Institute to continue his work on the many policy initiatives he championed during his two terms as Governor.

Bonnie Reiss, Global Director

Bonnie Reiss, Global Director

breiss@price.usc.edu (213) 740-0761

Bonnie Reiss is the Global Director of the Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy at the University of Southern California. For over 30 years she has been a force for good in both the public and private sectors. Bonnie is an accomplished attorney, public accountant and campaign strategist. She has been a tireless advocate for children & education, the environment and political reform and has worked for senators, governors and presidents and served as the California Secretary Education. Bonnie has been a leader in the environment and education movements for much of her professional career. Bonnie helped found and lead three successful non-profits: the Earth Communications Office (ECO); After-School All-Stars; and the USC Schwarzenegger Institute. Additionally, she produced the Opening Ceremony of President Clinton’s 1993 Inaugural, served as Senior Advisor to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, held a seat on the California State Board of Education and served as California Secretary of Education.

During her tenure as Senior Advisor to the Governor Bonnie was involved in all the major policy initiatives undertaken by the Schwarzenegger Administration. She regularly negotiated with legislators and key stakeholders, and played a significant role in shaping California’s landmark Global Climate Solutions Act.

In 2007 Bonnie was appointed to a 12-year term on the University of California’s Board of Regents.

Daniel A. Mazmanian, Academic Director

Daniel A. Mazmanian, Academic Director

mazmania@usc.edu (213) 740-2323

Daniel A. Mazmanian is Professor of Public Policy in the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and Academic Director of the Schwarzenegger Institute. In addition, he is author of eight books, numerous articles, and the recipient of National Science Foundation and other research grants, his areas of interest are public policy analysis with special emphasis on environmental and climate change policy. He served as Dean of the Price School from 2000-2005 and Dean of the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan from 1996-2000. In 2005-07 he served as a member of the Task Force on Environmental Governance for the Chinese Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development, Beijing. In 2009-2010 he served as director of the Task Force on California’s Adaptation to Climate change. He has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation since 1994. He holds a doctorate degree in political science from Washington University, St. Louis, with master and bachelor degrees from San Francisco State University.

Mebus Behrle, Chief Deputy

Mebus Behrle, Chief Deputy

Behrle@price.usc.edu (213) 821-5536

Mebus Behrle is Chief Deputy at the USC Schwarzenegger Institute where she oversees the organization's financial reporting, strategic partnerships, website maintenance, brand promotion, community outreach and event production. She is an experienced project manager and external affairs liaison.

Mebus Behrle started working at the Institute in early 2013 and has been integral in the development and growth of the organization. She has provided general strategic planning and support on a number of high profile media events organized by the Institute and regularly manages special projects requested by the Institute's Chairman and Global Director. Prior to joining the Schwarzenegger Institute Mebus specialized in communications and business development support. Mebus graduated from the University of Southern California in 2010 with a degree in Journalism from the Annenberg School of Communications and a degree in Entrepreneurship from the Marshal Schooll of Business. Mebus also studied in the University of Virginia's Semester At Sea program in 2009.

Conyers Davis, Director of Strategic Initiatives

Conyers Davis, Director of Strategic Initiatives

conyers@schwarzeneggerinstitute.com (213) 821-1748

Conyers Davis is an experienced communications advisor, project manager and campaign strategist. He manages communications, special projects and external relations for the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy.

Conyers' previous work in the public and private sectors has focused on launching and managing large-scale political campaigns, communications strategies and high-visibility events. He has worked in the United States, Europe and Asia on projects that helped drive sales, policy and political platforms. Conyers has worked for British Prime Minister David Cameron, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Simon & Schuster, Lionsgate Films and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Additionally, he managed projects for the 2004 G8 Summit and the 2005 Hurricane Katrina recovery effort.

Conyers has a degree in International Relations from the University of St Andrews, Scotland, and is the founder of Kenyafornia, a successful non-profit that helps Kenyan athletes’ get to the starting line of California marathons.

Antonio Bento, Faculty Fellow

Antonio Bento, Faculty Fellow

abento@price.usc.edu

Antonio M. Bento is a Professor, Chair, Department of Public Policy and Real Estate at the Sol Price School of Public Policy and the Department of Economics of the University of Southern California. He is also a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Professor Bento received a BA in Economics from the Nova School of Business and Economics (Portugal) in 1996, and a PhD in Agricultural and Resource Economics (jointly with Economics) from the University of Maryland in 2000. He has previously taught at UCSB('00-'04), University of Maryland ('04-'07), Cornell University ('07-'15), and has been a visiting professor at Stanford University, and a regular consultant to the World Bank.
Professor Bento is an applied micro-economist with a research program in the areas of environmental, energy, urban, and public economics. For the past few years, he has written on topics related to the design of climate change mitigation policies and the interactions of (new) environmental policies with the broader tax system; the effectiveness of policies that promote the expansion of biofuels, renewable energy, and the diffusion of cleaner technologies; causes and remedies of urban sprawl and urban environmental challenges in developed and developing countries; the benefits of major environmental regulations, such as the Clean Air Act and its Amendments; individual responses to real-time pricing; and the distributional impacts of various environmental policies, including federal gasoline taxes. His work has been published in the American Economic Review, the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, the Journal of Urban Economics, the Energy Journal and other scholarly journals and books. Professor Bento contributed to the New York State Climate Change Action Plan, the New York State Biofuels Roadmap, the U.N. Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) Assessment Report on Biofuels, served as a contributing author to the intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report, and was recently appointed as a lead author to the International Panel on Social Progress (IPSP).

Hilda J. Blanco, Faculty Fellow

Hilda J. Blanco, Faculty Fellow

hblanco@usc.edu

Dr. Blanco’s research focuses on urban land management, cities and climate change, and urban water policy. In the area of urban land management, Dr. Blanco developed the first versions of New Jersey’s urban growth management plan; collaborated with researchers at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences to evaluate China’s 1980s urban land reforms; and most recently chaired international advisory group for the major EU research project on European sprawl (PLUREL 2008-2011). In climate change, Dr. Blanco’s research has centered on cities and urban land policies in both mitigation and adaptation. She was a lead author for the 2014 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment with a focus on urbanization, infrastructure and the role of spatial planning; and was also lead author for the US National Climate Assessment (2014) focused on US Southwest region. Current research centers on water supply management in Southern California under climate change. She is the North American editor of the Journal of Environmental Planning and Management.

Christian Grose, Faculty Fellow

Christian Grose, Faculty Fellow

cgrose@dornsife.usc.edu

Christian Grose is Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Southern California. Christian is the author of the award-winning Congress in Black and White: Race and Representation in Washington and at Home (Cambridge University Press, 2011). In addition, he has published articles in scholarly journals such as the American Journal of Political Science, the Annual Review of Political Science, the British Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, and Legislative Studies Quarterly. Christian's research interests include political institutions and political representation. Current and recent research is on U.S. legislatures, the presidency, race and ethnicity, the financial interests and stock market investments of legislators, and field experiments. He has also studied electoral reform, redistricting, and primaries in California and in the U.S. He received a B.A. from Duke University and received his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester.

Karin Huebner, Faculty Fellow

Karin Huebner, Faculty Fellow

khuebner@usc.edu

Karin Huebner received her Ph.D. in history from USC in 2009. Her research interests include Native American history, History of the American West, and Gender and Sexuality. Dr. Huebner’s current book project traces the history of her Euro-American-Indian family from 1735 to 1925, which speaks to an unexpected story of cooperation and community formation between Native peoples and Euro Americans. She received the W. Turrentine Jackson Prize from the Pacific Historical Review for her article, “An Unexpected Alliance: Stella Atwood, the California Clubwomen, John Collier, and the Indians of the Southwest, 1917-1934,” which appeared in the PHR August 2009 issue. In 2012, Dr. Huebner received the USC Remarkable Woman Award, a campus-wide recognition for achievements in scholarship, contributions to USC, commitment to students and women’s issues, community involvement, and professional excellence. Dr. Huebner currently serves as the Academic Director of Programs for the USC Sidney Harman Academy for Polymathic Study and also holds title of adjunct assistant professor of history. Prior to her career as a historian, Dr. Huebner competed for 10 years on the Women’s World Tennis Tour, including appearances at Wimbledon, the US Open, and French Open.

Lawrence Palinkas, Faculty Fellow

Lawrence Palinkas, Faculty Fellow

palinkas@usc.ed

Lawrence Palinkas is the Albert G. and Frances Lomas Feldman Professor of Social Policy and Health; Chair of the Department of Child, Youth and Families; and Director of the Behavior, Health and Society Research Cluster in the USC School of Social Work. Dr. Palinkas received his B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago in 1974 and an MA and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California, San Diego in 1975 and 1981, respectively. A medical anthropologist, his primary areas of expertise are mental health services research and behavioral health and prevention science. Dr. Palinkas is particularly interested in the sociocultural and environmental determinants of health and health-related behavior with a focus on disease prevention and health promotion, child welfare and child mental health, translational and implementation science, immigrant and refugee communities, global health and health disparities, and health behavior in extreme environments and disasters

Adam Rose, Faculty Fellow

Adam Rose, Faculty Fellow

adamzros@price.usc.edu

Adam Rose is Research Professor at USC’s Price School of Public Policy, and a Faculty Affiliate of the Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE). Before coming to USC, he served as Professor and Head of the Department of Energy and Environmental Economics at The Pennsylvania State University for fourteen years. He received his PhD in Economics from Cornell University.

Professor Rose’s main area of research is the economics of energy and climate change policy. As a consultant to the UN, he played a major role in the development of the first proposal for a system of globally tradable emission allowances. He has advised government agencies in several U.S. states and regions on the development of cap & trade programs, and agencies in the U.S., Mexico and China on the employment impacts of climate action plans. He has also done pioneering research on resilience to disasters.

Nicole Sintov, Research Faculty

Nicole Sintov, Research Faculty

sintov@usc.edu

Nicole Sintov is Assistant Professor of Research at Sol Price School of Public Policy. She has a joint appointment as Research Leader at USC Viterbi School of Engineering Information Sciences Institute, as well as a teaching appointment in the USC Department of Psychology. Her work seeks to better understand and model human decision-making that impacts the natural environment, particularly the acceptance of energy and environmental policy and other household sustainability choices. She also investigates approaches to encourage pro-environmental behavior, for instance through promoting the adoption of emerging technologies that can facilitate natural resource conservation, such as electric vehicles. She has authored a range of publications, exploring applications of behavioral science to smart grid technologies in Frontiers in Psychology and the International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, and segmenting utility customers based on smart meter data for IEEE Smart Grid Communications. Dr. Sintov holds a B.S. in Psychology and Ecology from the University of California, San Diego, and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Southern California.

Kevin Starr, Special Advisor

Kevin Starr, Special Advisor

kstarr@usc.edu

Kevin Starr holds a BA from the University of San Francisco, an MA and PhD from Harvard University, where he served as Allston Burr Senior Tutor in Eliot House, and a Master of Library Science from UC Berkeley. From 1973 to 1976 Starr served as City Librarian of San Francisco. From 1994 to 2004 he was State Librarian for California. He is currently University Professor and Professor of History at the University of Southern California. Starr’s many articles and books, including his Americans and the California Dream series, have earned him a Guggenheim Fellowship, membership in the Society of American Historians, the Presidential Medallion from USC, the Centennial Medal from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Harvard, the Humanities Medal from the National Endowment of the Humanities, and honorary doctorates from Golden Gate University, St. Mary’s College of California, Santa Clara University, Loyola Marymount University, the University of San Francisco, Chapman University, and Georgetown University. Starr is a member of the board of the Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies at the University of Southern California and a member of the College of Fellows of the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in Berkeley.

Detlof Von Winterfeldt, Faculty Fellow

Detlof Von Winterfeldt, Faculty Fellow

detlof@aol.com

Detlof von Winterfeldt is a Professor at the Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering of the Viterbi School of Engineering and a Professor of Public Policy and Management at the Price School of Public Policy at USC. From 2009 to 2012 he was on leave from USC as the Director of the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Vienna, Austria. His research interests are in the foundation and practice of decision and risk analysis applied to technology development, environmental risks, natural disasters and terrorism. He is an elected fellow of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS) and of the Society of Risk Analysis (SRA). He received several research awards including the Ramsey Medal for lifetime contributions to decision analysis by INFORMS and the distinguished achievement award by SRA.

Ryan Merrill, Graduate Student Fellow

Ryan Merrill, Graduate Student Fellow

Ryan Merrill is Doctor of Philosophy in Public Policy student, ABD at the Sol Price School at the University of Southern California and a Graduate Research Fellow of the Schwarzenegger Institute with research interests in public management, new institutional economics, energy policy and environmental politics. Mr. Merrill holds a B.A. in Government and Latin American Studies from the University of Virginia and a Masters in Pacific and International Affairs from the University of California San Diego. He is a co-author of a Schwarzenegger Institute working paper on comparative environmental protection systems and has done extensive research on the German Energiewende and the evolution of regional and international carbon regimes.

Mia Adler Ozair, Graduate Student Fellow

Mia Adler Ozair, Graduate Student Fellow

Mia Adler Ozair is a clinically licensed psychotherapist and health/wellness coach with a private practice in Los Angeles, California. In addition to her ten-plus years of experience as a therapist, she has over 20 years of expertise in the worlds of education, non-profit organizations, and public speaking. She is a professional author and has held positions ranging from Director of Curriculum for an international non-profit to working as an educator and program developer for the Federal Bureau of Prisons in both men's and women's facilities. She has conducted educator training and consulting for high profile school districts such as the Chicago Public Schools and Beverly Hills Unified School Districts. Mia is the Founder and Director of the Channel 4 Change Institute, an on-line health and wellness platform offering coaching and classes dedicated to promoting healthy living and assisting in preventing and/or healing from conditions such as heart disease, obesity, chronic pain, diabetes, and more. For more information please visit www.miaadlerozair.com. Mia is a doctoral student with the Organizational Change and Leadership program in the USC Rossier School of Education. Her research area will focus on childhood obesity and how to create innovative change related to educational programming and social policy to combat the health crisis of both childhood and adult obesity.

Lee White, Graduate Student Fellow

Lee White, Graduate Student Fellow

Lee White is a PhD student at USC Price in Urban Planning and Development. Her research is centered on the question of how to reduce non-renewable energy consumption in cities. During her undergraduate degree at the University of Otago in New Zealand, she examined the suitability of Feed-in Tariffs as a mechanism for city governments to promote renewable energy in absence of national policy measures. Currently she is working with Dan Mazmanian and Ryan Merrill on a report for the Asian Bank of Development to provide decision-makers in China with case studies of environmental management in other countries, and with Adam Rose to determine factors which increased the resiliency of businesses recovering from the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Nathaniel Haas, Undergraduate Student Fellow

Nathaniel Haas, Undergraduate Student Fellow

Nathaniel Haas is a junior pursuing majors in Political Science and Economics at the University of Southern California. He is a member of the nationally competitive debate team, a program that has enabled him to travel around the country and internationally to participate in forums with students and international officials on a host of domestic and global issues. Nathaniel writes a weekly column on American politics for the Daily Trojan, USC’s newspaper. Through the Schwarzenegger Institute, he is leading a group of politically minded students as they work to draft and submit legislation to the California legislature. Nathaniel has covered several Schwarzenegger Institute events, interviewed guests including Chris Matthews, and served as the student liaison for many more .During the summer of 2014, Nathaniel worked full time as an intern for United States Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He now works at USC’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, where he frequently appears on panels at on-campus discussions. Upon graduating from USC, Nathaniel hopes to attend law school.