The states in the west have long been at the leading edge of social, economic, and political developments that the rest of the United States subsequently faces and grapples with. From air pollution in the 1970s to immigration policy today, the west has been at the center of some of America’s most significant policy issues and has provided leadership in crafting solutions. Though sometimes controversial, these solutions result in stronger communities, economies and societies. The leaders who have guided states, regions, and cities through these often treacherous policy waters have had to demonstrate capable administration skills, nimble politics, and inspiring leadership to garner the resources and on-going support necessary to achieve success.
The Leading from the West speaker series is a platform that offers insight into effective governance through conversations with major western leaders of our time. Because these challenges occur at multiple levels of government, the speaker series draws upon leaders from the local, state and federal levels. The goal is an engaging conversation that touches upon many aspects of effective governance–including building an effective team, managing the complex relationships associated with coordinating different levels of government, navigating difficult political situations, and projecting public leadership to achieve an end–and highlights key lessons to be drawn from those experiences. From these lessons, we are able to identify steps necessary to help the public sector work better and create opportunities for best practices and cutting-edge thinking to be more broadly known and used.
Fall 2015 – A Conversation with Kevyn Orr
Kevyn Orr, a Partner at Jones Day, is the former emergency manager of the city of Detroit, Michigan. Appointed by Governor Rick Snyder on March 14, 2013, Orr was charged with restructuring the city’s finances and operations. During his tenure, he oversaw the largest and most complicated municipal bankruptcy proceeding in the nation’s history. As a result of that proceeding, the city successfully restructured $18 billion in debt, reduced overall debt by $7 billion, developed and implemented a multiyear $1.7 billion revitalization plan for city services and operations, streamlined key city operations, helped improve public safety, put the city’s art in a perpetual public trust, and avoided drastic cuts to pension and related retiree benefits.
The Bedrosian Center and the USC Price Athenian Society present Kevyn Orr
Thursday, October 15, 2015 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM (PDT)
Los Angeles, CA
March 26, 2015 – The LA River Revitalization
This conversation presented an opportunity to consider the future of the Los Angeles River. The panel discussion gathered some of the many stakeholders, decision makers, and visionaries working to implement the new revitalization plan.
- Renee Dake Wilson, vice president, Los Angeles City Planning Commission
- Carol Armstrong, Director, LA River Works, Office of the Mayor, Los Angeles
- Mia Lehrer, president and principal, Mia Lehrer Landscape Architects
- Omar Brownson, executive director, Los Angeles River Corporation
- Josephine R. Axt, Army Corp of Engineers
March 16, 2015 – A Conversation with Condoleezza Rice, Patrick C. Haden, and Raphael Bostic
Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice joined USC Athletic Director Pat Haden and Bedrosian Center Director Raphael Bostic on March 16 at the university’s Town and Gown ballroom for a conversation on the state of governance in college sports and its impact on student-athletes.
October 22, 2013 – A Conversation with John A. Pérez, Speaker of the California Assembly
California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez spoke about the most important policy issues facing California, review the California Legislature’s busy year of legislation, and share lessons learned from California politics in the era of the Democratic supermajority.
May 1, 2013 – A Conversation with Mayor Villaraigosa on Transportation
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa discussed the current and future state of the city of Los Angeles’ transportation system.
April 10, 2013 – A Conversation with City Managers
Tom Bakaly, City Manager of Hermosa Beach, CA
Betsy Fretwell, City Manager of Las Vegas, NV
Ted Gaebler, City Manager of Rancho Cordova, CA and co-author of Reinventing Government
February 19, 2013 – A Conversation with Richard J. Riordan
Richard J. Riordan served as Mayor of Los Angeles, California from 1993–2001. Riordan also served as the California Secretary for Education from 2003–2005.