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Frank V. Zerunyan

Professor of the Practice of Governance

Doctor of Jurisprudence
Western State University

Frank Vram Zerunyan, JD is a Professor of the Practice of Governance at the Sol Price School of Public Policy and Director of Executive Education at USC Price Bedrosian Center on Governance and The Neely Center for Ethical Leadership and Decision Making, an Interdisciplinary Center USC Marshall USC Viterbi and USC Price (DECIDE), as well as Director of ROTC Programs. His key areas of expertise include Local Governments, Public Private Partnerships, Civic and Ethical Leadership, Land Use, Regulation, Negotiation and Executive Education. He teaches graduate courses on Intersectoral Leadership (Collaborative Governance), Business and Public Policy, International Issues in Public Policy, Negotiation, Place Institutions and Governance as well as International Laboratory. Frank also lectures locally and globally to build capacity and foster leadership among public executives worldwide. In his capacity as an honorary instructor colonel in the Armenian Army and Air Force, he lectures, coaches and advises on academic affairs at the Vazgen Sargsyan Military University in Armenia. For his influential work over the past five years in Armenia, he was awarded LL.D. Doctor of Laws – Honoris Causa by the Public Administration Academy of the Republic of Armenia.

Frank is a three term Mayor and still serving Council member in the City of Rolling Hills Estates, California. In his role as a public official, after serving as Chair of the Planning Commission in Rolling Hills Estates, Frank was elected to the City Council in 2003 and re-elected in 2007, 2011 and 2015. He previously served and continues to serve on various regional public boards, including law enforcement, sanitation, technology and transit. He has chaired and continues to chair select city government committees in Rolling Hills Estates. Frank’s public service on various local government policy committees extends statewide with the California League of Cities, California Contract Cities Association and Southern California Association of Governments. In 2008, Frank was elected and assumed a leadership role as the 52nd President of California Contracts Cities Association, the second largest municipal organization in the state of California with approximately 70-member cities and 7 million residents.

As a gubernatorial appointee under Governor Schwarzenegger, Frank was a state regulator serving on the Medical Board of California in the Department of Consumer Affairs. He was elected by the Board to serve as its Vice President. After five years of service on the Medical Board, Frank’s term expired in June of 2011. His responsibilities on the Medical Board included the promulgation of regulation, professional discipline and the sixty million plus budget of the Medical Board.

In January of 2013, Frank was appointed to an ad hoc experts committee on capacity building in public administration at the United Nations Division for Public Administration and Development Management in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. In that capacity, he lectures and conducts capacity building seminars at UN headquarters in New York as well as at UN Forums around the world. As part of his global academic service focused on governance, Frank was appointed to the Editorial Council of the Public Administration Scientific Journal for the Republic Armenia.

Frank has more than 30 years of comprehensive and multi-sectorial experience as a lawyer, judge pro tem, author, consultant, director, board member, professor and public servant. Frank has been honored as one of Southern California Magazine’s Super Lawyers since 2004, The Legal Network’s Top Lawyers in California, Marquis’ Who’s Who in America and American Law and Government institutions like the California Assembly, the California Senate, the County of Los Angeles and various city governments for his leadership in the public sector. In the not for profit sector, Frank chaired the Daniel Freeman Hospitals Foundation in 2001-02 and oversaw the successful distribution of $8 million in gifts. He has acted as a policy advisor and counsel to the Armenian National Committee of America in Washington DC. Frank also served as chairman of the Board of Governors of the worldwide Armenian Bar Association. As a lawyer, he is licensed to practice law in California, District of Columbia (inactive), Courts of International Trade, Federal Courts in the 9th Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States of America.

Frank earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence (Doctor of Laws) degree from Western State University College of Law and his Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University Long Beach. He also completed his advanced legal studies in Corporate Taxation at the University of Southern California Law Center (USC Gould). He is a graduate of California League of Cities’ Civic Leadership Institute, an educational forum for the state’s rising leaders.


Zerunyan, F. (2017). The evolution of the municipal corporation and the innovations of local governance in California to preserve home rule and local control. Fordham Urban Law Journal, 44(1).

Zerunyan, F., & Duzert, Y. (2015). Newgotiation for Public Leaders: The Art of Negotiating for a Better Outcome (eBook Ed.) Newgotiation Publishing.

Zerunyan, F. (2015, March 24). The Demise of California Redevelopment Law, and the Repackaging of Tax Increments for California Municipalities. PublicCEO. Retrieved from

Zerunyan, F., & Pirnejad, P. (2014, April 2). From contract cities to mass collaborative governance [Blog post]. Retrieved from

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