Schwarzenegger Institute Expands Leadership Team


Kevin Starr, University Professor, Historian and Author to Serve as Senior Adviser to Institute

Famed California historian and University Professor Kevin Starr recently accepted the role of Senior Adviser to the Global Director.  In this position Professor Starr will provide strategic council to Governor Schwarzenegger and Global Director Reiss as well as oversee independent research projects and collaborations that support the overall mission of the Schwarzenegger Institute both within and outside the University of Southern California.

Professor Starr's experience as a historian, academic and librarian is unrivaled. He holds a BA from the University of San Francisco and a MA and PhD from Harvard University.  From 1973 to 1976 he served as City Librarian of San Francisco and from 1994 to 2004 Professor Starr was the State Librarian for California. He currently is University Professor and Professor of History at the University of Southern California. Professor Starr is perhaps best known for his prolific writing which includes many articles, books and the comprehensive Americans and the California Dream series.  His work has earned him a Guggenheim Fellowship, the USC Presidential Medallion, the Centennial Medal of Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, membership in the Society of American Historians, the Humanities Medal from the National Endowment of the Humanities and numerous honorary doctorates. 

“Kevin Starr is a respected academic and it is with great pleasure that Governor Schwarzenegger and I welcome him to the Schwarzenegger Institute as Senior Adviser to the Global Director, said Bonnie Reiss,” Global Director of the Schwarzenegger Institute. “Professor Starr's unrivaled knowledge of California's history coupled with his first-hand experience of policy making in Sacramento will be invaluable to the work of the Institute. I look forward to working with him as we work to realize Governor Schwarzenegger's vision of post-partisan problem solving.”

Institute Proudly Welcomes New Members to Advisory Board

Richard Costigan, John Danielson, Ian Duncan, and Kathay Feng have all agreed to the join the Institute's advisory board.  All four have worked closely with the Schwarzenegger Institute since its founding in 2012 and join our other advisers in bring substantial public policy knowledge and experience to the organization.   

"I am excited that Richard, Kathay, John and Ian have all agreed to join the Schwarzenegger Institute advisory board," said Bonnie Reiss. "All four of these brilliant individuals bring a deep understanding of policy and government  to this organization and will help us better fulfill our mission of advancing post-partisanship and finding the best ideas and solutions to the challenging problems we face in California, in America, Europe and throughout the world."

Richard Costigan
Richard Costigan has extensive experience working in the Executive and Legislative Branches of California State Government, including serving as Legislative Affairs Secretary and Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Schwarzenegger, as Chief of Staff to two Minority leaders in the California State Assembly, as the Caucus Policy Director and as a Budget and Appropriations Consultant.

He has worked on some of the most important policy and regulatory issues of the last 20 years and regularly advises Fortune 100 clients, CEOs and senior executives on the complexities of operating in California.

Additionally Richard served on the State Personnel Board and continues to serve on the Board of CalPERS, the largest public pension fund in North America, and is chair of the California Museum in Sacramento.

Richard has a BA in history form the University of Georgia and a law degree from Samford University.

John M. Danielson
John Danielson is a nationally and internationally recognized executive known for his extensive experience working with local, state, federal and international governments and as one of world’s leading education policy experts.

John is a confirmed globalist and his international reach was honed during his tenure as the President and CEO of the Chartwell Education Group LLC, an education consulting firm headquartered in New York City with offices in Washington D.C. and London.  Under John’s leadership Chartwell successfully  won  and  executed  a  variety  of  projects  in  Europe,  India  and  South  America  with  a particular expertise in Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan. In June 2009, Chartwell’s international consulting platform was restructured into the boutique Chartwell Hamilton Group LLC with John serving as Chairman and Managing Director.

John  was  appointed  Chief  of  Staff  at  the  United  States  Department  of  Education  by President  George  W.  Bush,  where  he  earned  a  reputation  for  his  ability  to  adapt innovative  business  strategies  and  tactics  to  resolve  the  issues  faced  by  the  public  education sector  as  well  as  helping to lead the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act of  2002. He also worked in several senior roles for former United States Secretary of Education and current Chairman of the United States Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Lamar Alexander.

John is  a  native  of  Houston and graduated  from  The  University  of Texas  at  Austin  where he received a bachelor’s degree in business. He currently resides in Washington, DC.

Ian Duncan
Ian Duncan is a Member of the European Parliament for Scotland, elected in May 2014.

For seven years Ian was the Head of the Scottish Parliament’s European Office in Brussels, responsible for relations between the Holyrood Parliament and the EU institutions. He later served as European Advisor to the Parliament and Clerk to the European & External Relations Committee. He resigned his position in February 2013 to seek the election to the European Parliament.

Prior to joining the Scottish Parliament, Ian held a number of high profile public affairs positions in Scotland, including Secretary of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation and Head of Policy & Communications with the Scottish Refugee Council. Ian began his career as a researcher with BP focusing upon Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Republics.

Ian holds a first class honours degree in geology from St Andrews University and a doctorate from Bristol University. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society. Ian interned at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, and at the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard University. After completing his studies, Ian was a teaching fellow at Bristol University.

In his spare time, Ian paints. He lives in Edinburgh with his partner.

Kathay Feng
Kathay Feng is Common Cause’s National Redistricting Director and California Common Cause’s Executive Director. Feng spearheaded two successful initiative campaigns to create an independent commission to redistrict state and congressional districts in California. The Citizens Redistricting Commission attracted 30,000 applicants, took testimony from 20,000 people, and drew maps for California congressional and state districts.

Kathay has also led efforts to successfully pass Online Voter Registration and Same Day Registration in California. In its first month of implementation in 2012, Online Voter Registration brought in 800,000 new voters, with 1/3 under the age of 25. Since 2006, she has helped anchor California’s Election Protection efforts. In Los Angeles, she helped win improvements to the Matching Funds system to incentivize candidate interaction with small donors and regular voters.

Prior to joining Common Cause, Kathay directed the Voting Rights and Hate Crimes Unit at Asian Americans Advancing Justice.

Kathy is a graduate of Cornell University and the University of California Los Angeles’ School of Law.