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Watch this video from the PPI
Founding Director Sheila Kuehl 


Dr. Richard Tahvildran-Jesswein, Co-Director
(Founding Associate Director)
Shari Davis, Acting Co-Director
Carolyn Baugh,  Admin. Ass't.
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SMC Public Policy Institute

​​ ​There is little debate as to the impact and effects of public policy in our daily lives. Public policy in a democratic society articulates the guiding principles and objectives of a particular policy and addresses a range of issues or areas of concern affecting the lives of people at local, regional, state, and national levels of government.

       Santa Monica College's Public Policy Institute provides non-partisan community programs exploring key economic, social, and political issues and a rigorous academic program in the state of California's only Associate in Arts Degree and Certificate of Achievement in Public Policy. Its founding director is newly elected Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila James Kuehl. Now led by SMC political science professors Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein and Shari Davis, the Institute offers free, informative discussions on the policy issues that affect our daily lives
       The Associate Degree and Certificate of Achievement in Public Policy are interdisciplinary, multidisciplinary and practical courses of study presenting a comprehensive overview of public policies affecting the lives of local, regional, and state citizens. These programs equip graduates with the skills and resources necessary for successful participation in civic life, including critical evaluation and analysis of policy options, policy development and effective implementation strategies, and the opportunity to work directly with governmental and non-governmental leaders in their organizations and agencies.
Students from the Public Policy Institute with (TOP) Founding Director Sheila Kuehl, SMC President Chui L. Tsang, and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; and (RIGHT) Associate Director Richard Tavildaran-Jesswein.