Master of Public Administration Cohort for Executives


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Suzanne Beaumaster, Ph.D.

Dr. Beaumaster is chair of the doctoral program in public administration and associate professor of public administration at the University of La Verne. She received her MPA from Northern Kentucky University and her Ph.D. from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. A specialist in the area of information-technology (IT) management in public organizations, Dr. Beaumaster has published articles concerning IT and government, written a book chapter on "E-participation models," and presented a number of papers on related topics at international conferences. At La Verne, she has developed online public administration programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition to curriculum development, Dr. Beaumaster has also developed civic networks and computer-training workshops for rural communities.

Lawrence Becker, Ph.D.

Lawrence Becker is a professor in the Department of Political Science at California State University, Northridge. He teaches a variety of American political courses, including the American Presidency, the Legislative Process, and Political Parties and Elections. In addition, Dr. Becker teaches courses on policy and administration in the MPA and PSM programs.

Dr. Becker's main research interests center on the link between legislative procedures and policy outcomes. His book, Doing the Right Thing, was published by the Ohio State University Press in 2005, and studies four cases in which Congress utilized tailor-made procedures to overcome collective action problems. He is currently working with Dr. Cahn on a co-authored book examining the tension between science and democracy in regulatory politics. Dr. Becker received his B.A. (1991) from the University of California, San Diego and his M.A. (1996) and his Ph.D. (2001) from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

David Boyns, Ph.D.

David Boyns is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at California State University, Northridge. His research has emphasized three areas: social science theory; micro-level social psychology and its group dynamics; and the study and application of social science research methods, with an emphasis on program evaluation. Currently, Dr. Boyns’ research investigates the study of emotions in social life, the sociology of culture and its influence on human behavior and communication, and the social organization of health and wellness. He also has an interest in the role of mindfulness practice in promoting wellbeing.

In addition, Dr. Boyns has over 15 years of experience in evaluation research in the areas of education and educational practice, health and wellbeing, and conflict resolution and violence prevention. He has conducted evaluations for multimillion-dollar programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education, for statewide evaluations funded by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, and for community organizations in Los Angeles County. Dr. Boyns is currently the Research and Evaluation Consultant for CSUN’s Institute for Community Health and Wellbeing, and teaches courses in the areas of theory, social psychology, research methods and evaluation research. He is also the current committee chair for the university’s Standing Advisory Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects.

Dr. Boyns received B.A. degrees in Anthropology, Psychology and Sociology from the University of California, Irvine. He earned both his M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology at U.C., Riverside.

Matthew Cahn, Ph.D.

Matthew Cahn has been a professor at California State University, Northridge since 1991. Over the years he has taught at several universities in the southern California region, including as Visiting Professor of Public Policy at UCSB's Bren School of Environmental Science and Management and as Adjunct Professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Southern California.  He is currently Administrative Fellow in the Dean's Office in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at CSUN.

His research interests include environmental management, public policy and California Studies. He is currently working on a book titled Linking Science to Decision Making in Environmental Policy: Bridging the Disciplinary Gap.  This project examines the tensions between science and policy using the question of marine protected areas in the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary (CINMS) as a case study. Dr. Cahn served as Chair of the Marine Reserve Science Advisory Panel working with the CINMS process from 1999-2001 and served as a member of the Sanctuary Advisory Council from 1998-2004. The CINMS resides within National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration in the U.S. Department of Commerce. His most recent books include Public Policy: The Essential Readings (2nd ed 2012), Rethinking California: Politics and Policy in the Golden State (2nd ed 2009), and Strategic Planning in Environmental Regulation: A Policy Approach that Works (2005). 

In the MPA Program, Dr. Cahn teaches the Seminar in Public Administration and Its Environment, Research Methods, Public Policy Analysis and Organizational Leadership. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Southern California.

Sharon Caudle, Ph.D.

Dr. Caudle is Distinguished Policymaker in Residence, the Bush School, Texas A & M University. She has extensive federal government experience with the Government Accountability Office, the Department of Agriculture, and the Office of Management and Budget as well as state government experience with the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Caudle has also authored numerous articles and book chapters on topics ranging from performance management to homeland security. She earned her master's and doctoral degrees in public administration from The George Washington University. She also holds a master's degree in homeland security and homeland defense from the School of International Studies, Naval Postgraduate School, in Monterey, California.

John Childers

John Childers is President of Childers and Partners LLC, a leadership and organizational-change consulting firm. He works both at the individual level – as an executive coach – and at the organizational level, focusing on strategy development and implementation.

Mr. Childers has worked with government agencies as well as Fortune 100 companies, and global professional services firms, where he has coached senior-level executives -- including CEOs, CMOs, CFOs, and COOs -- in the U.S. and Canada. Clients include Bureau Veritas, Sony, Yamaha, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and Paul Hastings. He also teaches Organizational Leadership at the Justice Leadership Institute at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Mr. Childers earned his J.D. at UCLA School of Law and began his career as a practicing lawyer in Los Angeles. He was more intrigued by the leadership vacuum at his national law firm than he was by the practice of law. Following his interests, he earned a Master of Science in Organization Development at Pepperdine University.

Steven J. Golightly, Ph.D.

Dr. Golightly is Director of the Los Angeles County Child Support Services Department -- one of the nation’s largest locally administered child support programs. In this position -- which he has held since February 2007 -- Dr. Golighty oversees an agency of 1,500 employees, an annual budget of $173 million and caseload of more than 300,000.

Dr. Golightly’s career has focused exclusively on programs and initiatives designed to assist low-income children and families. In 1996, he was appointed a career member of the Federal government's Senior Executive Service. He has also served as Regional Administrator for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families, based in Federal Region IV, which includes the nation’s eight southeastern states.

Dr. Golightly currently serves on the boards of directors for the National Child Support Enforcement Association, the California Child Support Directors Association, the Los Angeles County Management Council, and the California State University, Dominguez Hills College of Business and Public Policy Advisory Board.

Dr. Golightly holds a Ph.D. from Walden University and earned his MPA degree at California State University, Dominguez Hills.

David Leitch, Ph.D.

Dr. Leitch is an assistant professor in the Department of Political Science at California State University, Northridge. His work focuses on public law and political theory, and he has published articles on multiculturalism and the linkages between language and ethics. He has also presented a number of papers on related topics at national conferences.

At CSUN, Dr. Leitch has developed a number of online courses and teaching modules, achievements that reflect his expertise in the comparative assessment of online and traditional teaching models.

He received both his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of California, San Diego.

John Nicoll

Professor John Nicoll's career in City and County Government spanned 34 years. As Management Services Director in the City of Burbank and as Assistant County Executive in Ventura County. His experience in finance, budget, human resources and his role as Chief Negotiator for three decades provides clear understanding of the history practices principles and challenges in Labor Relations. As a graduate instructor since the early 1990s he has received Academic awards including the Scoville Award for Academic Excellence from the Los Angeles Chapter of American Society for Public Administration. He has provided training and presentations For the California Debt and Investment and Advisory Commission, The National League of Cities and CSAC.

Steven Wantz, M.P.A.

Professor Steve Wantz has 23 years experience in local government public budgeting and financial administration. As Manager of Fiscal & Administrative Services for the County Executive Office at the County of Ventura he was responsible for the fiscal management of general government operations, internal service funds, and program and grant funds. He also worked for the City of Ventura Treasury, Budget and Revenue Offices, as well as the Ventura County Superintendent of Schools Internal Business Office. He has been an affiliated faculty member with the MPA program since 2004. He received his Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from California State University, Northridge; his B.A. in economics from California State University, Long Beach; and a Certificate in School Business Management Practices from Pepperdine University.

Kim Williams, Ed.D.

Kim Williams is a management and governance consultant to nonprofit executives and governing boards. She specializes in building capacity in mission-driven environments to promote disciplined decision-making, ethical leadership and meaningful social change. Client services include governance systems development, strategic planning, interim executive and transition management, training and professional development, and executive onboarding and coaching.

Dr. Williams also designs training programs and conducts seminars on nonprofit governance and strategic planning for the Center for Nonprofit Management, the Junior League of Los Angeles Board Fellows Program, and the Riordan Volunteer Leadership Development Program. She also teaches courses in nonprofit governance and strategic planning for California State University, Northridge, LMU Extension and UCLA Extension.

Dr. Williams earned her doctorate in educational leadership at University of California, Davis.