Press release

Pepperdine School of Public Policy Forms New Academic Enterprise With Los Angeles Homeland Security Advisory Council

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The Pepperdine School of Public Policy has announced it will form an
innovative academic enterprise with the Los Angeles Homeland Security
Advisory Council (HSAC) focused on disaster preparedness, crisis
management, and resiliency through engaging the public, private, and
civic sectors. The new enterprise, to be called the Homeland
Security Advisory Council at the School of Public Policy
, is
positioned to prepare the current and next generation of public leaders
by harnessing the school’s unique curriculum dedicated to exploring a
full range of cross-sector and information technology solutions to
public policy challenges. The formation of this enterprise with HSAC, a
current 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks to ensure the
security and resilience of the Los Angeles region in the face of threats
and hazards, will include the transfer of all HSAC assets and
intellectual property to Pepperdine and is a strategic step for the
University in expanding its role around issues facing crisis management

“Through the trail-blazing, innovative work of the Los Angeles Homeland
Security Advisory Council, we are actually seeing viable solutions to
issues important to our community,” said Pepperdine president Andrew K.
Benton. “That Pepperdine, through its School of Public Policy, is going
to have a major hand in this important and shaping effort is a great
opportunity and a point of pride. We hope to use this opportunity to
build social capital in greater Los Angeles and help make our community
a safer, more caring place for all of our citizens.”

HSAC currently offers a variety of programs focused on technology,
engagement, capability building, and partnerships for crisis managers,
policymakers, and public safety professionals, in addition to students
pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree. Through the partnership with the
School of Public Policy, HSAC will expand its current offerings, create
new educational and training programs, and reach a broader participant
group that includes graduate students and audiences throughout
California and the nation.

“With the combination of educational programs and technology, it’s fair
to say that the launch of the new Homeland Security Advisory Council at
the School of Public Policy is a groundbreaking initiative in American
higher education,” said Pete Peterson (MPP ’07), dean of the School of
Public Policy. “Where else should something creative like this happen
but here in Los Angeles?”

Demonstrating a shared commitment to service, community, and the public
good, the move also includes the acquisition of HSAC’s crisis and event
management platform, SALUS – The Crisis Hub, which uses geographic
information systems (GIS) to manage and analyze data in order to build
upon existing relationships with municipal and state governments. GIS is
typically used to visualize information, such as patterns and
relationships, and helps crisis managers make informed decisions and
gain a more complete situational awareness before, during, and after a
crisis or major event. SALUS also supports and facilitates strategies
that address homelessness in Los Angeles by providing a single, common
platform accessible to the mayor’s office and all 16 departments in the
city’s Unified Homelessness Response Center.

“Since its inception in 2002, HSAC has become indispensable to improving
public safety communication and collaboration in Los Angeles,” said
Peter Lowy, chair of HSAC. “The result is an L.A. region that is today
better prepared, more secure, and increasingly more resilient in the
face of threats and hazards. This new academic enterprise at the
Pepperdine School of Public Policy is driven by our shared dedication to
serving diverse communities with growing needs. I am eager to see the
strength of our combined efforts in utilizing emerging technologies to
advance meaningful policy solutions throughout Greater Los Angeles.”

HSAC is led by Lowy, who helms an active and dynamic board of
influential Angelenos, and president and CEO Jim Featherstone, who
joined the organization in 2016 after 30 years with the City of Los
Angeles. Lowy will be named a Senior Fellow at the School of Public
Policy, and Featherstone will serve as executive director of the new
enterprise at Pepperdine. Additionally, the organization will continue
to benefit from the guidance of distinguished board members including
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, who serves as honorary chair; Los
Angeles fire chief Ralph Terrazas; Los Angeles County fire chief Daryl
Osby; and Los Angeles police chief Michael Moore. HSAC also presently
counts among its partners leading philanthropic organizations, including
The Ahmanson Foundation and the Annenberg Foundation.

“Building a more resilient Los Angeles requires that we tap every
resource at our disposal—and that means deepening partnerships with
HSAC, relying on critical insights from institutions like Pepperdine,
and equipping our leaders and first responders with vital data from
SALUS in the face of disruptions, crises, or natural disasters,” said
Garcetti. “Our top priority is keeping Angelenos safe and secure, and we
will continue to deploy every tool in our arsenal to strengthen public
safety across our city.”

HSAC was founded jointly between James K. Hahn, then mayor of the City
of Los Angeles, Lee Baca, then sheriff of Los Angeles County, and key
leaders in business and philanthropy in partnership with the City and
County of Los Angeles in 2002 following the September 11 terrorist
attacks. The initiative sought to create a local, all-sector network
that would enhance the Los Angeles region’s resilience to large-scale
disasters, including active threats, earthquakes, wildfires, pandemics,
severe weather, and cyber attacks. Since 2016 HSAC has pivoted its focus
to better serve the evolving needs of local crisis managers and
continues to build strategic partnerships among the private, public, and
civic sectors, which serves to engage regional public safety leaders and
stakeholders so they may advance creative public safety solutions.

“The Annenberg Foundation has supported initiatives like HSAC that
utilize technology to foster improved communication and collaboration to
positively impact our city,” said Wallis Annenberg. “Our longstanding
commitment to education is another way in which we seek to strengthen
communities. We applaud the new HSAC endeavor with Pepperdine to grow
the organization’s ability to strengthen Los Angeles and help foster our
next generation of crisis leaders.”

The HSAC annual gala, under its new auspices with Pepperdine, will be
held on September 17, 2019, in Los Angeles and will honor Pepperdine
president Andrew K. Benton and Wendy Greuel, former L.A. city controller
and city councilwoman and a current HSAC board member.

About Pepperdine University School of Public Policy

The Pepperdine School
of Public Policy
(SPP) is built on a distinctive philosophy of
nurturing public leaders to use tools of analysis and policy design to
effect successful implementation and real change. Grounded in
understanding policy’s moral and distinctly American elements, SPP
prepares graduates for careers as leaders by offering a master’s
degree in public policy and three joint-degree programs
. The
school’s Davenport
Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership
citizen participation in governance through major conferences,
trainings, seminars, and published research. Follow SPP on Facebook,
and YouTube.