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Concordia University Irvine Appoints Jo Ellen Chatham as Director of the Center for Public Policy

Chatham Joins University with More Than 30 Years of Experience

IRVINE, Calif. – Feb. 29, 2016– Concordia University Irvine (CUI) today announced the appointment of Jo Ellen Chatham, Ph.D., as director for The Center for Public Policy (CPP). As director, Chatham will advance the CPP’s mission which is dedicated to promoting civil dialogue, encouraging public engagement and serving as a forum for research and discussion on public policy issues facing Orange County and California. Chatham succeeds Keith Curry, who headed The Center for Public Policy for five years. Curry will remain as professor, teaching public policy and leadership in the university’s School of Business MBA program and will continue serving as a CPP Board member. The Center for Public Policy was established in 2011 by Curry.

“Jo Ellen has a distinguished career and is held in high regard in both the business and the civic community,” said CUI President Kurt Krueger. “She brings to the University more than thirty years of corporate and public affairs experience that will further support the advancement of CUI.”

Under her leadership, Chatham will assist in civic programming including community advancement, program development and student recruitment. Prior to joining Concordia, Chatham served as the director of public affairs for the Southern Region of the Southern California Edison Company (SCE). She was instrumental in managing the relationships between SCE, the County of Orange and more than 50 cities in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Formerly, Chatham was president of Eagle Forum of California, a public policy organization and was appointed by Governor Pete Wilson to the Board of Governors of the California State Bar Association. Chatham is a member of the Board of Trustees and former chair of PBS SoCaL, the second most-viewed of 347 PBS stations in the United States. She has served on the Orange County Commission on the Status of Women and on boards of numerous organizations, including the Pacific Symphony, the Orange County Business Council, CleanTech OC and the Orange County Forum where she is vice president for the Executive Leadership Series.

“As director, I look forward to building upon the great work established by the Center’s founder,” said Chatham. “The Center plays a vital role in our community and focuses on critical issues confronting the future of our community and state.”

Chatham earned her B.A. and M.A. in political science from California State University at Northridge and a second M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Southern California.


The School of Business is home to the largest undergraduate program at Concordia University Irvine (CUI). Majors in Economics and Business Administration offer concentrations in accounting, finance, international business, management, marketing, and sport management. The School of Business also offers a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree designed for working professionals and international students. The School of Business is home to The Center for Public Policy, The Center for Faith and Business, the Faith and Business Forum, the Business Insight Series, the Teen Entrepreneurship Academy, the Kid Entrepreneurship Academy, and the Institute for Strategic Marketing.


Concordia University Irvine (CUI) is a private Lutheran Christian university that prepares students for their vocations—their calling in life. Concordia offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs in education, nursing, theology, business, and athletic administration. CUI’s undergraduate program is distinctive because of its nationally recognized core curriculum, Enduring Questions & Ideas, and its Lutheran heritage that provides a thoughtful and caring Christian community that lives out the theology of "Grace Alone. Faith Alone." Concordia is a U.S. News Top Tier Regional University and has been named by The Chronicle of Higher Education as one of the fastest growing private nonprofit master's institutions. Marking its 40th anniversary this year, CUI enrolls over 4,000 students annually and is in year two of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II Membership Process.


Christine Welch
Echo Media
(714) 573-0899 x225
[email protected]

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