Jo Ellen Chatham
Concordia University Center for Public Policy, Citizenship and Ethics
In January 2016, Dr. Jo Ellen Chatham was named Director of the Concordia University Center for Public Policy, Citizenship and Ethics. The Center 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. Jo Ellen retired as Director of Public Affairs for Southern California Edison (SCE) after twenty years managing a team of Region Managers serving more than fifty cities in Orange and Los Angeles and supporting strategic planning for public affairs services.
Jo Ellen is a Member of the Board of Trustees and Former Chair of PBS So Cal, the second most viewed of more than 340 PBS stations in the United States. She is Lay Vice Chair of the Association of Public Television Stations (APTS); a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Pacific Symphony; and the Board of Directors of the Orange County Forum and World Affairs Council of Orange County.
For nearly 15 years, Jo Ellen was an Associate Professor of Political Science at West Los Angeles College where she also served as an administrator and officer in the Faculty Senate. Prior to joining SCE, Jo Ellen was president of Eagle Forum of California, a public policy organization. She was appointed by Governor Pete Wilson to the Board of Governors of the California State Bar Association and the Narcotic Addict Evaluation Authority. She was a member of the Board of the Henry Salvatori Forum at the University of Southern California and served on the Orange County Commission on the Status of Women and boards of numerous organizations, including the Orange County Business Council (Vice Chairman), the World Affairs Council of Orange County (Chairman), the Orange County Forum (President), Red Cross of Orange County (Secretary), the Orange County High School of the Arts Foundation Board, the Leadership Council of the Center for the Study of Democracy at the University of California at Irvine, and the Board of Visitors of the Chapman University School of Law and Orange County Taxpayers Association. She is the Public Affairs Ambassador for the Nowruz Commission and member of the Advisory Board of the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations which awards the Ellis Island Medals of Honor.
Jo Ellen was the Republican nominee in the 69th State Assembly District in 1992 and was an alternate delegate to the 1996 and 2004 Republican National Conventions. For 15 years she served as the First Vice Chairman of the Republican Party of Orange County and is First Vice Chairman Emeritus. She has chaired the Education Committee, Speakers' Bureau, and the Political Education Committee for the California Republican Party and is currently a member of the California Republican Central Committee and vice chair of its Resolutions Committee.
In 1987, Jo Ellen authored “A More Perfect Union: The Constitutional Convention of 1787”, which received official recognition by the United State Commission on the Bicentennial of the Constitution. She is listed in the Eighth Edition of World's Who's Who of Women and was named "Woman of the Year" by the California Legislature in 1987. In 1993 she was awarded "Woman of the Year" by the Women's Coalition. In 2011 Jo Ellen received the "Visionary Award" conferred by the Coast Community College District and was awarded "The Golden Orange" award by the Orange County World Affairs and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2015.
Jo Ellen received 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. She also studied Consumer Economics in the UCLA graduate school.
For two years Jo Ellen was a panelist on NBC's Emmy Award winning public policy program "Free 4 All" and a frequent guest in television and radio, including appearances on such programs as "CNN and Company," "The Tom Snyder Show," "The Today Show," CBS's "News Makers", "Live in L.A." and many others. She was a political columnist for the Daily Pilot and has organized and taught seminars in effective political action and media relations. She is a co-founder of the Alpha Political Campaign School and has authored The Political Campaign Manual, the Citizen Action Manual and is currently writing a book on the Magna Carta.
For more information contact Jo Ellen Chatham at (949) 214-3200 and [email protected].