Jo Ellen Chatham
Concordia University Center for Public Policy
In January 2016, Dr. Jo Ellen Chatham was named Director of the Concordia University Center for
Public Policy. 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.