"The Institute at Cal Poly is an ideal staging ground for technologies that have the chance to positively affect both policy and citizen life.”

-Sam Blakeslee, Ph.D., Founding Director

Advisory Board

Gavin Newsom (Former Advisor), current Governor of California and former San Francisco mayor and member of the city/county board of supervisors. Throughout his 16-year career in public office, Newsom has championed innovative public policies on issues such as equality, the environment, homelessness, education, and healthcare. Newsom is an early adopter of innovative technologies noted for his trailblazing use of social media. He is dedicated to shifting the principles of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship to the public sector. 

Charles Munger Jr., a physicist at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. A leading voice for reforming state government, Munger was the proponent of Propositions 11 and 20, two successful California ballot measures that created the Citizen Redistricting Commission to draw state legislative and congressional district boundaries. Munger has served as a member of California’s Curriculum Commission, an advisory commission of the state Board of Education.

Jack Scott, former chancellor of the California Community Colleges, the nation’s largest system of higher education. As Chancellor from 2008-2012, Scott led the 112 colleges through some sweeping reforms. Prior to his selection as chancellor, Scott served two terms in the California State Senate, representing California’s 21st Senatorial District. Scott chaired the Senate Education Committee and also was vice chair of the State Allocation Board for Education. He was elected to the California State Assembly in 1996 before moving on to the Senate. 

Carl Guardino, president and chief executive officer of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and chairman of the California Transportation Commission. In February 2007, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed him to a four-year term on the California Transportation Commission and was later reappointed by Governor Jerry Brown. In 2000, the San Jose Mercury News named Guardino one of the “Five Most Powerful” people in Silicon Valley in a once-per-decade study. 

Laura Gómez, co-founder of Vyv, a tool to democratize and validate news content around the web through gamification. Gomez has held leadership positions at companies such as YouTube (Google), SearchRev (acquired by AKQA), Twitter, and Jawbone. Gomez was named by Forbes México one of the most Powerful Women in the country. A supporter of cultural and gender diversity in technology and entrepreneurship, Laura has been a judge at Startup Weekend, Startup World and mentor several startups around the world.

Raul Deju, director of the Institute of Entrepreneurial Leadership and as Professor in the College of Professional Studies at JFK University. He is a former adjunct faculty member at JFK University and a seasoned executive who has served as Chairman, CEO or COO of major international public companies.  Deju served on advisory committees for the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and the U.S. EPA Administrator and is the author of more than 200 peer-reviewed articles and four books.

Mike Florio, a member of the California Public Utilities Commission since 2011. Prior to this appointment, Florio was a senior attorney at the Utility Reform Network, and served in that capacity since 1978. Florio also served on the board of governors of the California Independent System Operator from 1997 to 2005.

James Boyd, former California Energy Commission member and former deputy secretary and chief of staff of the California Resources Agency. He created and chaired the state's first Joint Agency Climate Change Team and the state's Natural Gas Working Group. Boyd served for 15 years as chief executive officer of the California Air Resources Board (CARB), directing the nation's largest state air pollution control program during a time when CARB led the nation in establishing several new pollution control programs.

Diane Grueneich, former California Public Utilities Commission member and nationally recognized expert in energy and environmental issues. Grueneich has served as a board member of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy and is a past-president of the California League of Conservation Voters. 

Delaney Hunter, former director of governmental affairs for the California Public Utilities Commission 2005-2008. Hunter was responsible for managing the commission’s legislative agenda and political negotiations on key policies relative to energy, telecommunications, water, rail safety and other transportation-related issues. Hunter began her political career in the office of Sen. Bill Leonard and later as legislative director for the government relations firm of Smith & Kempton. Hunter is a principal with the Sacramento firm Gonzalez, Quintana & Hunter, LLC.

Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse Unruh Institute at USC and former chairman of the California Fair Political Practices Commission. Schnur is also an adjunct instructor at UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies. He has held the post of Visiting Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Institute of Politics at Harvard and taught an advanced course in political campaign communications at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management. 

Daniel G. Newman, co-founder and president of MapLight, whose groundbreaking database connects data on campaign contributions, politicians, legislative votes, industries, companies, and more to show patterns of influence never before possible to see. Newman has led MapLight from a 2005 start-up to an established national resource for citizens and journalists. 

Bob Vilhauer, former vice president for public policy advocacy at The Boeing Co. Vilhauer has 28 years of government relations experience in the aerospace, defense and commercial aviation industry, including business development, Congressional relations and third-party advocacy functions. He has extensive knowledge of federal government budget, acquisition and oversight processes involving the Department of Defense, NASA, the FAA and other government agencies. He serves as a senior associate with the Center for Strategic & International Studies, a Washington, D.C., think tank, advising their International Security Program.

Al Montna, former president & member of the California State Board of Food and Agriculture, member of the Bay Delta Authority, and former Chair of the Farmers Rice Cooperative. Montna is also the owner & operator of Montna Farms, producers of short grain rice known for their environmental stewardship.

Alissa Black, Investment Principal at Omidyar Network. Previously she served as director of the New America Foundation's California Civic Innovation Project. Black is exploring the use of innovative technologies, policies and practices that engage disadvantaged communities in public decision making throughout California. Black was previously government relations director at Code for America, a nonprofit that helps governments work better through the use of technology and new practices. She has extensive experience as a leader in local government, having worked in the New York City Mayor's Office and the City of San Francisco's Emerging Technologies team, where she led the development and deployment of Open311, the leading national standard for citizen reporting. 


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