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Bren School Advisory Committee Convenes Inaugural Meeting
February 25, 1999
Written by: Jackie Savani

Santa Barbara, Calif., Feb. 25--Newly appointed members of the advisory committee of the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management met yesterday for the first time. The professional school, aimed at training graduate students in rigorous, interdisciplinary approaches to environmental problem solving, is headquartered at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

A major gift from the Donald Bren Foundation has enabled faculty and students of business and law school's throughout the University of California system to participate in the Bren School program. The result, according to the school’s dean, Jeff Dozier, "is a uniquely powerful, multi-pronged approach to educating students and fostering research to tackle complex environmental issues."

Advisory Committee members were selected, according to Dozier, "to represent the sectors of society which the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management strives to bring together to address hazards to the Earth’s environment." These individuals, whose service is voluntary, will advise the school on its curriculum, policies, and practices. "We are very grateful," said Dozier, "to these women and men for generously providing the Bren School the benefit of their experiences confronting the challenges of their own particular domains. We need to tap that rich reservoir of experience to make the Bren School a world-class champion of the environment."

In addition to Dozier, who is a professor of Environmental Science & Management at U.C. Santa Barbara, the two associate deans of the Bren School participated in the day-long meeting. Associate dean for business management Dennis Aigner is a professor of management and economics at the U.C. Irvine in the Graduate School of Management, where he was dean from 1988 to 1997. The associate dean for law and public policy is John Dwyer, a professor at U.C. Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law, where he also directs the Environmental Law Program.

The evening before the meeting, advisory committee members joined 48 guests from the Santa Barbara community invited by U.C. Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry T. Yang and Dozier to honor Donald Bren at a dinner held at Birnam Wood in Santa Barbara.

Following are the Bren School advisory committee members:

Donald Bren, the owner and chairman of The Irvine Company, is also the founder and chairman of the Bren Foundation. Its gift in December of 1997 to the University of California enabled the transformation of Santa Barbara’s School of Environmental Science & Management (established by the U.C. Regents in 1991) into a multi-campus interdisciplinary graduate program. In Bren’s honor the school was renamed the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management. The Irvine Company operates according to a master plan calling for gradual development of rigorously planned communities, such as those it has established in Orange County, Calif.

Maureen Cropper, professor of economics, has been a faculty member at the University of Maryland since 1980. She has also taught at the University of California at Riverside and the University of Southern California. Cropper has conducted research on valuing environmental amenities, from both empirical and theoretical perspectives. She has worked on the optimal depletion of natural resources, as well as the extinction of common property resources. Her current research deals with valuing the health impacts of pollution in developing countries and with the economics of deforestation. She is now serving as principal economist at the World Bank and a University Fellow at Resources for the Future. A past president of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, she is a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Science Advisory Board. Cropper received her Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1973.

A member of the first graduating class of the Bren School in 1998, Mark de la Garza is the president of Watershed Environmental, a consulting group he started while a graduate student. Watershed Environmental specializes in the Geographic Information System, botanical survey, wetland delineation, environmental impact assessment, and biological mitigation planning. Having worked on a variety of local, state, and federal projects, de la Garza has served as an on-site environmental coordinator for the Santa Barbara County Planning and Development Department. In addition to his Santa Barbara-based consulting practice, he lends his expertise to several U.C. Santa Barbara research projects. Appointed to the County Riding and Hiking advisory committee in 1992, he was named to the Santa Barbara Citizens' Planning Association Board of Directors in 1998.

Monica Florian serves as a senior vice president in corporate affairs at The Irvine Company, which is developing the nation's largest master-planned urban environment on 52,000 acres of the company's land in Orange County. She is responsible for addressing critical state and federal public policy issues affecting the company, supervising efforts to respond to environmental issues and regulatory requirements, and assuring provision of regional infrastructure. Florian oversees company activities and relations with local, regional, state and federal government entities, special districts, and environmental regulatory agencies. She has been an employee of The Irvine Company since 1978, when she began as manager of government relations. A past president of the Building Association of Orange County, she is a board member of Council for Habitat Conservation, board and executive committee member of the California Council for Environmental & Economic Balance, and board member of the Nature Reserve of Orange County.

S. David Freeman is general manager of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the largest U.S. municipal utility. Before accepting appointment to that position by Mayor Richard Riordan in 1997, Freeman served as trustee for the California Independent System Operator and the California Power Exchange Trusts. From 1994 to 1996, he was president and CEO of the New York Power Authority, the largest public power operator in the Northeast. He has held top positions at the Tennessee Valley Authority, the Lower Colorado River Authority, and the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. Freeman has served as an energy adviser to President Carter, energy consultant to the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee, head of the energy policy staff in the White House Office of Science and Technology, and executive assistant to the chairman of the Federal Power Commission. In the early 1970s he directed the Ford Foundation’s energy policy project A Time to Choose. The first major study to detail how energy efficiency could be a major future supply source, this report laid the foundation for the nation’s response to the Arab oil embargo. Freeman is the author of the book Energy: The New Era.

John G. Garamendi is a partner with Yucaipa Companies, which specializes in investment and management of companies in the food service industry. Garamendi moved to that position in 1998 from the U.S. Department of the Interior, where he was deputy secretary from 1995. In that position he was the government’s lead negotiator in the effort to save Headwaters, a 7,500-acre ancient redwood forest in California and end the decade-long battle between the Pacific Lumber Company and the environmental community. During the California water wars, he created the "Garamendi" process, which enabled cities, farmers, fisheries, and environmentalists to negotiate a resolution leading to the long-delayed implementation of the Central Valley Improvement Act. Having served in both the California State Assembly (for two years) and the State Senate (for 14 years), he was California’s first elected Insurance Commissioner. During his tenure as a California legislator, he chaired the Joint Committee on Science and Technology, among others, and served as Senate Majority Leader. He began his career of public service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ethiopia. Having acquired a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of California, he received an MBA degree from the Harvard Business School.

The first executive from overseas operations to be appointed to the board of Mitsubishi Electric Corp. in Tokyo, Takashi Kiuchi is currently the managing director in charge of corporate communications for Mitsubishi. He is co-founder and chairman of The Future 500 in the United States, a group that strives to promote sustainable industry and sound environmental practices, and chairman of Global Futures Foundation. In 1992 Kiuchi received the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Award for promoting greater U.S.-Japan understanding and in 1995 the International Citizenship Award from the Japan America Society. He is the author of Working in America; Good Morning, This Is Kiuchi Talking; and New Economy--Proposals From the Rainforest. Kiuchi has run in nearly 30 marathon races, including the 100th Boston Marathon in 1996.

Donn B. Miller serves as president and CEO of Pearson-Sibert Oil Company of Texas. Miller was associated with O'Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles from 1960 to 1974 and from 1977 to 1992, when he retired as a senior partner. In the interim from 1974 to 1977, he was executive vice president of Carter Hawley Hale Stores, Inc. of Los Angeles. He presently sits on the board of directors of The Irvine Company and the Pacific Life Insurance Company, is a trustee of the Donald Bren Foundation, and serves as vice chairman and trustee of the James Irvine Foundation. Chair of the California chapter of the Nature Conservancy, and he is president of the board of trustees of the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation. Having obtained a B.A. degree from Ohio Wesleyan University in 1951 and a J.D. degree from the University of Michigan in 1954, Miller is a graduate of Harvard’s Advanced Management Program (1974).

Jean-Bernard H. Minster, professor of geophysics at the University of California at San Diego, is the system-wide director of the multi-campus Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics of the University of California. A senior fellow at the San Diego Supercomputer Center, he also holds a professorial appointment at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He serves as vice chairman of the board of directors of the Southern California Earthquake Center, and as thrust area leader for Earth Systems Science at the National Partnership for Advanced Computing Infrastructures. Minster's research interests have centered on the determination of the structure of the Earth's interior from broad-band seismic data. This research has led him to investigations of seismic means for verification of nuclear test ban treaties. His interest in nuclear monitoring has, in turn, led him to study ionospheric disturbances caused by earthquakes and mining and rocket blasts by using the Global Positioning System. He is also using remote sensing techniques, notably airborne and space-borne laser altimetry and Synthetic Aperture Radar, to study earthquakes, volcanoes and the polar ice sheets. In addition, he is pursuing research on the validation of earthquake prediction methods based on pattern recognition techniques. A consultant and reviewer for numerous companies and government agencies, Minster was elected a fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 1990. Having acquired a B.S. degree in mathematics from the Académie de Grenoble and graduated as a civil engineer from the Ecole des Mines, Paris, and as a petroleum engineer from the Institut Français du Pétrole, Minster in 1974 received his Ph.D. in geophysics from the California Institute of Technology and a doctorate in physical sciences from the Université de Paris VII.

Mary D. Nichols serves as California’s secretary for resources, newly appointed by Governor Gray Davis. She was previously the executive director of Environment Now, a private foundation in Los Angeles, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's assistant administrator for air and radiation. Prior to her EPA appointment, she served as a senior staff attorney and director of the Los Angeles office of the Natural Resources Defense Council. Governor Edmund G. Brown appointed her chair of the California Air Resources Board; and Mayor Tom Bradley, to the five-member board of commissions of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Nichols has extensive experience in environmental law and in administration of public sector agencies responsible for civil litigation and environmental policy. She has written on and taught environmental and legal issues. A founding trustee of the California Environmental Trust, she was awarded a B.A. degree from Cornell University and a J.D. degree from Yale Law School.

Before being named president of the Bren Foundation in 1997, Jack W. Peltason served as president of the University of California for three years. From 1984 to 1992, Peltason was chancellor at the University of California at Irvine. He also served as president of the American Council on Education and chancellor at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Peltason has held a variety of other positions at these institutions, including vice chancellor and dean. A political scientist, he is the author of two widely used texts, Government by the People and Corwin & Peltason’s Understanding the Constitution. He is the recipient of several honorary doctoral degrees.

Claude G. Poncelet is manager of environmental affairs at the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of PG& E Corp., based in San Francisco. In his prior positions at PG&E, he was, as manager of governmental affairs, responsible for policy formation and public affairs management and, as manager of corporate environmental quality, responsible for environmental policy and for ensuring achievement of the company's commitment to environmental quality. From 1987 to 1990, Poncelet worked as an independent management consultant in the energy and environment areas, a position that entailed extensive travel in the area corresponding to the former Soviet Union. Before working as a consultant, he was the manager of PG&E’s communications planning and research from 1982 to 1987. Earlier in his career, Poncelet was professor and chair of the Nuclear Science and Engineering Department at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa., and manager of the Energy Action Office at Westinghouse Electric Corp. On the board of directors of the Center for a Sustainable Economy, he is a member of the Aspen Institute’s Series on the Environment in the 21st Century and the California Environmental Dialogue. With a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Manhattan College, Poncelet received a Ph.D. in physics from North Carolina State University.

Paul R. Portney, the president of Resources for the Future, has been with that Washington D.C.-based enterprise since 1972. He began work in the research department, became director of one of its divisions, Quality of the Environment, in 1986 and of another division, Center for Risk Management, in 1987. He became vice president in 1989 and president in 1995. Portney served as chief economist at the Council on Environmental Quality from 1979 to 1980. He has also been a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board. A visiting professor at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Public Policy from 1977 to 1979, Portney taught intermittently at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs from 1992 to 1998. He is the author of Footing the Bill for Superfund Cleanups: Who Pays and How?. Portney received a Ph.D. in economics from Northwestern University and a B.A. in economics and math from Alma College in Michigan.

A senior attorney in the West Coast office of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), David Roe specializes in toxic chemical issues. Roe has been with the Environmental Defense Fund since 1976. He was integrally involved in EDF's launch of a major website on the Internet, EDF Chemical Scoreboard, which provides localized information on releases of toxic chemicals throughout the United States. He was the principal co-author of California's Proposition 65, which has become a milestone in the successful use of disclosure to reduce toxic chemical risks. He designed and managed the completion of a study on potentials for source reduction and recycling of industrial solvents. Roe was lead counsel and strategist for EDF's successful efforts in the late 1970s and early 1980s to shift major electric utilities into large-scale investment in alternative energy sources. Roe, who taught for a year at Harvard Law School, received his J.D. degree from Yale in 1974.

Doug Wheeler is a partner resident in the Los Angeles and Washington offices of the law firm of Hogan & Hartson, L.P., and a member of the firm’s Environmental Practice Group. Between 1990 and 1998, he served in the cabinet of Governor Pete Wilson as Secretary for Resources. While secretary of resources, he chaired the Governor's inter-agency Water Policy Council and the Flood Plain Management Task Force and co-chaired the CALFED Bay-Delta Program. Vice President of the World Wildlife Fund in 1990, he served as vice president and executive vice president of the Conservation Foundation from 1987 to 1990. Executive director of the Sierra Club from 1985 to 1987, Wheeler founded and served as president of the American Farmland Trust from 1980 to 1985. In addition, he was executive vice president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation from 1977 to 1980. He served as deputy assistant secretary of the Interior from 1972 to 1977, and legislative counsel and legislative attorney for the Department of the Interior from 1969 to 1971. A member of the board of the California Nature Conservancy and the board of visitors of the Duke University Law School, he received the President’s Award for sustainable Development in 1996. Wheeler is a graduate of Hamilton College and the Duke University School of Law.