USC names former Mayor Villaraigosa as public policy professor

Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is taking new jobs, including ones at Banc of California and USC.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Add one more job to the already busy schedule of former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa -- this one at USC.

Villaraigosa has been appointed a part-time professor at the USC Price School of Public Policy and will focus on such issues as state government, planning and transportation, USC officials announced Friday.

In his new role, Villaraigosa is expected to lecture to undergraduate and graduate students and lead a new think tank called “the USC Villaraigosa Initiative for Restoring the California Dream,” which will sponsor forums and reports on major policy issues, according to the school.

Earlier in the week, Villaraigosa said he would work as an advisor to global public relations firm Edelman. Previously, he announced he would work in a similar capacity at two other companies, nutritional products company Herbalife Ltd. and the Banc of California.


The former mayor’s experience in such subjects as mass transit, public safety, infrastructure and the environment “will be very valuable both to our faculty and students,” the school’s dean Jack H. Knott said Friday in an interview.

The new appointment grew out of past USC forums about transportation and immigration at which Villaraigosa spoke. The dean recalled he told the former mayor: “We would like to have you more involved with the school, and he said he’d like to explore that.”

USC did not disclose details of Villaraigosa’s salary for the position. The public policy school enrolls about 500 undergraduates and 1,200 in master’s and doctoral programs.

Villaraigosa, who previously was state Assembly speaker and an L.A. city councilman, is said to maintain interest in running for governor in the future. If so, the USC job presumably would give him a chance to study up on California issues.

In a statement about his USC appointment, Villaraigosa said: “I am excited about working with the school to propose solutions to some of the state’s and nation’s critical policy challenges.”


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