Pete Peterson is the Braun Family Dean of Pepperdine’s School of Public Policy. Prior to this he was the executive director of the Davenport Institute for Public Engagement at the School where he remains a senior fellow. Through the Institute, Peterson's work focuses on improving public policy processes at the local level and the use of technology to make municipalities more transparent and responsive. His training seminar, "Public Engagement: The Vital Leadership Skill” has been attended by over 4,000 municipal officials around the country, and focuses on the skills to facilitate public discussions on polarizing policy issues. He led the School of Public Policy’s founding membership in the Public Interest Technology-University Network (PIT-UN), highlighting the role of technology in government processes.
Peterson helped launch the Ed Meese Institute for Liberty and the American Project at the policy school, which convenes scholars and policymakers to discuss and write about the application of America’s founding principles to today’s policy challenges. He serves on the board of the bipartisan political reform organization, California Forward, as well as the National Advisory Board for Civic Education hosted by the Ashbrook Center, and the advisory council for the Rumsfeld Graduate Fellows program. Peterson recently joined the Scholars Council for the bipartisan dialogue organization, Braver Angels.
Peterson was the Republican nominee for California Secretary of State in 2014.