2014-15 Speakers

March 27, 2015
3:30 p.m., World Theater
"Why Immigration Reform is so Difficult to Achieve"

Leo Chavez
Leo ChavezProfessor of Anthropology

Dr. Chavez has studied immigration for more than 25 years. He has conducted numerous studies on immigrant families, motives for migration, labor market participation, social integration and access to medical services. 

He is the author of Shadowed Lives: Undocumented Immigrants in American Society; Covering Immigration: Popular Images and the Politics of the Nation; and The Latino Threat: Constructing Immigrants, Citizens, and the Nation.

"America Fast Forward?: Demographic Shifts, Economic Challenges, and the Future of California"

Manuel Pastor
Manuel PastorProfessor of Sociology/American Studies and Ethnicity; Director of the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration
University of Southern California

The social and economic changes in California in the last few decades foreshadowed what is now happening in the nation as a whole; indeed, the demographic change in the state between 1980 and 2000 is what the U.S. is projected to experience between 2000 and 2050.

In our passage, rising immigration, widening inequality, and a strained fiscal system challenged the state (and now the nation), but we are now at a critical turnaround as our demography stabilizes, our economy catches its breath, and public finances are finally on (slightly) firmer ground.

What’s ahead for the Golden State? How do we ensure economic, social and environmental sustainability for the next generation of Californians? And what are the lessons for a nation experiencing widening divides by income, geography and politics?

• News Release: America Fast Forward? Speaker's Series resumes Jan. 30


"Innovators, Upstarts and Mythmakers: the Deep Origins
of Silicon Valley"

Paul Saffo
President Ochoa and Paul SaffoConsulting Associate Professor,
School of Engineering,
Stanford University

Dr. Saffo is a forecaster with more than two decades of experience in helping corporate and government clients understand and respond to the dynamics of large-scale change.

He poses the question: Why does Silicon Valley produce one revolution after another? Conventional wisdom credits big visions, great management and a history of success. Conventional wisdom is wrong Dr. Saffo says. Silicon Valley’s unique edge is built on the rubble of failure, poor management and a crucial third ingredient that leads us to innovate relentlessly against the odds. That crucial element is inextricably tied to the history of Monterey Bay.

• News Release: 'Future Monterey Bay' focus of speaker series

• Video: What is a futurist?, An interview with Paul Saffo

Mary Jo Waits

Spring 2014 Speakers

"Leveraging Universities in Regional Economic Development"

Mary Jo Waits
Director, Economic, Human Services & Workforce Division of the National Governors Association

Mary Jo Waits was one of the most thought-provoking speakers at the recent Fort Ord Reuse Authority Colloquium, held Dec. 12-13, 2013, at CSU Monterey Bay. She returned to CSUMB March 4 to expand on her ideas on how to leverage university research to enhance economic development.

One of the clearest messages that emerged from the colloquium was the need to move beyond jurisdictional battles and take a comprehensive look at what makes economic and environmental sense for the area. During her March 4 visit, Ms. Waits continued the productive discussion begun at the FORA Colloquium.


David Kennedy

"Gangs, Guns and Growth: Finding Alternatives to Violence"

David Kennedy
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Former director, Boston Gun Project

David Kennedy spoke at CSUMB on March 28. He is director of the Center for Crime Prevention and Control at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and former director of the Boston Gun Project. The Boston Gun Project's Operation Ceasefire was credited with sharply reducing the youth homicide rate in Boston.

A self-taught criminologist, he has devoted his career to reducing gang- and drug-related violence. He has been profiled by 60 Minutes and the New Yorker, and has been decorated by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. 


Jeff Edmondson

“Collective Impact: A New Way of Doing Business to Improve Educational Outcomes”

Jeff Edmondson
Managing director, Strive Together

Edmondson served as executive director of The Strive Partnership in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. On April 9, he shared lessons learned in that partnership in his talk at CSUMB.

Strive Together is a national initiative that brings together leaders from pre-kindergarten through higher education, business, community organizations, government, parents and others who are committed to helping children succeed from cradle to career.

Those lessons are currently being applied across the country. The program identifies specific goals, comes up with a common way to measure those goals, and does so by using a rigorous set of data that can be shared with everyone. Each community sets its own priorities for improving education for students "from cradle to career."

A Cradle to Career Partnership has recently been established in Monterey County.


About the series

CSU Monterey Bay plays an important role in regional, cultural and economic development. The President’s Speaker Series advances that effort. Built around the theme of “Flourish Monterey Bay,” the spring 2014 series focused on economic development strategies to improve the lives of all who live in the region.  

The theme for 2014-15 is "Future Monterey Bay" and looks at how the Monterey Bay region can adapt – and prosper – over the next 25 years. What will that look like? What must change and what cherished local traditions will survive into the future? How can CSUMB play the role of an innovation cluster hub?

The President's Speaker Series is in keeping with Cal State Monterey Bay‘s role as a community resource, providing forums for thoughtful and provocative discussions that can impact thought and action on issues important to our community and our nation.