Advisory Board

The Bren School Advisory Board is a university-wide advisory committee that provides high-level direction to ensure that the school and its programs are the best in the world for their comprehensive, balanced, cutting-edge approach to environmental science and management.

NOTE: It is time to select a new student member of the Bren School Advisory Board. Interested students can find out more and apply.

Front row (from left): Lindene Patton, Steven Gaines, Robert Weber, John Flynn, Bruce Darling, Maureen Gorsen
Back row (from left): Matthew Trujillo, Angel Martinez, James Salzman, Michael O'Connell, Mark Baldassare
Not shown: Brigitte Bren, Michael Chrisman, Glenn Prickett, Mel Willis, UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang

Members Only

Advisory Board Members

Mark Baldassare
Mark Baldassare has served as President and CEO of the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) since 2007, the continuation of a career dedicated to improving policymaking in California. Mr. Baldassare joined PPIC in 1996, and he holds the Arjay and Frances Fearing Miller Chair in Public Policy. He served as PPIC Director of Research from 2002-2007, and he directs the PPIC Statewide Survey, the largest-scale public-opinion project in the state. From 1986-1997, he was president of his own company, Mark Baldassare and Associates, whose projects included the Los Angeles Times Orange County Poll, the Orange County Register Poll, the San Francisco Chronicle Poll, and the California Business Roundtable Survey.

Dr. Baldassare has authored nine books, including A California State of Mind: The Conflicted Voter in a Changing World. Before joining PPIC, he was a professor of urban and regional planning at UC Irvine, where he held the Johnson Chair in Civic Governance and founded and directed the Orange County Annual Survey. He holds a PhD in sociology from UC Berkeley.


Brigitte Bren
Brigitte Bren is an attorney who co-founded International Strategic Planning, Inc., a business consulting firm, in 1992. She has served as “of Counsel” to the law firm of Arter and Hadden, with an area of emphasis in International Affairs and Entertainment Law, and she was Vice President of International Marketing for Mark Goodson Productions.

A graduate of Loyola Law School and the College of Honors at the University of California, Los Angeles, Ms. Bren has been a director and member of the Audit Committee of Ambassadors Group, Inc. since 2001. She is a Trustee of the California Institute of Technology, the Burnham Institute for Medical Research, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Think Together. She has served on the Board of Trustees of the Hoover Institute at Stanford University and on the Advisory Committee of the Los Angeles Universal Preschool Master Plan.


Michael Chrisman
Michael Chrisman is director of the Southewest Partnership Office of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, where he oversess the foundation's fish, wildlife, and habitat activivities in California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. From 2003 until early in 2010, Mr. Chrisman served as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Secretary for Resources. In that role, he oversaw policies, activities, a budget of $4.1 billion, and 14,712 employees in 24 departments, commissions, boards, and conservancies related to conservation, water, fish and game, forestry, parks, energy, the coast, marine life, and landscape.

From 1996 to 2003 Mr. Chrisman served as Region Manager for Southern California Edison (SCE), where he managed all phases of company/customer business, political, and civic activities in the San Joaquin Valley service area. From 1994 to 1996 SCE, he served as Undersecretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), where he provided leadership in developing and implementing sound policy for the state's agricultural industry and consumers, while managing a $190 million budget and 3,800 employees.

He served as Deputy Secretary for Operations/Legislation at the Resources Agency in the Pete Wilson Administration from 1991 to 1994, and was Staff Director of the Assembly Republican Caucus in 1991, advising legislative members about issues related to water, agriculture, and the environment, areas he continued to specialize in as Chief of Staff to former Assemblyman Bill Jones, for whom he managed the State Capitol and District offices from 1986 to 1991.

Since 1966, Mr. Chrisman has been the owner/partner of Chrisman Ranches in Visalia, a family ranching and farming operation in Tulare County. In 1997, Governor Pete Wilson appointed Mr. Chrisman to the California Fish and Game Commission, where he also served as Chairman of the Wildlife Conservation Board. He is past Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Great Valley Center, and currently serves on the boards of the private nonprofit Central Valley Organization and the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Foundation, a nonprofit, public-benefit Corporation to preserve, protect, and enhance the cultural and natural features of Sequoia and Kings Canyon. He is also a member of the Sequoia National History Association.

Mr. Chrisman holds an MS in agricultural education and a BS in agronomy/plant science from the University of Arizona. He and his wife, Barbara, have two children—Jessica Nelson, of Visalia, and Josh Chrisman, of Exeter—and five grandchildren.


Bruce Darling
As Vice President for University Affairs for the University of California, Bruce Darling has wide-ranging responsibilities that include integrating University-wide internal and external planning and policy; serving as the principal liaison with The Regents; acquiring UC's operating and capital budgets; overseeing the University's governmental relations programs in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., and its communications with the news media and public; maintaining and forwarding alumni relations; and overseeing philanthropic giving to the University.

In 2003 Mr. Darling was named UC's Interim Vice President-Laboratory Management, which carried oversight responsibility for UC's management of three national laboratories for the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration. The three facilities - Los Alamos National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory - employ nearly 18,000 people and have combined annual budgets of nearly $4 billion.

Previously, Mr. Darling served as Vice Chancellor for Development and University Relations at UC San Diego, and as Special Assistant to the Director of the National Science Foundation. He has received several scholastic and professional honors and is active in numerous professional and civic activities. He serves on the boards of the California Council on Science and Technology and Californians for Higher Education. He is also a member of the California Policy Research Center's Steering Committee and an ex-officio member of the UC President's Board on Science and Innovation.

Mr. Darling graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in political science from UCLA in 1974. He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, having spent much of his childhood living in South America and the Caribbean.


John Flynn

John Flynn is a director of the Irvine Ranch Conservancy and the Executive Vice President of both the Donald Bren Foundation and Bren Investments.

Mr. Flynn is responsible for coordinating and monitoring the major-gift programs for Donald Bren, the Donald Bren Foundation, and The Irvine Company. He also has executive responsibilities for the administration and operations of Donald Bren’s private family office.

Before joining Bren Investments in 1999, Mr. Flynn was a senior partner in the Los Angeles office of Arthur Andersen, an international accounting and advisory firm. He specialized in services to the real estate industry.

Mr. Flynn is a CPA with an MBA degree from the Wharton School and a B.A. degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He is a retired naval officer whose service included duty with the Navy Seabees during the Vietnam conflict.


Steve Gaines
Steve Gaines became dean of the Bren School in January 2010, continuing a long and distinguished career at UCSB. He has been a member of the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology since 1994, and was previously director of the university's Marine Science Institute. He has served as Acting Vice Chancellor for Research, as as Acting Dean of the Division of Mathematical, Life, and Physical Sciences. His research focuses on marine ecology and conservation, sustainable fisheries, the design of marine reserves, and the impact of climate change on ocean ecosystems.

Dr. Gaines is involved in numerious national and international projects. He currently serves as a science advisor for the Joint Ocean Commission and as a principal investigator for PISCO (Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans), a long-term consortium studying marine ecosystems throughout the Pacific. From 2003 to 2006 he held a prestigious Pew Marine Conservation Fellowship. Most recently, Dr. Gaines received the inaugural Marc J. Hershman Excellence in Mentoring Award from the Joint Ocean Commission Initiative, and the scientific journal Nature recognized as its top research highlight for 2008 a paper he co-authored on an innovative fisheries management strategy called ‘catch shares,’ which can reverse fisheries collapse.


Maureen Gorsen
Maureen Gorsen is a partner in the Environmental & Land Development Group at the law firm of Alston & Bird LLP, focusing her practice on environmental compliance and land use. She is the former director of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, where she oversaw the state agency charged with protecting the public health and the environment from toxic harm, cleaning up sites contaminated by toxic substances, ensuring that hazardous waste is managed safely, and preventing future pollution. Ms. Gorsen has also been credited for overseeing California’s Green Chemistry Initiative, one of the single most important environmental programs to be implemented in the next decade.

Prior to her appointment as director of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, Ms. Gorsen served as the deputy secretary for law enforcement and general counsel at the California Environmental Protection Agency, where she was responsible for ensuring that the enforcement efforts of Cal/EPA's various boards, departments and local agencies were carried out in a consistent, effective, and coordinated manner to protect public health and the environment.

In addition to her work at Cal/EPA, Ms. Gorsen was a partner with the law firm of Weston, Benshoof, Rochefort, Rubalcava & MacCuish LLP in Los Angeles (now Alston & Bird) for five years.

From 1993 until 1998, Ms. Gorsen served as Governor Pete Wilson's appointee as the general counsel for the California Resources Agency, where, among other duties, she was responsible for reform and revisions of the 1998 CEQA Guidelines and issues relating to the California Endangered Species Act, the Williamson Act, and the Coastal Act.

Ms. Gorsen earned her law degree from Georgetown University, received her master's degree in international energy and environmental policy from Johns Hopkins University, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.



Michael O'Connell
Mike O’Connell is the Executive Director of the Irvine Ranch Conservancy (IRC). He came to the IRC after a 13-year career with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), where he held a number of positions.

From 2001 to 2004, he was managing director of the South Coast Eco-region, overseeing projects and staff in coastal Southern California and northwestern Baja California. From 1998 to 2001 he was Senior Advisor for Science and Policy, responsible for the Conservancy’s work in the science, policy, and funding of regional conservation plans. From 1995 to 1998 he was director of Natural Community Conservation Planning in Southern California. Mike also spent four years with TNC in Florida, where, as Director of Habitat Conservation Planning, he facilitated the development of a regional conservation and land use program in Brevard County.

Before his career at TNC, Mr. O’Connell served as section program officer for land and wildlife for the World Wildlife Fund, and worked on private land conservation and endangered species issues in both state government and private consulting. From 1998 to 2003, he chaired the Policy Committee of the Board of Governors of the Society for Conservation Biology.

Mr. O’Connell has co-authored two books: Reconciling Conflicts Under the Endangered Species Act (1991) and The Science of Conservation Planning (1997), as well as a number of articles for the scientific, technical, and popular media. Mike has an AB in geology from Carleton College and an MES in conservation biology from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.


Glenn Prickett
Glenn Prickett is Chief External Affairs Officer at The Nature Conservancy, the leading organization working around the world to protect lands and waters for people and nature. Glenn is a member of the Conservancy’s executive team and oversees international and U.S. government relations, corporate practices and sustainability efforts, and relationships with leading international institutions and non-governmental organizations. Mr. Prickett joined The Nature Conservancy in January 2010 after two decades of working on international environment and development policy.

Glenn spent 13 years at Conservation International, where he led efforts to engage the private and public sectors in conservation and sustainability. Glenn founded and led CI’s Center for Environmental Leadership in Business, a division created to engage the private sector in developing solutions to environmental challenges. During his time at CI, Glenn also led the organization’s policy and climate-change teams. In 2009 Prickett served as a senior fellow at the United Nations Foundation, helping to shape core elements of an effective global response to climate change. He also served as the Clinton Administration's chief environmental advisor at the U.S. Agency for International Development, where he coordinated policy and budget for U.S. environmental and energy assistance to developing nations. He began his career in 1989 as a senior associate with the international program of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Mr. Prickett graduated from Yale University in 1988 with a BA in economics and political science. He lives in Great Falls, Virginia, with his wife, Lisa, and their sons, Benjamin and Jed. In addition to his family and conservation, Glenn’s other passion is music. He currently performs with the Oxymorons, a blues, rock, and funk band in Washington, D.C.


James Salzman
Jim Salzman holds joint appointments at Duke University as the Samuel Fox Mordecai Professor of Law at the Law School and as the Nicholas Institute Professor of Environmental Policy at the Nicholas School of the Environment.

A popular classroom teacher, Professor Salzman teaches the Bren School's core course on Environmental Law and has twice been voted Professor of the Year by students at Duke's Nicholas School of the Environment. He has lectured on environmental policy to audiences in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa.

In more than sixty articles and five books, he has called upon his broad-ranging scholarship to address topics spanning trade and environment conflicts, the history of drinking-water, environmental protection in the service economy, wetlands mitigation banking, and the legal and institutional issues in creating markets for ecosystem services.

Prior to entering academia, Professor Salzman worked for the OECD in Paris and served as the European Environmental Manager for Johnson Wax in London. He has been a visiting professor at Yale, Harvard, and Stanford.

Professor Salzman earned his BA in history from Yale College in 1985, graduating magna cum laude with distinction. He received his JD cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1989, and his MSc in Engineering Sciences from Harvard University in 1990.


Matthew Trujillo
The student representative on the Bren Advisory Board, Matthew Trujillo (MESM, 2011) is specializing in Corporate Environmental Management at Bren, with a focus on eco-entrepreneurship. He graduated cum laude with a degree in community studies from UC Santa Cruz in 2002 and received his California teaching credential in 2004. He served as a social worker in Sacramento County from 2006-2009, managing a large number of elderly and disabled adults and supervising the investment of more than $1 million of taxpayer funds. He worked as an elementary teacher in the Alisal Union School Districat from 2004-2006.

Matthew is also an eco-consultant who educates consumers on eco-friendly living practices and conducts evaluations of energy use and indoor environmenal quality at homes and businesses. He spent a year as a board member of both the United Public Employees Local 1 and the UC Student Association. He spent four years, from 1998-2001, as chair of the Student Alliance of North American Indians and one year as vice chair of the UC Santa Cruz Student Union Assembly. He has served internships with the Rural Economic Transition Assistance program in Hawaii and continues to serve on PACES at UCSB, where he leads teams of volunteers that conduct waste and energy audits for UCSB departments where buildings are being prepared for LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.


Henry Yang
Henry T. Yang joined UC Santa Barbara as chancellor in 1994. He also holds a faculty appointment in the Department of Mechanical and Environmental Engineering. He was formerly the Neil A. Armstrong Distinguished Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Purdue University, where he also served as the dean of engineering for ten years, and as director of the Computer Integrated Design, Manufacturing, and Automation Center. He received his Ph.D. from Cornell University.

In addition to his administrative responsibilities, Dr. Yang has remained active in teaching and research. He has received 12 outstanding undergraduate teaching awards, and he still teaches one or two undergraduate courses in structural analysis each year and guides several graduate students. He has authored or co-authored more than 160 articles for scientific journals, and served as principal or co-principal investigator for 30 sponsored research grants. His book "Finite Element Structural Analysis," published by Prentice-Hall, has been adopted by many universities and has also been published in Japanese and Chinese.

Dr. Yang has served on numerous governmental, corporate, and academic committees and advisory boards, such as the Defense Science Board, USAF Scientific Advisory Board, Naval Research Advisory Committee, NASA's Aeronautical Advisory Committee, and the Engineering Advisory Committee of the National Science Foundation. He has received many honors and awards for his research, teaching, and service, including the Benjamin Garver Lamme gold medal from the American Society of Engineering Education and four honorary doctorates in engineering. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

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