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Social Sciences Dean's Advisory Council

The advisory council’s recent work has focused on helping solve social problems of national importance in areas such as K-12 education, democracy and justice, the use of technology in social science research, social norms change, and online learning.  The structure of the council operations will change this year, but the current charge is to contribute to the advancement of the division’s main objectives:  educational instruction, career preparation, cutting-edge research, and social problem-solving.  The council accomplishes this through advisement, philanthropy, building community support, and advocacy.

    Dean’s Advisory Council – Member Biographies


    Sam Armstrong is Vice President of Investments at Wachovia Securities, LLC in La Jolla. Sam received his B.A. in Economics from the Arizona State University. He is a Cancer Center Foundation board member and past president. Sam co-founded the Cancer Center Luau.

    Neville Billimoria (’82 Communication, Muir College) is SVP Membership/Marketing and Chief Advocacy Officer for Mission Federal Credit Union.  Neville also serves on the Mission Federal Credit Union Community Foundation Board of Directors and the UC San Diego Alumni Board of Directors.

    Barbara Bry is the chief operating officer of Blackbird Ventures, and has been on the founding team of two companies and three nonprofit organizations. Barbara also is the founder of San Diego Athena, athenasd.org, San Diego’s premier organization for women technology executives and entrepreneurs. She spent 10 years at the University of California, San Diego where she was the first associate director of CONNECT, which has received international recognition for its efforts in linking technology entrepreneurs with the resources they need for success. She also served as the founding editor and CEO of Voice of San Diego, an innovative news and information Web site that has been featured nationally for its leadership in community based journalism.

    Nils E Clark ‘99 (Management Science, Marshall College) is Senior Financial Advisor, Vice President - Investments, Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC.

    Jeff Elman is Dean of the Division of Social Sciences and a Professor in the Department of Cognitive Science.

    Dr. Ed Fong (’75 Economics, ’80, PhD Economics, Muir College) is currently the Director of Market Services for Sempra Energy utilities (San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Gas Company). He has held various management positions with SDG&E and SoCalGas since 1982, including managing departments in Operations Research, Information Technology, Human Resources, and Customer Services. In recent years, Ed has focused on customer service strategic initiatives, including Advanced Metering Infrastructure, Demand Response, Dynamic Pricing, Customer Experience Management and Smart Grid. He has testified before the California Public Utilities Commission on several occasions.

    Gary Jacobs ‘79 (Management Science, Revelle College) is Managing Director of Jacobs Investment Company, LLC and owns the Lake Elsinore Storm, a Padres affiliated minor league baseball team. Gary is also an education consultant and a member of the UCSD Board of Overseers and numerous community boards.

    Doug Kurtz ’97 (Communication, Muir College) is Senior Director of Development for the Division of Social Sciences. 

    David Lake is Associate Dean of the Division of Social Sciences and a Professor in the Department of Political Science.

    Barbara Lee is Research Director at Viewpoint Learning,Inc, a La Jolla based organization that specializes in dialogues on public policy issues. As a consultant, she has developed studies and consulted on strategy development for such organizations as the  the UCSD Civic Collaborative, the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton), the San Diego School District, the Children's Television Workshop, the American Heart Association and the Adult Literacy Media Alliance. Previously she served as Director of Social Research at CBS and held executive positions with other research organizations. She has an MA from the University of Chicago in Social Psychology.

    Joanna Mancusi ‘82 (Literature, Muir College) is Assistant Dean of the Division of Social Sciences.

    Marcie Marsh is Director of Development for the Division of Social Sciences. 

    Ray Peet retired from the U.S. Navy with the rank of Vice Admiral. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a member and former chairman of the UCSD Board of Overseers and is a member of Chancellor‘s Associates. Ray sits on the board of Cubic Corporation.

    Bob Scurlock was a founder and CEO of Personalogic, an internet company acquired by AOL in 1998. He is a former Vice President of Teldyne Ryan Aeronautical, and retired from the U.S. Air Force as Director of the Budget in Washington, with the rank of Major General. He holds a B.S. from Ohio State University, an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California, and an M.S. in International Affairs from George Washington University. He is a former member of the UCSD Board of Overseers.

    Cynthia Sener ‘93 (Sociology, Muir College) is the Vice President of Global Marketing at Solatube, a leading manufacturer and marketer of Tubular Daylighting Devices. She also holds an MBA from UC Irvine.

    Chris Tolles ‘90 (Computer Science and Economics, Warren College) is the CEO and a co-founder of Topix. Topix is the leading news community on the Web, connecting people to the information and discussions that matter to them in every U.S. town and city. Prior to Topix, Chris was a co-founder of Spoke Software and NewHoo (acquired by Netscape), as well as a veteran of AOL, Netscape and Sun Microsystems.

    Daniel Yankelovich is Chairman of three organizations — the Public Agenda, a not for profit public education think tank, DYG Inc., a social and marketing research firm, and Viewpoint Learning, Inc., a La Jolla based organization that specializes in dialogues on public policy issues. His education background includes: B.A., Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College, Rantoul Fellow in Clinical Psychology, Harvard University, and graduate studies at The Sorbonne in Paris. He holds Honorary Doctorates from George Washington University, Washington University and St. Bonaventure University, and has served as Research Professor in Psychology at NYU and at the Graduate Faculty of the New School For Social Research.