Pepperdine University School of Public Policy

Competition Dates: Friday, March 6, 2020 and Saturday, March 7, 2020

Competition Location: Pepperdine School of Public Policy, Drescher Graduate Campus (24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90263)

Technical, Oversight Leader and Logistical Leaders:

CJ Jones, Director of Program Services and Admissions

Natalie Helton, Program Services Manager for Admissions and Office Management

Site Judges:

Amanda Daflos, Chief Innovation Officer, Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti, City of Los Angeles: In addition to serving as Chief Innovation Officer, Amanda Daflos also serves as the Director of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Innovation Team (i-team), in partnership with Bloomberg Philanthropies. Daflos was appointed by Garcetti in 2015 and became the first innovation officer in the City of Los Angeles. Daflos has established one of the most important civic innovation labs in the world and has won numerous awards for her visionary work, including being listed #1 on the 2018 Engaging Local Government Leaders Top 100 Local Government Leaders. Daflos holds a bachelor of arts from Hamilton College and a master of public administration from the University of Colorado.

Jeremy Wolf, District Director, State Senator Henry Stern (SD-27): As District Director for State Senator Henry Stern (SD-27), whose district encompasses the Conejo Valley, western San Fernando Valley, and a portion of the Santa Clarita Valley in Los Angeles and Ventura counties, Wolf oversees the district operations for the Senator’s policy and community agenda. Wolf currently serves as a board member of the Save Open Space Santa Monica Mountains organization and is a planning commissioner for the City of Agoura Hills. Wolf holds a bachelor of arts from California State University, Channel Islands and master of public policy from the Pepperdine School of Public Policy.

Jack W. Meek, Ph.D., is a ULV Academy Professor, Professor of Public Administration and Director of the Center for Research. Jack’s research focuses on metropolitan governance and his publications include Governance Networks in Public Administration and Public Policy (2018 CRC Press) and Networked Governance (2012 CQ Press) and Administrative Strategies for Complex Governance Systems (2014 Emergent Publications).


IMPORTANT: please remember to bring your own laptop computers to the competition. You must have GOOGLE CHROME installed. This is the only browser compatible with the simulation. Tablets are NOT compatible with the simulation. Make sure to enable your ‘Cookies.’ 

Informal Welcome Meet & Greet:

Join fellow NBSim participants and School of Public Policy students for an informal no-host meet-and-greet on the evening of Friday, March 6 beginning around 6 pm at Sagebush Cantina (23527 Calabasas Road, Calabasas, CA 91302).

Sagebush Cantina is an easy 15-minute walk or a quick 5-minute ride-share drive from the Hilton Garden Inn Calabasas (the recommended hotel, see details below).

School of Public Policy students will be present to welcome the participating students from other schools for an informal evening of food and cheer (for those 21 years old and over).

Hotel Details:

The Pepperdine School of Public Policy has reserved a discounted courtesy room block (20 two-Queen and/or one-King rooms) for check-in on Friday, March 6, 2020 and check-out on Sunday, March 8, 2020. These rooms are available on a first-come-first serve basis. The Pepperdine School of Public Policy is not responsible for room reservation or hotel payment. Deadline to make reservations to secure the discounted rate is Monday, February 10, 2020. Reservations should be made using the special link below.

Hotel Name: Hilton Garden Inn Calabasas

Room Reservation Link:

Hotel Address: 24150 Park Sorrento, Calabasas, CA 91302

Courtesy Room Block Name: Pepperdine NASPAA

Room Rate: $189.00 per night (plus applicable state and local taxes)

Ground Transportation:

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is 28 miles southeast of Pepperdine University. There are ample car rentals available at the airport at varying rates. The campus is also served by numerous shuttles. Taxis average about $84 each way. Alternative ride sharing such as Uber ($32-42 each way) and Lyft ($32-$43 each way) provide affordable and convenient options for competitors to get around. Parking on campus is free and the Pepperdine School of Public Policy’s parking lots always have ample space for visitors.

Competition Day – Shuttle:

The Pepperdine School of Public Policy will provide a complimentary shuttle on March 7 from the Hilton Garden Inn Calabasas to campus in the morning for the start of the competition and again at the conclusion of the competition. A schedule will be provided to all competition participants in advance of the competition.

Students not riding the shuttle are responsible for making their own transportation arrangements to Pepperdine. If you choose to drive yourself, please park in Parking Lot S at the Drescher Graduate Campus. No permit is required. Simply tell the Gate Guards that you are here for the NASPAA competition at the School of Public Policy.

It is the participant’s responsibility to ensure they have made all necessary travel plans.

Initial Competition Day Details:

Participants must be at the Pepperdine School of Public Policy (follow signs and other posting on campus) no later than 8:00 AM for check-in on Saturday, March 7, 2020. A continental breakfast and coffee will be available beginning at 7:45 AM. Welcoming remarks, instructions, and the start of the competition will begin promptly at 8:30 AM. Lunch will be provided during the competition. In the afternoon, competitors will be able to unwind on the Gull’s Way Patio overlooking the Pacific Ocean with afternoon snacks.  The closing ceremony will occur on campus following the judges’ deliberations. Participating students are expected to be present for the entire duration of the competition.

The entire Pepperdine School of Public Policy community looks forward to you joining us in Malibu.  If you have any questions, do not hesitate reaching out to your site leaders.