SAN FRANCISCO, September 14, 2011—The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) today announced the election of Brigitte Bren and Kim Polese to its board of directors.
“We are delighted to welcome two talented California leaders with extensive professional experience and strong records of public service,” says Mark Baldassare, PPIC’s president and CEO. “Their energy, entrepreneurial talent, and commitment to improving public policy will be valuable assets to PPIC’s board.”
Brigitte Bren is an attorney and CEO of International Strategic Planning, Inc., a consulting firm that specializes in advising U.S. companies expanding internationally. She co-founded the company in 1992. Bren serves on the boards of the California Institute of Technology; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Think Together, Inc.; and the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She has served as counsel to the law firm Arter and Hadden, specializing in international affairs and entertainment law, and was vice president of international marketing for Mark Goodson Productions. She was also on the board of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. Bren is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Loyola Law School.
Kim Polese is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who is chair of the consumer finance company ClearStreet, Inc. She was previously CEO of the software company SpikeSource, Inc. Polese made Time Magazine’s list of “The 25 Most Influential Americans” in 1997 after co-founding the software company Marimba, Inc. She also worked at Sun Microsystems—where she was the founding product manager of Java, the technology that brought interactivity to the Web—and IntelliCorp, Inc. She is an Aspen Institute Crown Fellow and serves on the boards of TechNet, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the Long Now Foundation, and the Global Security Institute. The U.S. secretary of commerce appointed her to the new Innovation Advisory Board, which is guiding a study of national economic competitiveness. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and studied computer science at the University of Washington.
Each of the new board members has been elected to an initial three-year term and is eligible for a maximum of three three-year terms. In addition to Baldassare, the current board members are John Bryson, PPIC board chair and retired chairman and CEO of Edison International; Ruben Barrales, president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce; María Blanco, vice president for civic engagement of the California Community Foundation; Gary K. Hart, former state senator and state secretary of education; Robert Hertzberg, partner at Mayer Brown, LLP; Walter B. Hewlett, director of the Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities; Donna Lucas, CEO of Lucas Public Affairs; David Mas Masumoto, author and farmer; Steven Merksamer, senior partner at Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Gross, & Leoni, LLP; and Thomas Sutton, retired chairman and CEO of Pacific Life Insurance Company.
PPIC is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. As a private operating foundation, PPIC does not take or support positions on any ballot measure or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office.