Sean Elsbernd ’97, Chief of Staff to San Francisco Mayor London Breed, has been appointed to the Board of Governors of the Rose Institute of State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna College (CMC). Elsbernd became the Mayor’s Chief of Staff in 2018, following six years of service as United States Senator Dianne Feinstein’s State Director. Prior to his work for Senator Feinstein and Mayor Breed, Sean was appointed by then-Mayor Gavin Newsom to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in August 2004. He was subsequently elected and re-elected by the voters of San Francisco’s District 7 in 2004 and 2008, respectively.
“Since graduating from CMC, I have not only looked back fondly on my work at the Rose and come to very much appreciate the impact it has had on my own career, but I have also continued to be impressed by the Rose Institute and its tremendous contributions to the local government public policy arena,” Elsbernd said. “We have real policy challenges in California, at both the state and local level, and we need both thoughtful policy analysis and new generations of leaders who have gained excellent policy training in undergraduate programs. The Rose Institute is helping meet those needs. I am excited to support students with their research and overall development.”
Elsbernd will be making a return to the Rose Institute. A 1997 graduate of CMC, he worked during his college years as one of the Institute’s student research assistants, including service as a Student Manager during his senior year. Afterward, he graduated from the University of California Hastings College of Law in 2000. Sean is married to Jennifer Johnston, Deputy City Administrator of the City and County of San Francisco. They reside in San Francisco with their two children.
“I have known Sean since his freshman year at CMC, and I am confident he will be an invaluable addition to the Rose Institute’s board,” said Ryder Todd Smith ‘96, chair of the Board of Governors. “He has in-depth knowledge of San Francisco as a political institution, and his wealth of experience in both the elected and the staff side of politics will provide important insights to the board and students alike.”
“Sean is an important addition to our Rose Board of Governors. He has experience as both a staff person and an elected official in one of the most politically dynamic environments in America,” noted Ken Miller, director of the Rose Institute. ”His efforts to help San Francisco navigate big challenges have given him wisdom that he can share freely with our student and faculty researchers. I look forward to calling on him for advice.”
About the Rose Institute
Founded in 1973, the Rose Institute is one of the nation’s leading academic centers focused on the study of state and local government. The Institute’s research is led by nationally recognized faculty who supervise student research teams. Its areas of expertise include public opinion, redistricting, elections, demographics, criminal justice, and fiscal policy. The Institute helps its students develop their capacity to become leaders in state and local government and other sectors.
The Rose Institute’s Board of Governors provides strategic advice to the Institute and works closely with its faculty and students. The Board includes state and local government officials, consultants, election lawyers, business leaders, and journalists.