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November 8, 2016 — California General Election

Santa Monica Community College DistrictCandidate for Board of Trustees

Photo of Rob Greenstein Rader

Rob Greenstein Rader

Santa Monica College Trustee/Professor
22,187 votes (24.79%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Closing the Achievement Gap so all students can benefit from their education.
  • Ensuring our new bachelor's degree in Interaction Design succeeds and provides good jobs.
  • Maintaining our excellence as the top college for transfers, local participation and overall.



Profession:Santa Monica College Trustee/Law Professor/General Counsel at OvationTelevision Network
General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Ovation LLC (2013–current)
Board of Trustees, Santa Monica College — Elected position (2004–current)
Board of Directors, Secretary-Treasurer, Chair of Finance Committee, Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. (previously Bayside District Corporation) — Appointed position (2002–current)
Board of Directors, KCRW Foundation — Elected position (2013–current)
Professor of Law, Pepperdine Law School — Appointed position (2005–current)
50 x 50 Champion of the The Women in Public Service Project, The Global Women’s Leadership Initiative at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars — Appointed position (2012–current)
Founding Partner of Digital & Traditional Media and Technology Department, Schwarcz Rimberg Boyd & Rader (2010–2013)
Attorney, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp (2005–2010)
Vice President of Business & Legal Affairs, MGM Studios (1997–2006)


Santa Monica College None, Recreational (2002)
Harvard Law School J.D., Law (1994)
Stanford University M.A., Sociology, statistics, organizational behavior. (1992)
Harvard College B.A., Sociology (1990)

Community Activities

Professor, Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine Law School (2005–current)
Professor, Palmer Center for Entrepreneurship and the Law at Pepperdine Law School (2005–current)


As the first in my family to attend college straight through, I was the beneficiary of my family’s work and sacrifices so I could attend higher education.  I first got involved with Santa Monica College over 14 years ago because I wanted to help all students have the same opportunities my family helped give to me.

For the last 12 years, I’ve had the honor and privilege of serving the residents of Santa Monica and Malibu as a member of the Board of Trustees, including two terms as Chair of the Board.  During my time on the Board, the College has achieved even greater success.  We are the number one transfer institution in the State of California and top community college for local residents’ participation.  This year, we launched our first-ever Bachelor’s degree in Interaction Design, to help students get jobs in the 21st century technology-driven job market.  As Chair, I opened the Broad Stage and led the search for our new President Dr. Kathryn Jeffery.  I have fought to keep Emeritus College open and accessible to all who need it.

I started working in Santa Monica at MGM Studios in 1997 and fell in love with this community so I moved to Santa Monica in 1999.  My public service background was in neighborhood groups, as Chair of the Wilshire/Montana Neighborhood Coalition.  I was appointed by the City to represent residential interests at Downtown Santa Monica Inc., where I currently am Secretary-Treasurer.  As Chair of the Malibu Public Facilities Authority, I was instrumental in bringing a Santa Monica College campus to Malibu.  I serve on the Board of the KCRW Foundation, the leading cultural institution in the region.

Professionally, I am a digital and traditional media and entertainment attorney, where I help bring arts and culture to an audience of 50 million households as General Counsel of the Ovation Television Network, based in Santa Monica.  For the last 12 years, I have been a law professor at Pepperdine, sharing my experience with new generations of students.

As my two children Dashiell (11) and Zora (8) go through the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified school system, I recognize now more than ever how important a good education has been for me and will be for them.  I am more passionate than ever about maintaining our tradition of excellence at Santa Monica College and bringing us to new heights.

I am honored to ask for your support, as I continue to fight for our students and to make Santa Monica College the greatest community college in the world.  Please join me.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Santa Monicans for Renters' Rights (SMRR)
  • Los Angeles County Democratic Party
  • Community for Excellent Public Schools (CEPS)

Organizations (5)

  • Santa Monica Democratic Club
  • The Malibu Times
  • Unite Here, Local 11
  • California School Employees Association (CSEA), Chapter 36 (AFL-CIO)
  • Los Angeles County Federation of Labor

Elected Officials (41)

  • Santa Monica College Board of Trustees Student Trustee Laura Zwicker
  • Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board Member Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein
  • Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board Member Maria Leon Vasquez
  • Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Vice President Ralph Mechur
  • Former Malibu Mayor Jeffrey Jennings
  • State Senator-Elect Kevin Greenstein Rader
  • Former U.S. Congressman Howard Berman
  • Los Angeles City Council Member Mike Bonin
  • Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts, Jr.
  • Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board Member Oscar de la Torre
  • Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board Member-Elect Jon Kean
  • Santa Monica Rent Control Board Member Anastasia Foster
  • Santa Monica Rent Control Board Member Todd Flora
  • Santa Monica Rent Control Board Chair Nicole Phillis
  • Santa Monica College Board of Trustees Board Member Susan Aminoff
  • Santa Monica College Board of Trustees Board Member Margaret Quinones-Perez
  • Santa Monica College Board of Trustees Board Member Barry Snell
  • Santa Monica College Board of Trustees Member Nancy Greenstein
  • Santa Monica College Board of Trustees Vice Chair Andrew Walzer
  • Santa Monica College Board of Trustees Chair Louise Jaffe
  • Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Board Member Craig Foster
  • Former Malibu Mayor Pamela Conley Ulich
  • Former Santa Monica Mayor Denny Zane
  • City Council Member Former Santa Monica Mayor Kevin McKeown
  • Former Santa Monica Mayor Nat Trives
  • Former Santa Monica Mayor Bobby Kennedy Shriver
  • Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District President Laurie Lieberman
  • Santa Monica Mayor Tony Vasquez
  • State Assemblymember Richard Bloom
  • State Senator Ben Allen
  • City Council Member and Former Santa Monica Mayor Pam O'Connor
  • Former Santa Monica Mayor Judy Abdo
  • Santa Monica Mayor Pro Tem Ted Winterer
  • Former Malibu Mayor Ken Kearsley
  • Santa Monica City Council Member Gleam Davis
  • Former Malibu Mayor Andy Stern
  • Santa Monica City Council Member Terry O'Day
  • Malibu City Council Member and Former Mayor John Sibert
  • Former Malibu Mayor Sharon Barovsky
  • Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl

Individuals (10)

  • Vivian Rothstein, Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy
  • Dan Beck, President of Minnesota-Roseville Teachers (NEA)
  • Charles Rader, National Head of Benefits for United Farm & Commercial Workers (UFCW)
  • Jessica Yas Barker, President of San Fernando Valley Young Democrats
  • Ken Solomon, National Finance Chair, Democratic National Committee
  • Judge Ralph Erickson (retired), former President of Malibu Democratic Club
  • Patric Verrone, Former President of Writers Guild of America West (WGAw)
  • Harry M. Keiley, Former President of Santa Monica-Malibu Classroom Teachers Association
  • Sarah Braff, President of Santa Monica-Malibu Classroom Teachers Association
  • Caitlin Corker, Former Santa Monica College Associated Students Vice President

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

My grandparents didn’t go past high school.  My Father dropped out of Eastern Michigan and my Mother dropped out of Michigan State to have me and start a family.  Later, my Mother went back to school at Florida International University to get a teaching degree.  So, I was the first in my family to go straight through to college.  My family made sacrifices so I could attend, and my Mother’s going back to school set an example of the importance of an education.  I was blessed to have support from my family.  So many of our students are also the first in their families to attend college.  As a Trustee at SMC, I have made a commitment that each student has the same opportunities I had, and I have fought to make our campus more affordable and more accessible to all students, including local residents. 

I am the key trustee with business, legal and finance experience and held have held SMC to the highest standards.  This rigor has led to clean audits 9 years in a row and built up a reserve that kept SMC afloat during the state budget crisis without laying off a single full-time employee.  During my service, SMC has had unmatched success and is the number one community college in the nation.  As Chair, I opened up the Broad Stage, oversaw the approval of our 4-year bachelor’s degree and guided the selection of our new president Dr. Kathryn Jeffery.

This performance demonstrates the case for my re-election to the Board of Trustees of SMC.  As a community activist, professor of law, digital and traditional media and entertainment attorney and incumbent trustee, it would be a privilege to serve the people of Santa Monica and to continue to fight for all of our students. 

Now that my kids – Dash (11) and Zora (8) – are in local schools, I have a greater investment than ever in great education.  Just as my grandparents and parents helped me appreciate the value of education, I now am able to pass this on to them.  I want Santa Monica College to be the resource for them that it is for so many members of our community. 

Position Papers

My Pledge


More about what I've done at Santa Monica College and where I want to go.

My Pledge

As the first to finish college in my family, I faced many of the same obstacles that many Santa Monica College students face today. So I understand that it is imperative for our community college to serve our community, and I have worked tirelessly to ensure it does just that.

During my service on the board, Santa Monica College has accomplished all of the following:

  • #1 transfer school to the UC and CSU systems combined, #1 to USC, #1 to Loyola Marymount, #1 to Pepperdine
  • #1 in local community participation according to the California Community College’s Chancellor’s Office
  • Kept Emeritus College thriving and vibrant for our elder community
  • Renewed its commitment to environmental justice and sustainability, including with key early support for the Expo Line and SMC’s innovative program with the Big Blue Bus “Any Line, Any Time”
  • Supported SMC’s founding commitment to the Education Collaborative and the “Cradle to Career” initiative

During my tenure as Chair of the Board of Trustees, I led Santa Monica College as we:

  • Chose its new Superintendent/President, Dr. Kathryn Jeffery
  • Were approved for to grant a Bachelor’s Degree in Interaction Design for this fall, 2016
  • Held our first-ever joint meeting with the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District
  • Founded The Broad Stage at the SMC Performing Arts Center
  • Awarded the highest number of degrees and certificates in SMC history
  • Entered in the LA HI-TECH Coalition with leading educational and industry partners to help students find good jobs in our increasingly technical workforce

My leadership has been critical in key areas:

  • Getting approval for a Malibu campus with my service as Chair of the Malibu Public Facilities Authority, a joint agency with the City of Malibu
  • Re-establishing SMC’s KCRW as the leading public radio station in the United States with my leadership as a member on the KCRW Foundation Board
  • Achieving 9 straight years of “clean audits” without a financial finding with my participation on the Financial Audit Task Force, including prudent use of bond funds

I promise to:

  • Preserve SMC’s academic excellence as the top transfer school
  • Use my business/finance background to ensure that our tax dollars are spent wisely
  • Support SMC’s specialized programs, including Emeritus College
  • Build bridges with neighborhoods, the City of Santa Monica, the City of Malibu and the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District
  • Include all members of our community in decision-making: faculty, employees, students, residents and local businesses

I have the vision, determination, experience and ability to provide the leadership to maintain Santa Monica College’s tradition of excellence.

I welcome your support as I work for our kids and our College!

– Rob Greenstein Rader

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