Jo Ellen Chatham, Ph.D.
Dr. Jo Ellen Chatham is a Member of the Board of Trustees and Former Chair of PBS SoCaL, which also governs the KOCE-TV Foundation. PBS SoCaL is the second most-viewed of 347 PBS stations in the United States. She is also the Director of Public Affairs for the Southern Region of the Southern California Edison Company (SCE). Her team of Region Managers is responsible for managing the relationships between SCE, the County of Orange and more than fifty cities in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Jo Ellen is a member of the Board of Directors of the Pacific Symphony, the Orange County Business Council, CleanTech OC and the Orange County Forum where she serves as Vice President for the Executive Leadership Series. She is a member of the Leadership Council for the Center for the Study of Democracy at the University of California at Irvine, the Board of Visitors for the Chapman University School of Law and the Orange County Taxpayers Association.
For nearly 15 years, Jo Ellen was an Associate Professor of Political Science at West Los Angeles College where she also served as an administrator and officer in the Faculty Senate. Prior to joining SCE, Jo Ellen was president of Eagle Forum of California, a public policy organization. She was appointed by Governor Pete Wilson to the Board of Governors of the California State Bar Association and the Narcotic Addict Evaluation Authority. She was a member of the Board of the Henry Salvatori Forum at the University of Southern California and served on the Orange County Commission on the Status of Women and on boards of numerous organizations, including the Orange County Business Council (Past Vice Chairman), the World Affairs Council of Orange County (Past Chairman), the Orange County Forum (Past President), Red Cross of Orange County (Past Secretary), and the Orange County High School of the Arts Foundation Board.
Jo Ellen was the Republican nominee in the 69th State Assembly District in 1992 and was an alternate delegate to the 1996 and 2004 Republican National Conventions. For 15 years she served as the First Vice-Chairman of the Republican Party of Orange County and is First Vice Chairman Emeritus. She has chaired the Education Committee, Speakers’ Bureau and the Political Education Committee for the California Republican Party and continues to be a delegate to the CRP.
In 1987, Jo Ellen authored A More Perfect Union: The Constitutional Convention of 1787 which received official recognition by the United State Commission on the Bicentennial of the Constitution. She is listed in the Eighth Edition of World’s Who’s Who of Women and was named "Woman of the Year" by the California Legislature in 1987. In 1993 she was awarded "Woman of the Year" by the Women’s Coalition. In 2011 Jo Ellen received the "Visionary Award" conferred by the Coast Community College District and was awarded "The Golden Orange" award by the Orange County World Affairs Council.
Jo Ellen received her B.A. and M.A. in Political Science from California State University at Northridge and a second M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Southern California. Her doctoral dissertation is entitled Constitutional Interpretation: Views of the Early Congresses Concerning Judicial Review and Original Meaning. She also studied Consumer Economics in the UCLA graduate school.
For two years Jo Ellen was a panelist on NBC’s Emmy Award-winning public policy program "Free 4 All" and is a frequent guest in television and radio, including appearances on such programs as "CNN and Company," "The Tom Snyder Show," "The Today Show," CBS’s "News Makers", "Live in L.A." and many others. She was a political columnist for the Daily Pilot and has organized and taught seminars in effective political action and media relations. She is a co-founder of the Alpha Political Campaign School and has authored The Political Campaign Manual, the Citizen Action Manual and is currently writing The Child’s Book of Virtues.