Smith Hall
Center for Demographics and Policy

» Center for Demographics and Policy

"Demographics is destiny" has become somewhat an overused phrase, but that does not reduce the critical importance of population trends to virtually every aspect of economic, social and political life. Concern over demographic trends has been heightened in recent years by several international trends — notably rapid aging, reduced fertility, large scale migration across borders. On the national level, shifts in attitude, generation, and ethnicity have proven decisive in both the political realm and in the economic fortunes of regions and states.

The Center focuses on research and analysis of global, national and regional demographic trends and explores policies that might produce favorable demographic results over time. In addition, it involves Chapman students in demographic research under the supervision of the Center’s senior staff. Students work with the Center’s director and engage in research that will serve them well as they look to develop their careers in business, the social sciences, and the arts. They also have access to our advisory board, which includes distinguished Chapman faculty and major demographic scholars from across the country and the world.

The Feudal Future Podcast

with Joel Kotkin and Marshall Toplansky

With the new class structure resembling that of the Medieval times, opportunity is quickly disappearing for small business people, property owners, skilled workers and private sector professionals. Join world-renowned author Joel Kotkin and tech-entrepreneur Marshall Toplansky as they explore what we can do to liberate the global middle class.

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Joel Kotkin - Director

Joel Kotkin is the Roger C. Hobbs Presidential Fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University and director of the Center for Demographics and Policy. He is author of eight books and his newest book, “The Coming of Neo Feudalism: A Warning To the Global Middle Class,” will be released in April, 2020. A regular contributor to the Orange County Register, Real Clear Politics, City Journal, the Daily Beast and Quillette, Kotkin also serves as executive editor of the widely-read website

Described by the New York Times as “America’s uber-geographer,” Mr. Kotkin is an internationally-recognized authority on global, economic, political and social trends. Over the past decade, he has completed studies focusing on several major cities, including a worldwide study focusing on the future of London, Mumbai and Mexico City, and studies of New York, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Houston, San Bernardino and St. Louis, among others. Mr. Kotkin also serves as the Executive Director of the Houston-based Center for Opportunity Urbanism and the senior advisor to the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah.

Advisory Board

photo of Howard Ahmanson, Jr.

Howard Ahmanson, Jr.

Howard Fieldstad Ahmanson, Jr. is a philanthropist and writer whose public activities focus on deepening awareness and fostering better policy regarding issues of affordable housing, land use, and eminent domain as well as life issues, particularly the beginning and ending of human life. A regular attender at the Congress on New Urbanism, Ahmanson is proud to have sponsored the local government conference series at Chapman University in Orange, California.
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Cullum Clark

J.H. Cullum Clark is Director, Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative and an Adjunct Professor of Economics at SMU. Within the Economic Growth Initiative, he leads the Bush Institute’s work on domestic economic policy and economic growth. Before joining the Bush Institute and SMU, Clark worked in the investment industry for 25 years. He served as an equity analyst and portfolio manager at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. (1993-96), as a portfolio manager at Warburg Pincus Asset Management (1996-2000), as President and Chief Investment Officer of Cimarron Global Investors, a Dallas-based hedge fund firm (2000-02), and as President of Prothro Clark Company, a Dallas family investment office (2002-18). Prior to entering the investment industry, he served for one year on the staff of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.
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Wendell Cox

Wendell Cox is principal of (St. Louis, MO-IL). He is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Opportunity Urbanism in Houston, and Senior Fellow for Municipal Policy and Housing Affordability at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy in Winnipeg. He served as a visiting professor at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers in Paris. He has presented guest lectures at the University of Paris (the Sorbonne), Tonji University (Shanghai), Cairo University, the University of Sydney and the University of Toronto on urban policy and transport. He served as vice-president of CODATU, a Lyon, France based organization dedicated to improving mobility in developing world urban areas. He is co-author of the "Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey", author of "Demographia World Urban Areas", and has published three editions of "Demographia Central Business Districts". Wendell Cox designed the City Sector Model, which permits more detailed analysis of the urban form in metropolitan areas, at a small area level, instead of by municipal jurisdiction.
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Deborah Diep

Ms. Deborah Diep is the Director of the Center for Demographic Research at California State University, Fullerton. Deborah Diep joined the Center for Demographic Research in 1999 and has served as the Director of the center since 2005. Working closely with the ten sponsoring agencies of the CDR and all 35 Orange County jurisdictions, she oversees the development of the Orange County Projections, the official demographic forecast for Orange County, California. At the CDR, her work focuses on producing demographic and economic estimates and projections used in research and policy analysis related to social, economic, health, housing, environmental programs and issues, along with short- and long-range program and infrastructure planning and financing.
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Dan Heinfeld

Dan Heinfeld has been the President of LPA since 1986, leading the company’s design and sustainability initiatives and expanding the practice to more than 450 employees with offices in Irvine, Roseville, San Diego, San Jose, San Antonio and Dallas. Heinfeld believes that sustainability is much too important to be treated as a scorecard; it is neither additive nor subtractive but must be ingrained into a building’s DNA. The LPA design process is led by a progressive integration of disciplines working collaboratively on a day-to-day basis in real-time where architects and engineers contribute as partners in the process. The result is places and spaces that do more with less, solving more problems and working better for the people who use them, while requiring less energy, water, square footage and materials. Heinfeld has a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Arizona. He is a Licensed Architect in California and Arizona, Fellow with the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) since 1993 and LEED Accredited Professional.
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Jennifer L. Hernandez

Jennifer Hernandez has practiced land use and environmental law for more than 30 years, and leads Holland & Knight's West Coast Land Use and Environmental Group. She has written three books, and more than 50 articles, on environmental and land use topics, and regularly teaches land use, environmental and climate law in law and business schools, colleges and seminars. During his tenure as mayor of San Francisco, Willie Brown named October 9, 2002, as "Jennifer Hernandez Day" in San Francisco in honor of her work as a "warrior on the Brownfields" to restore and redevelop former industrial lands. Ms. Hernandez is the longest-serving minority board member (23 years) of the California League of Conservation voters, was appointed by President Clinton to serve as a trustee for the Presidio National Park in San Francisco, and serves on the board of directors for California Forward and Sustainable Conservation.
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Karla López del Río

Karla López del Río is a community development executive committed to supporting low- and moderate-income families build wealth and thriving communities. Karla is the Principal at Connexions Consulting. Her work fosters public-private- grassroots partnerships resulting in innovative community-led projects, affordable housing solutions, homeownership opportunities, and small business development across Southern California. Karla contributes to the field her insight as a first-generation immigrant, a background in real estate, and experience in social enterprise management.
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Ali Modarres

Ali Modarres is the Director of Urban Studies and the Assistant Chancellor for Community Engagement at University of Washington Tacoma. Dr. Modarres serves on a number of governing and advisory boards of academic associations, nonprofits, and policy centers including Economic Roundtable (Los Angeles), Urban Affairs Association, South Sound Regional Leadership Council of Forterra, and the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation.
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Stephen Rawski, P.E.

For over thirty years, Steve has served as a liaison with the Engineering Design Community for projects within Southern California. His specific areas of expertise include advanced natural gas technologies such as air conditioning, refrigeration, compressed air systems and onsite power generation/microgrids. Over the last decade, Steve has been most actively involved with evaluating gas technologies as they might apply to reducing electrical demand and Greenhouse Gas Reduction strategies. Steve is a Mechanical Engineering graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. He is a licensed Professional Engineer practicing in California. Prior to joining the Gas Company, he worked extensively, both overseas and domestically, in the design, application and marketing of turbomachinery, electric motors, generators and drives as well as the full range of refrigeration and air conditioning systems. Steve is a past Chapter President of ASHRAE (American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers). He is also a Lifetime Member of AEE (Association of Energy Engineers). In 2010, Steve received an Outstanding Engineering Service Award from the Orange County (CA) Engineering Council. Over his career, Steve has published in trade association periodicals. He currently maintains an active public speaking schedule focusing on enhancing customer sustainability and resiliency for critical operations while also mitigating the challenging energy costs in California. Steve is passionate about preserving the California Dream for his wife of over 30 years, his three grown children and their families.
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Pete Saunders

Pete is a writer and researcher whose work focuses on urbanism and public policy. He is a practicing urban planner with more than twenty years’ experience in planning, economic development, and community development, with stops in the public, private and non-profit sectors. His current role is as the principal for PDS Consulting, an urban planning consulting and research firm. Pete has been the editor/publisher of the Corner Side Yard, an urbanist blog, since 2012. His principal research areas include: race and public policy; urban migration dynamics; global city demographics; economic and social inequality; gentrification; Rust Belt metro analysis; and Midwest regional analysis.
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Margita Thompson

Margita Thompson is currently Vice President of Public Affairs for California Resources Corporation (CRC), the state’s largest independent oil and natural gas producer. Margita focuses on driving unexpected community engagement that translates to increased stakeholder credibility and business impact. Previously, Thompson was Vice President, External Communications for Disney Consumer Products (DCP) leading PR teams and Vice President for Corporate Communications and Latino Programs Officer at Health Net Inc. Before working in the private sector, Thompson served in government and the media. She was Press Secretary for California Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, served as Political Producer for CNN’s then highest-rated show, Larry King Live, worked at the White House in the Office of the Vice President as Press Secretary to Mrs. Lynne Cheney, and served as California Press Secretary of Bush for President during the 2000 election. Thompson attended UC Berkeley, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She then went on to complete a Master of Public Policy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where she was named the Parker Montgomery Fellow for distinguished leadership in California.
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Marshall Toplansky

Marshall Toplansky, MBA serves as a research fellow at the C. Larry Hoag Center for Real Estate and at the Center for Demographics and Policy. He is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Management Science at the Argyros School of Business and Economics.
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Thomas Tseng

Thomas Tseng is Principal of Sengo Insights, LLC, a Los Angeles-based market research agency with global capabilities extending from the U.S. to the Asia Pacific (China, Japan, Taiwan). With over 20 years of industry experience, Thomas is a seasoned marketing research professional and has amassed a strong, proven track record of success in delivering strategic, actionable consumer insights for a diverse range of clients spanning across Fortune 500 clients, non-profit organizations, academia, and government agencies.
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Morley Winograd

Morley Winograd is an author and speaker delivering candid, informed insights on engaging Millennials. His predictions and often pithy analyses have appeared in (or on) The New York Times, The Today Show, CNN, USA Today, PBS NewsHour, NPR, Barron’s, Forbes, Reuters and Univision. He is the co-author, with Michael D. Hais, of three highly acclaimed books, “Millennial Majority”, “Millennial Momentum” and “Millennial Makeover”. They published their fourth book together with Doug Ross earlier this year: “Healing American Democracy”. He is also a Senior Fellow at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School’s Center on Communication Leadership and Policy.

Thank you to our generous donors!

Howard Ahmanson

Irving M. Chase

Dan Heinfeld

Andy Horowitz

Joe Lozowski

Shruti Miyashiro
Orange county’s Credit Union

Southern California Gas Company

Tom Tait
Tait & Associates Inc.

Margita Thompson
California Resources Corporation