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Daniel Schnur

Assistant Professor of the Practice of Political Science

Contact Information
Phone: (213) 740-8964
Office: VKC 263
Office Hours: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays : by appointment

Curriculum Vitae

Biographical Sketch

Dan Schnur is the Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California, where he works to motivate students to become active in the world of politics and encourage public officials to participate in the daily life of USC. For years, Dan was one of California’s leading political and media strategists, whose record includes work on four presidential and three gubernatorial campaigns. Schnur served as the national Director of Communications for the 2000 presidential campaign of U.S. Senator John McCain and spent five years as chief media spokesman for California Governor Pete Wilson. Schnur began his political career in the press office of the Reagan-Bush ’84 presidential campaign. He later served as a spokesman for the Bush-Quayle ’88 presidential campaign, and worked in the press offices of the Republican National Committee before moving to California in 1990 to take on the position of Communications Director of the state Republican Party. Following Wilson’s election as Governor that year, Schnur joined the Administration and subsequently served Wilson as both Press Secretary and Communications Director. In 1994, he served as Press Secretary to Wilson’s successful gubernatorial re-election campaign. In addition to his position at USC, Schnur is an Adjunct Instructor at the University of California at Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies. Schnur has also held the post of Visiting Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Institute of Politics at Harvard University and taught an advanced course in political campaign communications at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management. In addition, he was the founder of the Center for Campaign Leadership, a non-partisan effort to equip young people with the skills essential for professional involvement in political campaigns. He has served as an advisor to the William & Melinda Gates Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Broad Education Foundation, the James Irvine Foundation, and the Stuart Foundation on a variety of K-12 education, college and workforce preparedness, governance and political reform efforts. He is also the Co-Chairman of the Voices of Reform project, a bi-partisan statewide organization devoted to making state government more responsive to the needs of California voters. Schnur's commentaries have appeared in several California newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Sacramento Bee. During last year's presidential election, Schnur wrote a regular column for the New York Times' political opinion website, Campaign Stops. In addition, he has been an analyst and political commentator for CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and National Public Radio. Schnur is a graduate of the American University in Washington, D.C.


B.A. Political Science, American University, 5/1987

Other Research

I am the Director of the USC Dornsife/LA Times Poll, a regular statewide survey of California voters on matters of politics and public policy. With the support of Dean Howard Gillman and then-Political Science Department Chair Ann Crigler, I was responsible for the establishment of the poll in 2009. Since then, the poll has been conducted eleven times, and has received more news covergae than any other USC-related story over the course of that time. It has resulted in the equivalent of $3.2 million of news media coverage, according to the USC Office of Media Relations. More importantly, the poll provides an opportunity for USC students to learn about the practicalities of public opinion research, as we run programs allowing students to participate in the drafting, voter contact and analysis of the polls. I am not compensated for this project., 10/01/2009-  

Multimedia Scholarship and Creative Works

Media Appearances, I appear regularly on local and national radio and television programs to discuss current events, and according to the USC Media Relations Office, was quoted in the print news media 379 times in 2011., 08/15/2008-  
oped and commentary authorship, I have published oped pieces relating to California politics and national politics in the Los Angeles Times, the Sacramento Bee, the Washington Post, the Politico, the New York Daily News, and on the and New York Times websites. I have been published in these and other mainstream media publications more than 100 times since 2008., 08/15/2008-  

Honors and Awards

USC or School/Dept Award for Teaching, Steven B. Sample Teaching and Mentoring Award, 2011-2012   
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