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In Memoriam: André Pineda, 46

The Democratic pollster and lecturer in USC Dornsife was an expert on the increasing influence of Latino voters.

André Pineda, a public opinion researcher and pollster, taught the political science course “Political Attitudes and Behavior” in USC Dornsife in Spring 2009 and supported the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics housed in USC Dornsife.
André Pineda, a public opinion researcher and pollster, taught the political science course “Political Attitudes and Behavior” in USC Dornsife in Spring 2009 and supported the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics housed in USC Dornsife.

André Pineda, a Democratic pollster, mentor and lecturer in USC Dornsife died on Sept. 27. He was 46.

A mentor to young USC Dornsife politicos, Pineda was a public opinion researcher and pollster for New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson's presidential campaign in 2008, as well as the chief Latino pollster for President Barack Obama's campaign.

In Spring 2009, Pineda taught the political science course “Political Attitudes and Behavior” in USC Dornsife.

A longtime supporter of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics housed in USC Dornsife, Pineda last month participated in the institute’s weekly lunchtime discussion series “Road to the White House 2012.” 

“During his time on the USC campus, André became an invaluable lecturer, mentor and friend to our students,” said Dan Schnur, institute director. “He exemplified the value of public service and we will strive to make sure future students learn from his work."

Pineda was respected as a valued and trusted public opinion researcher. His work as owner of Pineda Consulting spanned more than 20 years of professional expertise in both private and public sectors and national and international borders.

His career included positions at polling firms Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research; serving as the top aide in the California Gov. Gray Davis administration and as the Get Out The Vote (GOTV) director for Janet Napolitano’s 2002 campaign for Arizona governor. He worked on behalf of political and corporate clients from the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Raised in South Pasadena, Pineda attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he studied math and computer science before earning a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Michigan.

Pineda is survived by his wife, Araceli Ruano, senior vice president and director for the Center for American Progress; a brother and his parents.

In Pineda’s memory, the Unruh Institute has created the André Pineda Political Leadership Award to continue his legacy of public service and political advocacy. The award will provide financial support to USC students whose academic work, political involvement and civic engagement has prepared them for the experience to work on behalf of a candidate or a cause that inspires them.