CPF Former Fellow Mimi Walters Headshot
Center for the Political Future

Fall 2020 Fellow

Former U.S. Representative Mimi Walters represented California’s 45th district in Orange County from 2015-2019.

Walters served as the Freshman and Sophomore Representative to the Republican Elected Leadership Committee for the 114th and 115th Congress. As a member of the House leadership team, Walters served alongside Speakers John Boehner and Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy working on key issues ranging from legislation, policy, and messaging for House Republicans. Mimi served on the influential House Energy and Commerce Committee where she was a member of the Communications and Technology, Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection, and Oversight and Investigations subcommittees. In addition, Walters served on the House Ethics Committee.

Prior to her election to the U.S. House of Representatives, Walters served in both the California State Senate and State Assembly. She started her career in public service on the Laguna Niguel City Council and served as Mayor in 2000.

Mimi Walters possesses a background in business, finance and government. Her professional career included time as an investment executive at Drexel Burnham Lambert and Kidder, Peabody & Co.

Mimi is a co-founder of the California Women’s Leadership Association (CWLA) and has previously served on the Boards of the National Association of Women Business Owners, The American Cancer Society, and the South Coast Medical Center Foundation.

Course: So You Want to Run for Office?

Much has been said about what it takes to run for office and become an elected official, often by journalists and pundits with little to no hands-on experience. In this course, students were guided through each level of government by an experienced practitioner who has served at the local, state, and federal levels and worked in the private sector. This course informed students on how to run for office and be an effective public servant. Students understood how legislation is crafted and what role special interest groups play in policy-making. Finally, members of the class were able to see how each level of government, special interest groups, the private sector, and appointees interact with each other.

There are courses that offer students insight into the complex nature of policy-making and campaigns. What made this course different is students learned all of these aspects of government from someone who served at each level of government and worked extensively in the private sector. Students gained insights from their assignments and from class discussions as well as guest lecturers who provided even more experienced insight into specific aspects of running for office and life as an elected official.


Fall 2020 Semester Recap

See what Fall 2020 Fellow Mimi Walters said about her experience at USC’s Center for the Political Future in this video highlight.

Mimi shared her thoughts on the importance of politics, her first political experience, and her advice for having respectful political discourse in her “Quick Takes: Q&A with CPF Fellow Mimi Walters” video