Scott J. Svonkin, Chair
Scott J. Svonkin is a native of Los Angeles, and has been a member of the Commission since his appointment by former Third District Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky in 1997, he was reappointed in 2015 by current Third District Supervisor Sheila Kuehl and he is the current Chairman of the Commission. Chair Svonkin possesses an extensive insurance background, having spent six and a half years as a Director and National Project Manager for Prudential Health Care at its Western Headquarters in Woodland Hills. Chair Svonkin received the company’s Community Champions Rising Star Award for his commitment to helping others and the Hero Award for creating a voter registration and grassroots-lobbying program. Chair Svonkin is in his second year as president of the Board of Trustees, first chosen by his fellow trustees in July of 2014 and then again in July of 2015. He was first elected to the Board in May of 2011, then re-elected in March of 2015.
Chair Svonkin is also serving a three-year term as a member of President Obama’s College Promise National Advisory Board, part of the campaign to allow responsible students to attend two years at community college tuition free.
He enrolled at Pasadena City College, went on to get a B.A. at California State University, Northridge, and served on the San Gabriel Unified School District Board before being elected to his current position.
His career focus has been in public service, particularly on education and non-profits, and as a business-man and experienced community activist. Chair Svonkin served as Chief of Public Affairs and Government Relations for Los Angeles County Assessor Jeffrey Prang and is currently with the Los Angeles County Probation Department.
Previously, Chair Svonkin served as a member of Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley’s staff and worked as Senior Advisor to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Chair Svonkin has also served as Chief of Staff for State Assemblyman Paul Koretz and was a Deputy Councilman for West Hollywood. As a chief of staff, Chair Svonkin was involved in key legislative projects such as: an aggressive anti-crime program focused on getting guns off the streets, the protection of children from tobacco and its advertising arms, and support for public education and working families. As Deputy Councilman, Chair Svonkin worked on important legislation, community liaison activities, intergovernmental affairs, media relations, and constituent services for West Hollywood.
Chair Svonkin is committed to promoting educational opportunities for all through various organizations. He twice served as President of the Los Angeles County School Trustees Association and has served on the Los Angeles Valley College Foundation Board, the California State University, Northridge Legislative Advisory Council, the LA PROSPER Board of the Los Angeles Community College District, and the Center for Southern California Studies Advisory Board. He is a former Chairman of the Los Angeles Unified School District Advisory Council for District Four. As a health care executive, he arranged for his company to donate almost one thousand computers to public schools.
Concerned about public health, Scott served on the board of the Children’s Hospital L.A. Huckleberry Fund and on the California Respiratory Board where his fellow members elected him President shortly after his appointment. Chair Svonkin is a member of the Board of Directors of the California Credit Union—a billion-dollar financial institution, and is also Chairman of the Los Angeles County Insurance Commission.
A native of Los Angeles County, Scott attended public schools and served two terms as the Student Member of the Pasadena City College Board of Trustees before going on to Cal State Northridge.
Chair Svonkin and his wife Jennifer have a daughter, Rose, and a son, Sam.