Dr. Michele Guzman has more than a decade of experience in program development and administration across the higher education and government sectors. The crosscutting theme of her work has been focused on exploring opportunities for systems improvements to better outcomes for the most vulnerable.
Michele launched her career at University of Southern California, developing and implementing cross-sectoral programs. The goal of each program was to better prepare USC students for service-focused careers, as well as strengthen external partnerships for the university. During her time at USC, Dr. Guzman supported the development of the LAPD Leadership, Education and Advanced Development (LEAD) program, in collaboration with the Safe Communities Institute and the Los Angeles Police Department.
Dr. Guzman currently works for the County of Ventura Human Services Agency, where she is a senior policy analyst focusing on legislative advocacy and implementation. In addition to her legislative work, Dr. Guzman collaborates with the Mass Care and Shelter team and was awarded grant funding from the California Department of Housing and Community Development to conduct a community needs assessment to better understand the unique challenges faced by individuals with disability, access, and functional needs in disasters. During COVID-19, Dr. Guzman was asked to lead the operations for mass vaccination activities for the entire county.
Dr. Guzman earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Sociology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in Public Administration and Doctorate in Social Work from the University of Southern California. Her doctoral work focused on building community capacity and social support for survivors after a natural disaster.