An Interview with Dan Schnur

The third interview in Let’s Be Heard! is with Dan Schnur. Professor Schnur is the director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University o4f Southern California (USC), where he works to motivate students to become involved in politics, government, and public service and teaches popular classes in politics, communications and leadership. He also is the founder and director of the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences/Los Angeles Times poll series. For years, Dan was one of California’s leading political and media strategists, whose record includes work on four presidential and three gubernatorial campaigns. In 2014, Dan ran for statewide office as a non-partisan candidate for California Secretary of State.

His interview brings asks us to consider these points:

  • To get practitioners to see the value of political scientists’ work, “we need to make more of an effort to show them that we respect theirs.”
  • “The trick is finding a way to present the value of the information without sounding condescending” or partisan.
  • However, there will always be people who don’t want to hear what our research or data shows, so we cannot focus on not offending/upsetting people, but rather establishing a track record of credible work and building respect over time.

Dan Schnur was interviewed by Steve Friess, who has written for Time, Politico, and many other outlets.

Click here to access the free special issue Let’s Be Heard! and read the interview.