Burd Institute

Gene A. Burd Institute on L.A. Media & Politics

Fast Facts


The program runs from Tuesday, August 7th to Friday, August 10th.


The program is located at University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in Los Angeles, California.


The program costs $595. Tuition includes housing and on-campus meals. Need-based scholarships are available for this institute.

Past Speakers

Hon. Gavin Newsom – Lieutenant Governor of California
Hon. Debra Bowen – California Secretary of State
Hon. Kevin Johnson – Mayor of Sacramento
Hon. John Perez – Speaker of the California State Assembly
Hon. Gil Cedillo – California State Senator
Tom Torlakson – CA State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Hon. Ed Prieto – Yolo County Sheriff

Potential Topics
  • Traditional Media in Los Angeles
  • Immigration
  • “Fake” News
  • Economic development in Los Angeles
  • Social Media


The problems and opportunities facing greater Los Angeles are the focus of this four-day exploration of Southern California politics. From analyzing questions of law and justice with the Chief of Police and District Attorney to interacting with the award-winning staff of the Los Angeles Times, the Institute is a chance to debate and discuss politics with leaders and students from across the region.

A daily Speakers Program takes place in the rooms and offices where L.A. leaders decide public policy. Past programs have visiting locations such as City Hall, the County Hall of Administration, the L.A. Times building and the former headquarters of the Los Angeles Police Department. Student-run debates and political simulations round out the hands-on curriculum, challenging you to hone your speaking and leadership skills while working closely with peers who share your interests.

The program is generously supported by the Gene A. Burd Endowment. Burd, who grew up in East Los Angeles and attended UCLA, donated $500,000 in 2007 to the Junior Statesmen Foundation to permanently underwrite the Institute.

Burd is a graduate of the 1948 JSA Summer School. He is also a past recipient of the Montezuma JSA scholarship, which was awarded by Professor Ernest A. Rogers. Burd, now 83, retired from teaching full-time at the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin in 2014.


Need-based scholarships are available for this program. To apply, first complete your application to the program, and then fill out the scholarship application found here. Please note that this is currently the only JSA Institute to offer a scholarship.