Appointed March 27, 2008 to a term expiring March 1, 2020 (by Schwarzenegger);
Committee Membership (2016-2017)
Committee Membership (2016-2017)Compensation (Chair)
Long Range Planning
Oversight of the DOE Laboratories
Committee Membership (2015-2016)
Long Range Planning
Oversight of the DOE Laboratories
Committee Membership (2013-2014)
Educational Policy (Chair)
Long Range Planning (Vice Chair)
Oversight of the DOE Laboratories
Education: BBA, University of Miami; J.D., Antioch Law School.
Profession: Operating Advisor to Pegasus Capital Advisors;
Bonnie Reiss is the Chief Executive Officer of BMR Consulting, specializing in strategic advice in the areas of education, the environment and issues impacting women. She served as the California Secretary of Education from 2006-07. She was a member of the California State Board of Education from 2003-06.
She served as senior advisor to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger from 2003 to 2007, where she advised the Governor on all major policy initiatives, including education, the environment and children's issues. From 1994 to 2003, Secretary Reiss served as founding president of the Inner-City Games Foundation, later renamed After School All-Stars. In 1988, she founded the Earth Communications Office where she led the effort to use media for public awareness campaigns of environmental issues until 1993. Her experience includes careers as an entertainment lawyer, accountant, producer and writer from 1981 to 1988.
Ms. Reiss serves on the board of directors for After School All-Stars and Maria Shriver's Women's Nation FOundaton. In 2007, Ms. Reiss received the William S. White Lifetime Achievement Award from the U.S. Department of Education for her advocacy in the area of public education and, in 2006; she received the Advocate of the Year Award from the University of California Student Association.
Ms. Reiss was appointed as a Regent in March 2008 by Governor Schwarzenegger to a term ending in 2020.
The italicized section below comes from " Financial Dossiers of Regents to Watch" from this ongoing news story Investor’s Club: How the UC Regents Spin Public Funds into Private Profit By Peter Byrne -please see that article for much more information. We will attempt to update the tab dossiers with links to new items -- if you think we missed something feel free to leave a comment at the Byrne article directly and/or here. Byrne has given multiple updates to his story so it may help for compilation.
Dates of term:
March 10, 2008 to March 1, 2020
University of Miami
Antioch School of Law
Operating Adviser, Pegasus Capital
Potential Conflict alert
Reiss serves on the environmental advisory board of NetJets, the Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary that sells fractional jet ownership, and which is popular among celebrities and politicians like Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 2008, NetJets donated $20,000 to UC Davis’ Institute for Transportation Studies as a corporate affiliate, and it served as a corporate sponsor of the 12th Biennial Asilomar Conference on Transportation and Climate Policy conference.
Additionally, as a UC Regent, Reiss is a member of the Committee on Oversight of the Department of Energy Laboratories, which serves as the interface between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and its UC-run laboratories: Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Lawrence Berkeley. According to the UC bylaws, as a member of the committee, Reiss is also charged with recommending leadership appointments to the labs, and reviewing reports related to various aspects of lab management, including the “scientific and technical quality of all work undertaken at the Laboratories.”
In recent years, the DOE has expanded its research in solid-state lighting—such as LED lighting—which is a more efficient and less expensive form of illumination.
LED lighting is an area in which Reiss has a particular vested interest, and where her role as a UC Regent overseeing UC-run DOE labs could benefit her or her employer financially.
Until March 24, 2010, Reiss served on the board of directors of Lighting Science Group, a company that, according to its SEC filings, is engaged in the “research, design, develop, manufacture and market a range of lighting devices and systems that use light emitting diodes (LEDs) as the light source.”
According to documents filed with the SEC in March 2010, Pegasus Capital, Reiss’ employer, is an affiliate of two shareholders that collectively own 83 percent of Lighting Science Group. Approximately 15 percent of Lighting Science is owned by Philips Electronics, which is engaged in several research partnerships with the University of California. In the next five years, for example, Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, California (not a UC-run DOE lab), will receive $18 million in federal funds to research solid-state lighting. Philips Lumileds Lighting, a subsidiary of Philips Electronics, is cited as a research partner. Another partner in this research is Los Alamos National Laboratory, which is overseen by the UC Regents.
Philips Lighting is also engaged in a joint research program that will explore energy-efficiency for buildings using LED lighting with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which is overseen by the UC Regents.
In addition, UC Santa Barbara’s Institute for Energy Efficiency was selected as one of 46 federally funded Energy Frontier Research Centers in 2009, and it will receive $19 million over five years for research. A portion of these funds will go toward LED research, and UCSB plans to partner with Los Alamos National Laboratory and UC Santa Cruz on these studies.
After graduating from the University of Miami in 1976 with a degree in accounting and finance, Reiss worked at an accounting firm where she audited and did systems analysis for major corporations. After law school and a stint as a staffer for Sen. Edward Kennedy, Reiss moved to Los Angeles to work as an entertainment lawyer.
In 1980, she co-founded the Hollywood Women’s Political Committee, and as she became increasingly involved in environmental activism, she founded the Earth Communications Office (ECO), which worked with celebrities to raise awareness of environmental problems. One of the first people to join the organization was Arnold Schwarzenegger, who made trailers and commercials with ECO.
From 2003 to 2007, Reiss served as a senior advisor to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and one Sacramento Bee columnist called her, along with Paul Wachter and Maria Shriver, “Schwarzenegger’s anchors, the people who were with him before politics and will be with him after.” During her tenure, Reiss became the Governor’s point person on issues such as education, environment, women’s issues, and children's health. Reiss also acted as the liaison to the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.
Currently, as an Operating Advisor to Pegasus Capital Advisors, Reiss focuses on investments to cleantech innovation. She also serves as a senior advisor to Natural Strategies, a research and investment company based in Washington, D.C., that focuses on energy and environment, public safety and homeland security, technology, health, finance, transportation and education.
Gov.Schwarzenegger appointed Reiss as the California Secretary of Education in February 2010.
Reiss serves on the U.S. Environmental Advisory Board of NetJets, for which she was paid between $1,000 and $10,000 in 2008, not including $20,000 in travel reimbursements.
Until March 24, 2010, she was also a member of the board of directors of Lighting Science Group. In 2009, she was awarded $80,000 in stock awards as part of her compensation for serving on the board of directors. According to SEC filings, as of November 2009, Reiss owned about $400,000 worth of the company’s stock. Reiss’s public disclosure statements note that she received travel reimbursements from Lighting Science Group in 2008, but she did not reveal the amount.
Estimated earnings (2008):
In 2008, Reiss reported an income of between $10,001 and $100,000 from Natural Strategies, between $1,000 and $10,000 from NetJets, and more than $100,000 from Pegasus Capital.
Reiss also invests in a variety of stocks, according to 2008 public disclosure filings. Her investments range from the real estate firm CB Richard Ellis Group (controlled by Regent Richard C. Blum), Ralph Polo Lauren and the publishing company Meredith Corp. In total, the fair market value of the stocks she owned was between $320,022 and $3.2 million.
Including board of director’s fees and the stocks, Reiss’s estimated net worth, as determined from public documents in 2008 was between $413,023 and $3.4 million.
Philanthropy and community service:
Reiss has served as the president of Schwarzenegger’s afterschool education program, Afterschool All Stars. She currently sits on its board or directors, along with Gov. Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver and UC Regent Paul Wachter.
Reiss also serves on the board of the Women’s Conference, purportedly the “the largest one-day conference for women in the nation,” and which is hosted by Maria Shriver.