About Shelley Berkley

As chief executive officer and senior provost for Touro’s Western Division, Shelley Berkley serves as the administrative and academic head of the Nevada and northern California campuses of Touro University.  In this role, Ms. Berkley oversees two of the fastest-growing medical schools in the western United States, as well as allied health science and education programs with a current total enrollment of more than 3,000 students.

Shelley has called Las Vegas home for more than 50 years.  After graduating from Las Vegas public schools, Shelley was the first person in her family to go to college, attending the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she served as Student Body President and graduated with honors with a degree in political science.

Shelley served in the Nevada State Legislature, working to strengthen consumer protection laws and to crack down on drunk driving.  She created the Senior Law Project and wrote the Lemon Law which protects new car owners from defective vehicles.  Both programs continue to this day.

Shelley was appointed and twice elected to the Nevada State Board of Regents, which governs and sets policy for the Nevada State System of Higher Education, serving from 1990 to 1998.  She served as Vice Chairman and fought to keep tuition costs low and to create a law school at UNLV.

Shelley was a practicing attorney.  She was an attorney for the Nevada State Commerce Department, in-house counsel for Southwest Gas Corporation, and Vice President for Government and Legal Affairs for the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas.

Prior to joining Touro in 2014, Shelley served the State of Nevada in the United States House of Representatives from 1998 to 2013.  She was the first woman to serve the District and held the position for seven terms.

Among Shelley’s proudest accomplishments during her time in Congress was building the new Veterans Administration medical complex in Southern Nevada to provide quality healthcare to the veterans in our community.  She was a vocal supporter of providing more funding for graduate medical education (residencies), and a vocal advocate of reforming our nation’s healthcare system.

Shelley also was known as one of the strongest and most outspoken supporters of Israel in Congress.  She left her mark on every resolution, legislation, committee markup, and floor debate affecting Israel and the Middle East.

In spring 2016, Shelley received the Distinguished Nevadan Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents.  The award is given to individuals who have made significant achievements that have contributed to the cultural, scientific, or social advancement of Nevada.  In 2017, Shelley was also honored with the naming of a new elementary school by the Clark County School District, the Shelley Berkley Elementary School.

Shelley is married to Dr. Larry Lehrner, a kidney specialist and Touro adjunct faculty member. She is the proud mother of two sons – Max, an attorney and Sam, a sommelier at Southern Wine and Spirits of Nevada, and two step-children – David, a specialist in information technology and Stephanie Lehrner, DO, an osteopathic physician and instructor at Touro University Nevada.