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Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs Advisory Board

  • Eugene Hillsman
    Eugene Hillsman Acting Director City & County of San Francisco, Office of Cannabis

    Eugene Hillsman

    Born in Danville, Illinois and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Eugene attended Washington University in St. Louis for college. Following undergrad, Eugene was selected as a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs. After completing the fellowship, and briefly working for a social venture capital start-up, he joined the staff of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. As an associate program officer he worked to improve equity and increase access to high quality experiences for all young people. During his career, he interned with the Rockefeller Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and Goldman Sachs. He also worked as a criminal justice advocate to reduce the jail and prison population.

    After graduating from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, receiving a Master’s in Public Affairs, he decided to pursue further academic interests at Princeton as a doctoral candidate in history. His dissertation, an examination of American marijuana policy, took seriously the impact of the War on Drugs on disadvantaged communities. After finishing his doctoral work, he moved to California to join the Office of Cannabis as Deputy Director in the City and County of San Francisco.

  • Mary Obelnicki
    Mary Obelnicki Co-Founder Echidna Giving

    Mary Obelnicki

    Mary earned her degrees – S.B. and M.Eng – at MIT. When not studying computer science, she worked with the Girl Scouts of Flint, where she engineered the perfect toasted marshmallow for the benefit of her campers – perhaps her first fusion of analytical thinking and social change. That combination led her to the on-line community organizing of Big Tent, to a Coro Fellowship in public affairs, and to her philanthropic work with Echidna Giving.

  • Naima McQueen
    Naima McQueen Director Of Strategic Partnerships Alliance for Community Development

    Naima McQueen

    Naima McQueen has over 5 years of experience advising mission-driven organizations. She focuses on outreach to the small business community with an emphasis on women-owned and people of color-owned businesses. Her expertise includes business development, capital procurement, startup and growth strategy, curriculum and program design as well as strategic partnerships. Her mission is to work with organizations to self-actualize their potential through developing inclusive spaces that attract, develop and retain talent. Naima’s work is at the crux of the intersection of equity, diversity and inclusion and access to capital and social capital. She designs and facilitates financial wellness curricula for community-based programs such as Civic Corps; engages in one-on-one financial coaching for startup and growth stage organizations with a focus on developing healthy personal and business financial habits; and collaborates with a number of financial stakeholders in the Bay Area to reduce the knowledge, trust and access gaps that exist in the ecosystem. She has worked with financial non-profits such as Grameen America and Working Solutions; facilitated for programs such as the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs, Civic Corps, NJ Leep and incoming first-years at Mount Holyoke College.

    Naima received her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Mount Holyoke College and a Master’s in Business Administration from Lorry I. Lokey School of Business and Public Policy at Mills College. She is also proud alumna of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs and the StartingBloc Institute.

  • Poncho Guevara
    Poncho Guevara Executive Director Sacred Heart Community Service

    Poncho Guevara

    Poncho’s professional career has been geared toward the advancement of economically disadvantaged communities –from providing direct services targeting low-income union members to serving in executive management roles in nonprofit housing development corporations. His experience has reinforced his dedication to creating systemic approaches to eliminating poverty through a combination of investments in human services and advocacy for wider public policy solutions. By cultivating and creating bridges between diverse constituencies, he has helped spearhead responses to critical issues in workforce development, children’s health care, homelessness and affordable housing. He has helped build respected nonprofit organizations from the ground floor including Working Partnerships USA, the Interfaith Council, and the Housing Trust of Santa Clara County, in addition to strengthening established community institutions, such as Emergency Housing Consortium and South County Housing Corporation. Poncho has also served in leadership roles for regional collaboratives and commissions such as the Santa Clara County Collaborative on Affordable Housing and Homeless Issues and the NOVA Workforce Board. A graduate of the University of California, San Diego, the Coro Foundation Public Affairs Fellowship, and American Leadership Forum, Poncho Guevara lives in San José with his two beautiful daughters.

  • Tina M. Park
    Tina M. Park PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology Brown University

    Tina M. Park

    Tina is an experienced research social scientist with expertise in racial inequality and housing policy. Tina integrates her social science training and professional experience as a consultant with her passion for racial equity to inform her work as a diversity and inclusion strategist. Tina is a member of the 2008 Class of Coro Southern California Fellows.