Claudine Asbagh is a Principal Planner with the City and County of San Francisco’s Current Planning Division. With over fifteen years of experience, she currently leads a team of nine planners who process all the development projects within the city’s northeast quadrant. The area includes the city’s downtown and financial districts as well as North Beach, Fisherman’s Wharf and parts of Hayes Valley and Market Street. She has always loved cities and has a passion for urban life and the way design and economic trends shape our communities. An SF Bay Area native, she currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and their three cats.
San Francisco native Toni Renee Battle is a Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Programs Senior Specialist for San Francisco Municipal Transportation (SFMTA). She is also founder of a cultural enrichment program called The Legacy Project. She attended Fisk University in Nashville, TN, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Communications; and attended Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, OH, obtaining a Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies. She is currently a Doctoral Candidate at Saint Mary’s College of CA in Moraga, CA majoring in Educational Leadership with an emphasis in Social Justice.
Michelle Beaulieu is currently a senior transportation planner at the San Francisco County Transportation Authority where she works at the local, regional and state levels to advance San Francisco’s transportation priorities, particularly as related to funding policies and capital investments. Prior to her move to San Francisco, Michelle worked for the City of Saint Paul’s Department of Planning and Economic Development and for the Minneapolis Midtown Greenway Coalition, advocating for transit and bike projects in the Twin Cities. Michelle and her passion for transit were born in New York City. She has a Masters degree in International Urban Planning from the University College London, and a Bachelors in Urban and Architectural Studies from Brown University. Michelle lives in the Excelsior district of San Francisco and enjoys traveling, brunching, and watching scary movies with her husband Rob and dog Eli.
Throughout her journey as a writer, business owner, and volunteer, Maryruth Belsey Priebe has focused on the environment and social justice, and is now making a pivot to focus exclusively on gender and environmental policy. Maryruth has studied psychology, religion, and sustainability, and is currently a Harvard International Relations graduate student. She has professional experience in project management, non-profit fundraising, corporate communications, and higher education, and has taken part in cross-cultural exchanges to Asia, Eastern Europe, South Africa, and Nicaragua. Maryruth is excited to multiply her experience in the Coro Women in Leadership Program as she works with organizations focused on helping women become environmental leaders.
Cynthia Billops is an IT veteran with 16 + years experience implementing business applications; designing and teaching models for communication and collaboration and training teams to be more resilient, thoughtful and engaged. Currently, she is the Director of Programs at /dev/color – a non-profit working to ensure Black software engineers fulfill the promise of their talents, transform the industry, and use their resulting skills and position to give back to their communities.
Dana Brechwald is the Adapting to Rising Tides Program Manager at the Bay Conservation and Development Commission. She works with regional stakeholders to develop innovative climate adaptation and resilience solutions for the Bay shoreline. Previously, she was a Resilience Planner at the Association of Bay Area Governments/Metropolitan Transportation Commission, focusing on hazard mitigation and long‐term disaster recovery planning, where she designed and managed several projects aimed at increasing resilience to earthquakes and climate change hazards. Dana currently serves as the President of Earthquake Engineering Research Institute’s Northern California chapter and holds a Bachelor of Architecture from UC Berkeley, and a Master of Urban Planning from Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Siobhan Brewer (pronounced Sha-Von) is a nonprofit leader with over 12 years of experience working at the intersection of education, youth leadership, and civic engagement. She is passionate about supporting community efforts in advancing equity and justice. Siobhan has worked as a national community organizer and trainer, an LGBT advocate, and most recently as the California Executive Director for Generation Citizen. Previously Siobhan was the Vice President of Development at buildOn. A Bay native, Siobhan is trained in mindfulness meditation practices for community activists through the East Bay Meditation Center.
Diana Rahman Bricknell is a seasoned professional in technology, telecom, and energy utilities with proven track record in engineering, field operations, program management and business development in the US and from overseas assignments in Europe and Asia. She brings large enterprise and entrepreneurial experience from PG&E, Bechtel, Yahoo, Excite@Home and numerous start-ups in Silicon Valley. Currently, Diana is the Director of Electric Transmission Operations at PG&E, where she manages projects and field activities to upgrade and maintain electric grid assets to improve safety for customers and employees, performance and overall system reliability. During her tenure at PG&E, she was Director of Cybersecurity and Director of Information Technology Business Applications. Diana started her career as an engineer at Bechtel working on large, global infrastructure projects including the Hong Kong Airport, Kuwait Oil Restoration, England-France “Chunnel” Project and Seoul-Pusan High Speed Rail, among others. Diana is passionate about mentoring young people in science and engineering at the YMCA of San Francisco and has served on PG&E’s WSTEM Board of Advisors for 5 years to mentor women in technical and non-traditional field careers at PG&E. She is and is a senior member of the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers (IEEE). Diana holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada, graduate degrees in telecommunications and operations management and a MBA from Johnson School of Business at Cornell University. Her greatest joy in life is spending time traveling with her husband and two children, Ryan and Isabella.
Johanna Carney is the Head of Global Employment Law for San Francisco-based gaming company, Zynga. Although Johanna is a California-licensed employment attorney, much of her practice involves consulting with employment counsel across the globe to advise business leaders on cross-border employment matters and working in areas adjacent to employment law, such as: trade secret misappropriation, privacy matters, vendor contracts, compliance trainings, and mergers and acquisitions. Johanna spends her time outside of work cooking with her husband, hiking with her black lab, and playing with her daughter.
Morgan Chow is an interdisciplinary coastal scientist with more than 10 years of professional and research experience in coastal resilience planning, climate adaptation, and international development. She was awarded a Provost Fellowship and the President’s Commission on the Status of Women Award while attending Oregon State University. She thrives at the confluence of coastal management, communication, and policy implementation in her current role as a Coastal Analyst at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. She is passionate about women and girl’s empowerment in the outdoors and enjoys playing in the mountains and experimenting with fermentation in the kitchen.
Carrie Crespo-Dixon moved to the Bay Area from NYC in 2009. She’s a communication professional with over two decades of experience in the consumer sector working both in-house and on the agency side. Carrie is particularly passionate about racial equity, social justice and civic engagement both locally and nationally. In 2012 she had the unique opportunity to work on the Obama campaign, acting as Deputy Director of the first ever Tech Field Office in San Francisco. In 2016 Carrie joined Make Oakland Better Now! as a board member, and completed a Master’s of Science in Digital Marketing in 2019. Her goal is to pursue a role as a change agent through storytelling that leverages traditional and digital mediums.
Razili Datta oversees contracting, finance, and administration as the Operations Director for the California Bridge Program, a program of the Public Health Institute that aims to ensure that people with substance use disorder receive high quality care, 24/7, in every California health system. Prior to this role, Razili launched a coworking enterprise to assist self-employed women and small business owners in overcoming common challenges through engagement and collaboration. She joins the Coro Women in Leadership program with eleven years of experience implementing community-based social justice initiatives. Razili has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Government from Smith College and a Master of Arts in International Affairs from The George Washington University.
Michelle Del Rosario is a Lead Engineer at Zynga where she architects features on mobile games and mentors engineers; she manages Zynga’s STEM Outreach program, connecting thousands of students to women professionals and inspiring them to pursue careers in STEM and Gaming. Prior to Zynga, Michelle shipped over a dozen mobile hits at several video game start ups and contributed to Virtual Reality and Micro Robotics research at Stanford University and Harvard University, respectively. Outside of work, Michelle speaks at women in leadership tech events, practices Parkour, and enjoys quality time with her family.
Erica Dien is a Development Director at Electronic Arts. She is part of the Player Network team which has an ambitious goal to connect a billion people around the world to play. She is currently managing expansion projects which will ensure EA is continuing to lead the growth and transformation of the gaming industry. Erica is active with EA’s employee resource groups and mentorship program. She is currently the chair of ASPIRE which represents Asian and Pacific Islanders and seeks to support the growth of EA’s Asian business, as well as expand representation of Asian and Pacific Islanders in leadership roles and in games.
Marcail Distante is a HUD Certified Housing Opportunities Coach at Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA) where she empowers low to moderate-income Latinx families to reach their housing goals. She graduated from Beloit College in 2016 with a degree in International Relations and Latin American and Caribbean Studies. A community organizer at heart, she has served as a local journalist, citizenship instructor, ESL teaching assistant and educational program coordinator. Her long term career goals include becoming an attorney or policy specialist to advocate for people while tackling systemic barriers.
Sam Epstein currently serves as the Director of People Systems & Management at Root & Rebound, a nonprofit dedicated to providing legal aid, advocacy and direct services to systems-impacted individuals navigating reentry. Prior to joining Root & Rebound, she worked at KIPP Bay Area Schools as the Associate Director of College & Career Success. Sam has been integrally involved in support programs at San Quentin and continues to volunteer inside. Sam received her bachelor’s degree in English and Afro-American/African Studies from the University of Michigan. She lives in the East Bay with her growing family and is an MBA candidate at Mills College.
Theo Gibbs uses human-centered design and systems thinking to tackle complex global challenges. She is currently Design Lead at YLabs, where she guides product and service design strategy for projects spanning over 10 countries to improve the health and economic outcomes of young people. Prior to joining YLabs, Theo co-founded and led the social enterprise Blue Heart. Theo is also a lecturer in the Stanford Design School where she co-teaches a course on innovation methods for scaled challenges. She holds a M.S. and B.A. from Stanford University.
Erin Gilbert is the Program Officer for the Human Services portfolio at the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation. These grants support organizations throughout the Bay Area that help people move out of poverty and onto a path towards self-sufficiency. Grantee organizations are working on issues such as: housing, employment, wellness, and Alzheimer’s research. Prior to the Foundation, Erin studied the social determinants of health at Columbia University such as the effects of the urban environment and stress on health. Erin earned a BA in Economics from Boston University and an MPH in Epidemiology from Columbia University.
Karen Gonzalez is a Mexican born immigrant to the United States. Karen has dedicated her life to serving the community through different roles in both the public and private sectors, including working for members of Congress and House of Representatives in California and Georgia. Her passion for social equality led her to obtain her B.A in Political Science from San Jose State. In her free time, Karen enjoys serving animal shelters and organizations that support immigrant children and families. Karen is now living her dreams as the Experience Executive for The Oakland Roots and raising her inquisitive two-year-old daughter in the heart of the Bay.
Erica Green is a Manager of Operations and Events for the Hotel Council of San Francisco. She is responsible for putting on educational seminars, leadership, and sustainability forums for the council’s 160 members throughout San Francisco. Erica can be described as an event ninja who never turns down a challenge. Her passion for creating memorable experiences have afforded her the opportunity to work for a variety of industries. She might have even worked with your favorite member of Destiny’s Child.
Karina Gutierrez is the Volunteer Coordinator at First Graduate, a college access nonprofit supporting first-generation college students and their families. Originally from Mexico, Karina identifies as a first-generation professional who is discovering and navigating new opportunities that her family never had. As a UC Riverside college graduate with a B.A. in Psychology and Spanish Literature, she learned from the East Harlem and LA communities as a City Year AmeriCorp Member and Project Leader. She hopes to one day begin a scholarship that will allow young girls in her hometown to continue their education and dream of new stories.
Leila Hakimizadeh is a Supervising Planner/Urban Designer with City of San José. She has over 13 years of experience in long-range plans, Transit-oriented Development, land use and transportation planning, urban design, housing, and development review in the United States and Canada. Leila is passionate about the subjects of sustainability, equity, diversity, inclusion, and integrity in community development. Leila uses her strong project management and leadership skills to move projects to completion and uses a collaborative approach to get buy-in from all interested parties.
After graduating from the University of California, Davis, Sara Heady moved to the Bay Area to enter a career in marketing analysis and content management. Being in the Bay Area and inspired by independent artists, she decided to start her own online stained glass and portraiture business. Although successful, Sara wanted to make more of a difference in the immediate community, and thus pursued a brief career in behavioral health and analysis as a clinician working with Autistic learners. Today, Sara is a co-founder of a community zero-waste organization and is Community Relations Director for Oakland First Fridays.
Tax attorney Beth Hodess is CEO of OnPoint Legal Counsel, PC. She came to the practice of law at 54 following a 25-year career as a self-employed management consultant, where her practice focused on signatories to collective bargaining agreements. Known for counseling and representing clients with passion, courage and tenacity, her law practice focuses on tax controversy, whistleblower representation, election, cannabis, and elder law. She is a graduate of U.C. Berkeley Haas School of Business, where she received her B.S. in business administration. She received her law degree and LL.M. in taxation from Golden Gate University School of Law. Outside of work she enjoys long distance cycling and holds out a dream of participating in a triathlon.
Kristin Hogan Schildwachter is a strategic communications specialist focused on emergency management and emergency public information with the City and County of San Francisco Department of Emergency Management where she develops communication strategies that support both emergency response and recovery as well as public education campaigns dedicated to a safe, prepared and resilient San Francisco.
Originally from Massachusetts, Reesha Katcher has lived in the greater Bay Area for 7 years. A former organic farmer, Reesha has pursued social justice work through youth development outdoors, and is currently a garden teacher at Edna Maguire Elementary School and a naturalist at the Point Bonita YMCA; she loves combining art, fun, social justice, and the environment. She also hosts a monthly community-building series called “HEADtalks”, inspired by TEDtalks and her home in the Marin Headlands. Reesha wants to learn more about a career in peace-building, and loves to sing and trade vegetarian recipes.
Amy Koch is an experienced digital strategist and writer, with a demonstrated passion and history working in public policy and nonprofit industries. She is currently the Digital Marketing Manager at Code for America, where she leads on everything digital, from email strategy to social media management, and from digital campaigns to paid acquisition. Previously, Amy was the Social Media Manager at FWD.us, where she built and implemented social media and website content strategy. Amy is a proud California native who enjoys being outside, yoga, craft beer, and burritos.
Carol Kuester is Director of Electronic Payments at MTC where she has worked for 19 years. She manages the FasTrak® and Clipper® systems, supports seamless mobility initiatives, and is active on professional Boards. Ms. Kuester earned two fellowships (Robert Bosch Foundation and German Marshall Fund). Carol has a B.S. from UC Davis and a M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA. She studied at the New School for Social Research in New York and at the University of Nairobi, Kenya. She enjoys travel and outdoor adventures with her husband and two teenage sons.
Martha Lackritz-Peltier is Associate General Counsel at TechSoup, a global charity based in San Francisco. She also serves as Chief Counsel of NGOsource, a project of TechSoup and the Council on Foundations. Previously, Martha worked at the law firm of Adler & Colvin, where she counseled nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations and donors. Prior to this, Martha clerked for the Honorable Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson, interned for Nina Totenberg at NPR in Washington, D.C., lived in Vietnam under a Fulbright grant, and worked as a freelance journalist. Martha holds a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a J.D. from UC Berkeley Law School: she is a member of both the Texas and California state bars. Martha was named 2019 Outstanding Young Nonprofit Attorney by the American Bar Association.
Ivy Teng Lei is a native New Yorker from Chinatown, Manhattan and is a proud product of the NYC public school system, a DREAMer, and an immigrant and education advocate. She is an op-ed contributor in The Guardian and her advocacy has been covered by NBC, Fox, ABC, NY Times, NPR, BBC UK, and other major news platforms. She’s worked at The Gap in Global Marketing where she oversaw global on-product marketing from conception to execution. Ivy entered into the tech space as the Account Strategy Director at Ladder.io and Director of Client Strategy at Thesis. She served as a board member of OCA- Asian American Advocate New York, an Independent Board of Directors at the Baruch College Association, a DREAM Fellow at the New York Immigration Coalition and an alumna of the CORO Leadership network. Ivy currently lives in San Francisco and works at Exygy, a certified B-Corporation that creates digital solutions to human problems, as the Account Marketing Lead while continuing to uplift immigrants and underserved communities outside of her 9-to-5.
Rowena P. Lizin is a senior litigation attorney in the San Francisco office of Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith. In addition to work in general liability, she has significant experience in the areas of premises liability, product liability, toxic torts and employment law. Before delving into private practice, Rowena devoted time to non-profit work in New York City, assisting disenfranchised persons with a variety of legal issues. She has devoted her spare time to the development and grooming of young girls with the aim of increasing their chances of success in their professional lives. Rowena hopes to build relationships with dynamic women across sectors and to learn new leadership skills, and be challenged by other accomplished women leaders.
Natalie Lloyd is a change leader. She has a background in sales, marketing, creating and driving go-to-market initiatives that improve and enhance the way the organizations she works with do business. She is a communicator and collaborator who believes in service leadership and working for the greater good of the people, with the people. She lives in San Rafael, CA with her husband of nearly 20 years, 2 teenage daughters, her dog (Charlie) and her cat (Blueberry) but considers herself a citizen of the world having lived in Mexico, the UK and Spain previously.
Erica Lubitz loves design and technology, which brought her to the Bay Area in 2012. She’s worked in graphic design, advertising, and sales, but has found a passion in being a Sales Engineer, where she can marry all of her interests and job skills. Community service and art are a part of her soul, so she spends spare time volunteering in the SF Botanical Garden, painting, or at her local pottery studio. She recently traveled to India, a longtime dream, and finally overcame her fear of flying (woohoo!). The WIL program glints against so many of her values and the lessons she wants to learn in 2020 which is why she is so excited to join the cohort!
Kristen Marsh is the Managing Counsel at the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) located in Oakland. She graduated from Cal Poly, SLO with a degree in Political Science in 1998 and from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles in 2001. She was a litigator for 4 years before joining the WCIRB in 2006. She manages a team of 7 and they provide all types of legal advice and services to business partners to achieve business objectives while mitigating legal risk.
Breanne Martinez joined the ICA Fund Good Jobs Team in 2015 as the Office and Impact Administrator and is currently the Operations Associate. She is committed and passionate about supporting underserved people with a focus on youth and women. In the past, Breanne worked at West Coast Children’s Clinic in collaboration with Alameda County as a Youth Advocate for current and former foster youth. She is currently a student at Alameda College in hopes of transferring with a BA in Sociology and has an interest in volunteering at homeless shelters, blind centers for youth, and her child’s elementary school.
Amalia M. Merino is an urban planner with a passion for creative placemaking, repurposing space, social justice issues & generating public engagement to improve quality of life & forge neighborhood connectivity in the urban landscape. Amalia is an Associate Planner with 4LEAF, Inc.’s new Planning Division. She works as a contract Project Planner for the City of Pinole, managing specific project entitlement and CEQA processes and the Old Town Pinole Parking and Pedestrian Safety Study. She previously worked for the City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning, the Office of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti , LA Metro and has served on various boards. A graduate of Smith College and UCLA, her professional background includes performing arts sponsorship & development in Miami & advertising in Chicago. Amalia grew up between the USA, Ecuador, Honduras and Bolivia. She enjoys cultural happenings, political activism, outdoor recreation and travel near or far.
Claire Michaels is the Director of Workforce and Hiring at SFMade, a nonprofit economic development organization that provides access to good jobs in manufacturing to people who have overcome barriers to employment. Claire is the author of the Hidden Talent blog series. Prior to working at SFMade, Claire led workforce programs in New York City. Claire holds a BA in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters in Public Policy from UC Berkeley. A native of Oakland, she lives there with her husband David and baby Ellanor.
Akiko Minaga is the Director of Explainers at the Exploratorium, and brings 15 years of experience in museum programming, project management and teaching to her work. Akiko has led a variety of projects nationally and internationally, with the goal of fostering rich dialogue and creating memorable, thought-provoking experiences. Her professional foundation is grounded in growing up and working in Japan, and working as a special education teacher in New York City’s public schools. Past organizations she has worked for include the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology at UC Berkeley, Pixar Animation Studios, and The Onion. Akiko earned her BA in English and philosophy from Occidental College, and a Master’s in special education and childhood education from Fordham University.
Kim Nash is a real estate project manager with over 20 years of experience managing complex real estate development projects in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City. She has managed development projects for non-profit and for-profit clients through all phases of development. Kim is currently a senior project manager with Equity Community Builders and has previously worked as a low-income housing tax credit investor, as a project manager for non-profit and for-for profit housing developers and as an underwriter for the New York State Housing Finance Agency. Kim did her undergraduate studies at Washington University in St Louis and completed an MPP at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Corinne Neuman brings over twenty-five years of experience in Non-Profit Accounting and Administration spanning a wide variety of organizations in different fields of interest and size. She thrives in developing good business processes, good accounting, and incorporating a high level of customer service to everyone that she works with. She is a graduate of Sonoma State University in Business Administration with a concentration in accounting and is a current candidate to sit for the CPA exam. Corinne’s life long study of horsemanship has taught and provided her exceptional communication and problem solving abilities that serves her well at home and in business.
Nancy Norris is a seasoned digital marketer with over 20 years of experience researching, designing and marketing new digital products and services. Her expertise is being able to see the big picture, but deliver on the tactical elements that get a product to launch. Trying to figure out what the customer wants and needs, and how to best deliver it is her passion. Driven by curiosity, Nancy’s experience runs wide including EdTech, Retail, Health and Financial Services. She loves working on projects that have a positive impact on the world. As a first-generation American she is inspired to help others be successful and dream big.
Christina Oatfield is an attorney specializing in legal issues affecting small businesses, cooperatives, and nonprofits. She obtained her license to practice law through an uncommon path: by studying under the guidance of practicing attorneys through the California Office Study Program, which is an independent study alternative to law school. Before starting her own law practice in 2018, she worked at the Sustainable Economies Law Center for eight years leading legislative advocacy campaigns to advance homemade food sales, local agriculture, seed sharing, worker cooperatives, affordable housing land trusts, housing cooperatives, and local investing.
Mira Rao is a Research Director at Blink, a research and design consultancy, where she is leading qualitative and quantitative research studies across a variety of industries and problem spaces. Prior to joining Blink, she developed her love of human-centered design as a Senior Design Researcher at Dropbox and her love of surveys at the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Public Opinion and Survey Research team. She graduated with a Masters of Public Health from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health.
Cindy Rodas was born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area, daughter of immigrant parents from El Salvador. Her parents instilled in her the importance of hard work and education at a very young age. Cindy attended Diablo Valley College and received her Associate in Arts degree and began her career in banking, ascending quickly in to management. Shortly thereafter she began her family and a new career in the public sector. Returning to her core principles on the importance of education, she enrolled at the University of Phoenix to earn a BA in Business and Accounting and is currently the Interim Finance Director for the Town of Portola Valley.
Sarah Selim is currently the Director of Product at UrbanSitter. With experience in both the private and nonprofit sectors, Sarah is passionate about scaling mission-driven organizations. She has held responsibilities in Product, Analytics, Strategy, Operations, Marketing, Financial Planning & Analysis, User Research, and Human Resources. Prior to joining UrbanSitter, Sarah managed Recruiting and Admissions for City Year Los Angeles. She has an undergraduate degree from Harvard and an MBA from Yale. She enjoys a variety of martial arts. When not in the office, you will often find her outdoors or in a kitchen, but always with a book or two nearby.
Heera Sharma is the founder of Go Laadli (aka ‘beloved daughter’ in Hindi), a social impact organization focused on empowering young women to become problem solvers, change makers and leaders. Go Laadli does that through investing in their education, providing mentoring, and leadership opportunities and engaging them in their communities in real world problem solving. By providing early opportunities to young women to be leaders, make an impact and disrupt the way society perceives them, Heera and her team are shifting mindsets, sparking a movement of greater civic engagement and creating a pipeline of women who will be a force of change within their communities. Heera has a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Science (conc. Neuroscience) from University of Florida and a Masters in Nonprofit Administration and Leadership from Maxine Levine College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University.
Raminder Singh was born and raised in a small town in Ohio, moved to DC for her Civil Engineering bachelor’s and master’s degrees before finally finding her home in San Francisco. She joined DocuSign in 2015 in Customer Success with a Professional Services role and later transitioned to a Program Manager role. When she’s not in the office, Raminder enjoys hiking the beautiful Bay Area trails, getting lost in a good Sci-Fi novel, and attending local dance classes.
Sara Skvirsky brings a diverse background in the fields of education, community organizing, and social justice advocacy to her work as a researcher for the Institute for the Future (IFTF). Sara leads much of IFTF’s future of learning research and is passionate about giving individuals and institutions the tools they need to more effectively think about and prepare for the future. In 2014, Sara developed and launched IFTF’s Foresight Essentials, which produces resources and courses to train people in futures thinking and foresight methodologies. She holds a BA in Latin American studies and Spanish from Oberlin College.
Anitra Smith is a Program Officer with the Sunlight Giving Foundation. In this role, she manages grantmaking for safety net services in health, food, housing, and immigration across multiple counties in the Greater Bay Area. Anitra partners with nonprofits and community based organizations dedicated to providing basic needs to families with young children experiencing poverty. Anitra holds a Master in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.S in Human Development from the University of California, Davis. Anitra is a proud Oakland native. She enjoys traveling, reading, and exploring the outdoors.
Fiona Smith is Vice President of Administration at Pacific Foundation Services, a firm that partners with family foundations to provide grant making support, compliance and financial management, and strategic advice. Fiona has worked with PFS since 2009, and is responsible for overseeing the grants management department and PFS administrative systems, technology, and facilities. Previously, Fiona worked with Kidpower, a nonprofit that teaches safety skills to people of all ages and abilities. Fiona received her MBA from the UC Berkeley, and her BA in community studies from UC Santa Cruz. Fiona grew up in Berkeley and now loves living in Oakland.
Adriana Solís-López has dedicated her career to social justice work and has worked in various local and international nonprofits in the San Francisco Bay Area for over ten years. Originally from South East Los Angeles, Adriana is proud to come from a family of hardworking immigrant parents and a Spanish-speaking household. She has worked in organizations focused on education, youth development, immigrant rights, workforce development, peacekeeping and environmental justice. In her current role as Senior Director of Development for College Track, Adriana oversees fundraising strategy and execution for the Northern California Regional team. In her spare time, Adriana enjoys exploring the great outdoors with her family.
Pascale Soumoy is a coastal analyst at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission focusing on sediment management. She collaborates with scientists, consultants, engineers, and partner agencies on bay and wetland projects and thrives in this interdisciplinary environment. Her professional experience also includes regional transportation and land use planning and working for international firms in France. Pascale completed a Bachelor’s in International Commerce and French and a Master’s in Community and Regional Planning. A Bay Area native, Pascale is inspired by travel, cultural exploration and art and gets outside as much as she can.
Pippa Spencer is Lead Implementation Manager for AI platform AppZen, helping customers use AI to tap into business opportunities. She is a leader, connector, and integrator in high tech, and served as a pro bono product manager to build a mobile application for teachers at a girls school in high-poverty Haiti. Pippa holds an M.S. in Information Systems from GGU with a concentration in Database Development & Administration, and a B.A. in Philosophy, Law, and English from WITS University. She is deeply interested in machine learning, the hidden brain, economics involving people, and enjoys books, travel and archery.
As Senior Manager for Strategic Partnerships at the Energy Foundation, Mariah Tate supports the creation and implementation of strategies to grow the network of donors working to advance climate and clean energy policies. Before joining the Energy Foundation team, she was a Senior Program Associate at Hopelab Foundation, where she partnered with health systems, non-profits, and academics to improve health and well-being for youth and young adults. Mariah earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was a McNair Scholar.
Emily Thielmann manages team-based strategic consulting projects with Third Plateau Social Impact Strategies — working with funders, nonprofits, public agencies, and issue-based networks towards lasting change in areas like democracy reform and education equity. Immediately prior to Third Plateau, Emily led projects in Maine designed to leverage youth and community-led systems change to improve opportunities for young people locally and nationally. Emily holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Vassar College and a Master’s in Public Policy and Management from the University of Southern Maine. She is a Speaker Emeritus with the Nellie Mae Education Foundation Speakers Bureau on Education Innovation.
Dianna Tremblay is the Director of Acceleration at ICA Fund Good Jobs and is responsible for scaling the impact of the ICA’s programs and cultivating the support and capital ecosystem necessary for entrepreneurs to scale their businesses. Prior to joining ICA Fund Good Jobs, Dianna’s professional experience included sales, corporate relationship management, and business development roles in e-commerce and textbook publishing. Dianna received an MBA from the Lorry I. Lokey School of Business and Public Policy at Mills College and a Bachelor’s in English from California State University, East Bay.
Linda Vu is a Senior Editor in the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory(Berkeley Lab)’s Computing Sciences Area. Originally from Los Angeles, she began a nearly 15-year career in science writing and communications with NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope mission at Caltech. She moved to Northern California to pursue a career at Berkeley Lab, then UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering. In her current role, she leads a team of two writers and manages content and social media strategy.
Kathryn Zekus is the Engagement Manager at Legacy Venture, where she oversees the firm’s communications strategy and leverages the power of events to advance Legacy Venture’s work to tap into the best of venture capital to help our investors make a positive impact in the world. Prior to her role at Legacy Venture, Kathryn worked in Washington, DC at education non-profits Achieve and Advance CTE, focusing on education policies at the state and federal levels that promote student success in K-12, postsecondary education, career, and life.