**alumni of the PPIA Program
‡ex officio non-voting
PENIEL JOSEPH, CHAIR
Associate Dean for Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; Professor of Public Affairs; Barbara Jordan Chair in Ethics and Political Values; Founding Director, Center for the Study of Race and Democracy
Peniel Joseph holds a joint professorship appointment at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and the History Department in the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin. He is also the founding director of the LBJ School's Center for the Study of Race and Democracy (CSRD).
His career focus has been on "Black Power Studies," which encompasses interdisciplinary fields such as Africana studies, law and society, women's and ethnic studies, and political science. Prior to joining the UT faculty, Dr. Joseph was a professor at Tufts University, where he founded the school's Center for the Study of Race and Democracy to promote engaged research and scholarship focused on the ways issues of race and democracy affect people's lives.
In addition to being a frequent commentator on issues of race, democracy and civil rights, Dr. Joseph's most recent book is The Sword and the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. He also wrote the award-winning books Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America and Dark Days, Bright Nights: From Black Power to Barack Obama. His book Stokely: A Life has been called the definitive biography of Stokely Carmichael, the man who popularized the phrase "Black Power." Included among Joseph's other book credits is the editing of The Black Power Movement: Rethinking the Civil Rights-Black Power Era and Neighborhood Rebels: Black Power at the Local Level.
LEIGH MORRIS SLOANE, VICE CHAIR
Leigh Morris Sloane is Managing Director of International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) -Americas. In this role, she manages operations and outreach for the Washington office and works closely with her IISS colleagues around the world to ensure that constituents based in the Americas connect with the Institute’s world-leading research and convening power. Leigh has over 20 years of experience working in the international affairs arena at the nexus of research, higher education and policy making. Prior to joining IISS, Leigh served as Chief of Staff at the Brookings Institution where she managed the executive secretariat and activities of the president, Strobe Talbott. From 2008-2013, Leigh served as the Executive Director of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA). In this role, she managed programs and services and developed new initiatives for APSIA's 70 plus full and affiliate member schools around the world. Additionally, Leigh has managed the Congress and US Foreign Policy Program at the Council on Foreign Relations and helped establish the Middle East Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School with Ambassador Robert D. Blackwill. Leigh is particularly committed to encouraging and increasing the opportunity for the next generation of talent from underrepresented groups to pursue careers in the international affairs field. In her spare time, she serves as vice-chair of the board of directors for the Public Policy and International Affairs fellowship program (PPIA).
Leigh spent nearly two years studying and working in Hungary in the early 1990s at Budapest University of Economics and later at Veszprém University, followed by time working for the American University in Bulgaria both in the US and in Blagoevgrad. She has a Master’s degree from the London School of Economics in History and Theory of International Relations with a focus on Cold War history and a Bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service.
Director of Recruiting and Admissions, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy
University of Michigan
Beth Soboleski is the Director of Admissions & Recruiting for the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. In this role, she is responsible for the oversight of all recruiting and admissions processes and events for the Ford School. She also represents the Ford School at graduate fairs and other student recruiting events and serves as the Ford School admissions representative in professional organizations such as APSIA, APPAM and NASPAA. Beth develops and maintains partnership programs with organizations such as Teach for America, Americorps, and the Peace Corps as part of the recruitment strategy. She also supervises the Ford School admissions office staff. As the Ford School is a host site for one of the JSI programs, Beth greatly enjoys the opportunity to work and learn with our JSI cohort of students each summer. She received her B.S. degree in public administration from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan and also holds a master of public policy degree from the University of Michigan.
RICHARD XAVIER CORRAL**, TREASURER
CEO and Principal Consultant
As CEO and Principal Consultant of Corral Consulting, Richard Xavier Corral, MPP brings over twelve years of professional experience along with a lifelong commitment to advancing social change to the nonprofit, for profit, corporate, community-based, government, and philanthropic organizations with whom he consults.
Mr. Corral seamlessly integrates his extensive formal studies, passion for building business know-how and big-picture problem-solving to craft win-win solutions around education, health and wellness, green economies, LGBTQ equality, place-based initiatives and supplier diversity. Corral Consulting’s diverse clientele benefit from a comprehensive set of skills, strategies, content expertise and networks rarely assembled in one firm that are essential to effecting change in today’s fast changing world. Corral Consulting distinguishes itself by crafting workable solutions that cut across business, community, and policy.
To complement his consulting work, Mr. Corral volunteers his time, talents and energy throughout Los Angeles. Thoroughly attuned to the challenges and opportunities facing under-resourced communities, Mr. Corral served as an elected representative on the Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Council from 2005 to 2008, providing pro bono consulting to several local startup ventures and serves as the current board president of the San Gabriel Valley Consortium for Homelessness.
Mr. Corral received a bachelor of arts in political science from the University of California at Berkeley, a master’s degree in public policy from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and is a Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellow.
Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Princeton School of Public and International Affairs
Rayna Truelove has been a champion for diverse scholars in federal research training, educational nonprofits, and university settings, with expertise advising undergraduate and graduate students, building inclusive community, and partnering with faculty and staff to cultivate inclusive excellence and authentic community.
She is the inaugural Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. She manages a portfolio that includes students, faculty, and staff. She holds a Ph.D. from Brown University and a B.S. from Trinity University in San Antonio, both in neuroscience. Rayna was previously the Assistant Dean for Access, Diversity, and Inclusion in the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School at Princeton University, supporting the Social Sciences and Humanities divisions in admissions, recruitment, and retention of diverse scholars. She directed the Graduate Scholars Program, a cohort-based experience for first-year graduate students and pre-doctoral students from diverse backgrounds, designed to enhance and support academic, social, and community development during their early graduate school experience.
Rayna served as the Mellon Program Officer at the Institute for Citizens and Scholars, where she directed several programs for scholars along the academic pipeline and professoriate. She began her career at the National Institutes of Health, where she served as the director of student services in the Office of Intramural Training and Education and was responsible for mentoring and advising candidates applying to graduate and professional programs and making career transitions. In her free time, Rayna enjoys cooking, travel, and spending time exploring the New Jersey area with her husband and two sons.
ALBERT BECKFORD JONES**‡, CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD EMERITUS
President and CEO
Trading and Consulting International, Inc.
Albert Beckford Jones is Chairman and CEO of Trading & Consulting International, Inc. (TC Iternational/www.gointernationally.com) based in Chicago, with activities in the US and internationally. TC International, a firm which he founded in 1992, assists private and public sector institutions in the development and implementation of international and global strategies. Mr. Jones has served as the interlocutor for numerous U.S. institutions doing business with foreign entities. Mr. Jones has applied his extensive working knowledge and cultural understanding to international STEM and innovation capacity building.
Mr. Jones is, also, the Advisorto the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Research Competitiveness Program (RCP)- an international non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C. Triple A-S” (AAAS), the world's largest general scientific society, seeks to "advance science, engineering, and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people”. Mr. Jones assists RCP (and other AAAS programs) in their business development efforts with foreign governments, and institutions of science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM), research, innovation, and entrepreneurship; he lays the ground work for international programmatic work and S&T collaboration. In 2011-2013, Mr. Jones was the Manager of Business Development at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), a multi-billion-dollar endowed, science and research university in Saudi Arabia.
From 2008-2010, Mr. Jones was the Senior Advisorto the U.S. Civilian Research and Development Foundation (CRDF Global), a Washington, DC based nonprofit organization authorized by the U.S. Congress and established in 1995 by the National Science Foundation (NSF). This unique public-private partnership promotes international scientific and technical collaboration, in over 30 countries, through grants, technical resources, and training and Mr. Jones led CRDF’s global business development and international scientific and technical partnerships with the leadership in foreign governments, corporations and institutions worldwide to address complex global challenges in health, energy, agriculture, security, human capital development and non-proliferation (NP).
Previously, Mr. Jones served 2006-2007 as the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Executive Director of General Motors Corporation’s largest international dealership in the Middle East – and one of the largest in the world – (where he managed a budget of $400 million USD associated with assets in excess of $2 billion and oversaw 3,000 employees). Prior to this, he was the Chairman & CEO of Trading & Consulting International, Inc, and from the period of 1990-2003, Mr. Jones served as a licensed Financial Advisor in Merrill Lynch Global Private Client Group, Vice President and Senior Manager of Corporate Strategic Planning for KeyCorp/KeyBank, a Special Business Analyst for the executive management of British Petroleum, and a Corporate Strategist for the executive management and Vice Chairman of the Board of First Chicago Corporation (now Chase Bank). Mr. Jones has advised a variety of domestic and international fortune 500 hundred companies on international business and joint ventures matters in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, and South America including: United Technologies, Pratt & Whitney, the Cleveland Advanced Manufacturing Company (now known as MAGNET: Manufacturing Advocacy and Growth Network), U.S. academic institutions on the implementation of international exchange agreements in South America, CRDF Global, and Key bank on global private equity and capital raising initiatives. He commands a working knowledge of a foreign language (Arabic).
Mr. Jones is an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (PPIA) Fellow from both Harvard University and the University of Chicago, where he earned a master's degree from the University of Chicago Harris, Graduate School of Public Policy. He earned a second master's degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (1982) Graduate School of Economics with a concentration in International Finance and Economic Development, where he also earned a BA (1981) in Economics and was President of the University’s Student (Body) Association, an Intercollegiate Division I Athlete (basketball), and selected by Princeton University Foundation for Communication for academic achievement and leadership.
Mr. Jones has presented speeches at World Leadership and International Economic Forums on subjects related to Economic Growth and International Competitiveness and Global Poverty, such as the Jeddah Economic Forum. Mr. Jones has served as a Director /Trustee on several U.S. and international boards including the National Council of International Program (CIP) USA board of trustee, Chicago Council on International Programs, Chicago Council on Foreign Relations (Global Affairs), Chairman Emeritus of TC International, Cleveland State University Foundation Board of Trustee, Lake Erie College Board of Trustee, Cleveland Music School Settlement Board of Trustee and Cleveland Council on World Affairs Board of Trustee.
ANNE CAMPBELL WASHINGTON
Senior Assistant Dean of Academic Programs and Dean of Students, Goldman School of Public Policy
University of California, Berkeley
Anne Campbell Washington is Senior Assistant Dean of Academic Programs and Dean of Students at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.
Annie is a former City Councilmember and Vice Mayor for the City of Oakland, California. As Councilmember, Annie chaired the Community and Economic Development Committee and served as a member of the Finance & Management Committee and the Life Enrichment Committee. Before being elected to City Council, Annie was the District 4 School Board Member for the Oakland Unified School District.
Annie is a long-time public servant in the City of Oakland. During her 16-year career in Oakland, she held a variety of leadership roles, including Chief of Staff to Mayor Jerry Brown, Chief of Staff to Mayor Jean Quan, Assistant to three City Administrators, Chief of Staff to the Fire Chief and Budget and Policy Analyst. She served as the Director of Operations & Special Projects at the Stuart Foundation in San Francisco and as Executive Director of the I Have A Dream Foundation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Annie holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management/Graphic Communications Management from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
She lives in Oakland with her two children, Bahia and Quincy, her german shepherd Bardot and her tri-pawd pit bull, Georgie Washington. Annie has served on numerous Boards of Directors including, The Crucible, MOCHA, Safe Passages, the Alameda County Transportation Commission, the Oakland Promise, Oakland Grown, the East Bay Agency for Children, Oakland Children’s Fairyland and Girls, Inc. Annie is an active parent at the Oakland School for the Arts in downtown Oakland and Ile Omode in East Oakland, where her two children attend school.
Associate Dean, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
University of Minnesota
Distinguished Global Professor Dr. Abimbola Asojo is the Associate Dean for Faculty at the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs and a Professor of Interior Design at the School of Architecture at the College of Design at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Asojo has been at the University of Minnesota since 2011, before that she was a Professor at the University of Oklahoma, College of Design. Her leadership and contributions in the classroom and the community for over 25 years have been impactful both globally and locally. She has engaged her students in over forty community-based service-learning projects that tackle both local and global societal challenges. Dr. Asojo’s scholarly agenda focuses on cross-cultural design, architectural lighting design, African architecture, computing and design, global issues, sustainable design and K-12 spaces. Her work has been widely published in international journals and books. Her co-edited book with Professor Toyin Falola titled African Humanity Creativity, Identity and Personhood was published in 2021 by Carolina Academic Press, Durham, North Carolina. She is a licensed architect and holds a National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) certification. She is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the Interior Design Educators Council (IDEC), and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES). She is a LEED Accredited Professional and serves on the Journal of Interior Design (JID) Review board and is a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) Building Information Modeling (BIM) committee.
She is a fellow of the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment and she co-founded the lighting design minor in the College of Design in 2019. Asojo was twice named a US DesignIntelligence top educator in 2010 and 2017. In 2018, Asojo received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Faculty of Environmental Design and Management, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Nigeria. In 2020, she received the University of Minnesota Outstanding Community Service Faculty Award, the highest honor the University gives to a faculty member for service to the community. Her work is charting the course for Interior Design globally in Africa and the Diaspora. Asojo’s capacity-building efforts led to the development of the first Masters of Interior Design in West Africa. The inaugural class of the MID program graduated in 2021. Asojo developed and has led the College of Design Diversity and Design program which exposes K-12 students to architecture and design careers since 2013.
Director, Graduate Student Life
Gilbert Collins has served as the Director of Global Health Programs at the Princeton University Center for Health and Wellbeing since 2016. Before that, he was Director of Graduate Student Life at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School (WWS) for three years. As an alumnus of the WWS MPA program (1999) and the Princeton Junior Summer Institute (1995), he returns to the institution that provided the academic foundation for his public service career.
Prior to coming to Princeton, Gilbert served for several years with the U.S. Peace Corps in southern Africa, including four years as Country Director in Namibia and four years as Associate Director in Botswana. Prior to that, he was the Evaluation and Planning Team Leader for the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance at the U.S. Agency for International Development, providing strategic and programmatic guidance for relief and development activities around the world.
He has completed internships at the United Nations, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the State Department. He also taught business development and computer literacy for seven months at a community-based NGO in Bangalore, India. Gilbert was selected as a Presidential Management Fellow in 1999.
Before completing his MPA concentrating in Development Studies at the Woodrow Wilson School, Gilbert earned a bachelor’s degree in Government from Harvard University. He has also studied in Berlin and Beijing. Conversant in French, German, Spanish, and Mandarin Chinese, Gilbert was born in Germany and was raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His hobbies include photography, frisbee, travel, and board games. He is joined by his wife Sara and sons Timothy and Nicholas.
Senior Diversity Business Partner,
Capital Group is one of the world’s largest wealth management organizations, managing over $2.2 trillion. He currently manages enterprise-wide Diversity, Equity,and Inclusion (DE&I) Leadership and Talent Development programs, designs and delivers leadership solutions, and advances racial equity initiatives, among others roles. Prior to joining Capital Group, Josh spent nearly 20 years as a Senior Homeland Security Analyst with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). The GAO—often called the “congressional watchdog”—is an independent, nonpartisan agency that examines how taxpayer dollars are spent and advises Congress and federal agencies how to improve government efficiency and effectiveness.
As an Analyst-in-Charge, Josh managed and supported homeland security audits and investigations to prevent fraud, waste, and abuse within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)— including the Transportation Security Administration, Customs and Border Protection, and the U.S.Coast Guard, among other DHS components. His portfolio areas covered airport passenger screening operations, effectiveness of explosive detection canine teams, and international partnership efforts to secure overseas shipping containers, among others. Josh also served as a certified DE&I Facilitator and Strategist to advance agencywide DE&I programming efforts. He received multiple GAO awards in recognition of his contributions—Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Results through Teamwork, and multiple Managing Director’s Awards.
As a Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellow, Josh has dedicated his career promoting the inclusion of underrepresented groups in marginalized spaces. As a certified DE&I Facilitator, he leads training sessions and presentations on implicit bias, emotional intelligence, and workplace civility. As a DE&I Strategist, he empowers individuals and organizations to engage in authentic conversations, develop sustainable programming efforts, and implement diversity workforce plans.
Josh earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley and dual master’s degree in Public Administration and International Relations (MPA/MA-IR) from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs. Outside the office, he is a devoted husband and father, active faith leader, marathon runner, and weekend golfer.
DR. ANGEL WRIGHT - LANIER
Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA)
Before joining NASPAA, Dr. Wright-Lanier served as an Assistant City or County Manager for Goldsboro, Mooresville, Fayetteville, and Cumberland County, North Carolina. During this time, she managed more than twenty-two different departments. She began her local government career at the City of Raleigh in the Finance Department as an Operations Analyst. After three years, she was promoted to the City Manager's office, where she was the city's first Intergovernmental Relations Manager.
Dr. Wright-Lanier successfully developed the city's first grants initiative, allowing her to work with department heads and the local Raleigh delegation to win millions of dollars in federal grants.
Dr. Wright-Lanier is a member of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). She received her ICMA Credentialed Manager designation in 2018, and in 2021, Dr. Wright-Lanier received an ICMA Service Award in honor of her 20 years of service to local government.
Dr. Wright-Lanier received her undergraduate degree from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She has a master's degree in Public Administration from The University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, and a second master's degree in Management Information Systems. She was awarded her Ed.D. from Vanderbilt University's Peabody College with a concentration in Leadership and Learning.
CARMEN IEZZI MEZZERA
Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs
Carmen Iezzi Mezzera has been executive director of the Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs since January 2014. Previously, she served as Director of Programs and Operations at the Bretton Woods Committee; Executive Director of the Fair Trade Federation; Assistant Director for Education and Outreach at the Atlantic Council of the United States; and Director of Alumni Relations for the School of International Service (SIS) at American University.
Graduating Phi Beta Kappa from SIS, Ms. Mezzera stayed on to complete her master’s degree with a focus on international organizations and sustainable development. Among her volunteer work, Ms. Mezzera has served with the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area, St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington DC, the Canadian Coalition for Fair Trade, and the Abyssinian Fund in Harlem, NY. She has written and/or provided interviews for CNN, CBS, Forbes, Foreign Affairs, the Wall Street Journal, Martha Stewart Living, Vogue, and Cooperative Grocer Magazine – among other outlets – and spoken at numerous national and international conferences. She received the 2008 Rising Star Alumni Award from American University.
GLADYS PEREZ SRIPRASERT
Director, Public Policy and Management Programs
Heinz College of Information Systems and Public Policy
Carnegie Mellon University
Gladys Perez Sriprasert is Director of Public Policy and Management Programs at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College. Prior to Carnegie Mellon she held positions as the Community Initiatives Program Manager for the United Way of Allegheny County and spent four years as a Legislative Aide and Director for Texas State Representative Robert R. Puente.
Ms. Sriprasert earned a B.A in Political Science from Boston University and a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College.
Program and Conference Manager, Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management
Leslie Ofori joined APPAM in July 2017 and serves as the Program and Conference Manager. As part of APPAM’s partnership with ASHEcon, American Society of Health Economists, she splits her time between both organizations. She is responsible for helping coordinate ASHEcon’s Annual Conference, managing the awards submissions process, coordinating membership and marketing efforts and supports with APPAM’s Equity and Inclusion Fellowship program, events and membership management tasks.
Previously, Leslie worked as the Development Assistant at Jobs With Justice, where she provided administrative support to the Development office and participated in all institutional advancement activities including donor and public relations, direct mail appeals, and special events coordination. Leslie moved to the District of Columbia after graduating from Loyola University in Maryland with a degree in communications. Prior to Jobs With Justice, she worked as a contractor with the Corporation for National and Community Service, the nation’s largest grantmaker, supporting grant application processing.
Associate Teaching Professor, Evans School of Public Policy & Governance, University of Washington
Grant Blume is a teaching faculty member at the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance. Grant teaches courses on policy analysis, program evaluation, and research methods at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral level. He brings a racial equity lens to much of his teaching and invites students to center anti-racism approaches in their public policy studies.
Grant’s current research agenda focuses on the intersections among public management, public policy, and institutional racism. His present research projects include a study of the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative and theoretical work around racialized administrative power as the status quo in American public administration.
Grant is also the Principal Investigator of a three-year (2019-2022) National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education (ATE) research grant (Award # 1902019) and Co-Principal Investigator for Policy Analysis at the University of Washington’s Earthlab Nippon Foundation Ocean Nexus Center. Professionally, Grant engages in racial equity consulting work as a qualified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), an instrument that serves as a catalyst for assessing and developing intercultural skills.
He has served as the lead researcher on a number of evaluation projects in Washington State and maintains an active evaluation practice in the region. As a fellow of the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) pre-doctoral training program at the University of Washington, Grant received extensive training in quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods research methods. Prior to graduate school, Grant’s professional experience included public service as a college admissions officer and as a legislative aide for a member of Congress in Washington, D.C.
NATIONAL OFFICE STAFF
Simone Gbolo joined PPIA as the National Director in Minneapolis, MN in 2016. The Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota was selected as the new host institution for the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Program National Office and moved in the spring of 2016. In this capacity, she is responsible for overseeing organizational operations and supporting our alumni and consortium members.
Simone comes to PPIA from the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Office of Admissions, where she has served as director of its Pipeline Programs since 2013. In this role, Simone led the initiatives that assist students from broadly diverse backgrounds to successfully matriculate to medical school. Prior to this, she served as associate program director of the North Star STEM Alliance, Minnesota’s Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) at the University of Minnesota where she helped socialize students to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields and STEM careers. Her professional background has included varied experiences in higher education and nonprofit organizations including Century College, St. Catherine University, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities, the Science Museum of Minnesota, and the American Lung Association. In all of her work Simone has demonstrated a deep commitment to developing meaningful initiatives that cultivate and engage students as they pursue careers that impact social change and transformation and providing service to others in addressing the social challenges in the world.
Simone has a B.S., an M.Ed. and an M.A. from the University of Minnesota, and is earning her Ph.D. in Higher Education, also from the University of Minnesota.
SARAN FINA SIDIME
Communications and Outreach Manager
Saran Fina Sidime comes to PPIA from the Minnesota Council of Churches (MCC).In this role, she worked as an interfaith community organizer to advance racial and economic justice with churches, mosques, and synagogues throughout the East Metro. Saran was also the event organizer for Taking Heart - a long-running program coordinated by MCC and the Muslim American Society of Minnesota (MAS-MN) that brings Christians and members of other faith communities together with Muslims for food and conversation during Ramadan. Her previous professional experiences include the United States Senate in St. Paul, the Center for Financial Inclusion, and AMTRAK in Washington DC.
Saran is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School, where she received a Masters in Theological Studies with a focus on Religion, Ethics, and Politics. Her master's thesis explored the impact of unaddressed grief on political dissent in the collegiate classroom. She also holds a BA in International Relations from Mount Holyoke College.
When Saran isn't working, you can find her spending time with her family, devouring the latest YA sci-fi fantasy novel, or hosting her podcast show, Hidden Grief, a podcast exploring grief experiences including and beyond death and dying. She is thrilled to be joining the PPIA team.
ALUMNI ADVISORY COUNCIL
Magaly López - UCLA
PPIA Alumni Advisory Committee, Co-Chair
Magaly N. López’s work focuses on using research and evaluation to improve the socio-economic mobility and power of communities of color. At the Labor Center, she supports projects reimagining California’s workforce development system so that, by design, it elevates workers of color and the industry standards in low wage work. Lopez is helping to expand the workforce development team’s vision and capacity through her expertise on High Road Training Partnerships, a framework central to creating equitable solutions to future of work challenges, and by developing an evaluation framework rooted in racial equity to assess workforce development programs to adequately serve workers of color.
López’s expertise stems from designing research and evaluation tools and procedures, executing quality data collection and analysis, and reporting that surfaces meaningful learnings from underrepresented voices and informs future strategy. Formerly a data analyst at the USC Program on Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII), López’s work focused on immigrant integration and social-movement building. She has also conducted research on hometown associations and economic development policy in Mexico, day laborer workforce development in the U.S., construction work in New Orleans post-Katrina, and undocumented children in mixed-status households in New Mexico. She strives for her work to be participatory, culturally responsible, and centered on racial equity values.
Raised running a family-founded hometown association, López has since continued to find ways to serve her community: she founded a leadership development and higher education prep program in her hometown, Salinas, and is currently the Director of the Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Southern California Alumni Chapter. López holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Bachelor’s degree in International Development Studies and Spanish from UCLA.
LaSandra Hutchinson - Chicago
PPIA Alumni Advisory Committee, Co-Chair
LaSandra has dedicated over 20 years to social justice and anti-violence work. She specializes in individual and systems advocacy, policy formulation, program development, and collaboration across public, private, and non-profit sectors. She leads community engagement strategy as the Community Outreach Specialist at Anew, an agency that provides comprehensive, trauma-informed domestic violence services in Illinois. She is 1 of 15 Illinois domestic violence professionals selected to attend the 2022 Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence (ICADV) Leadership Academy, a program that develops diverse leaders in Illinois to advocate for the eradication of domestic violence.
Passionate about advancing equity, access, and the quality of life for underserved groups, LaSandra has served in a variety of capacities. Previously, she collaborated with Illinois legislators by providing policy and constituent relationship support to remove barriers for girls as an policy consultant. As an advocate for vulnerable populations, she has provided victim advocacy as a domestic violence medical advocate in Chicago's South Suburban hospitals, promoted judicial accountability in the DV Division of the Cook County Circuit Court, and designed and implemented youth violence prevention programming at The Chicago Freedom School and The Illinois Center for Violence Prevention.
LaSandra currently serves as a member of the Matteson District 162 School Board, in which her children attend school and as the founder and CEO of Grace & Grief, LLC, an initiative that helps individuals grow through grief and live boldly after loss. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, writing, travel, concerts, and long walks outdoors. She attended the Public Policy Leadership Conference (PPLC) at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2001, the Junior Summer Institute (JSI) at Princeton University in 2003, and is the founding Director of the PPIA Chicagoland Alumni Chapter.
LaSandra was born and raised on Chicago's South Side and is a proud first-generation college graduate. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University and a Master in Public Administration and Policy from The American University School of Public Affairs.
FORMER MEMBERS OF THE
BOARD OF DIRECTORS & STAFF
FORMER CHAIRS OF THE PPIA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
(In Sequence - Professional Affiliations Shown at the Time of Service on the Board)
Susan C. Schwab (chair, 2000 – 2005)
Dean, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland
Rebecca M. Blank (chair, 2006 – 2007)
Dean, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan
Mark Wessel (chair, 2008 – 2009)
Dean, Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University
Albert Beckford Jones (chair, 2009-2011)
Chairman and CEO of Trading & Consulting International, Inc.
William LeoGrande (co-chair 2011-2012)
Dean, School of Public Affairs, American University and
Martha Chavez (co-chair 2011-2012) Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs, UC Berkeley
James Goldgeier (co-chair 2012-2015)
Dean, School of International Service, American University and
Martha Chavez (co-chair 2012-2015) Senior Assistant Dean for Academic Programs & Dean of Students, UC Berkeley
Eric Schwartz (chair, 2015-2016)
Dean, Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
Laura Bloomberg (chair, 2016 - 2021)
Dean, Professor, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
FORMER VOTING MEMBERS OF THE BOARD
(Alphabetical by Last Name - Professional Affiliations Shown at the Time of Service on the Board)
Dean, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
Dean, Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh
The Harris School, University of Chicago
Dean, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Dean, Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University
Dean, School of International Service, American University
Melissa A. Lee
Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs, Princeton University
Senior Representative for Eastern South America, Inter- America Foundation
Dean, Richard and Rhoda Goldman School of Public Policy, University of California, Berkeley
Dean, School of Public Affairs, University of California, Los Angeles
Joseph Nye, Jr.
Dean, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Director of MPP Admissions and Programs, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
Dean, School of Public Affairs, American University
Dean, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
Dean, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
President, Foundation for Child Development
Dean, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University
FORMER PPIA STAFF
Patricia Budka, Program Coordinator, 2002 – 2003
Tevonne Ellis, Program Coordinator, 2004
Christopher Matias, Executive Director, 2002 – 2009
Rose Previte, Program Coordinator, 2003 – 2005
Lath Addie Rasavong, Program Manager, 2004 – 2006
Marvin Ward, Jr., Administrator, 2010 – 2011
Erin Mann, National Director, 2012 - 2016