San Francisco Office of the Mayor & San Francisco Police Commission
Rania Adwan combines research, planning and global affairs expertise to identify opportunities and facilitate growth. Most recently, with PwC, she provided strategic and operational leadership to the Risk Consulting business unit. Her experience and influence spans the Middle East, Asia, the U.S., U.K. and the Caribbean, on engagements ranging from post-disaster recovery and reconstruction to anti-corruption and corporate intelligence. She holds an MA in Foreign Service, International Relations and Security from Georgetown University and a BA from the University of Wales, Cardiff.
Following a spate of controversial public safety incidents, Mayor Ed Lee and other city officials called on the Department of Justice’s office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) to assess the SFPD and provide a roadmap for improvement. In October of 2016, COPS released its report introducing the launch of several reform initiatives. As the oversight and accountability body overseeing the San Francisco Police Department, the Commission is a primary stakeholder ensuring sustainable change and improvements in everything from anti-bias training to body-worn camera adoption to policy revision. FUSE Fellow Rania Adwan, in coordination with the Office of the Mayor, supported the seven-member commission in building the department’s reform efforts. Rania’s work moved to restructure and streamline the process by which department policies are drafted and implemented, improved inter-agency coordination on critical matters such as complaints and investigations, and developed the process for city-wide debate on use of force options. The commission now has clear channels to engage in the reform efforts and a reporting structure to hear the department’s progress, bolstering its ability to track and understand the work undertaken by the SFPD towards improvement. Rania brokered difficult conversations around police accountability, civic engagement, constitutional policing, use of force, individual rights and the impact of implicit bias.
San Francisco Human Services Administration
Sima Alikani is a management consultant with over eighteen years of consulting experience leading global initiatives for startup to Fortune 500 companies. She focuses on technology and business strategy, strategic operations analysis and optimization, business process design and re-engineering and enterprise information systems. In addition to working with companies like Apple, Genentech and Honeywell, she has supported nonprofit organizations including the YWCA and American Red Cross. Sima holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MBA from San Francisco State University with a focus on Operations Management and Information Systems.
The San Francisco Human Services Agency administers social service programs to promote the wellbeing and self-sufficiency of more than 200,000 low-income and vulnerable individuals. The Agency hired Sima to analyze data the agency is collecting through its newly upgraded systems and to integrate that analysis into its strategic planning and business processes. This effort helped tailor the program to fit client needs in real time and equip the agency to make better informed planning and resource allocation decisions to serve the needs of the community in the long-term.
San José Public Library
Nick Almeida has more than 15 years of experience in both social and public finance, and a depth of experience providing strategic, financial and operational advisory services to private, public and social sector clients. Nick is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Sidecar Social Finance (SSF)–a social impact agency providing impact investing advisory and capital services to individuals, institutions, and social entrepreneurs. He holds an MA in Sociology and a BA in Public Policy from Stanford University.
The San José Public Library (SJPL) is in the process of creating an economic and workforce development hub, SJPL Works, which offers support to employment seekers, small business owners and entrepreneurs. FUSE Fellow Nick Almeida helped develop a focused strategy for growing SJPL Works, creating partnerships and reaching potential users. During Nick’s fellowship, the center has become a central hub for community partners to provide programs like job fairs for both job seekers and small business owners. It also offers career development services, including workshops to write cover letters and prepare for interviews for job seekers. And for burgeoning businesses, the center provides guidance for developing strategic plans and for how to start a new business within the city. The center is not just about job placement, but also a place to connect residents to industries that lead to lucrative career paths, such as manufacturing and technology. Nick’s efforts have had a significant impact on the lives of many San José residents who have utilized and benefited from the program.
Los Angeles Public Library
Donna Michelle Anderson is a veteran television showrunner and executive and patented tech entrepreneur. She guides entertainment networks, nonprofits and startups through branding, launching and scaling their content and companies. Over the past 20 years, she has helmed top-rated programming for CBS, Bravo, BET, A&E, TLC and more, created groundbreaking production software and championed diversity across multiple industries, including founding the Hollywood Diversity Network. She is an active member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the Producers Guild of America and American Mensa. She holds a BA with distinction from Stanford University.
The Central Library and the 72 branches of the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) serve the largest population of any public library system in the country. The library operates a wide range of community impact programs to help Angelenos with school and career, financial planning, health education, homeless and veterans’ affairs, and the immigration process. FUSE Fellow Donna Michelle Anderson helped LAPL develop data-driven systems for managing, implementing and assessing this wide variety of programming in order to maximize impact. Under her leadership, the library developed new web experiences for e-media and homeless/mental health services. She also helped move paper- and pen-based processes to a digital platform and helped departments adopt an action plan approach to launching new projects or fixing existing processes, creating a new way of working throughout her department.
San Francisco International Airport
Mark Avnet is a management consultant and researcher whose work focuses on the influence of organizational culture and team dynamics on operational and safety performance. Most recently, he was an Assistant Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&M University. Prior to that, Mark was a consultant with McKinsey & Company focusing on the design and implementation of operational improvement programs in the aerospace industry. Mark holds a B.S. in Physics from MIT, an MA in Science, Technology, and Public Policy from The George Washington University, and a Ph.D. in Engineering Systems from MIT.
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) strives to be one of the best airports in the world and the top employer in the Bay Area. To help achieve this goal, FUSE Fellow Mark Avnet partnered with SFO to design and implement the SFO People Strategy, a first-of-its-kind strategic roadmap enabling the airport to attract, develop, and retain top talent and to provide SFO employees with the skills and tools needed to execute the airport’s five-year strategic plan. The People Strategy consists of five broad strategic priorities: Culture and Values; Talent and Leadership; Human Capital Planning; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion; and Workplace Innovation. Across these strategic priorities, 18 programs are already underway or are in detailed design and development. In addition, the document identifies another 30 areas of opportunity that the airport can implement in the future to further expand the scope of the People Strategy. The potential long-term impact of Mark’s fellowship is an innovation in talent strategy for municipal government and a model of leadership and talent development for airports around the world.
San José Office of the City Manager
Dolan Beckel most recently served as a Director of Information Technology for Cognizant Technology Solutions. Prior to that, he was co-owner of Fathom Solutions, a Chicago-based management consulting company focused on the communications industry. Dolan was also an associate partner at Accenture helping international communications service providers through strategy, business process, and technology solutions. Dolan holds a BA in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of California, Berkeley.
Although San José currently has a 90% connectivity rate among all residents, that number drops to just 70% among low-income residents. In an effort to identify digital needs and ensure that all residents have access to affordable online services, the city partnered with FUSE Fellow Dolan Beckel to develop a strategic plan to achieve broad digital inclusion that contributes to the city’s larger economic, social equity and civic engagement goals. Dolan helped develop a broadband and digital equity strategy, and as well as 10,000 devices and four years of free internet for 10,000 San José high school students with a Sprint 1 Million Project Grant. Dolan’s work has helped close the digital divide in the city and pushed San José officials to engage more proactively with telecom providers as it invests in staffing, policy changes, and infrastructure investment to influence telecom providers to spend up to $2 billion in San José’s broadband digital infrastructure.
San Francisco Department of Public Health
Patti Birbiglia is a marketing executive with over fifteen years of experience leading branding, marketing and strategy both inside Fortune 100 companies and as a consultant to CMOs and marketing teams. Her experience includes executive positions with Sapient, Frog Design, and Stone Yamashita Partners, as well as consulting engagements with IBM, Starbucks, Franklin Templeton Investments, Cisco, United Airlines and William Morris Endeavor Entertainment. Patti holds a Bachelor of Arts in Classics and English from Colgate University and dual MBA degrees from UC Berkeley and Columbia University.
In response to national healthcare reform, the Department of Public Health has undertaken several initiatives, including building a world-class trauma center and developing a citywide health network. Having functioned historically as a safety net provider for vulnerable populations, the SF Health Network is now also working to become the region’s provider of choice. The Department hired Patti to help advance its mission to protect and promote the health of all San Franciscans by better connecting community members with the wide array of exceptional services available to them.
Port of San Francisco
Keven Brough has been a member of several climate change startups, including most recently the Climate Policy Initiative, where he was a co-founder, COO, and Director of Strategy. Originally trained as an attorney, Keven worked for McKinsey & Company, where he served cross-sector clients on strategy and investment projects at the intersection of markets and public policy. He was also a director for Permian Global, a forest conservation fund. He is a graduate of Haverford College and Harvard Law School.
The Port of San Francisco has the responsibility of maintaining 7.5 miles of waterfront along the City of San Francisco, including the three-mile seawall that protects this vital area. With significant vulnerabilities, including seismic weaknesses, the seawall requires a comprehensive redevelopment plan. FUSE Fellow Keven Brough worked with the Seawall Resiliency Team to develop an economic report detailing the value of city assets protected by the seawall in the event of a serious earthquake or catastrophic flood, and to create a roadmap for sustainability for the seawall project. He also worked with the Department of the Environment to develop a process for bringing fast electric vehicle charging cluster pilots to the port. Keven’s fellowship contributed to building a culture of innovation and experimentation at the port, as well as an understanding of the value of building sustainability into its long-term strategic and capital planning.
Los Angeles Public Library
Alex Castillo is a brand management and development executive with significant experience in global consumer products and filmed entertainment. He worked for Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo and Kraft Foods, where he held positions of increasing responsibility on leading global brands including Pantene, Gatorade, Gillette and Kraft Cheese. In 2002, he founded Castle2000 Films with the mission to produce groundbreaking films that entertain, inspire and promote social and cultural diversity. Alex received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
Los Angeles has one of the largest immigrant populations in the country and estimates that 800,000 individuals are eligible for citizenship, but may not be pursuing that status because of inherent barriers in the systems. The Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) recently launched a variety of programs to help immigrants begin the process of becoming citizens at all of its 73 branch locations. LAPL hired Alex to coordinate efforts across branches as well as with the appropriate federal, state and local immigration and citizenship agencies. This project helped ensure that more potential citizens are aware of their opportunities and that LAPL serves as a trusted resource for those pursuing the process.
Los Angeles Personnel Department
Joan Centanno brings more than 20 years of successful management, marketing, consulting and entrepreneurial leadership for corporate and startup organizations. Joan began her professional career with Procter & Gamble and Frito-Lay, managing consumer brand strategies, new product introductions, and sales initiatives, leading departments with up to 300 people. An award-winning consultant, Joan has created sustainable and often game-changing programs on innovation strategy, market entry/growth, operations and organizational effectiveness for clients such as Target and Lowe’s. Joan holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BS from Northern Illinois University.
The City of Los Angeles employs nearly 50,000 people, making it one of the largest employers in the region. To achieve its goal of creating a healthier, happier workforce, the City’s Personnel Department launched a Wellness Program beginning with the 24,000 members of its Flex Benefits Program. FUSE Fellow Joan Centanno led the implementation of the initiative, helping tens of thousands of city employees find ways to improve their physical and mental well being. Joan’s work helped create a culture of wellness in order to improve the overall health of the employee population, thereby reducing the prevalence of chronic diseases and costs to the city. And although the wellness program is still being rolled out over a five-year plan, Joan successfully corralled the support needed throughout the department to implement visible signs of a wellness culture that regularly engages with the employee community, clearly showing the department’s commitment to the program.
Los Angeles Department of Transportation
Ray Cheung comes from a two-decade career in international business and governmental cooperation in China’s sustainable development. Ray served as the Executive Director of the US-China Energy Cooperation Program (ECP). Ray has also consulted for the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation on financing clean technology deployment. In addition, Ray led the World Resources Institute’s clean technology business incubator in China and was an advisor to the chairman of AIG Companies in China on clean technology investment strategies. Ray holds a BS in Conservation Resource Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from Georgetown University.
The L.A. Department of Transportation manages one of the largest and most complex transportation systems in the country. FUSE Fellow Ray Cheung helped develop the department’s first five-year capital plan, identifying short-term and long-term project priorities and guiding the department’s policies for selecting, designing, financing and implementing projects. Ray also helped develop an implementation strategy for the capital plan, which will ultimately improve quality of life for residents of the city, providing them with safer streets, reduced congestion, a cleaner environment and enhanced mobility options. During Ray’s tenure, the department also steered more towards a culture of collaboration, as new lines of communication were opened up between staff and management in the greater goal of improving the capital planning process.
San Francisco Office of the Mayor & San Francisco Unified School District
Nicola Clifford is a management consultant who has worked with executive-level clients across the public, private and nonprofit sectors. As a senior consultant at Deloitte Consulting, she focused on strategic planning, program management and insider threat. She has managed large teams, performed in-depth analyses around strategic challenges and led change management strategies for a variety of clients. Nicola holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Michigan and a Master of Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas.
There has never been a greater need in this country for professionals trained in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The Bay Area is home to some of the world’s most innovative companies and is uniquely positioned to lead the way in educating its young people for STEM careers. The Office of the Mayor, the San Francisco Unified School District and the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce hired Nicola to work closely with public, private and nonprofit partners to align current initiatives and develop a comprehensive regional plan to prepare students for STEM careers.
Los Angeles Office of City Administrative Officer
Korin Crawford is an entrepreneurial leader with fourteen years of experience in real estate, urban infrastructure, and property acquisition. He recently completed the Stanford MSx Program (formerly Sloan Fellows Program), a full-time Masters program for mid-career professionals at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Prior to Stanford, Korin was Managing Partner of Ekology Infrastructure, offering advisory services to investors, utilities, and public agencies to build innovative portfolios of sustainable infrastructure. As an independent individual investor, Korin built a 35-unit, $9 million portfolio of residential real estate in the Bay Area, including a $4.5m green prefabricated townhouse development and a 4-lot infill land development. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Duke University and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.
With an outdated infrastructure that is ill equipped to serve its large and growing population, Los Angeles is in need of major public works and infrastructure development, including new roads and bridges, improving water treatment plants, revitalizing open spaces and repairing waterways. Because the high demand for such projects significantly exceeds limited public resources, the CAO hired Korin to work with city agencies to identify and explore innovative public-private partnerships that can help to finance the city’s rapidly growing infrastructure needs.
Allegheny County Health Department
Colin Dwyer has 15 years of private-sector and nonprofit experience, including investment banking, healthcare venture capital, and a biotechnology company he helped to build from startup through a $100MM IPO. Colin has also been a strategic consultant to a range of nonprofit organizations, including Covenant House Alaska, The United Farm Workers Foundation, and Kickstart International in Tanzania. Colin worked as a strategic adviser to the board of Faces & Voices of Recovery. Colin has a BA from Georgetown University and an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
The opioid addiction crisis has risen to epidemic levels in the greater Pittsburgh region, where hospitals handled nearly 2,000 overdose cases in 2014. The Allegheny County Health Department’s response marries public health and public safety in an attempt to more effectively incorporate responses from all sectors. FUSE Fellow Colin Dwyer helped convene the various departments and community organizations that deal with the outcomes of the opioid epidemic in order to take a more holistic approach to addressing the problem. His work resulted in a new program administered by the Pittsburgh Emergency Medical Services to leave behind naloxone, a medication that can be used to treat overdose victims. He also identified and engaged several community organizations that were high-potential distribution points for the medication to become part of the county-wide program.
New Orleans Office of the Deputy Mayor & Chief Administrative Officer
Siobhan Foley most recently worked at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) where she led the Advanced Energy Working Group for CGI America. Previously, Siobhan worked at the Center for Sustainable Energy to increase adoption of clean energy technologies, and on solar education and corporate engagement with the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. Previously, Siobhan led strategic marketing and communications initiatives in travel, theater, and e-commerce. She holds an MA in sustainability management for the public sector from the Presidio Graduate School and a BA from Columbia University.
As part of its strategy to combat climate change, New Orleans Mayor Mitchell Landrieu opened the Office of Resilience and Sustainability, and brought in FUSE Fellow Siobhan Foley to develop and implement the city’s first Climate Action Strategy, which was introduced in July 2017. During the course of her fellowship, Siobhan gathered community-based feedback about the strategy via open houses and workshops and convened working groups to move its implementation forward. Her work will help city officials and community members to more clearly understand how energy, transportation, and waste issues are related to the city’s sustainability and resilience efforts and will help the city prepare for climate change and reduce its impact on the environment.
California Health & Human Services Agency
Niles Friedman has over fifteen years of executive management and advisory experience that spans the private and public sectors, both domestically and internationally. Most recently, he served as a Senior Advisor with the U.S. Small Business Administration. He previously served as a Vice President with BroadReach Healthcare, LLC, where he led a division that created commercial markets to improve access to products and services in collaboration with health system and hospital leaders, government agencies and private sector partners. Niles also previously served as a National Partnership Director with The Advisory Board Company and as Manager with Deloitte Consulting. He has a Bachelor of Arts from Ohio Wesleyan University and a Master of Public Health with a concentration in Management and Public Policy from Emory University.
Over the past several years, the California Health & Human Services Agency (CHHS) has been focused on increasing public access to health-related data, operating with greater levels of transparency and embracing more innovative approaches to its operations. CHHS aims to revitalize the way healthcare is provided and promoted throughout the State. With support from the California HealthCare Foundation, CHHS hired Niles to establish a new Health Innovation Office to demonstrate the potential of innovation to help make California the healthiest state in the nation.
San Francisco International Airport
David Gabriel co-founded Global Reach Leadership LLC – a consulting firm specializing in organizational assessment, coaching, leadership development and talent management. He has worked with clients in the technology, healthcare, pharmaceutical, government, education and nonprofit sectors to improve individual, team and enterprise performance and collaboration. David previously served as Senior Director of Organization Effectiveness and Talent Management at McKesson. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from University of California Davis, a Master of Science in Industrial & Organizational Psychology from San Francisco State University and a Doctorate in Organization & Leadership from the University of San Francisco.
One of the busiest airports in the world, San Francisco International Airport (SFO) also strives to be the best airport in the world by providing the highest level of safety and customer service. With 1,600 employees, it is crucial for SFO to excel at recruiting, developing, managing and retaining world-class talent at every level of the organization. SFO hired David to build a human capital management plan to enable the airport’s employees to provide unparalleled safety and service to travelers to and from San Francisco.
San Francisco Office of Contract Administration
Rob Henning most recently served as the Director of Platform Development for beEdison, a software company in the solar energy market. Prior to his role, he served as a Director of Financial Planning and Analysis for NBCUniversal and as a Senior Associate and Manager in the Audit Division of PricewaterhouseCoopers. A Certified Public Accountant, Rob holds Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Commerce degrees from the University of Auckland, New Zealand and a Master of Arts in Sustainability from Harvard University.
San Francisco is one of the largest purchasers of goods and services throughout the Bay Area and conducts transactions with the private, public and social sectors totaling over $1 billion annually. As part of a major upgrade of its financial systems, the City hired Rob to help overhaul its purchasing and contracting processes. Rob’s scope of work will include integrating technology, improving and streamlining systems, more efficiently connecting projects with vendors and providing equal access to all prospective vendors regardless of size or ownership.
Los Angeles Office of City Administrative Officer
Ahmed Hnesh has more than a decade of experience managing complex stakeholder environments and leading large-scale projects including strategic planning, performance improvement and financial management initiatives. As a Senior Manager for Deloitte, he specialized in working with senior governmental leaders and corporate executives to craft strategies, design governance models and build technology-enabled organizations capable of world-class execution. Most recently, Ahmed helped launch and scale Deloitte’s presence in Libya where he led the firm’s consulting operations to help guide the country through its challenging transition. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Pittsburgh.
Los Angeles was recently named by the United States Olympic Committee as the official US Bid City to host the 2024 Olympics. The bid, which creates the potential for the City to develop its infrastructure, increase its revenue and elevate itself on the international stage, requires an enormous financial and logistical commitment. The CAO hired Ahmed to act as the City’s liaison to the LA 2024 Olympic Committee, working with public, private, philanthropic and nonprofit partners to help develop a comprehensive, financially responsible and competitive plan to bring the Olympics to LA.
Office of Fresno Mayor Ashley Swearengin
San Francisco Office of Economic and Workforce Development
Yves Louis-Jacques is a management and technology consultant with a focus on financial investment, analysis and reporting. Most recently, he advised CrossBoundary, an investment advisory firm and an international donor organization on frontier market investment opportunities. Yves previously served as a financial analyst at the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi and was also a partner for FREE DMC, a marketing and content agency where he led brand strategy and partnerships. Yves’ career began at Accenture, where he spent nine years leading client engagements in the public service and media/entertainment groups. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Howard University and a dual Master of Public Policy degree from Sciences Po Paris and Columbia University.
San Francisco’s 24-hour economy requires thousands of workers in the entertainment, healthcare, manufacturing and other industries to commute during late-night and early-morning hours. The overnight public transit system does not currently align with these needs, however, leaving many workers without access to safe, affordable and reliable transportation options. The Office of Economic and Workforce Development hired Yves to work with city departments, regional government partners and local industries to implement an overnight transportation plan that will better serve the needs of businesses, workers and visitors.
Los Angeles Department of Transportation
Michael Lim is an innovation professional with global infrastructure, finance and technology experience, including most recently as a co-founder and CEO of a technology venture addressing urban infrastructure challenges. Originally trained in urban planning, Michael started his career in infrastructure development for the United Nations in the Asia Pacific region. He was also an investment banker, most recently with Lazard Freres & Co, and advised technology companies and governments on strategy, capital raises and M&A transactions. Michael holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Mobilizing for the day when autonomous vehicle (AV) technology will redefine the world of automobiles and mobility at large, the City of Los Angeles hired FUSE Fellow Michael Lim to develop a comprehensive business plan to address the increasingly important need for investment in autonomous vehicles and the infrastructure to support them. He also helped city officials streamline their procurement processes and partnership models so they can engage in meaningful, iterative AV piloting efforts with industry, startups, and research communities. His work has helped the city better prepare for the long-term planning and implications of how the AV transportation future of Los Angeles plays out and that city officials will meaningfully engage with rapidly changing technologies and devote the necessary resources to set a strong direction for how AV technology gets deployed in the city.
Vallejo Economic Development Department
Slater Matzke was the Founder and Operating Partner for a specialized independent consulting business for 10 years before serving as a Business Development Specialist in Honduras, Peru and El Salvador with Peace Corps. He holds a BA in Political Science from New York University and an MPA as a Coverdell Fellow at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
The City of Vallejo, located just 30 miles northeast of San Francisco, is one of the most diverse cities in the country. After emerging from bankruptcy, the city is working to redefine its role in the region. FUSE Fellow Slater Matzke developed a marketing and communications strategy focused on promoting the city’s economic development goals of increased investment and job creation. Slater’s deliverables included websites aimed at attracting businesses, a digital media library, a marketing playbook and sustainability plan, digital and print marketing campaigns, and mixed-media marketing collateral. Slater’s work helped to elevate the profile of Vallejo both regionally and nationally as a prime location for business development. He also helped bring together the various divisions and departments within the city and community stakeholders to help foster stronger relationships in both the public and private sectors in the community. His work also helped reframe and reshape how innovation and risk is viewed. Having a FUSE Fellow embedded in the community and working every day with staff helped stakeholders become more comfortable with adopting creative approaches to problem-solving, project management, and seeing the value of leveraging risk in their work.
Fresno Unified School District
Wendy McCulley has two decades of experience in executive marketing and management of organizations in the medical, consumer products, technology, e-commerce and financial services industries. She has taught Marketing at the graduate level and has worked for global companies including Life Alert, Experian, TransUnion and Mattel. Wendy holds an MS in Education from the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education, an MBA from Wharton and a BA from Harvard College.
Nearly 90% of students in the Fresno Unified School District live below the federal poverty line. FUSE Fellow Wendy McCulley worked to align the District and higher education stakeholders specifically around career technical education to increase secondary and post-secondary opportunities for students. Wendy’s work continuously explored ways in which student voice could be more fully integrated in planning processes to produce more highly engaging student-centered options. Her work also highlighted the value of collaboration among many different stakeholders, which led to several projects being accelerated and the district embracing a more action-oriented culture of decision-making and incorporating student voice.
San Francisco Office of the Mayor
Autumn McDonald has more than a decade of experience working with foundations, nonprofits, companies and associations on strategy, program design and evaluation. She most recently served as senior consultant with strategy-consulting firm FSG, with a focus on collective impact as a problem-solving approach. Autumn previously founded and consulted with Catalyst Education Consulting, serving multiple national and state-level clients. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University, a Master in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a Master in the Learning Sciences from Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy.
Although women are a vital force within the economy, they are compensated at a significantly lower level than their male counterparts and are continually underrepresented across professions and leadership positions. In response, the cities of San Francisco and Oakland will co-host a regional Women’s Empowerment & Opportunity Summit. Autumn was hired to help translate the Summit’s ideas into action. Autumn will helped to shape proposed programs, policies and public/private initiatives to improve economic and social opportunities for women and families throughout the Bay Area region.
Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services
Sharon Meron spent 10 years on the education team at The Broad Foundation overseeing the foundation’s extensive grants evaluation process. Previously, she worked closely with the CEO of Advanced Monitored Caregiving, a New York based healthcare services provider, to refine and implement the company’s business plan. She holds a BS in Economics from Amherst College and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
On any given day, approximately 2,300 people experience homelessness in the City of Long Beach. The City’s Department of Health and Human Services leads the Long Beach Continuum of Care (CoC), which administers housing and support services. FUSE Fellow Sharon Meron worked with the city and the CoC to design a roadmap that outlines innovative new approaches to combatting homelessness. Among her many milestones was organizing and managing a summit, which brought together stakeholders to actively work on solutions together. She also helped to create a gap analysis of Long Beach’s housing needs, which was a new strategy for the city. Collectively, Meron’s work has led to an overall better understanding of stakeholders’ roles in addressing homelessness, and a broadening of the conversation to include more stakeholders who handle housing, hospitals, police, jail, and foster care services.
Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
Mala Nanda has more than 10 years of executive management experience with Fortune 500 and privately-held companies. Having lived and worked in the US, China and India, and led cross-functional teams across Australia and Asia, Mala brings a multi-cultural understanding to leadership practices. Mala most recently worked with companies to overcome growth challenges and develop senior leaders. Mala holds an MBA from Kellogg School of Management, a Masters of Engineering Management from Northwestern University and a BA from Hood College.
With its integrated system of 19 health centers, four hospitals, 670,000 unique patients and 20,000 staff members, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS) is the second largest municipal healthcare system in the nation. FUSE Fellow Mala Nanda spearheaded an effort to help DHS integrate its laboratory services and increase the efficiency of the lab system to ensure the highest quality of patient care throughout the network. Through her fellowship, Mala implemented an enterprise-first approach to evaluate clinical test operations and collaborated with clinical lab leadership to standardize and re-think various operations that had previously been outsourced, resulting in more than $500,000 of savings. Mala’s work helped facilitate a new organizational and governance structure for DHS labs and should result in improved accountability and faster decision-making.
Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering
Sonia Nanda has more than 15 years of management experience working for technology companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. She most recently served as Vice President of Operations and Customer Support for Guidance Software, Inc. In her ten-plus years of employment at Guidance Software, Sonia helped scale enterprise systems and processes to support revenue growth from a $10 million business to a $120 million business. Her areas of expertise include customer service strategy and business process re-engineering to optimize operations performance. She holds a BA from Smith College.
The Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering plays a unique role in overseeing the changing needs of the dynamic city through projects that touch on almost every aspect of life for city residents – from the revitalization of the Los Angeles River to the construction of the Mid Valley Intergenerational Multipurpose Center. FUSE Fellow Sonia Nanda focused her work on the department’s complex permitting process with the end goal of recommending improvements to streamline the process and create transparency within the development community. Sonia’s work is leading to the implementation of one key recommendation that will change the entire internal and external stakeholder experience: the adoption of an electronic plan check, review, and routing system involving the coordination of staff from at least six different agencies. This electronic permitting workflow will eventually be integrated with LA Building & Safety’s online portal, which is currently in design phase. During Sonia’s fellowship, two major insights were illuminated: to have more opportunities for employees to collaborate with each other and their counterparts at agencies, and the need to conduct customer outreach on an ongoing basis.
Long Beach Office of the City Manager
Veronica Njodinizeh most recently served as the lead Health Benefits Advisor with J. Glynn & Company, focused primarily on public school district clients in Southern California as their exclusive health advisory consultants for the California Education Coalition for Health Care Reform. Prior to joining J. Glynn & Company, Veronica spent nearly a decade at PwC as a Business Development Manager and Healthcare Advisory Consultant serving global and national clients. Veronica holds an MA in Health Administration from the University of Southern California and a BS in Chemistry from Wright State University.
In May 2014, the Long Beach City Council adopted Safe Long Beach, a comprehensive violence prevention plan combining elements of My Brother’s Keeper and other youth development programs. FUSE Fellow Veronica Njodinizeh helped the Office of the City Manager to develop an action plan to accomplish the initiative’s goals in a coordinated way, with an emphasis on boys and men of color. During the course of her fellowship, Veronica worked across sectors, departments, and organizations, convening and motivating stakeholders in order to align cause and action. The culmination of Veronica’s work came in July 2017, when she helped organize a two-and-a-half-day West Coast regional summit of My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, at which more than 300 participants from across the region attended in order to establish regional networks and design tangible next steps that advance equity. Veronica’s efforts will help cement the outcomes of the MBK Alliance initiative, keeping stakeholders accountable to their individual objectives, and leaving behind a governance structure to execute and carry on the work.
California Department of Justice, Office of the Attorney General
Sundeep Pattem is an experienced data scientist working on applications in public policy and services. With a focus on achieving social impact, he has developed solutions for challenging problems in healthcare, education and energy sustainability. Most recently he served as Head Data Scientist of SkilledUp, where he led efforts to convert large datasets into tools for helping people make career and learning decisions. As an expert consultant for education startup SlideRule, he developed a data science course curriculum and mentored several aspiring data scientists. Sundeep holds a Bachelor of Technology from the Indian Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California.
As part of its growing focus on criminal justice reform, the California Department of Justice is launching an ambitious effort to transform itself into a data-driven organization. A major first step in this plan is the creation of OpenJustice, a transparency initiative that will help build trust and increase accountability by making law enforcement data available to the community. The Office of Attorney General Kamala Harris hired Sundeep to lead OpenJustice as well as to conduct research and analysis to implement stronger, more meaningful data sharing across agencies and with community partners.￼￼￼
San Francisco Department of the Environment
Lars Peters is a strategist and entrepreneur with 10 years of leadership experience in tech and management consulting. Most recently, he was the Director of Global Service Provider Sales at Meraki and Director of Corporate Strategy at Cisco Systems. He has also performed pro bono engagements for International Save the Children Alliance in Boston and London while at the Boston Consulting Group. Lars holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and an MA in Economics from the University of Amsterdam.
To help San Francisco develop a plan for widespread electric vehicle adoption, FUSE Fellow Lars Peters developed a series of recommendations based on best practices from cities around the world and input from city and community stakeholders. Lars based his recommendations on analysis of available data, oriented them towards specific outcomes, and prioritized them based on impact. Final results are to be presented at the next convening of the Electric Vehicle Working Group, led by the San Francisco Department of the Environment and the Office of the City Administrator. Lars also worked directly on two key ordinances that were adopted during the fellowship. The first required city departments to electrify 100% of the city’s passenger fleet by 2022; the second requires parking places in all new residential and commercial construction, as well as large major retrofits, to accommodate electric vehicle charging.
Los Angeles World Airports
Hana Rhee is a strategic advisor with more than 15 years of experience providing strategic and operation advisory services to private, public, and social sector clients in multiple continents with a focus on emerging markets. Previously, she worked as a development economist in Africa, a management consultant at Bain, and an entrepreneur in South Korea. Hana consulted various national governments on economic and sector growth strategies, helped set up multi-billion dollar trade zones for businesses, and managed operational teams of a $50M revenue / 250 person company. She holds a BA in Economics from Wellesley College, an MA in Development Studies from the University of Western Cape, South Africa, and an MBA from INSEAD, France and Singapore.
LAX, the world’s busiest airport, is currently engaged in an $8.5B capital improvement plan. This seven-year project will generate about 40,000 jobs and provide substantial economic opportunities for construction-related companies and other businesses. FUSE Fellow Hana Rhee helped develop a strategic plan to engage the community in this improvement project and ensure that area residents have opportunities to build the skills and resources needed to compete for jobs and contracts. Hana’s work helped demonstrate the need for transparency and accountability for Los Angeles World Airport’s diversity efforts, and highlighted the need for actionable, real-time data and a database that allows for more informed decision-making. Her work also highlighted the importance of developing a centralized, streamlined, and inclusivity-focused organizational structure within the department.
San Francisco Department of Public Health
Cori Schauer was a Lead Design Researcher at Dropbox where she studied collaborative practices within teams. Prior to Dropbox, Cori held research positions at NASA and Mozilla. At Mozilla, Cori set the company’s user research vision and strategy, and built the user experience research practice. At NASA, Cori was an ethnographer for the Human Space Flight program at Johnson Space Center where she studied flight controllers to understand their workflows and culture to inform the development of new flight control tools. She holds a Masters of Design and a BA in Professional Writing, English, and Anthropology and History from Carnegie Mellon University.
The San Francisco Health Network (SFHN) serves more than one in eight San Franciscans annually. Along with several projects to improve the patient experience, SFHN is committed to providing a positive care experience across the network. FUSE Fellow Cori Schauer helped design a service framework to change the SFHN’s approach to patient service and move the organization toward the highest levels of patient-centered care. Cori’s work resulted in strategic recommendations on how care experience should work across the entire network. She also provided specific recommendations for improving the patient experience for various departments. Over time, the various patient-staff learning and engagement sessions Cori facilitated helped change the culture of the organization to one that is more based on collaboration. Cori’s direct interaction with patients to gather feedback about their needs helped many of them work through issues, feel more hopeful, and realize the agency is on their side.
Port of Los Angeles
Andrew Scott has 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and executive across five continents in the logistics and technology sectors. Most recently, he was the founder and CEO of a freight forwarder and logistics company focused on international e-commerce, the South Pacific Islands and serving the entertainment industry. He also co-founded a technology company improving efficiency across the container trucking industry. He holds a BA in Commerce from the University of Auckland, New Zealand.
The Port of Los Angeles is the largest container port in the United States. While the port is a model of innovation and sustainability, it must also keep up with increasing competition and continue to improve its operations. FUSE Fellow Andrew Scott’s work with the port focused on developing solutions to enhance supply chain efficiency, address congestion issues and minimize the port’s environmental impact. Andrew’s leadership, driven by a culture of innovation, helped implement a major project for the Port of Los Angeles: a $12 million agreement with GE Transportation for a first-of-its-kind digital solution portal that will improve efficiency to include all container terminals and shipping lines at the port. Federal officials from the U.S. Departments of Commerce, Transport, Labor and the Federal Maritime Commission are closely watching the implementation of the portal with an eye toward possible national adoption.
Los Angeles County Department of Health Services
Kamina Smith has more than 10 years of experience in the corporate, nonprofit and government sectors. As the founder of the Kyndle Consulting Group, she has partnered with individuals and organizations to deliver career management interventions, professional development trainings, talent management lifecycle strategies and entrepreneurial consulting. She holds a BS in Business Administration and an MBA from Florida A&M University, as well as an Advanced Certificate in Instructional Design from San Diego State University.
The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS) has recently been making major strides toward becoming a more unified, integrated and coordinated healthcare system. As part of that work, the department seeks to better engage and develop supervisors and managers. FUSE Fellow Kamina Smith helped the department develop a comprehensive supervisor management training program and a strategic plan for rolling out those services. Kamina’s work helped develop processes by which the department’s 2,000 managers were evaluated for certain core competencies and helped define the training, development, and support elements that would be utilized to ensure sustainable managerial behavior change and growth within the organization. Her work also helped establish a strong pipeline of leadership and a culture of continuous improvement, collaboration, and empowerment. By instilling proven leadership and managerial practices into DHS operations, and by working to get employees at every level to embrace these changes, Kamina helped the organization create a health system that can better serve the needs of staff, patients and the community.
San Francisco Department of Emergency Management
Lisa Starliper has over 20 years of experience in operations management, most recently with strategy and technology consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton where she worked as a project manager for the implementation of President Barack Obama’s National Ocean Policy. Prior to joining Booz Allen, she spent 27 years in the U.S. Coast Guard where she reaching the highest enlisted rank possible, that of Master Chief. Serving a third of her career at sea, Lisa led shipboard communications for a multitude of Coast Guard missions, including drug interdiction and rescue operations. Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts in Security Management from American Military University and a Master of Public Administration from Golden Gate University.
The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management leads the city’s planning around response and recovery from a wide array of potential disasters. Because emergency management is a constantly evolving practice with new standards and new strategies for preparation, response, recovery and resiliency, plans must be updated regularly to stay relevant. The Department hired Lisa to coordinate the next phase of emergency preparedness planning for the city. This work helped ensure that San Francisco is able to function as a cohesive entity in responding to emergencies that might arise over the next several years.
Los Angeles Office of Immigrant Affairs
Eric Steiner has more than a decade of experience in community development and public service, including service in the Peace Corps in Ecuador where he worked with farmers to diversify their sources of income and launch small businesses. He has also served as a project associate for the United Nation’s Capital Development Fund, assisting local governments in Nicaragua with implementation of economic development projects. Domestically, Eric worked for New York City’s Office of Emergency Management, where he helped design and develop New York City’s Maritime Emergency Transportation plan. He also worked at New York City’s Housing Authority, where he helped increase access to resources and supportive services for the city’s public housing residents. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Sociology from Miami University of Ohio and Masters of Urban Planning from New York University.
Immigrant entrepreneurs and small business owners have the potential to create jobs and revitalize neighborhoods throughout Los Angeles. However, limited English language skills and educational experience, citizenship status and other obstacles can make navigating the process of opening or expanding a business especially challenging. The Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs hired Eric to help ensure that immigrant entrepreneurs and small business owners have access to the tools they need to successfully integrate into the Los Angeles business community. This work will enable the immigrant entrepreneur community to become an important economic force for the region.
California Health and Human Services
Venkat Suresh has over 20 years of global experience in executive management and consulting. He has worked in the telecommunications and healthcare industries across North America, India and the APAC region. Venkat is an entrepreneurial thinker with a proven track record of cultivating relationships with C-level and senior executives. He is an expert at identifying, cultivating, negotiating and managing strategic partnerships in multi-cultural environments and leading the system integration of products. He has worked in Silicon Valley startups and at companies including Openwave, Metricom and Mobility Networks. Venkat has an MS from Arizona State University and an MBA from Duke University – Fuqua School of Business, Durham, NC.
The California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS) is responsible for a wide range of services for Californians including healthcare, social services, mental health services and disability services. CHHS seeks to evolve into a more data-driven agency to help it make smart decisions for more effective services. FUSE Fellow Venkat Suresh partnered with the agency to create the infrastructure and process for the sustainable collection and use of data across the department. During his fellowship, Venkat overhauled the agency’s data analytics, using visual representations and dashboards to more easily share and showcase the agency’s multi-sourced streams of data, to efficiently produce reports, and help leaders understand and address gaps of coverage. Venkat put together a process to help the various departments within the agency to share data more securely. He also created an audit trail of existing systems to help each department understand how all the systems work together, what actions need to be taken at what points, and to provide insights on how they can leverage other resources, which has helped save time and money for the agency.
San Francisco Ethics Commission
Gayathri Thaikkendiyil is a technology leader with over 10 years of experience in IT strategy and operations at American Airlines. She was instrumental in delivering business-critical technology solutions supporting Revenue Management, Reservations, Sales, and Distribution. Throughout her career, she has also supported several nonprofits in the areas of education, healthcare and community development in various leadership roles. She holds a BE in Computer Science from the University of Madras, an MS in Computer Science from The University of Texas at Dallas, and an MBA from The University of Texas at Austin.
The San Francisco Ethics Commission was established to provide education and enforcement of ethics, campaign finance, and lobbying laws. FUSE Fellow Gayathri Thaikkendiyil was tasked with developing a plan to redesign and modernize the commission’s website and e-filing project, with the ultimate goal of increasing public engagement and government accountability. She brought together key stakeholders such as staff, city employees, and the general public to capture user feedback on the content and design for the website. She also led a process to create online tools, guidance materials, and training content to support compliance among city officials and employees for filing financial disclosures. And she helped develop new systems that enhanced the commission’s online data disclosure capabilities by automating, redesigning, and streamlining data content on the city’s open data portal. Gayathri’s work helped the agency focus on broader organizational goals and priorities with an emphasis on improving user engagement, user experience, and operational efficiencies.
Los Angeles Office of City Administrative Officer
Geoff Kees Thompson has more than ten years of project management experience, including large corporate environments such as Comcast and Accenture. He specializes in technology, communication, marketing and research for projects focused on urban planning, municipal governance, economic development and advocacy. Geoff is also a founder of both a nonprofit and non-partisan political action committee focused on urban spaces in Philadelphia. He holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Marketing and International Business, International Studies and Spanish from Penn State University. Geoff also holds a Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands.
The City of Los Angeles faces a significant challenge in addressing its homelessness crisis. While multiple city departments and agencies are currently engaged with homeless individuals and families, their approaches are not well coordinated. This causes inconsistency of response, high expenditures and service redundancy. The CAO hired Geoff to work with government agencies and community groups to develop an integrated approach to address homelessness, including common goals, innovative programs and outcomes measurement.
Seattle Office of Economic Development
Suzanne Towns is an accomplished executive with two decades of cross-sector leadership. As the principal and founder of Towns Consulting Group, she has worked in areas of city and state-level development. Previously, she served as the Vice President of Collective Impact at the United Way of New York City and the Manager of Outreach at the AARP. Her work has focused in the areas of community-based economic development, workforce development, increasing economic security for vulnerable populations and advancing gender equality. She holds an MS in Social Work from Columbia University and a BA in Forensic Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
With a booming economy and a variety of thriving industries, the City of Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. But with the flourishing economy have come challenges of rising inequity and income disparities. FUSE Fellow Suzanne Towns partnered with workforce and economic development stakeholders to create a coordinated strategy to streamline and improve initiatives throughout the city. Her efforts resulted in the creation of a sector-specific, equitable workforce development model, including designing and piloting aligned programming across system partners. She also launched an employment social enterprise ecosystem specifically focused on increasing equity by creating on-ramps to employment and career pathways for those with barriers to work. With this strong foundation, the ongoing implementation of these new strategies and approaches will help make progress towards providing access to employment for all.
Los Angeles Office of the City Administrative Officer
Frederick White is a seasoned investment management professional with a passion to make an impact globally. Frederick has 20 years of primarily institutional direct real estate investing experience in debt and equity markets across all major property sectors employing various investment structures. He is well versed in underwriting real estate, setting investment objectives, portfolio management, project management, assessing owners, fund operators, real estate markets as well as structuring and negotiating loan, purchase and sale, and subscription agreements. Frederick holds an MBA from North Carolina Central University and a BA in Business Administration from Morehouse College.
The City of Los Angeles, like many major U.S. cities, is facing a housing affordability crisis. While the city has a severe shortage of affordable housing, prices have grown four times faster than incomes since 2000. FUSE Fellow Frederick White worked with the Office of the City Administrative Officer and other departments to explore innovative financing vehicles to expand opportunities for development and help incorporate those models into a long-term housing strategy for the city. Frederick’s work led to a series of recommendations that encouraged the city to expand its current housing preservation and development resources in a manner that aligns with Real Estate Capital Markets financing tools to incentivize developers to create mixed-income housing. His work will help forge new relationships between the city and the private real estate debt and equity sectors, leading to a better understanding of the private capital available for affordable housing development and preservation, ultimately leading to an increase in housing production within the city.
San Francisco Office of the City Administrator
Keigo Yoshida worked as an engineer for two years, an international NGO worker for two years, and a private sector management consultant for six years with Nomura Research Institute America and Deloitte Consulting. Keigo’s expertise lies in project management and research and advisory for business development activities. Most of his professional life has been in the US and Japan, but has also spanned time in several African and Central Asian countries. Keigo holds a BA in Chemical Engineering from Columbia University.
The City and County of San Francisco owns and operates a fleet of more than 7,000 vehicles and pieces of equipment that provide vital functions to the city. As the Fleet Management Division moves to new facilities, FUSE Fellow Keigo Yoshida partnered with the City Administrator’s Office to analyze vehicle data, research best practices and recommend ways to improve how city employees get around. One of the initiatives to support that work is the creation of a data dashboard that can be used by departmental managers to monitor and manage the conditions and utilization of their respective fleets. Keigo also produced a report that explores the challenges and opportunities of using autonomous vehicle technology in the city’s fleet. Keigo’s work helped increase the agency’s capacity to practice rigorous analytics to drive strategic goals, and is contributing to the existing culture within the agency of testing and leveraging the power of new technologies.