We’re thrilled to announce our third Lead LA cohort!
Education and Outreach Specialist
USC Shoah Foundation
Sedda Antekelian is the Education and Outreach Specialist at USC Shoah Foundation. In this role, she develops educational resources for teachers utilizing audiovisual testimonies of genocide survivors, accessible on USCSF’s educational digital platform, IWitness. Additionally, she works directly with teachers and students, by facilitating teacher-trainings and delivering student programs year-round that develop empathy and foster civic agency. Sedda believes in culturally responsive education and believes that stories can build bridges. She is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University and holds her Masters in Teaching from UC Irvine. She has over nine years of experience working in formal and informal educational environments, focused on making history come alive for students. Sedda hopes that by joining Coro Lead LA, she can work collaboratively with others in the community to build bridges between cultural groups in LA through education and conversation.
Director of Finance and Water Resources
Moulton Niguel Water District
Drew Atwater is the Director of Finance and Water Resources at Moulton Niguel Water District, overseeing the finance, water efficiency, and water resource planning departments. Drew has overseen the integration of District analytical talent across disciplines to create an interdisciplinary data science and quantitative team to improve efficiencies throughout the agency. Drew serves as the Division 1 private sector member for the Audit Oversight Committee for the County of Orange, and the Chair of the Steering Committee for the California Data Collaborative. Mr. Atwater has a Bachelor of Arts in Physics from Reed College and a Masters in Science in Environmental Science focusing on Environmental Economics and Policy from the University of California at Riverside. Drew strives to learn from the other members of the cohort and build connectivity to move equitable and sustainable solutions forward for Southern California.
Spencer Burrows instructs graduate-level courses at National University. Spencer graduated with his B.A. from UCLA and his J.D. from University of California, Hastings College of the Law. Previously, he served as a Teach Plus California State Policy Fellow, a History Department Chair, and has directed academic programs at Princeton University, Stanford University, and UCLA. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of TEACH Public Schools in South LA, the UCLA Alumni Scholarship Selection Committee, and helped launch Crete Academy, an elementary school for homeless and low-income students in South LA. He is passionate about educational equity and providing opportunity for all youth of Los Angeles. Spencer hopes Coro’s Lead LA program will provide a rich context to the current and future issues facing the Los Angeles region, while empowering him and his cohort with the skills necessary to develop solutions to these complex issues.
Advocates for Human Potential (AHP)
Ashlye Durrell is a program associate at Advocates for Human Potential (AHP). Ms. Durrell has extensive experience with adults experiencing serious and persistent mental illness (SPMI), people experiencing homelessness, people with co-occurring disorders, underserved and medically vulnerable populations, and tri-morbidity. She has in-depth knowledge of evidence- based practices such as trauma-informed care and harm reduction and is interested in healing Black communities through trauma-informed therapeutic interventions and using her own experiences to change and destigmatize her cultural community. Currently, she supports the Youth Opioid Response (YOR) California project and Narcotic Treatment Program Resource Expansion, Access, and Collaboration for Health (NTP REACH), collaborating with grantees to implement their work plans for the expansion of medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and the prevention of opioid overdose–related deaths among youth in California. Through participation in CORO Ashlye hopes to make pivotal connections within the State, while discovering new and effective ways to lead.
Susan Zeren Dutra
Director of Development
My Friend’s Place
Susan Zeren Dutra is currently the Director of Development of My Friend’s Place, a nonprofit organization providing youth experiencing homelessness with low-barrier, developmentally-appropriate, trauma-informed care, opportunities and resources that support their trajectory toward wellness, stability and a permanent exit from homelessness. Susan is passionate about building an engaged community of stakeholders deeply invested in uplifting and empowering youth experiencing homelessness. Susan received her Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Southern California and her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles. Susan hopes that her participation in LEAD LA will afford her opportunities to grow as a leader and to develop a more nuanced understanding of efforts to design, fund and implement successful cross sector solutions that bring about meaningful change and have real impact in the lives of Angelenos.
Manager, YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles)
Los Angeles Philharmonic Association
Fabian Fuertes holds the position of Manager, YOLA (Youth Orchestra Los Angeles) with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association. His passion for arts education and social justice inspires his work in creating a profound societal renewal in our generation and the next. As a native Angelino and first-generation Latinx, he is proud to be a part of an organization that designs and delivers world class learning opportunities to under-resourced communities. Through YOLA, Fabian is a part of a team that serves more than 1,300 young musicians across four sites in LA County, providing them with free instruments, intensive music instruction, academic support, and leadership training. Through the CORO Southern California Lead LA program, Fabian is excited to explore personal blind spots, transcend ineffective patterns, enable transformation, and continue his pursuit in creating a world in which the beauty and challenge of art inspire any person to fulfill their greatest potential.
Buchalter, Los Angeles Office
Mark Goshgarian is a corporate attorney in the Los Angeles office of Buchalter, a professional corporation. Mark advises public and private businesses on mergers and acquisitions, capital markets transactions, securities law compliance, commercial transactions and general corporate matters. Prior to law school, Mark worked as a public accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers in San Francisco. Nothing energizes Mark more than confronting difficult issues and working with a team to craft inclusive, equitable and implementable solutions. In law school, Mark researched and wrote on economic, tax and corporate policy, and he looks to bring this experience to Coro. A native to Los Angeles, Mark joins Coro during these challenging times to give back to his community and positively shape Los Angeles. Mark holds a J.D. from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles, as well as a Master in Accounting and B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.
Director of Grants Management
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles
Janet Guan is currently the Director of Grants Management at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles, the nation’s largest legal and civil rights organization for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. Prior to joining Advancing Justice-LA, Janet served as a Civil Rights Fellow for OCA-Greater Los Angeles, an Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association (APAPA) Capitol Intern for California Assemblymember Ed Chau, and an ILF Civic Fellow for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Civil Rights Center. She also sits on the Board of Asian Pacific Alumni of UCLA. A proud native Angeleno, Janet is excited to join Coro to learn from other advocates and build coalitions across sectors to improve the lives of underserved Communities.
California Resources Corporation
With over nine years of oil and gas regulatory experience, Palmira is obsessed with the intersection of environmental law, land use planning, and empowering disadvantaged communities. As California Resources Corporation’s Regulatory Advisor and Kern County LULAC’s Director of Youth Activities, she focuses on projects that build partnerships to increase the standard of living for disadvantaged Communities. With a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Master of Legal Studies in Oil, Gas, and Energy Law in December, she brings a unique perspective. She is excited to join Coro Lead LA to learn from participant’s experiences and leverage resources to help Kern communities.
Communications Deputy and School Liaison
LA City Councilmember Paul Koretz
Monica Molina is the Communications Deputy and School Liaison to Councilmember Paul Koretz in the City of Los Angeles, working closely on multimedia initiatives and as an integral part of the legislative team. Her commitment to education has shifted from working with students one-on-one through the Federal TRIO programs to now School Liaison for the Fifth Council District. Through partnerships, she has brought valuable resources to the students and schools. Her passion for social equity through education, environmental, and racial justice has propelled her to take action in bringing much-needed resources to disadvantaged communities. Monica obtained her Bachelor of Arts at California State University Northridge and is pursuing an M.A in Diverse Community Development Leadership. As a first-generation Latina and native Angeleno, Monica Molina is eager to participate in Lead LA with devotion to many years of public service ahead in her career. She is honored to work alongside other leaders in Los Angeles who share the common goal of creating a more just and equitable city for all.
Regulatory & External Affairs Advisor
California Resources Corporation
Kristy Monji is a Regulatory & External Affairs Advisor with California Resources Corporation, the largest oil and natural gas producer in California. Her background in Environmental Science and Environmental Engineering combined with her professional expertise in environmental and regulatory compliance has cultivated her commitment to helping our state grow in tandem with our communities by safety and responsibly providing ample, affordable, and reliable energy that allows Californians to thrive. Through the Lead LA program, Kristy hopes to develop a deeper understanding of the regional issues that work in concert to create the unique landscape that is Los Angeles and hopes to gain the tools and experiences necessary to lead and direct positive change at both a personal and professional level.
Community Engagement Manager
Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE)
As the Community Engagement Manager at Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE), Pricila leads the statewide fall Latina Empowerment Days, a one-day intensive series created to empower Latinas to increase their community impact and strengthen their skills and knowledge on a variety of issues. She spearheads the energy training efforts for HOPE and led the development of the Energy Policy Toolkit. In this role, she also manages internal and external relationships with key stakeholders. Pricila obtained her B.A. in Sociology from the University of California, Irvine. She is a 2019 Lideramos Fellow and attended the prestigious Center for Creative Leadership Development Program. She recently joined the Board of the UC Irvine Los Angeles Alumni Chapter and she has been a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters for the past five years.
Senior Policy Deputy
LA City Councilmember Paul Krekorian
Aaron is an urban policymaker dedicated to finding solutions to the climate crisis and expanding access to affordable housing. He has worked for a dozen years on program and policy development to achieve smarter urban growth which balances equitable economic development with environmental conservation. He has worked on these issues at organizations including the New York City Mayor’s Office, New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, and the World Bank. Aaron currently serves as Senior Policy Deputy for Councilmember Paul Krekorian (CD2) where he advises on policy that includes environmental sustainability, climate change, and housing. Aaron has a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from UCLA and a BA in Political Science and Latin American Literature from UC Berkeley. He is excited to join Lead LA to refine his leadership skills and expand his personal and professional network in the Southland.
Tunette Powell, PhD
Director of Equity, Inclusion and Community
Dr. Tunette Powell is the Director of Equity, Inclusion and Community at Mirman School. As an activist mama, storyteller and researcher, Dr. Powell has published several books and papers on issues of race, anti-black racism, rearing Black sons and institution-induced collective trauma. She is a sought-after expert and speaker on issues of village engagement and equity and inclusion in education and has appeared on Oprah’s Lifeclass, NPR, CNN and MSNBC. Dr. Powell earned her PhD in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is looking forward to learning from and with her cohort members as they share knowledge in a collective effort to lead L.A.
City of Los Angeles’ Department of Cultural Affairs’ Public Art Division
Jasmine Regala is a Los Angeles-based arts management professional. Jasmine currently serves as the Art Manager for the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Cultural Affairs’ Public Art Division, where she works on Council District and private developer public art projects within the Arts Development Fee program. Jasmine acts as the project manager, liaising between commissioned artists, Council Offices, and other City agencies. Prior to working in the government’s Public Art Division, Jasmine worked in the non-profit performing arts sector with LA Children’s Chorus as the Associate Chorus Manager. She oversaw the management of 400 choristers across 7 ensembles, ranging from 6-18 years old, by managing rehearsals, performances, regional choral exchanges and international tours.
Associate, Municipal Law Department
Best Best & Krieger LLP
Isaac Rosen is an Associate in Best Best & Krieger LLP’s Los Angeles office. Isaac’s practice is focused on municipal law and providing general counsel services for numerous public agencies, including cities, special districts and joint powers authorities. Isaac’s practice focuses on housing and economic development, as well as open government and transparency obligations under state and federal law. Isaac was born and raised in Maine, and received his undergraduate Bachelor of Arts from the George Washington University in psychology. Isaac received his law degree from the University of California – Hastings College of the Law. He joined Coro Lead LA to help effectuate real change in his adopted city, and forge connections with civic-minded leaders across varied practices and with a wealth of personal and professional experiences.
Hispanic American Periodicals Index
Daniel Schoorl is a librarian and an Associate Editor of the UCLA Latin American Institute & Hispanic American Periodicals Index (HAPI). Daniel graduated with his B.A., M.A, and an M.L.I.S from UCLA. He currently serves as Vice President for Organizing of the University Council-American Federation of Teachers (UC-AFT), representing librarians and non-Senate teaching faculty throughout the University of California. He is passionate about community service and is a long-time platelet donor. Along with his neighbors he formed a tenants’ association to respond to the proposed development project of their buildings. Daniel believes in the importance of organizing and is eager to learn more of the necessary skills to build coalitions toward solving today’s challenges. He hopes that Coro’s Lead LA program will improve his leadership capacity and further the immersion in L.A.’s civic discourse that he first experienced through his participation in the Los Angeles Federation of Labor Civic Leadership Academy.
Learning & Development Specialist/Coach
Sam Soloman is a San Francisco Bay Area native who’s made Southern California his home and region of professional impact since 2004. As a lifelong learner, he has earned degrees in biology, higher education, and urban management, and continues to be an avid reader in the areas of public policy, societal advancement, and technology. His interests in social justice and participatory governance have directed his professional path as a leadership development specialist. His work centers on prompting learning and civic engagement to promote sustainable economic, social, ecological, and infrastructural progress for the 21st century. Most recently, Sam served as faculty at the Center for Creative Leadership. He leveraged over 15 years of experience in program leadership, instructional design, facilitation, and coaching to customize innovative leadership development solutions for top organizations while contributing to the broader mission towards societal advancement.
Alisa Sommer is on the Platforms team at Google, where she manages Google’s relationships with its largest Media & Entertainment partners. Prior to Google, Alisa spent 4 years at Deloitte Consulting in the Monitor Deloitte Strategy practice. At Deloitte, she drove go-to-market strategy and digital transformation projects for Fortune 500 Media and CPG companies, while also leading pro bono projects for non-profits in the education space. Alisa obtained her JD/MBA at UCLA School of Law and Anderson School of Management. She is passionate about being involved in her community, and has served on the LAUSD IT Advisory Board, the Young Professionals Council at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, and co-founded a grassroots organization focused on marriage equality. Alisa is excited to join Coro’s Lead LA program to continue to cultivate her leadership skills, discover new ways to drive impact, and learn from an amazing cohort of peers and leaders.
Principal Transportation Planner
Boris Suchkov is an urban planner passionate about making cities stronger and more livable via traffic safety improvements and improved housing and transportation options. He currently works on Key Performance Indicators for bus and rail services at LA Metro. On weekends, he consults for Maxable Space, a leading startup in the Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) space with the goal of bringing more flexible, affordable housing to our state. Born in Russia and raised in New York City, Boris recently moved to Pasadena with his family. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Information Science and a Master’s in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University. Boris joins Coro Lead LA to strengthen his leadership skills, expand his network, and better understand how public decisions get made in a region as complex and diverse as Southern California.
Geoff Kees Thompson
LA City Councilmember Mike Bonin
Geoff Kees Thompson is LAX Liaison to LA City Councilmember Bonin, advising him on major development projects and aviation issues affecting LA and Council District 11. He works closely with airport leadership to reduce congestion, improve air quality and public space, and ensure major development projects move forward. Prior to CD11, Geoff was lead author of the Comprehensive Homeless Strategy (CHS), a 300+ page roadmap LA adopted to address the needs of our region’s unhoused. This led to passage of Prop HHH, a 2016 ballot measure funding housing supported by 76% of voters. Prior to LA, Geoff spent 12 years working in Philadelphia, consulting at companies like Accenture. With family in the Netherlands, Geoff’s visits there exposed him to strong public space, housing, and transportation planning, creating a passion to address some of our country’s most pressing problems. He lives in Rampart Village / Historic Filipinotown with his husband Daron.
Director of Strategic Partnerships, Office of the President
Arizona State University
Dulce Vasquez is Director of Strategic Partnerships in the Office of the President at Arizona State University. She is responsible for developing strategic university-wide partnerships, furthering university initiatives, managing special projects, and expanding ASU’s presence in Los Angeles. Through her work, she interacts with Fortune 500 companies, think-tanks, community organizations, educational institutions and government agencies. She was previously the Managing Director of Zócalo Public Square, L.A.’s civic forum. After spending half of her childhood undocumented, she attended Northwestern University and Sciences Po, and has a Master’s in Public Policy from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Her life experiences have fueled her civic interests, including immigration, consumer protections, and access to higher education. Through this program she hopes to connect to other civic leaders who wish to help solve LA’s myriad of problems including homelessness, affordable housing, and access to good jobs.