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Staff

Anhara Alexander

Administrative Officer

aalexander@berkeley.edu

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Sam Appel

Practitioner in Residence

sappel@berkeley.edu

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Francisco Arzú

Co-Director, Green Economy Program

farzu@berkeley.edu

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Elizabeth Avila

Program Coordinator

eavilaa@berkeley.edu

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Devon Baker

Program Coordinator

devonbaker@berkeley.edu

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Annette Bernhardt

Director, Technology and Work Program

annette.bernhardt@berkeley.edu

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Alex Caputo-Pearl

Practitioner in Residence

acaputopearl@berkeley.edu

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Ana Cervantes

Financial Analyst

cervantes.ana@berkeley.edu

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Patrick DeDauw

Research Analyst

pdedauw@berkeley.edu

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Miranda Dietz

Policy Research Specialist

miranda.dietz@berkeley.edu

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Pamela Egan

Director, Labor-Management Partnerships Program

pamegan@berkeley.edu

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Aida Farmand

Policy Research Specialist

ida1369@berkeley.edu

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Anibel Ferus-Comelo

Director of Community-Engaged Academic Initiatives

anibel@berkeley.edu

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Jessie HF Hammerling

Co-Director, Green Economy Program

jesshf@berkeley.edu

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Beatriz Herrera

Senior Trainer

beatriz@berkeley.edu

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Sara-Hinkley

Sara Hinkley

Policy Research Specialist

hinkley@berkeley.edu

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Brad Hirn

Practitioner in Residence

bhirn@berkeley.edu

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Savannah Hunter

Policy Research Associate

shunter@berkeley.edu

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Clementina Jara

Program Coordinator

zenaida@berkeley.edu

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Dilpreet Kahlon

Program Assistant

dkahlon@berkeley.edu

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Mckela Kanu

Research Analyst

mkanu@berkeley.edu

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Mishal Khan

Lead Policy Researcher

mishalkhan@berkeley.edu

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Lisa Kresge

Policy Research Associate, Technology and Work Program

lkresge@berkeley.edu

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Sarah Lawton

Development Coordinator

slawton@berkeley.edu

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Julie Light

Communications Director

julie.light@berkeley.edu

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Enrique Lopezlira

Director, Low-Wage Work Program

elopezlira@berkeley.edu

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Laurel Lucia

Director, Health Care Program

laurel.lucia@berkeley.edu

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Jenifer MacGillvary

Publications Coordinator

jmacgill@berkeley.edu

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Danielle Mahones

Director, Leadership Development Program

danielle.mahones@berkeley.edu

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Alexis Manzanilla

Health Policy Researcher

amanzanilla@berkeley.edu

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Jane McAlevey

Senior Policy Fellow

janemcalevey@berkeley.edu

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Katie Miles

Senior Trainer

katiemiles@berkeley.edu

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Sandy Olgeirson

Communications Coordinator

sandyo@berkeley.edu

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Nari Rhee

Director, Retirement Security Program

nari@berkeley.edu

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Bahaar Tadjbakhsh

Coordinator of Student Programs

tbahaar@berkeley.edu

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Brianna Velasco

Program Coordinator

bavelasco@berkeley.edu

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Laura Watson

Community of Practice Coordinator for High-Road Training Partnerships

laurawatson@berkeley.edu

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Carol Zabin

Senior Advisor on the Green Economy

zabin@berkeley.edu

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Emeritus

Steven C. Pitts

Emeritus Associate Chair

Steven Pitts is the creator and host of Black Work Talk, a podcast that looks at the struggles to build Black workers’ collective power and to challenge racial capitalism.

Steven recently retired from the UC Berkeley Labor Center where for 19 years he focused on leadership development and Black worker issues. While there, he produced several reports on Black workers and job quality; launched a Black union leadership school; and co-founded the National Black Worker Center – a network of Black worker centers around the country. (Learn more about Steven's work at the Labor Center.)

Prior to coming to the Labor Center, Steven taught economics for 15 years at the Houston Community College. Before teaching at the community college, he worked in a machine shop in Houston (Hughes Tool Company) for eight years and was active in the United Steelworkers of America local trying to build a stronger and more democratic union.

Meet our Students

Carmen Sanchez Cumming

GSR, Low-Wage Work Program

Carmen is an MPP candidate at the Goldman School of Public Policy and a GSR working with the Low-Wage Work team. Before coming to UC Berkeley Carmen worked as a research associate at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, where she analyzed minimum wages, occupational segregation, the effect of the COVID-19 recession on the U.S. labor market, and intersectional wage gaps. Prior to that, she worked at Oxfam America. Carmen has a B.A. in economics and sociology from Middlebury College.

Kung Feng

GSR, Technology and Work Program

Kung Feng is a graduate student pursuing a Masters in Public Policy at UC Berkeley. He was previously the executive director of Jobs with Justice San Francisco, a labor community alliance organizing around worker power, housing rights and climate justice. At JWJSF, he was part of ground-breaking victories, including the Retail Worker Bill of Rights which launched fair scheduling laws around the country and Free City College, a model for free higher education. His recent efforts led to a major study of app workers in San Francisco with UC Santa Cruz that was cited in the official ballot argument against Prop 22 as well as in major news outlets like the New York Times and Washington Post. His contributions to the labor movement span over twenty years as a rank and file activist and as a union organizer.

Vanessa Garcia

Student Assistant, Student Engagement Program

Vanessa Garcia is a first generation Mexican-Indigenous senior transfer from Rio Hondo College. She is majoring in Political Science and is interested in public (labor) policy. As a student worker at the Labor Center, Vanessa is connecting with different clubs on campus and getting students involved with the Labor Center and its programs, such as Solidarity Spring and Labor Summer!

Kassandra Hernandez

GSR, Low-Wage Work Program

Kassandra is a GSR with the Low-Wage Work (LWW) team. She is currently a Ph.D. student in Economics at UC Berkeley. As a researcher, she is particularly interested in low-wage labor markets, inequality, and immigration, along with the role of government in including or excluding individuals from resources available to U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. Before joining LWW, she supported work on social safety net program usage and college student success through the California Policy Lab. Prior to starting her Ph.D., she was a research analyst at the UCLA Latino Policy and Politics Initiative, focusing on economic mobility and opportunity and COVID-19 impacts on the Latinx community. Her work has been covered in both English and Spanish media and was presented to members of the U.S. Department of State. She holds an M.P.P. and a B.A. in Philosophy with a minor in Labor & Workplace Studies, both from UCLA, and is an alumna of the American Economic Association Summer Program (AEASP). She is a proud Californian, daughter of Mexican immigrants, and first-generation college student.

İrem İnal

GSR, Green Economy Program

İrem İnal (she/her/hers) is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Sociology at UC Berkeley. She is writing her dissertation on the politics of the energy transition in rural U.S., with a focus on wind energy in historically fossil fuel producer states. At the Labor Center, she is supporting research towards a high-road green economy in California. She is also part of collaborative research projects on the interest group politics of climate policy in states with Democratic trifectas, cultural politics of sovereign rating agencies in the Eurozone, and recent corporate responses to global price shocks.

Andrew Jaeger

High-Road Training Partnerships Project

Andrew is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at UC Berkeley. His dissertation analyzes the political economy of climate change in California. He’s happy to be working at the Labor Center with Pamela Egan developing California's High Road Training Partnerships.

Rio Morales

GSR, Green Economy Program

Rio Morales is a Master of City Planning student studying economic development and labor policy. He is a graduate student researcher with the Labor Center's Green Economy Program. Before Berkeley, he organized hospitality workers in Philadelphia with UNITE HERE and architects in New York City in their fledgling union efforts. Rio also has experience in architectural design and worked in urban park operations for several years before continuing his education. He graduated from Haverford College with a degree in Growth and Structure of Cities.

Coral del Mar Murphy-Marcos

Communications GSR

Coral Murphy Marcos is a journalist from Manatí, Puerto Rico. She will complete her M.A. in Journalism at U.C. Berkeley in 2024. Murphy Marcos completed a year-long stint as the David Carr business fellow at the New York Times in 2022. She dug into tax incentives in Puerto Rico that were leading to gentrification, reported on the struggles of delivery workers in New York, and investigated the effects of inflation on American consumers. She has reported on business for USA TODAY, breaking news for The Guardian, and music for National Public Radio. For the Center for Investigative Journalism in Puerto Rico, she wrote about the disproportionate effects of the pandemic for Puerto Ricans. The project was featured in The City and Latino USA.

Laura Pathak

GSR, Technology and Work Program

Laura is a Graduate Student Researcher with the Technology and Work Program. She is a 5th year PhD student in Social Welfare at the UC Berkeley School of Social Welfare. Prior to graduate school, Laura worked as a Program Director in a Berkeley-based community non-profit serving immigrant families, and as a Product Manager at a non-profit healthcare technology startup developing mobile technology-based health interventions for low-income patients. More recently, Laura worked for a government consulting firm, where she supported several projects in social and public health policy. Laura’s current research focuses on data privacy ethics, policies, and practices and how they impact marginalized populations, particularly immigrants.

Kelly Quinn

GSR, High-Road Training Partnerships Project

Kelly Quinn is a PhD student in sociology. Her research looks at labor market power dynamics and the incidence of occupation-level contracting, particularly as they relate to job quality and security. Quinn is currently helping evaluate the Inland Empire High Road Training Partnerships program, and has previously studied how unstable and unpredictable scheduling arrangements affect service and retail workers as part of the Shift Project. Before coming to Berkeley, she worked as an analyst at a non-profit policy research organization called MDRC.

Dean Rene

GSR, HRTP SF Rework the Bay, Worker Power in Workforce project

Dean Rene is an ethical leader with over 10 years of program evaluation, strategy, and people management experience in the public sector. He graduated with a Master of Public Affairs degree at the Goldman School of Public Policy in May 2022. He is a current Master of Information Management and Systems student at the School of Information. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Maine at Farmington.

Laura Schmahmann

GSR, High-Road Training Partnerships Project

Laura is a PhD Candidate within the Department of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley. Her dissertation explores the political economy of warehouse development across California, focusing on two case studies - the Inland Empire and Northern San Joaquin Valley. Prior to commencing her PhD, Laura worked as an urban planner for eight years in an economics and planning consulting firm in Australia. She managed a wide range of projects for local, state and federal governments including economic development strategies, housing studies and integrated transport and land use strategies.

Will Toaspern

GSR, Green Economy Program

Will Toaspern is a Masters of Public Policy student at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. Before coming to graduate school, Will supported organizing initiatives, candidates, and non-profit providers in a variety of policy, politics, research, and strategic consulting roles. Most recently, he led local policy and community organizing initiatives for Solid Ground, a direct service and advocacy organization based in Seattle, WA that focuses on anti-poverty and anti-racism work. Will’s academic focus and work with the Labor Center is focused on building just public infrastructure and an equitable green economy.

Diana Torres Valencia

Student Assistant, Student Engagement Program

Diana Torres Valencia (she/her) is a fourth-year student at the University of California, Berkeley. She is majoring in psychology and is on the pre-nursing track. Her future goals are to finish her pre-requisites so that she is able to attend nursing school and able to become a future nurse. She hopes to be able to help as much as she can at the Labor Center during her last year here.

Visiting Fellows and Scholars

Jon Hiatt

Visiting Scholar

Jon Hiatt is a union lawyer, who currently serves as Of Counsel to Solidarity Center, based in Washington D.C., while also a Visiting Scholar at the UC Berkeley Labor Center. Previously, Hiatt was General Counsel of the Service Employees International Union from 1987-1996, General Counsel of the AFL-CIO from 1996-2009, and then Chief of Staff and Executive Assistant to AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka from 2009-2017.

John Logan

Visiting Scholar

John Logan, Ph.D., U.S. labor history, University of California, Davis, is an expert on the anti-union industry and anti-union legislation in the U.S., and comparative labor issues, particularly how multinational companies treat employees and unions differently in the U.S. compared to European countries.

Katie Quan

Senior Fellow

Katie Quan is a senior fellow at the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education. Formerly chair and associate chair of the Labor Center, she retired in 2016, but continues to work at the center on special projects involving research on global labor strategies and executive education for union leaders. In 2010 she co-founded the International Center for Joint Labor Research at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, China, and was its co-director for four years. In 2014 she received a Fulbright grant to study the apparel supply chain in China at Peking University. Prior to joining the staff of the Labor Center in 1998, Katie Quan was a seamstress, organizer, and international vice-president with the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union, and its successor, UNITE. Learn more about Katie's career and her research.