People

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Newsletter

Staff

Anhara Alexander

Office Manager

aalexander@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile

Francisco Arzu

Co-Director, Green Economy Program

farzu@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile

Annette Bernhardt

Director, Technology and Work Program

annette.bernhardt@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile

Tynan Challenor

Research and Policy Assistant

tchallenor@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile

Miranda Dietz

Policy Research Specialist

miranda.dietz@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile

Pamela Egan

Director, Labor-Management Partnerships Program

pamegan@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile

Anibel Ferus-Comelo

Director of Community-Engaged Academic Initiatives

anibel@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile

Jessie HF Hammerling

Co-Director, Green Economy Program

jesshf@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile
Sara-Hinkley

Sara Hinkley

Policy Research Specialist

hinkley@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile

Savannah Hunter

Research and Policy Associate

shunter@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile

Clementina Jara

Program Coordinator

zenaida@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile

Dilpreet Kahlon

Program Assistant

dkahlon@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile

Lisa Kresge

Research and Policy Associate

lkresge@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile

Sarah Lawton

Development Coordinator

slawton@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile

Enrique Lopezlira

Director, Low-Wage Work Program

elopezlira@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile

Laurel Lucia

Director, Health Care Program

laurel.lucia@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile

Jenifer MacGillvary

Publications Coordinator

jmacgill@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile

Danielle Mahones

Director, Leadership Development Program

danielle.mahones@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile

Jane McAlevey

Senior Policy Fellow

janemcalevey@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile

Brenda Muñoz

Deputy Chair

b.munoz@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile

Sandy Olgeirson

Communications Coordinator

sandyo@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile

Mara Ortenburger

Coordinator of Student Field Programs

m.ortenburger@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile

Nari Rhee

Director, Retirement Security Program

nari@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile

Bahaar Tadjbakhsh

Program Coordinator

tbahaar@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile

Brianna Velasco

Program Coordinator

bavelasco@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile

Laura Watson

Community of Practice Coordinator for High-Road Training Partnerships

laurawatson@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile

Kirsten Bottles Willer

Program Coordinator

kwiller@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile

Carol Zabin

Senior Advisor on the Green Economy

zabin@berkeley.edu

View Full Profile

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

Adriana Hernandez Castaneda

Low-Wage Work Program

Adriana is a GSR with the low-wage work team. She has a master’s in Economics from the University of Nevada, Reno. She is currently a PhD student in the department of Sociology at UC Davis. Prior to starting her doctoral studies she worked as a research support specialist for the Cornell University Program on Applied Demographics where she focused on New York State data with an emphasis on school district data, labor force indicators, and group quarters data. Additionally, she supported NYS and the US Census Bureau with 2020 decennial census operations which included projects on data collection and map creation. Her primary research interests lie at the intersection of precarious labor, gender, and immigration.

Riya Desai

Student Engagement Program

Riya is a medical student at the UC Berkeley-UCSF Joint Medical Program. She was born in India and raised in Southern California where she grew up in a working class and intergenerational home. She attended UC Berkeley for her undergraduate and graduate studies in public health and epidemiology/biostatistics. After graduating from her MPH program, she worked at the UCSF Department of Epidemiology and Biostatics on projects examining the impacts of place-based drivers of health disparities. As a medical student, she organized with the #StopSanQuentinOutbreakCoalition to demand decarceration and the coalition for Assembly Bill 960 to reform compassionate release policies in California. She is committed to integrating medicine, public health and organizing as mechanisms for structural change.

Kung Feng

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.

Kamaljit Gill

HRTP SF Rework the Bay, Worker Power in Workforce project

Kamaljit Kaur is a graduate student pursuing her Masters in Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy. At the Labor Center she is a graduate student researcher with the Worker Power in Workforce Project. Previously she was a community organizer where she learned about economic inequalities and inequities. She has also worked with a workforce training organization to understand the High Road Training Model in California. For fun she likes to listen to podcasts, go on long walks, and bake.

Andrew Jaeger

High-Road Training Partnerships Project

Andrew is a PhD 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.

Michelle Ko

Health Care Program

Michele Ko is a graduate student researcher with the Labor Center’s Health Care Program. She is a second-year Master's in Public Health student at UC Berkeley, concentrating in Health and Social Behavior. Prior to graduate school, Michele was a policy advocate and doula for reproductive health, rights, and justice. She received her BA from Wesleyan University.

Williamena Kwapo

Communications Team

Williamena Kwapo is a second-year master’s candidate at University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism where she studies video journalism. She enjoys covering topics about education, technology, and Black maternal health and wellness. She has worked as an associate producer at the LA Times curating films for the Short Documentary Unit as well as a reporter at Education Week and Oakland North. She plans to continue a career as a producer, writer, and filmmaker upon graduation with a master’s degree in Journalism. Williamena was born in Liberia, raised in Detroit, MI, and received her bachelor’s degree at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

Laura Pathak

Technology and Work Program

Laura is a summer Graduate Student Researcher with the Technology and Work Program. She is a 3rd 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 Latinx immigrants, 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 ownership and data privacy ethics, policies and practices, and how they impact marginalized populations, particularly immigrants.

Kelly Quinn

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

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

High-Road Training Partnerships Project

Laura is a PhD student within the Department of City and Regional Planning at UC Berkeley. Her dissertation focuses on perceptions of the value of different jobs and the role of job creation and economic development strategies in reinforcing these perceptions of value in the context of a post-industrial society. In 2021, Laura led the development of a database of minority-owned businesses across the Bay Area as part of a study by the Urban Displacement Project which mapped the vulnerability of minority-owned businesses in the wake of Covid-19. 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.

Sonia Schrager

Retirement Security Program

Sonia Schrager is a second-year Master of Public Policy (MPP) student at the Goldman School of Public Policy. At the Labor Center, she is serving as a graduate student researcher on the Retirement Security Program team. She is a social policy generalist and has worked in the education, child welfare, social safety net, healthcare, gender, and housing policy spaces. She received her undergraduate degree in business and journalism from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 2017. After graduating, she moved to Atlanta, GA, where she worked on Deloitte's Corporate Citizenship team, focused on empowering Deloitte professionals to make an impact in their communities and helping students prepare for college and careers.

Anabel Sosa

Communications Team

Anabel Sosa is a master's student at the UCB Graduate School of Journalism and is specializing in narrative writing and investigative reporting. Recently, she worked at the Los Angeles Times where she covered policy and the legislature out of the Sacramento statehouse. She holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Vermont. She is originally from New York City.

Vivian Vázquez

Low-Wage Work Program

Vivian Vázquez is a graduate student researcher with the Low-Wage Work program. She is a first-year Master of Public Policy student at the Goldman School of Public Policy. Before graduate school, she was a researcher and evaluator of workforce development programs. During her undergraduate studies, Vivian researched the workplace experiences of immigrants with the Worker Institute at Cornell.

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.