Blake Alexander Deering is the Senior Contracts Manager focusing on contracts, grants and interagency agreements for the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC), Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), and Transformative Climate and Communities (TCC) programs. He is responsible for managing assignments that encompass the planning, development, evaluation, and execution of those contracts. Prior to his appointment with SGC, Blake worked as a Grant Program Specialist in the Outreach and Sales Division’s Navigator Grant Program with the Health Benefit Exchange, also known as Covered California. He served as the liaison between Covered California and regional grantees, who targeted disadvantaged communities to enroll into healthcare. Blake’s performance comprised of grant management, compliance monitoring, outreach and education, and technical assistance. Prior to working for Covered California, Blake was a training instructor for the California Procurement and Contracting Academy (Cal-PCA) with the Department of General Services. Alongside his colleagues, Blake aided in the development and delivery of classroom and web-based learning to state workers who were in a contracting role. Blake was born and raised in Salinas, California and is passionate about fishing, camping, and traveling. Blake earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication Studies from the California State University of Sacramento in 2012.
Coral Abbott brings three years of experience developing and implementing programs at Strategic Growth Council to her role with the Regional Climate Collaboratives Program (RCC). Before joining the RCC team, Coral led outreach and technical assistance efforts for Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program (AHCS); her work focused on building capacity and forming key intraregional partnerships in under-invested areas of California. Prior to her work on the AHSC team, Coral was an Executive Fellow at SGC, assisting with projects and initiatives across the organization. She also worked as a Research Assistant at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project where she conducted archival research on Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement.
Coral received a Bachelor of Science in Earth Systems with a minor in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity from Stanford University.
Emily Breslin is the Deputy Director of Communications and External Affairs of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research and the California Strategic Growth Council. She brings 10 years of communications, transportation planning and policy, and nonprofit management experience to the role.
Prior to joining OPR, Emily was the Climate Program Manager for the City of San Jose. In this role she oversaw the implementation of Vehicle Miles Traveled under SB 743; developed and codified progressive parking and demand management policies; oversaw a suite of transportation electrification projects, and equitable engagement and implementation for San Jose's "Climate Smart" Plan. Prior to her work in San Jose, Emily oversaw communications, branding, and marketing for the venture capital and consulting firm SVG Ventures and managed communications and community platforms for the global software company SAP. In her spare time, Emily is an active community-based climate advocate through her work for San Leandro 2050, a 501C3 she co-founded in 2018.
Emily has a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from the Technical University of Berlin and a Bachelor’s Degree in Community and Regional Development from UC Davis.
Marc serves as the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities (AHSC) Program Manager SGC where he focuses on program planning, implementation, and evaluation. Prior to joining SGC, Marc was an Associate at Alta Planning + Design, managing dozens of transportation planning efforts, grant-writing, and community engagement campaigns across the United States. At Alta, Marc also led the development of transportation components of more than 20 AHSC applications for clients across Southern California. Earlier in his career, Marc worked for the City of Long Beach Public Works Department, as well as numerous advocacy organizations including Climate Resolve, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, and Urban Habitat. Marc received a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) from UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.
As the Senior Projects Analyst on SGC’s High Speed Rail (HSR) team, Bo Chung implements support efforts in HSR station community planning and build cross-agency and programmatic partnerships. Bo served previously on SGC’s Health and Equity Program team and brings a strong health and racial equity lens to this position. He believes that the High-Speed Rail is more than transportation infrastructure – it’s also a way to transform communities and people's lives by creating greater access to goods, services, and ideas.
Prior to joining SGC, Bo worked as an evaluation consultant on projects ranging from a transitional housing program for formerly incarcerated people to the implementation of the Home Visiting Program for families on Medi-Cal. Bo has significant experience working with social justice and equity issues in the San Francisco Bay Area. During his time with the Dellums Institute for Social Justice, he collaborated with homeless advocates to co-author a report on implementing innovative solutions and policy measures to house 2,000 of Oakland’s unhoused people within the six months. Bo also has extensive experience in community engagement. As a steering committee member for the implementation of AB 617 in West Oakland, he applied his academic background and local community knowledge to co-create environmental interventions to alleviate the disproportionate impact of pollution on people of color in the community. Bo is an immigrant and first-generation college graduate with master's degrees in public health, city planning, and china development studies.
Colin Gutierrez, MPH, is a Program Associate with the Public Health Institute supporting the California Health in All Policies (HiAP) Task Force at the Strategic Growth Council. He works to promote safe and healthy communities, providing research and project management support to the Task Force’s Action Plan to Promote Violence-Free and Resilient Communities. Colin assists with other facets of the HiAP team by providing administrative support and event coordination. Prior to joining the council, Colin completed an internship on international development in Cameroon and worked as a Compensation Analyst for Jackson National Life. Colin earned both his MPH and BS degree from Michigan State University.
Liz serves as a Senior Planner focusing on Climate Change, Adaptation and Resiliency for the Strategic Growth Council. She currently works on engaging local government and regional agency grantees who have been awarded Proposition 84 Sustainable Communities Planning Grants and Incentives Program funding, coordinating the Council's planning and monitoring program, and convening SGC member organizations on sustainable infrastructure issues. Prior to working for the Council, Liz spent 25 years at the University of California, Davis where she managed the Institute of Transportation Studies & Urban Land Use and Transportation Center, served as an analyst at the Road Ecology Center and the Information Center for the Environment, and directed University Extension's Land Use and Natural Resources program. She has created and coordinated education, outreach, and professional development programs for over 20 years, in the areas of land use, transportation, public finance, fire ecology, road ecology, environmental policy, and Integrated Modeling and Forecasting.
Emily Tibbott joined the Strategic Growth Council in November 2015, to develop and implement strategies focused on the integration of conservation priorities within the context of development planning, with specific attention to the California High Speed Rail system. Prior to her appointment, she directed US policy and funding for The Nature Conservancy’s Asia Pacific Region, developing high level political and programmatic strategies to advance multi-national conservation priorities. In the early 2000’s, Emily pioneered development of the Conservancy’s transportation program at the California and national levels, including the negotiation of millions of dollars in Caltrans’ mitigation funding for conservation. Emily is a proven conservation professional with more than twenty years of experience at the state, national and international levels, with particular expertise in the design and implementation of large-scale programs, policy development, and funding mobilization. She earned an M.S. in Natural Resource Policy and Planning from the University of Michigan, and a B.A. in Religion from Wesleyan University.
Luis Jimenez Romo
Luis Jimenez Romo serves as Communications Officer across both SGC and the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, working collaboratively with our program and policy teams to optimize access to our programs and services and to share stories from our work.
Luis joined the SGC/OPR team after serving as External Affairs and Digital Media Associate at California Volunteers, Office of the Governor (CV), where he helped conceptualize and execute campaigns, maintain partnerships with an array of stakeholders, and produce compelling multimedia and digital collateral for a wide array of audiences.
Prior to joining CV, Luis served on the California State Parks Foundation’s advocacy teamworking with stakeholders on initiatives to advance programming for underserved youth, increase access to green spaces in park-poor communities, and conserve California’s natural treasures.
Luis started State service in Speaker Anthony Rendon’s Office, where he helped revitalize the Office of Protocol and International Relations by coordinating special projects, hosting international dignitaries, and creating briefing materials for Assembly delegations.
Luis has also served as public affairs intern at the California Special District’s Association, legislative affairs director for the Student Senate for California Community Colleges, and a steering committee member of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights’ (CHIRLA) California Dream Network.
As Health and Equity Program Associate, Michael Jimenez provides communication and administrative support to the HEP program and staffs activities of the multi-agency California Health in All Policies Task Force. In addition, he works to integrate health and equity research and evaluation across SGC and HiAP Task Force priorities.
Prior to joining SGC, Michael served as a CivicSpark AmeriCorps Fellow at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, where he coordinated stakeholder engagement on policy initiatives to reduce the health impacts of climate change. Michael received a Bachelor of Arts in Urban and Environmental Policy and Spanish Studies from Occidental College.
Kirin Kumar joins SGC as the Deputy Director of Equity and Government Transformation with over five years of experience in the nonprofit and local government sectors working to advance climate justice and grow resident capacity to engage in the decision-making processes that shape communities. As the Executive Director of WALKSacramento, Kirin worked to build collaboration between public health and community development professionals in the Sacramento region to inform strategies that improve quality of life and access to opportunity in historically disadvantaged communities. Kirin has implemented technical assistance programs that support local agencies enacting community participatory planning practices, developing environmental justice policy, and addressing chronic disease prevention through the built environment. Kirin specializes in building productive relationships between community residents and local government. Kirin has a Bachelor in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning from University of California, Davis.
Jessica Lopez joins SGC as Affordable Housing Sustainable Communities Program Associate after serving as an Executive Fellow at the Government Operations (GovOps) Agency through the California Capital Fellows Program. There, she worked on managing several interdepartmental efforts for their Government Excellence and Transformation (G.E.T.) Center. Prior to that role, Jessica worked at the Community Development Resource Group (CD-RG) where she worked with developers and cities to apply to public agency funding sources for affordable housing and transit services and amenities.
Jessica holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Policy and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California.
Ena Lupine serves as Program Manager for SGC's Community Assistance for Climate Equity Program, which provides technical assistance and capacity building support to help California’s most under-resourced communities advance cross-sector climate action. In this role, she oversees a broad range of programs and initiatives to build community-driven leadership, collaborative partnerships, knowledge, and skills to help communities access public funding for climate mitigation, adaptation, and resiliency projects. Employed at SGC since 2017, Ena most recently served as SGC's Community Assistance Program Manager and previously led SGC's communications and public affairs activities as the organization's Communications and Policy Advisor.
Prior to her appointment at SGC, Ena completed her Master’s degree in Community Development at UC Davis, where she focused her research on equitable and inclusive policies for investment in under-resourced communities. Ena also brings more than 5 years of experience working in education and communications for organizations in France, India and the US.
Julia Caplan is a Program Director at the Public Health Institute (PHI) for the California Health in All Policies Task Force, which is a collaborative project between the California Strategic Growth Council and the California Department of Public Health. In this capacity, Ms. Caplan facilitates a multi-agency process that brings together over twenty state agencies, departments, and offices to build collaborative partnerships and incorporate health, equity, and environmental sustainability considerations into decision-making and government operations across policy areas as diverse as transportation, land use, education, agriculture, and social services. Ms. Caplan also provides Health in All Policies workshops for local governments and local health departments and co-authored Health in All Policies: A Guide for State and Local Governments in 2013. Ms. Caplan has twenty years’ experience in community building, social change, and public policy leadership, and holds masters’ degrees in public policy and public health from the University of California, Berkeley.
As Program Analyst for Transformative Climate Communities, Jennifer bolsters community-led resilience projects in California’s most underserved places. She brings an environmental justice, urban planning, and community development background to SGC. Prior to joining the team, Jennifer worked alongside frontline communities facing disproportionate air pollution and its associated health impacts in Los Angeles. She planned and organized advocacy efforts promoting policies that reduce pollution near homes and schools at local, regional, and state levels of government. Jennifer also coordinated a community-based coalition and policy campaign, managed and secured grants, and conducted community engagement for LA County’s first Sustainability Plan. Additionally, she has experience in research and data analysis, having focused on special districts as a mechanism for local resilience planning, neighborhood stabilization and wealth building through community investment trusts, as well as educator workforce housing on school lands to address the state’s tandem issues of teacher retention and housing affordability.
Jennifer holds a Master of City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor’s in Environmental Studies from San Francisco State University.
Lois Kim serves as Special Assistant at the Strategic Growth Council (SGC). Prior to joining the SGC, she became well-versed in data analysis, regulatory compliance, and environmental site remediation as a staff scientist at a consulting firm.
Lois received a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning with a minor in Religious Studies at the University of California, Davis. In Davis, Lois gained experience in transportation policy at the Institute of Transportation Studies, where she supported the Three Revolutions Future Mobility Program. She also advocated for campus sustainability as Chair of the Associated Students’ Environmental Policy and Planning Commission and as Vice Chair of the The Green Initiative Fund.
Lianne Dillon, MPH, is a Co-Lead of the Capitol Collaborative on Race & Equity (CCORE), the largest state-level racial equity capacity building initiative in the nation. In this role, she supports agencies, departments, offices, and boards to build a people powered movement inside of California State government to advance racial equity and undo institutional racism.
Prior to co-leading CCORE, Lianne was Deputy Program Director with the Public Health Institute (PHI) for California’s Health in All Policies Task Force. In her role, Lianne also facilitates Health in All Policies workshops and trainings for local governments and local health departments, provides health and equity consultation to non-health sectors, and has co-authored several publications on this work including, Health in All Policies: A Guide for State and Local Governments.
Holly Nickel, MPH, is a Co-Lead of the Capitol Collaborative on Race & Equity (CCORE), the largest state-level racial equity capacity building initiative in the nation. In this role, she supports agencies, departments, offices, and boards to build a people powered movement inside of California State government to advance racial equity and undo institutional racism.
Prior to joining PHI, Holly worked at the Safe Routes National Partnership assisting communities and organizations across the United States in understanding the connection between active transportation and equity. Additionally, at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, she developed and implemented state-level racial equity strategies and worked to increase physical activity and healthy eating opportunities for all Michigan residents.
As Program Analyst on the Transformative Climate Communities team, Jerry brings more than 10 years of experience as an Advocacy Planner addressing health inequities faced by frontline communities. Jerry has integrated his backgrounds in planning, and social and environmental justice to advocate for change. Prior to joining SGC, Jerry worked alongside environmental justice communities in the San Diego region, where he was instrumental in advancing policies that promoted community voice and integrated the diverse perspectives of residents. These efforts resulted in policies that helped redirect pollution sources away from sensitive land uses in the community of Barrio Logan in the City of San Diego. Jerry also worked for the County of San Diego as a planner promoting sustainability.
Jerry received his Master’s Degree in Planning from the University of Southern California. He has dedicated his career to working alongside frontline communities throughout Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego Counties – and now throughout California.
Saharnaz is the Deputy Director of Community Investment and Planning overseeing more than half a billion dollars of annual investment in infrastructure programs and community driven policy solutions. She works with local and regional governments to pilot initiatives for bridging climate and equity goals.
Saharnaz has over fifteen years of experience working in the public and private sectors on infrastructure development, climate resiliency, and community development. Before joining the SGC, she worked for the City of Thousand Oaks Sustainability Division, supporting the development of the City Municipal Sustainability Plan and Community Climate Action Plan. Saharnaz also worked with ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability for more than three years, supporting local governments in combating the impact of climate change through local actions. As a consultant in the private sector, Saharnaz worked on multiple community revitalization and urban design projects in low-income and disadvantaged communities in Iran.
Saharnaz has a Master of Urban and Regional Planning with a Certificate of Sustainable Urban Infrastructure from University of Colorado Denver, a Master of Urban Design and Planning from Shahid Beheshti University, and a B.A. in Architecture from Iran University of Science and Technology.
As Program Associate, Shepperson Wilbun develops program guidelines, conducts outreach, and provides technical assistance in support of California Strategic Growth Council’s Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program (AHSC).
Prior to the SGC team, Shep served as Senior Program Associate with the first Los Angeles Promise Zone, a collaborative Housing and Urban Development initiative which brought together the City of Los Angeles and over 60 local partners, to work toward a holistic approach to community development. He led a team of Americorps VISTA members and interns, while gaining experience with strategic planning, program development, and metrics. Prior to that role, he served as an Americorps VISTA member in Memphis with the community development intermediary Community LIFT. There he helped to develop a community plan through the federally funded Building Neighborhood Capacity Program (BNCP).
Additionally, with the City of Memphis, Shep developed alternative transportation-related ordinances, worked on mapping, and researched economic development and housing related issues. He also has experience with the emerging micromobility industry at Lime. Shep holds a Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Studies from Cornell University.
Michael Wilson is the Senior Graphic and User Interface Designer for the Strategic Growth Council (SGC), where he manages SGC’s website as well as designs visual communication pieces such as fact sheets and information graphics. He also serves as the webmaster and designer for the Office of Planning and Research, where he has worked on projects such as the 2021 website redesign as well as the layout and design for the Planning and Investing for a Resilient California guidebook.
Prior to his appointment with SGC, he was the graphic designer and art director for the California Energy Commission. His work at the Commission includes their 2015 logo redesign as well as the collateral for the SaveOurWaterRebates.com and California Cash for Appliances campaigns.
Michael holds a Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design from California State University, Sacramento (CSUS), and has mentored students CSUS’s graphic design program through internship programs at both SGC and the Energy Commission.
As SGC’s Senior Administrator, Thuong Pham manages SGC’s financial and budget portfolio makes recommendations to SGC Leadership and Program Managers on the impact or potential impact of changes in budget, accounting, and procurement. Thuong serves as the primary liaison to the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research administrative team and oversees SGC’s procurement portfolio.
Before joining SGC, Thuong served as the Budget Manager at the California Complete Count – Census 2020 Office from 2018 to 2021, where she managed a $187.2 million budget and was responsible for the timely preparation and administration of the office annual budget. She also served as the backup to the Deputy Director of Administration, addressing human resources, procurements, contracting, accounting, and business services questions. From 2016 to 2018, she was the budget officer at the Department of Toxic Substances Control, where she planned, directed, and organized the work of a multidisciplinary professional staff engaged in essential budget and administrative support services, including oversight of all fiscal administrative functions, and management of all aspects of the budget development process.
Melissa will be supporting SGC’s legal compliance, procedural excellence, legislative, and advisory activities. Prior to joining SGC, Melissa was a fellow at the UC Davis School of Law Aoki Water Justice Clinic. She has previously worked on water rights, water quality, land use, and environmental justice matters across various State agencies and nonprofits. Originally from California’s Central Valley, Melissa is particularly interested in supporting climate resilience and adaptation strategies in California’s rural, underserved communities.
Melissa holds a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and a J.D. from UC Davis School of Law. She enjoys distance running and traveling with her husband and toddler during her free time.
Matthew (Matt) Read has a decade of experience in legal, government, and nonprofit sectors working on issues as varied as food security, land use, tobacco control, and bike lanes. As SGC’s Staff Counsel, Matt provides legal support to advance SGC’s work to help California achieve its climate change goals through place-based, community-driven programming.
Matt came to SGC from Sacramento City Hall, where he served as Policy Director and Chief of Staff to Sacramento Councilmember Steve Hansen. He managed a broad policy portfolio of housing, sustainability, homelessness, public works, transit, and active transportation issues, along with a team of dedicated staffers.
Before the City, Matt worked at Breathe California and in his own private practice, providing government relations, policy, and land use expertise to nonprofit and foundation partners advancing public health initiatives.
Matt received his Juris Doctorate from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law with a certificate in Mediation. He attended Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, where he received a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Rhetoric & Media Studies as well as Politics. Matt lives in Sacramento with his partner, Merril, and their daughter, Margaret.
Sarah Risher is the Analyst for the Community Assistance for Climate Equity Program (CACE), which provides technical assistance and capacity building services to help communities access funding resources, implement high-impact projects, and advance their climate and equity priorities. In this role, Sarah is focused on the BOOST Program and the Regional Climate Collaboratives Program. Sarah also supports implementation of the Technical Assistance Guidelines through advising and partnering with other agencies to expand technical assistance offerings across state government.
Prior to SGC, Sarah served as a CivicSpark Climate Fellow at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services where she supported development of the Adaptation Planning Guide. Sarah also gained local government and nonprofit experience in waste prevention and diversion through internships with the City of West Sacramento and the California Product Stewardship Council. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning with a minor in Professional Writing from the University of California, Davis.
Egon Terplan is a Senior Advisor for Economic Development and Transportation at the California Governor's Strategic Growth Council and is helping lead the Regions Rise Together initiative for the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research (OPR) and the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GOBiz). He is also an adjunct instructor at both Stanford University and the University of San Francisco where he teaches courses in urban and regional planning.
Prior to joining the Governor’s office in April 2019, Egon was the Regional Planning Director at SPUR, the Bay Area’s urban policy think tank. While at SPUR, Egon led dozens of projects on the intersections of economic development, regional planning, workforce preparation, land use, transportation and governance. His published reports include Harnessing High-Speed Rail, The Urban Future of Work, a Bay Area Economic Prosperity Strategy and the first-ever report on the Northern California megaregion. He was a frequent speaker and guest lecturer and also served on the San Francisco Workforce Investment Board, the Regional Planning Committee for the Association of Bay Area Governments and was Vice Chair of the Policy Advisory Council of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission.
Prior to SPUR, Mr. Terplan managed regional economic development strategy projects at ICF International for public and private sector clients throughout the world. He was also a New York City Urban Fellow working for the Mayor's Office of New York City, a bilingual high school teacher on Riker’s Island, New York and a union organizer and researcher with several labor unions.
Mr. Terplan received a Master of City Planning from UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania.
Sophie oversees the Transformative Climate Communities Program, which invests in community-led resilience projects in California's most disadvantaged communities.
She has worked on sustainable and equitable development initiatives in underserved communities for over ten years. Before joining SGC, she worked at the California Department of Conservation and Department of Transportation as an environmental planner. Prior, she consulted on various land use and development projects in the U.S. and abroad—conducting environmental and social due diligence, participatory research, feasibility studies, and strategic planning.
Sophie received a master's degree from the Yale School of the Environment and a bachelor's degree in Development Studies and Rhetoric from the University of California, Berkeley. She has taught English and history to young adults in California and China.
Nicole is an Analyst with the Climate Change Research (CCR) Program, where she supports community-driven research projects that advance the state’s climate goals and benefit disadvantaged and climate-vulnerable communities in California. Nicole serves as the program’s technical lead and science advisor for grant and program management, interagency and stakeholder collaboration, and communications.
Prior to her current role, Nicole was a California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) Science Policy Fellow supporting the CCR Program, the Integrated Climate Adaptation and Resiliency Program at Governor’s Office of Planning and Research, and the CA Climate Adaptation Strategy. Nicole received her B.S. in Biological Sciences from UC Irvine and her PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania where she developed experience in diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in STEM and organizing science communication and outreach programs for communities.
Kim Davila joins SGC as an Executive Fellow through the California Capital Fellows Program. Most recently, she served as a Case Manager at the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit providing support to over 50 staff at the Office of Staff Attorneys. Prior to that role, Kim supported various teams including the Brown University Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy, Office of the Rhode Island Governor, and Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. Through these opportunities, Kim has acquired extensive policy, research, and community engagement experience.
Kim holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Brown University.
Morokot Uy joins the Strategic Growth Council as an Executive Fellow through the California Capital Fellows Program. She previously served as the engagement coordinator for Rise Stockton, an environmental justice coalition working on equitable projects to advance sustainable and climate resilient communities. During her time here, Morokot explored the power of collaborative work and collective impact to drive community-centered climate solutions.
Morokot received her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and a minor in Economics at the University of California, Davis.
Trai received his B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Missouri – Columbia and his Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Oklahoma. Trai is passionate about promoting a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment in STEM. He has experience organizing workshops and outreach programs promoting science literacy in underserved communities.
Sarah supports technical assistance, outreach, and program development and implementation for the Transformative Climate Communities program. Prior to this role, Sarah served as a Special Projects Associate and Executive Fellow at SGC, supporting multiple programs and initiatives, including the California Transportation Assessment and Regional Climate Collaboratives Program. Sarah has a background in ecology and environmental education, and has held positions with the Student Conservation Association, the USDA Forest Service, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
Sarah earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology from Carleton College.
Alexandra (Alex) Gallo is the Analyst for the Health and Equity Program (HEP), where she helps advance public health, racial equity, and sustainability across state government. Alex brings three years of experience developing and implementing programs at SGC to the HEP role. On the Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) team, Alex led capacity building, technical assistance, and stakeholder engagement efforts, oversaw implementation of investments in several communities, and helped lead policy developments, including an investment framework for Disadvantaged Unincorporated Communities.
Prior to her role on TCC, Alex was SGC’s Executive Fellow, supporting organizational and Council initiatives. Alex came to SGC from the California Legislature, where she served California’s 10th Senate District.
Alex is a first-generation college graduate and earned Bachelor Degrees in Political Science and Communication from California State University, Fresno. At CSU Fresno, she was a Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Scholar, earned the President’s Undergraduate Medal of Distinction, and was elected to student government, where she successfully established an elected position for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Jazmine Garcia Delgadillo
Jazmine Garcia Delgadillo serves as the Health and Equity Program Manager at SGC. Jazmine has extensive experience translating research into health equity-centered policy, evaluating and designing community informed programs, and collaborating with diverse stakeholders and sectors, including community-based organizations, nonprofits, local government, associations, and policymakers. Previously, she served as a Health Policy Fellow for Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal where she had the opportunity to work on legislative health issues at the intersection of immigration and health. While a Doctoral Candidate, Jazmine also collaborated with California’s Primary Care Association, the National Collaborative for Health Equity, the District of Columbia’s Department of Public Health, Office of Health Equity, and Trust for America’s Health, among other organizations.
Jazmine has a Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and a Master’s in Public Health and Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
Dalila Madison Almquist
Dalila Madison Almquist is a Deputy Program Director at the Public Health Institute (PHI) for the California Health in All Policies Task Force, which is a collaborative project between the California Strategic Growth Council and the California Department of Public Health. In this capacity, Dalila contributes to the overall strategy and planning for the Health in All Policies program, leads the violence prevention portfolio, and supports the Capitol Collaborative on Race and Equity (CCORE). Dalila brings more than a decade of experience advancing racial equity and health equity, gained while working at PolicyLink and Prevention Institute. She received a degree in Chemical Engineering at North Carolina State University and a Master’s in Public Health from San Diego State University.
Jessica Wackenhut Lomeli
Jessica Wackenhut Lomeli joined the California Tahoe Conservancy staff in January 2020, where she leads Conservancy’s Tahoe Livable Communities Program in close partnership with the California Strategic Growth Council. Jessica most recently worked in Los Angeles for a national nonprofit, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, focused on grants management, Financial Opportunity Centers, and talent development. Previously, Jessica oversaw the HUD Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant in Hollywood at Youth Policy Institute. She is passionate about developing locally driven strategies to comprehensively address neighborhood revitalization. Jessica is a former Peace Corps Volunteer, is a graduate of University of California Santa Cruz with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies and Latin American & Latino Studies, and holds a Master of Planning from the University of Southern California.