The David Bohnett Fellowship Program


The David Bohnett Fellowship Program

The David Bohnett Fellowship Program
The Los Angeles City Mayor’s Fellowship Program at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs – known as the The David Bohnett Fellowship Program – offers hands-on working experience in the Office of the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles to exceptionally promising Luskin graduate students. This competitive program selects outstanding students to collaborate with UCLA faculty and senior executives in the Mayor’s office, transforming scholarship into real-world experience at the heart of one of the most diverse cities in the world. This one-year fellowship is made possible by the generous support of the David Bohnett Foundation.

For more information and to apply, please click here. Note: Application deadline February 27.

Read what former Bohnett Fellows and employers are saying about The David Bohnett Fellowship Program at UCLA Luskin.

Who They Are

Holli Fajack
Master of Urban and Regional Planning ’14
Concentration:  Environmental Policy and Urban Sustainability

Undergraduate Program:  College of Santa Fe; BFA, Photography

Holli Fajack is a master’s student in Urban and Regional Planning, focusing on environmental policy and urban sustainability. She is motivated by her interest in exploring the complex relationships between nature, culture, and the built environment, and examining the ways that smart environmental policies and programs can make cities healthier and more resilient. She is also interested in exploring how art and visual messaging can be used to communicate the urgency of environmental challenges and mobilize communities to action.  Originally from Albuquerque, New Mexico, Holli moved to Los Angeles in 2001 after receiving a BFA in photography from the College of Santa Fe.  Her passion for the environment was ignited during the four years during which she worked for Tree Media Group, a socially and environmentally focused film and web media company. Prior to beginning her graduate studies at UCLA, she worked for nearly three years as the Student Greening Program Director for Sustainable Works, a non-profit organization dedicated to educating college students, residents, and businesses about environmental stewardship and resource conservation.  As a Bohnett Fellow, Holli looks forward to having the opportunity to contribute to citywide environmental programs and initiatives that positively impact communities and citizens throughout Los Angeles.  


Saira Gandhi
Master of Public Policy ’14
Concentration: Environment & Urban Poverty

Undergraduate Program: University of California, Los Angeles

BS International Development Studies, magna cum laude

Saira Gandhi is a master’s student in Public Policy, focusing on urban poverty and environmental policy. Saira is the current Director of the Sustainable Resource Center (SRC) within UCLA’s Graduate Student Association. The SRC is a hub for UCLA graduate students interested in sustainability. This year, Saira aims to highlight and connect student research in various fields of academic study, while providing opportunities for graduate students to network with environmental leaders in the Los Angeles area. Saira is also working closely with the UCLA Sustainability Committee to ensure that UCLA remains a leader in sustainability.   Prior to returning to UCLA for her master’s degree, Saira worked as the Volunteer Coordinator for Heal the Bay, a local nonprofit dedicated to improving the water quality in Southern California.  At Heal the Bay, Saira started the Beyond Local and Ambassadors programs, designed to create environmental leaders throughout L.A. County.  Saira is excited to join the Los Angeles Mayor's Office as a Bohnett Fellow this summer. She will be working with the Department of Strategic Partnerships and the Transition Team to help welcome the newly elected Mayor. In particular, Saira is excited to learn more about city leadership, and how the Mayor's office can shape the future of Los Angeles.


Daniel Rodman
Master of Urban and Regional Planning
Concentration: Transportation

Undergraduate Program: New York University

BA Sociology, cum laude 

Daniel Rodman is a master’s student in Urban and Regional Planning, focusing on behind-the-scenes laws and regulations that govern the urban landscape. Daniel works as a student researcher for the UCLA Complete Streets Initiative, testing alternatives to traditional transportation metrics that take a narrow view of what makes a properly functioning street. Daniel is a student editor for the University of California Transportation Center Access Magazine, which translates academic research into straightforward prose.  Before attending UCLA, Daniel worked for the South Bay Cities Council of Governments, testing the mobility and air quality impacts of neighborhood electric vehicles in suburban communities. He also worked on Energy Upgrade California, a residential energy-efficiency retrofit incentive program. Previously, Daniel worked at New York City Street to Home, identifying street homeless individuals in Midtown, Manhattan, and guiding clients through New York City’s permanent housing process.  Daniel is active in the Los Angeles bicycle community, serving as a member of the UCLA Bicycle Coalition, and as a Westside Neighborhood Ambassador for the LA County Bicycle Coalition. Daniel is on Los Angeles’ Bicycle Plan Implementation Team, and most Thursdays can be found volunteering at the Bikerowave, a do-it-yourself community bicycle shop in Mar Vista.

What They Do



Where They Went


Nahtahna Cabanes, Social Welfare: Community Outreach Coordinator for CASA of Los Angeles (Court Appointed Special Advocates)

Lila Hayatdavoudi, Public Policy: Senior Policy Analyst, Office of General Counsel, University of California

Carter Rubin, Urban Planning: Assistant to Rick Cole, Deputy Mayor for Budget and Innovation, City of Los Angeles


Michelle De Santiago, Public Policy: most recently on travel in China; seeking position focused on areas of education, poverty, and community development

Joshua Low, Public Policy: Evaluator, Mission Economic Development Agency

Lys Mendez, Urban and Regional Planning: Los Angeles Mayor’s Planning Department

Amanda Smick, Social Welfare: Children’s Social Worker, Los Angeles County Department of Children and Families


Susanna Curry, Social Welfare: Ph.D. Candidate, UCLA Luskin

Daniel Caroselli, Urban Planning: Senior Analyst, Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Economic and Business Policy

Karissa Yee, Public Policy: Project Manager, Los Angeles Unified School District


Cathy Dang, Social Welfare: Campaign Organizer, Retail Action Project

Frank Lopez, Public Policy: Manager, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

Priya Zachariahan, Urban Planning: Senior Transit Planner, Metro Transit Authority, Houston, TX


Helen Beckon-Kerstein, Public Policy: California Legislative Analyst’s Office

Jamillah Jordan, Urban Planning: Project Associate, MIG (planning and development firm)

Min-Kuk Song, Public Policy: Certified Law Clerk, Los Angeles County District Attorney Office

Mary Wallace, Social Welfare: Program Coordinator, PEERS Fellowship Program (Peer Employment Education and Recovery Support), Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health


Everado Alvizo, Social Welfare: Program Analyst, Special Services for Groups

Gregory Spotts, Public Policy: Division Mgr., Methods & Standards Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services

Laura Zahn, Urban Planning: Program Associate, California Climate Action Registry

For more information on the David Bohnett Fellowship Program, please contact:

VC Powe
Executive Director, External Programs

310-206-4776 /