The UCLA Luskin Leadership Development Program enhances students’ professional development and prepares graduates to assume leadership roles in public service. A student who fully participates in the program will experience the vision, perspectives, resources and tools they need to be active, transformative change agents in the public, nonprofit and for-profit sectors.

The three segments of the program are the Senior Fellows program, skill-building workshops and fellowship/internship opportunities. The Leadership Development Program trains future leaders and change agents by providing skills development workshops, role models and hands-on experiences.

Senior Fellows Program

Launched nearly two decades ago, the Senior Fellows Program is the premier leadership career training program of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. The mission of the Senior Fellows Leadership Program is to engage prominent leaders as role models for graduate students from Public Policy, Social Welfare and Urban Planning. The program features policy, public service and community leaders who act as role models to lead UCLA Luskin students to careers in the public interest.

Students who are selected to participate in the Senior Fellows Leadership Program are accepted into the Luskin Leadership Initiative and will be assigned to a Senior Fellow as a mentor. Throughout their academic program, UCLA Luskin students are prepared to accept leadership roles and effect change as practitioners, researchers, and policymakers in the public, private, and non-governmental sectors. Senior Fellows enhance students’ leadership and professional development skills while engaging in a mentor relationship with policy makers, business professionals, nonprofit executives, and community leaders.

Apply to the Senior Fellows program - DEADLINE: Friday, October 13 at 5pm.

Each year the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs invites distinguished leaders from the public, nonprofit, and private sectors to be Senior Fellows of the School. These accomplished leaders volunteer their time and expertise to the School and its students. The Senior Fellows represent a wide variety of social and policy interests, all political viewpoints, and many social backgrounds.

To submit your application for Senior Fellows, send an email to with “Invitation to CCLE” in the subject line.  This will give you access to CCLE where you will upload your application.  Your resume must be submitted to UCLA Luskin CareerView.  Information is also available on CCLE.  Applications are due Friday, October 13 by 5pm.

The Senior Fellows Leadership Program was designed to enrich students’ education by giving them individual access to policy makers and community leaders who have successfully addressed major public issues. The goal of the mentor program is to help two to three students build a relationship with a Senior Fellow in their field of interest. Students participating in the Senior Fellows Leadership Program utilize this unique opportunity to shadow their Fellows, meet leaders and senior level managers, gain invaluable career guidance, and obtain applied knowledge that enhances their academic courses of study.   The highlight of the year is a visit to the work place of the Senior Fellow or accompanying the Fellow to a major conference.

To apply for the Senior Fellows Leadership Program, provide the following (in this order) and upload your resume on CareerView:

  1. Last name, First
    City, State, ZIP Code Preferred phone number Preferred email address
  2. Indicate if you are a Public Policy, Social Welfare or Urban Planning student; first or second year; or Ph.D. student and include your area of concentration.
  3. A biographic profile (about 300 words), written in third person.
  4. Write one or two paragraphs explaining your interest in strengthening your leadership skills. What are your current leadership roles? What does leadership and/or being a change agent mean to you?
  5. Name of first choice
    Write two to three paragraphs explaining why you are interested in this person.
  6. Name of second choice
    Write two to three paragraphs explaining why you are interested in this person.
  7. Name of third choice
    Write two to three paragraphs explaining why you are interested in this person.

Please note. Most Fellows will be assigned one or two students. Graduate student advisers will participate in the selection process. Priority will be given to Luskin second-year students

Read the Senior Fellows program handbook (PDF)

Program Goals for UCLA Luskin Graduate Students

  • Provide a practical component of their academic experience by exposing them to premier leaders in the field.
  • Provide opportunities to engage with community leaders for the purpose of professional development, networking, and personal growth.
  • Strengthen ties between Senior Fellows and UCLA Luskin to broaden the School’s ability to bring timely, informative events to the University and greater community.
  • Provide opportunities for internships, job market advice, and career exploration in order to accelerate students’ career trajectory.
  • Connect the world of political and policy action to education for public interest.

Participants in 2017-2018 Senior Fellows Mentor Program

Senior Fellows Leadership Program
2017-2018 Mentor Program Participants

2017-2018 Class of Senior Fellow

Elizabeth Calvin, Senior Advocate, Children’s Rights Division, Human Rights Watch

Rick Cole, City Manager, City of Santa Monica

Efrain Escobedo, Vice President, Civic Engagement & Policy, California Community Foundation

Christine Essel, President and CEO, Southern California Grantmakers

Jennifer Ferro, President, KCRW

Anne Miskey, Chief Executive Officer, Downtown Women’s Center

Erica Murray, President and CEO, California Association of Public Hospitals

Rick Nahmias, Founder/Executive Director, Food Forward

Anita Nelson, Chief Executive Officer, SRO Housing Corp

Seleta Reynolds, General Manager, Los Angeles Department of Transportation

Michelle Rhone-Collins, Executive Director, LIFT-Los Angeles

Honorable Lynn Schenk, Former Congresswoman, CA 39th Congressional District

Dan Schnur, Director, American Jewish Committee; Former Dir, USC Unruh Inst. of Politics

Heather Joy hompson, U.S. Diplomat based at UCLA Luskin; Foreign Service Officer, U.S. State Department

David Wright, CEO, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power


Paul Arevalo, City Manager, City of West Hollywood

Randy Barth, Founder and CEO, Think Together

Kafi Blumenfield, Founding Executive Director, Discovery Cube Los Angeles

Ken Bernstein, Principal City Planner, Policy Planning and Historic Resources Div, LA Planning Dept.

Danielle Brazell, General Manager, Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles

Edmund J. Cain, Vice President, Grant Programs, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

David M. Carlisle, President and CEO, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science

Donna E. Deutchman, President and CEO, Homes 4 Families

Thomas Epstein, Former Vice President, Public Affairs, Blue Shield of California

Honorable Warren Furutani, Former California Assemblymember

Honorable Wendy Greuel, Vice Chair, Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, Former Los Angeles City Controller

Lisa Hasegawa, Assistant Director of Federal Relations, UCLA Government and Community Relations

Stanley R. Hoffman, President, Stanley R. Hoffman Associates, Inc.

Hasan Ikhrata, Executive Director, Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG)

Lorri L. Jean, CEO, Los Angeles LGBT Center

Vickie Kropenske, Executive Director – Hope Street Family Center

Ann-Louise Kuhns, President and Chief Executive Officer, California Children’s Hospital Association

Shawn Landres, Co-founder, Jumpstart Labs; Chair, Board of Managers, Impact Hub LA

Adrienne Luce, Executive Director, HMC Architects Designing Futures Foundation; CSR Consultant

Therese W. McMillan, Chief Planning Officer, METRO; Former Acting Administrator, FTA

Honorable Michael Nash, Director, Office of Child Protection, Los Angeles County

Steve Nissen, Senior Vice President, Legal & Governmental Affairs, NBC Universal

Barbara Osborn, Director of Communications, Los Angeles County Supervisor

Torie Osborn, Principal Deputy for Policy and Strategy, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors

Claire Peeps, Executive Director, Durfee Foundation

Michele Prichard, Director, Common Agenda, Liberty Hill Foundation

Johng Ho Song, Executive Director, Koreatown Youth and Community Center, Inc.

Robin Toma, Executive Director, Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations

Tanya Tull, President/CEO; Partnering for Change

Val Zavala, Vice President, News and Public Affairs, KCET

Professional Development Opportunities

UCLA Luskin administers a variety of skill-building workshops, activities and events throughout the year to promote and foster leadership development. Effective leadership involves the ability to create and maintain substantive relationships. These programs serve to connect students, staff and faculty with alumni and members of the broader community.

  • UCLA Luskin Day in Los Angeles City Hall, February 2018
  • Advocacy Leaders

Fellowship/Internship Opportunities

Professional fellowship programs and select internship opportunities immerse students in leadership structures of various government agencies and nonprofit organizations. These highly competitive programs allow UCLA Luskin students a hands-on approach outside of the classroom.

Thanks to the generous support of alumni and friends who have provided gifts and endowments over the years, the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs is able to provide a number of fellowships and internships to UCLA Luskin students. Currently enrolled first-year Public Policy, Social Welfare, and Urban Planning students are eligible to apply for awards. These competitive awards range from modest stipends to one year of tuition remission.

To apply to Luskin internships and research awards listed below, send email to with “Invite to CCLE” in the subject line. Applications will be accepted through CCLE site only.  Resumes must be submitted to CareerView.


Professor Michael Dukakis spearheaded this internship program to provide UCLA Luskin students with first-hand public service experience in government. As power shifts from Washington D.C. to the state and local level, the need for talented public servants has never been greater. The Michael S. Dukakis Internship Program provides awards for UCLA Luskin continuing students serving in non-partisan internships in government, with a special emphasis on California. Click here for more information.


Two Internship Awards

Award #1: This internship will involve a focus on environmental justice policy issues in Los Angeles, including the Clean UP Green UP policy campaign, the STAND LA policy campaign to address the health and safety impacts of neighborhood oil drilling; and the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund project. The intern will work with Liberty Hill staff and a set of community-based organizations.
Award #2: The Program Department at Liberty Hill seeks interns with a commitment to social change and an interest in philanthropy, public policy and research, communications, and/or non-profit development. Working with lead staff, each program team intern will design and have ownership over a summer-long project that utilizes their skill set to advance social change.  Click here for more information.


UCLA Luskin will provide two 2016 summer internship awards to UCLA Luskin graduate students who will be accepting non-paid internships with an organization that is engaged in public service. The internship organization must be bi-partisan/non-partisan and can be a civic organization, non-partisan government agency or department, a community program or nonprofit organization, advocacy group or civic engagement. Internship will be ten weeks between June and September (400 hours). Click here for more information.


Established in 2001, the Canadian Studies Program at UCLA fosters a better understanding of Canadian society and its relationship with the United States. The Edward Hildebrand Program’s ambition is to train a new breed of policy-makers knowledgeable about Canadian society and well-versed in Canada-U.S. relations and affairs. Click here for more information.


The Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. Social Justice Award in Social Justice inspires student scholarship in social justice and inequality. Dean Gilliam’s many accomplishments at UCLA and at UCLA Luskin will never be forgotten, and this award honors his enduring legacy by ensuring that students will continue to address these crucial societal issues.

2016-17 Award Winners:

To learn more about this year’s winners and their projects, click here.

  • Matthew Mizel, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Social Welfare
  • Joint project by Eve Bachrach, MURP 2018; Gina Charusombat, MPP 2018; Amman Desai, MURP 2017; Julia Heidelman, MURP 2017; Lawrence C. Lan, Ph.D. Candidate at UCR; Jacklyn Oh, MURP 2017; Xochitl Ortiz, MURP 2017; Ryan Shum, MURP 2018; Carolyn Vera, MURP 2017; Estefania Zavala, MPP 2018
  • Lucero Ramos, MURP 2017
  • Miya Chang, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Social Welfare
  • Joint project by Delara Aharpour, MPP 2017; Kelsey Chestnut, MPP 2017; JC De Vera, MPP 2017; Jessica Noel, MPP 2017
  • Gus Wendel, MURP 2017
  • Aujean Lee, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Urban Planning
  • Joint project by Sam Blake, MPP & MBA 2018; Kasee Houston, MPP; Emma Huang, MPP 2017; Barbara Spyrou, MPP 2017
  • Joint project by Antoinette Bedros, MPP 2017; Diego De La Peza, UCLA School of Law; Natasha Oliver, MPP 2017; Takashi Omoto, MPP; David Ou, MPP 2017
  • Joint project by Ahmed Ali Bob, MPP 2017; Cameron Burch, MPP 2017; Karen Law, MSW & MPP 2017; Susan Y. Oh, MPP 2017

2015-2016 Award Winners:

To learn more about this year’s winners and their projects, click here.

  • Marylou Adriatico, MSW 2016
  • Joanna Barreras, Ph.D. Social Welfare
  • Joint project by Elizabeth Calixtro, MPP 2016; Kevin Medina, MSW 2016; Nisha Parekh, JD/MPP 2017
  • Susanna Curry, Ph.D. Social Welfare
  • Charles H. Lea, III, Ph.D. Social Welfare
  • Christina Tam, Ph.D. Social Welfare

UCLA Luskin sends its heartfelt thanks to the donors who have made this tribute possible:

Board Members:

  • Susan Bales and Michael Goldstein
  • Kitty and Michael Dukakis
  • Marianna and David Fisher
  • Luis Lavin and Michael Fleming
  • Karen Malmuth Kaufmann ’81, MBA ’85, MA ’93, PHD ’98 and Gadi Kaufmann ’79
  • Joanne Kozberg
  • Renee ’53 and Meyer Luskin ’49
  • Natalie and Michael Mahdesian MA ’83
  • Noel Massie
  • Cynthia McClain-Hill ’78, JD ’81
  • Vicki Reynolds ’58 and Murray Pepper ’56
  • Donald and Susan Rice MPA ’76
  • Kevin Christopher Sagara ’84
  • Steve Soboroff
  • Valerie ’73 and Jeffrey Seymour ’73, MPA ’77
  • Annette and Leonard Shapiro
  • Catherine and Leonard Unger ’67

Friends, Faculty, and Staff:

  • Joan and Joel Aberbach
  • Melissa Bersofsky and Greg Rodgers ’02
  • Evelyn Blumenberg MA ’90, PHD ’95 and Brian Taylor ’83, PHD ’92
  • Shelly Brooks ’95 and Benjamin Goff ’99
  • Alex Boekelheide
  • Tamara Ruth Flores Borrero ’03
  • Colleen Kathryn Callahan MA ’10
  • Robin and Albert Carnesale
  • Traci and Frank Considine
  • Anne and Patrick Dowling
  • Ariel Morgan Gilliam ’15
  • Jacquelean Gilliam
  • Trey Gilliam
  • Jocelyn Guihama MPP ’03 and David Olson
  • Tim and Jill Harmon
  • Stacey Yukari Hirose MA ’93, MA ’98
  • Sung Hui Kim and Jerry Kang
  • Maciek Kolodziejczak MA ’86
  • Arleen and Robert Leibowitz
  • Robin MS ’71, PHD ’78 and David Liggett
  • Cathy and Mark Louchheim
  • Eva Vera-Morrow and Wayne Morrow ’81, JD ‘88
  • Vickie M. Mays MS ’98
  • Caroline ’70 and Richard Nahas
  • Judy Olian and Peter Liberti
  • Kate O’Neal
  • Laura and Randy Parker MBA ’94
  • Jane Margolis and Mark Peterson
  • VC Powe
  • Marion Lefebre and Robert Pynoos
  • Patricia and Donald Shoup
  • Renee Tajima Peña
  • Lois Takahashi and David White
  • The David Bohnett Foundation
  • Marie Kennedy and Christopher Tilly
  • Waiyi Tse JD ’02
  • Rhonda Michelle Wade ’12
  • Dawn M. Zelmanowitz
  • Lynne Zucker and Michael Darby

Contributions at all levels are welcome. To support the Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr., Social Justice Award, you may visit the UCLA giving page or call (310) 206-3059.

David Bohnett Fellowship Program
Office of the Mayor of Los Angeles 

The David Bohnett Fellowship Program was established as a hands-on working experience in the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office for exceptionally promising public policy, social welfare, and urban planning students.  (Click here to see departmental opportunities.)  The Bohnett Fellowship Program will offer students first-hand experience in the highest levels of city government and will provide senior executives in the Mayor’s office with an outstanding cohort of policy interns.  Three UCLA Luskin students will be selected.  Deadline to apply for 2017-2018 placements is Friday, February 17 by 5pm.  Visit CCLE site for more information.

See below for list of 2016-2017 Bohnett Fellows.

Tammy Barreras

Tammy Barreras_fellowUCLA Luskin Graduate Program:  Master of Social Welfare
Concentration:  Program Development and Design
Undergraduate Program: California State University, Los Angeles, B.A., Social Work and Minor in Public Administration

Tammy Barreras is a graduate student in Social Welfare. The focus of her coursework is on community organizing, program development and data analysis. Tammy has been involved in community improvement operations for several different organizations throughout the Los Angeles area including DCFS, YouthBuild Charter High School, and the Union Rescue Mission. Throughout Los Angeles County she has conducted research on different cities ultimately proposing opportunities for program and city improvements.

Prior to starting her graduate studies Tammy worked at Children’s Hospital of Orange County for 10 years as an inpatient Pharmacy Technician where she has aided in cultivating a mindful perspective and participated in lifesaving measures on a daily basis. Feeling at home in a high pressure environment, she created essential new workflows by collaborating with physicians, pharmacists, nurses and other medical professionals in order to improve patient safety and well-being. While attending California State University, Los Angeles she also worked with several nonprofit organizations, businesses, school officials and community members in the Los Angeles area to provide services and support to individuals affected by homelessness, members of the LGBTQ community and adolescents within the juvenile justice system.

As a recipient of the David Bohnett Fellowship, Tammy will be working in the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti in the Department of Budget & Innovation, a specialized interdepartmental team which is responsible for the City’s Performance Based Budgeting process. Working with various departments, the CAO, and other parts of the Mayor’s Office, the Team develops and manages the annual budget process and determines how to allocate $8 billion in annual spending. As a Bohnett Fellow Tammy hopes to provide high-level research, policy analysis, design and implementation of programs to improve the City of Los Angeles and the lives of all its citizens.

John Christian (JC) De Vera

 UCLA Luskin Graduate Program:  Master of Public Policy
Concentration:  Social and Urban Policy, Public Leadership and Management
Undergraduate Program: UCLA 2011, B.A. in Sociology and Asian American Studies

JC De Vera is a Master of Public Policy candidate at the Luskin School of Public Affairs, concentrating in social and urban policy and public leadership and management. He is passionate about equitable and inclusive policymaking, creating pathways out of poverty, and advancing equity for low-income communities and communities of color.

During his undergraduate career at UCLA, JC was a committed student leader and activist, serving on the boards of various cultural and political organizations, running campaigns for college affordability and diversity, and representing 26,000+ students as one of the thirteen elected councilmembers of the undergraduate student government in his senior year.

Prior to starting graduate school, JC worked for The Greenlining Institute, a racial and economic justice policy think tank based in the Bay Area. In his four years at Greenlining, he helped build the organization’s digital communications strategy from the ground up, and developed communications campaigns to strengthen the organization’s advocacy impact. JC has also served on the nonprofit boards of Filipino Advocates for Justice as Vice President, as well as the Associated Students UCLA as a graduate student representative. In 2014, he was selected as the Valedictorian for the Front Line Leaders Academy, a political leadership development program.

As a 2016-17 Bohnett Fellow, JC is humbled and honored to be joining the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. He is looking forward to working on projects and initiatives that seek to better engage and include the diverse array of immigrant communities into the fabric of the nation’s second largest municipality.

Jayanthi K. Daniel

Jayanthi K DanielUCLA Luskin Graduate Program: Master of Social Welfare
Concentration: Policy Development and Gerontology
Previous Education: Columbia College, Columbia University, B.A. in English, 2004; Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, M.S. in Newspaper Journalism, 2005

Jayanthi K. Daniel is a masters’ student in the Social Welfare department of the Luskin School of Public Affairs at UCLA. She is interested in non-profit management and policy development and evaluation, and is focused on becoming an advocate for underrepresented populations, particularly older minority adults. During her time at UCLA, Jayanthi looks to establish an expertise in clinical “micro” skills in order to build relationships as a method of enacting more effective advocacy for populations in the “macro” systems of policy and governance.

Before enrolling at UCLA, Jayanthi worked as a journalist for 10 years in New York City. She began her career at the New York Sun newspaper, and subsequently worked for Saveur magazine, a monthly culinary periodical, and, a start-up news website.  In 2014, Jayanthi began volunteering at the Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, working in the hospital’s geriatric emergency department. At Mount Sinai, Jayanthi decided to switch careers to social welfare, seeing that a population of older adults required an entirely different set of interactions from hospital staff. She came to understand that beyond the hospital setting, adults needed policies directly related to their experience in growing older in America.

Jayanthi received the David Bohnett Fellowship for the academic year of 2016-17. She will be working in the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti in Los Angeles, in the Office of the Chief of Staff. She will be utilizing her skills as a writer and editor to better enable the Mayor’s Office to work on behalf of the incredible city of Los Angeles.

UCLA Luskin Leadership Fellows – Additional award for 2017-2018

UCLA Luskin Leadership Fellows is a high-level apprenticeship program for exceptional public policy, social welfare and urban planning graduate students that serve within selected government agencies and nonprofit and civic organizations to work on research, policy, advocacy and applied projects tailored to the students’ tracks of study and consistent with the mission and goals of the organization.  For 2017-2018, The Los Angeles County Office of Child Protective Services will host one Luskin Leadership Fellow and UCLA Luskin will provide a $30,000 fellowship award.  Visit CCLE site for more information and fellowship placement descriptions.  Deadline to apply for 2017-2018 placements is Friday, May 5 by 5pm.

Listed below are the 2016-2017 fellowship recipients.

Michael Haymer

Luskin Fellow for The Los Angeles LGBT Center 2016-2017

Michael Haymer_eUCLA Luskin Program: Master of Social Welfare
UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine: PRIME Program, Dual Degree MD/MSW
Concentration: Health Policy
Undergraduate Program: University of California, Los Angeles, B.S. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Michael Haymer is a dual degree student in the Department of Social Welfare at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. His research interests include LGBT health, sexual and reproductive health, and health policy. Specifically, he is interested in transgender health services, community capacity building, and developing new models for LGBT patient-centered care. Michael is completing his master’s degree as part of the Program in Medial Education (PRIME) at the David Geffen School of Medicine. The PRIME Program focuses on the development of leaders in medicine addressing policy, care and research in healthcare for the underserved. For his advocacy and leadership while a UCLA student, Michael was selected as the recipient of the 2013 UCLA Academic Senate – Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award.

Michael has interned with SHIELDS for Families to help address the needs of women and children receiving services in the agency’s family-centered residential substance use treatment program. During his internship, he collaborated with fellow graduate students to develop the Curbside Women’s Health Initiative – a student led project aimed at improving the health of low-income women and children living in South Los Angeles.

Prior to graduate school, Michael worked in HIV-related community education and outreach, and he had the opportunity to work on several research projects in the field. Specifically, Michael worked as a research assistant on one the first studies using a GPS-enabled social media application (GRINDR) to assess HIV risk behaviors among young men who have sex with men in Los Angeles. Michael also conducted a national assessment of transphobia and training needs among post-graduate trainees in Emergency Medicine.

This year, Michael has been selected to be the 2016–2017 Luskin Leadership Fellow for The Los Angeles LGBT Center. He will be working with Eric Gutierrez to help strengthen primary care services – specifically transgender health services – at the Center’s newly renovated medical facilities. Michael will assist with policy research and tracking, and program development and evaluation.

Karen Law

Luskin Fellow for Los Angeles Food Policy Council 2016-2017

Karen Law_eUCLA Luskin Program: Master of Social Welfare and Public Policy
Concentration: Social Policy
Undergraduate Program: University of California, Berkeley; Bachelor of Arts in Development Studies

Karen Law is currently a dual degree graduate student in Social Welfare and Public Policy. As a student in both departments, Karen hopes to focus her studies on the evaluation and development of programs that support vulnerable communities and advance social justice. She is particularly interested in the intersection of social justice, food systems, and public health. In her last internship with Food Forward, a LA-based nonprofit that recovers fresh produce from backyards, farmers markets, and the wholesale market, she collected data on recipient organizations and compared it the public health data available for each community. Currently in its final iterations, this report will help Food Forward better understand the impact and reach of their work in the various communities they serve in LA.

Prior to starting her studies at UCLA, Karen lived in Brooklyn, New York and worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA and Service Coordinator. As a VISTA with the NYC Coalition Against Hunger, she was placed at a community-based soup kitchen and social services organization called Neighbors Together where she helped staff with development and volunteer programs. After her year at Neighbors Together, she worked as a Service Coordinator at Community Access in supportive housing for tenants with mental illness in the South Bronx. These direct service experiences in New York inspired her to return to graduate school to further develop her skills and knowledge around social service delivery, administration, and policy.

This year, Karen has been selected to be the 2016-17 Luskin Leadership Fellow for The Los Angeles Food Policy Council (LAFPC). She will be working with LAFPC to help expand its Good Food Purchasing Program, which provides standards and support to empower major institutions such as LAUSD to procure local, sustainable, fair and humanely produced foods, while improving access to healthy, high-quality food for all communities.

Jessica Noel

Luskin Fellow for Children’s Defense Fund 2016-2017

Jessica A. Noel_eUCLA Luskin Program: Master of Public Policy
Concentration: Nonprofit Management / Systemic Inequality
Undergraduate Program: Southern Methodist University,
Bachelor of Arts, Psychology; Bachelor of Science, Sociology; Minor: Women and Gender Studies

Jessica Noel is a Master of Public Policy student at UCLA Luskin she studies methods used to develop, implement and evaluate evidence-based programming. She is specifically passionate about the intersection between public policy, philanthropy, and social sector organizations.

Prior to graduate school, Jessica served as the Assistant Director of Education at Children at Risk where she managed several large-scale projects and represented the organization through research driven initiatives, partnership development, and community collaboration. Additionally, she has interned in the advocacy department at the American Lung Association in California and served as a consultant for a Texas-based hospital consulting firm.

As an active member of the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, Jessica is a member of various graduate student organizations. She has served as a contributing member of Public Policy Professionals for Diversity and Equity and was recently selected by the study body as the Equitable Policy Symposium Co-Chair for the 2016-2017 school year. She has also been appointed as the Resource and Sustainability Co-Chair for the Luskin Women’s Leadership Network. Additionally, Jessica served on the 2016 New Student Admit Day Planning Committee to assist administrative leadership in recruiting a diverse, exceptional incoming class of policy students.

At Southern Methodist University, she earned her BA in Psychology, a Bachelor of Science with Distinction in Sociology and a minor in Women and Gender Studies. She was also awarded the Outstanding Sociology Senior Award for the graduating class of 2012 and the Betty Janette Maynard Award for Excellent Scholarship in Women and Gender Studies for her research on gender inequity in athletics at the collegiate level.

This year, Jessica received the Luskin Leader Fellowship. She will join the Children’s Defense Fund – California to develop localized recommendations to reduce child poverty in Los Angeles. Ultimately, Jessica hopes to serve in a leadership capacity in a social sector organization that drives measurable, data-driven change and recommends best practices to increase equity among vulnerable communities.

Pranita Amatya

Luskin Fellow for Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles 2016-2017

UCLA Luskin Program: Master of Public Policy
Concentration: Social and Urban Policy
Undergraduate Program: UC Berkeley, B.A.,Architecture

Pranita Amatyais passionate about housing and homelessness policy as well as racial and gender equity. At UC Berkeley, she minored in City and Regional Planning while pursuing her B.A. in Architecture. She recently completed an internship with Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s Office. She worked with Supervisor Kuehl’s Housing and Homelessness Deputy on program monitoring and grantee convening for the inaugural Food for the Soul Program.

Prior to graduate school, Pranita worked for two years in the public sector. She did a four month long internship in a World Bank funded urban planning project for the Government of Nepal’s Department of Urban Development. There, she worked on the infrastructural needs assessment of rapidly urbanizing towns in different regions of Nepal. She also worked on developing policy proposals on preservation of a historic town.

She then went on to work for the Office of the Mayor of Sacramento, Kevin Johnson. At the Office of the Mayor, she worked as a staff aide and project coordinator. She was in charge of the Mayor’s Performing Arts Theater Task Force created to evaluate the need for a new performing arts theater in downtown Sacramento. As a staff aide, she was in charge of all Mayoral request and projects related to arts and culture.

While at UC Berkeley, she co-founded and ran the Nepalese Students Association. She also interned with Genesis, a community organizing group that works to improve access to opportunity for Bay Area’s low-income communities.

This year, Pranita received the Luskin Leadership Fellow award. She will join the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles in the Development Services Department. She will assist the agency by working on projects that expand and revitalize affordable housing in Los Angeles. More specifically, she will work on HACLA’s Jordan Downs Redevelopment Project planning and implementation.

Barbara Spyrou

Luskin Fellow for Los Angeles County Office of Child Protection 2016-2017

Spyrou, Barbara_eUCLA Luskin Program: Master of Public Policy
Concentrations: Youth, Education, and Crime Policy
Undergraduate Program: University of California, Irvine, BA Criminology, Law and Society, Minor: Education

Barbara Spyrou is a master’s student in Public Policy, with a concentration in youth, education and crime policies. As a graduate student, she has mentored potential Public Policy students through her role as a Peer Advisor for Policy Professionals for Diversity and Equity at UCLA. During her first year, she also worked with the Avasant Foundation to empower youth in disadvantaged communities through employment training and education.

Barbara received her Bachelor’s degree from University of California, Irvine in Criminology, Law and Society with a minor in Education. She graduated as a Campuswide Honors Student recipient as well as with honors from the School of Social Ecology. Barbara’s has a passion for helping at-risk youth and through her senior thesis collaborated with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department to evaluate their Gang Diversion Team. Barbara worked for eighteen months with Sheriff Department staff conducting interviews and analyzing data to provide recommendations to improve the program in the future. After presenting her work in front of UC Irvine faculty and Sheriff Department staff, she was presented with the Dean Scholar’s Award and Excellence in Research Award.

In addition to research, Barbara believes in giving back to the community and worked as a mentor in several respects as a Peer Academic Advisor, Resident Advisor, Peer Mentor, and Think Together Volunteer for diverse groups of students during her undergraduate career. Barbara’s ultimate career objective is to change systems that inhibit youth from succeeding at home and at school.

This year, Barbara received the Luskin Leader Fellowship. She will be working with the Los Angeles County Office of Child Protection, headed by Judge Michael Nash (Ret.). Barbara will assist the agency by working with Los Angeles County stakeholders to create meaningful solutions that protect children and support families.

Emma Watson

Luskin Fellow for Partnership for Los Angeles Schools 2016-2017

Emma Watson_eUCLA Program: Master of Public Policy
Concentration: Education Policy
Undergraduate Program: University of California, Los Angeles, B.A. in Political Science, Minor: Public Affairs

Emma Watson is currently completing her Master of Public Policy at UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. Spurred by volunteer and professional experiences, Emma is pursuing a career directed toward improving educational and social services for all youth.

At Luskin, Emma is very involved in giving back to the greater Luskin community, volunteering for the Association of Masters of Public Policy (AMPPS) and Policy Professionals for Diversity and Equity (PPDE). This upcoming year she will serve as one of the Equitable Policy Symposium Co-Chairs for PPDE and Event Programming Chair for AMPPS.

Before Luskin, Emma worked at Early Head Start as a Family Advocate. There, she had the opportunity to provide access to families to social services and educational services. As well, Emma worked as the Office Manager for a Neuropsychologist and oversaw all billing and accounting. Emma completed her undergraduate degree at UCLA in 2012. She volunteered for UCLA UniCamp for four years. UniCamp is a non-profit organization that works with at-risk youth in the Los Angeles area.

This year, Emma has received the 2016-2017 Luskin Leadership Fellow for Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. She will work with the organization to develop education policy to provide additional support to their schools and to help influence greater systemic changes. She looks forward to learning more about education policy and having a role within this incredible organization.

More Resources

leadership 1Download a summary of UCLA Luskin’s leadership programs (PDF).

See a list of previous Bohnett Fellowship recipients

See a list of previous Luskin Leadership Fellows