portrait photos of the featured alumni

Alumni Accolades Career changes and other updates from the alumni of UCLA Luskin

Richard Xavier Corral MPP ’02, executive producer of “L.A. A Queer History,” won Best Documentary distinction at the Highland Park Independent Film Festival. The film sheds light on largely unacknowledged historical figures in U.S. history and how the LGBTQ community affects the world today.

Joshua Kirshner MA UP ’02 joined the University of York’s Department of Environment and Geography in 2015 as a lecturer in human geography and is now a senior lecturer. He previously held appointments at Durham University in Great Britain and Rhodes University in South Africa.

Daniela Simunovic MURP ’13 was appointed senior advisor on environmental equity for the California Air Resources Board. Simunovic previously held policy-related roles for Better World Group, the California Strategic Growth Council, Liberty Hill Foundation and elsewhere.

Sasha (Wisotsky) Kergan MA UP ’10 of Sacramento has been appointed deputy secretary of housing and consumer relations at the Business Consumer Services and Housing Agency. Kergan previously held several housing policy roles at the California Department of Housing and Community Development, as well as management roles elsewhere.

Hironao Okahana MPP ’09, MA ED ’11,
PhD Ed ’13 holds a new position as assistant vice president of research and insights at the American Council on Education. Okahana is a highly published scholar who is passionate about reforming higher education through institutional changes and policy reforms.

Amanda Morrall MPP ’14 was appointed as executive director of the Coretz Family Foundation based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The foundation’s announcement says she will be asked “to close socioeconomic opportunity gaps in Tulsa and work with partners on the ground to address social injustices in our city’s marginalized communities.”

Susan Oh MPP ’17 started a new position as legislative analyst for Los Angeles’ Office of the Chief Legislative Analyst. Susan is among a large number of MPP alumni now working for the City of Los Angeles and nearby municipalities.

Sara Jackson MPP/JD ’07 was promoted to director of career development at Rainier Scholars in Seattle. The nonprofit organization cultivates the academic potential and leadership skills of hard-working, underrepresented students of color.

Shannon Baker-Branstetter MPP ’05 now holds the position of director of domestic climate policy at the Center for American Progress (CAP) in Washington, D.C. Baker-Branstetter joins alumna Vernessa Shih MPP ’14 at CAP, where several former MPPs also have worked.

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