2008 MPP Alumna of the Year Jennifer White, MPP 2004

 Jennifer White is a true global citizen whose passion for Africa inspires her to create safe spaces for African and African-American women to connect, heal, and do business. She organizes annual healing and investment trips to Africa to connect Africans annually, on both sides of the ocean. Starting with the healing act of “Sharing Our Stories”, connections are made and trust is built, opening the door to business collaborations, economic empowerment and community development around the world.

As a lifelong learner, Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and master’s degree in Public Policy from UCLA, as well as a master’s degree in Educational Psychology from Howard University. As a student leader and community activist, she remained passionate about Africa. Her first journey to the Motherland in 2004 was a graduate student at the University of Ghana, where she initiated study groups in Development Studies, Gender Studies, and Political Science. She organized study groups to share Ghanaian and African American perspectives and hold thought-provoking discussions about Africa’s evolution, establishing strong bonds of friendship maintained to this day.

Jennifer’s experience as an educator spans from kindergarten to college, where she has worked as an instructor, counselor and grant writer at the primary, secondary, and post-secondary levels. For the last 10 years she has organized healing and investment trips for African American professionals to Africa, including Ghana, Egypt, Togo, Benin, South Africa, Zambia, Botswana and Ethiopia. As founder and CEO of SISTERcircle, she is a staunch advocate for “Doing Business in Africa”, recently launching “SISTERcircle Fine Wines” a collective investment by African American women to import South African wine made by Black women, opening up the US market for Black winemakers.

Profile: linkedin.com/in/jennifer-white-1b976123
Media: GridAlternatives

2009 MPP Alumna of the Year Celeste Drake, MPP/JD 2002

Celeste Drake is the Directors Guild of America’s Executive in Charge of Government Affairs.

Drake is responsible for the Guild’s federal legislative and governmental work, serving as an advocate for the DGA and its members on key issues such as: intellectual property, copyright and anti-piracy protections; pension and health; and issues relating to the protection of DGA members’ creative and economic rights. Drake will also coordinate and manage the work of the DGA Political Action Committee (PAC) and DGA PAC Leadership Council.

Previously, Drake was the trade and globalization policy specialist at the AFL-CIO. In that role, she advocated for reforms to U.S. trade policy to create shared gains from trade on behalf of working families. Drake has testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, various House subcommittees and the U.S. International Trade Commission, and made presentations before the European Union’s Economic and Social Committee. Prior to her work at the AFL-CIO, Drake served as legislative director for Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-Calif.), legislative counsel for Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), and clerk for the Honorable David R. Thompson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit. Drake has a Juris Doctor, a Master of Public Policy and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Employer: Directors Guild of America
Profile: linkedin.com/in/celeste-drake-21a9083
Twitter: CDrakeFairTrade
Media: PodBean, YouTubeYouTube, YouTube, The Hill

2010 MPP Alumnus of the Year Manan Trivedi, MPP/MD 2007

Dr. Manan Trivedi is an internal medicine physician with over 20 years of experience in clinical medicine, health policy research, strategic communications and healthcare advocacy. He has held leadership roles in academic, military, political and public and private sector settings.

A former Navy Officer, Dr. Trivedi served as the medical team commander for the first ground troops to enter Iraq in 2003. He oversaw the care of over 1,500 forward deployed Marine Corps and Naval forces as well as civilians and enemy prisoners of war and treated over 300 trauma injuries as the first physician on scene. For his service, Manan earned the Combat Action Ribbon and his unit was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation.

As a VA health services researcher in 2006, Dr. Trivedi drew attention to PTSD and other mental health issues among OEF and OIF veterans via qualitative studies that helped shape Veteransʼ mental health policy.

And while serving with the Navy Surgeon General as the Department Head of Emerging Health Policy, he focused on cost containment in the Military Healthcare System (MHS) and led the $2.5 million evaluation of the medical home primary care system and all clinical aspects of the development of the $18 million operational injury and treatment model used for Navy casualty prediction and vulnerability testing.

He was the Democratic Nominee for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 6th district for 3 consecutive cycles. In his campaigns, he fought for strong healthcare and social justice platforms and led the charge in advocating for evidence-based policy solutions.

Dr. Trivedi also has extensive experience in clinical hospital medicine in academic and tertiary medical centers and with larger healthcare systems including Kaiser Permanente. In addition to his role as President of the National Physician’s Alliance, Dr. Drivedi currently works as a hospitalist in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area and lives with his wife, Surekha, and his two daughters, Sonia and Ashmi.

Employer: National Physician’s Alliance
Profile: linkedin.com/in/manan-trivedi-75aba13
Twitter: @MananTrivedi
Media: NPR, Business Insider, Council for a Livable World, Politico
Wikipedia: Manan Trivedi

2011 MPP Alumnus of the Year Greg Spotts, MPP 2008

Gregory Spotts received his Master of Public Policy degree with a concentration in environmental policy and completed a Leaders in Sustainability certificate.

As a Bohnett Fellow with Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, he staffed the Chief of Staff and Deputy Chief of Staff, and contributed to the city’s first Climate Change Action Plan.

After a year working in Washington, D.C. as a consultant in the organization practice at McKinsey & Company, he rejoined the Mayor’s Office as Director of the Performance Management Unit.  In 2011 he created a new office of Transportation Project Delivery, and served as the Mayor’s lead on a $10b portfolio of mega-projects including the Purple Line Extension, Orange Line Extension, Regional Connector, and Crenshaw/LAX Light Rail.

Since 2015, Greg has served Angelenos as Assistant Director and Chief Sustainability Officer for the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Services, focusing on making the city more bike, pedestrian and transit friendly, increasing tree canopy, and reducing the environmental impact of the Bureau’s construction and maintenance operations.

Employer: Bureau of Street Services at City of Los Angeles
Profile: linkedin.com/in/greg-spotts-5333904
Twitter: @Spottnik
Media: NPR, Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, Washington Post, City Lab, Developing Urban ResilienceCBS Los Angeles, People’s World
Website: postcarboncity.wordpress.com

2012 MPP Alumna of the Year Kathryn Phillips, MPP 2001

Kathryn Phillips leads lobbying and regulatory advocacy and overall administration of Sierra Club California. She began this role in August 2011.

She previously directed transportation and air pollution work in California for Environmental Defense Fund, where she worked on regional, state and federal policy, and gained experience in agriculture policy and water policy. Before joining EDF, she was a senior policy advisor at the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies, where she focused on air quality and transportation issues. Kathryn has been based in Sacramento since 2001.

Kathryn holds a B.A in history from the University of California, Berkeley, an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and a Master of Public Policy degree, with a dual focus on natural resources and transportation, from the University of California, Los Angeles. A former journalist, she is the author of two books about environmental issues.

Employer: Sierra Club California
Profile: linkedin.com/in/kathryn-phillips-37653113
Twitter: @KPatSierraClub
Media: Sierra Club California, CapRadio, KCRW, Cal Matters, Earth Justice

2013 MPP Alumnus of the Year Rusty Bailey, MPP 1999

William R. “Rusty” Bailey III is a Riverside native who has served as Mayor of his hometown since 2012, having previously been a member of the City Council. His family came to Riverside in 1914 and has a long history of service to the community. Mayor Bailey is proud to be part of the fourth generation of Baileys working for the advancement of Riverside.

After graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a degree in political science in 1994, Mayor Bailey worked in a variety of public service positions locally and in Washington, D.C. He is a 1999 graduate of UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs, earning a Master’s Degree in Public Policy, and was named Alumnus of the Year in 2013.

Mayor Bailey was elected to the City Council in 2007, representing Ward 3, and took office on Dec 11, 2007.  He was re-elected in 2011 and served in that role until he was elected Mayor in November, 2012. Mayor Bailey took office on Dec 11, 2012 and was re-elected in June, 2016.

Mayor Bailey is active in regional affairs and serves on the Western Riverside Council of Governments, the Southern California Association of Governments, the Riverside County Transportation Commission, the One Water One Watershed Board, The Regional Housing Needs Assessment Board, and the Riverside County Continuum of Care, which focuses on homeless solutions.

Homeless solutions have been a major focus of Mayor Bailey, and through his leadership, our community together to proactively combat homelessness, resulting in outreach and enforcement efforts, coupled with housing expansion for those who are willing to accept services. As a result of his call to the faith based community to partner with the city in addressing homelessness, in 2018 Riverside opened the doors to the Grove Village, four barn-raised housing units coupled with strong community support provided by the Grove Community Church. This project is being looked upon nationally as a model approach.

Mayor Bailey’s many accomplishments include serving as a helicopter pilot, platoon leader, and Company Executive Officer in the U.S. Army, earning an Airborne Badge, and Air Assault Badge and an Army Aviator Badge; securing a two-year Presidential Management Fellowship; and working for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Executive Office of the President in Washington D.C. Mayor Bailey also served as a Legislative Aide for County Supervisor John F. Tavaglione and worked at the Riverside County Economic Development Agency. He spent more than a decade as a teacher at Poly High School in Riverside and served as a member of the City of Riverside’s Cultural Heritage Board.

Mayor Bailey lives in the Magnolia Center neighborhood of Riverside with his wife, Judy, a former elementary and middle school teacher, and his two daughters, Elizabeth and Julia. He is an active member of his church, a mentor to young people and can often be seen cycling around the city with his family.

Employer: City of Riverside
Profile: linkedin.com/in/rusty-bailey-bb62a5
Twitter: @BaileyForMayor
Media: The Highlander, The Press-Enterprise, The Press-Enterprise, The Press-Enterprise, Youtube, UCLA Alumni

2014 MPP Alumna of the Year Nathalie Rayes, MPP 1999

Nathalie Rayes is the President and CEO, of the Latino Victory Project, a nationwide political organization dedicated to making sure Latino voices are heard by empowering Latino voters, developing a pipeline of Latino donors, and developing Latino candidates through three entities: Latino Victory Fund, Latino Victory Project and the Latino Victory Foundation.  Most recently Nathalie was the Vice President of Public Affairs for Grupo Salinas in the U.S., a Mexican conglomerate with US$6 billion in annual sales and 90,000 employees in Mexico, the United States, and Central and South America, and with operations in the broadcasting, retail, banking and financial services, telecommunications and internet. Nathalie was also in charge of Grupo Salinas’ philanthropic activities in the United States, which seek to improve the quality of life of Latinos by partnering with existing nonprofits to empower, create awareness and motivate change on social and civic issues. She previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Los Angeles’ Mayor James K. Hahn, under whom she directed the Mayor’s Office of Intergovernmental Relations and helped establish the city’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, and as Senior Advisor to Los Angeles Councilmember Mike Feuer.

Employer: Latino Victory
Profile: linkedin.com/in/nathalierayes
Twitter: @NathalieRayes
Media: The Hill, HispanicExecutive.com, MMLaFleur.com

2015 MPP Alumna of the Year Nurit Katz, MPP/MBA 2008

UCLA’s first Chief Sustainability Officer, Nurit Katz is working to foster partnerships among academic, research, and operational departments to facilitate creating a world class living laboratory for sustainability at UCLA. As Executive Officer for UCLA Facilities Management, Nurit provides strategy support to make the university more operationally efficient and coordinates with Emergency Management on resilience planning. Facilities Management provides energy to the campus through a highly efficient cogeneration plant, as well as managing landscaping, renovations, operations, and maintenance. Nurit is also an Instructor for UCLA Extension’s Sustainability Certificate Program. Before starting in this position she founded the UCLA Sustainable Resource Center  to provide resources for the community on sustainability. She then served as President of the Graduate Students Association and assisted Dr. Charles Corbett in developing a new interdisciplinary graduate certificate program – Leaders in Sustainability.

After graduation she helped launch the UCLA Center for Corporate Environmental Performance. She has worked on a variety of sustainability projects including a project for the City of Los Angeles that focused on transit-oriented development along the Expo Light Rail Line. Her essay on the topic was published in the UCLA Anderson Forecast’s “Solutions for Our City”. Nurit holds an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management, a Masters in Public Policy from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, and a BA in Environmental Education from Humboldt State University. Nurit was honored as one of 100 Inspirational Alumni for the 75th Anniversary of UCLA Anderson. Her course Principles of Sustainability I was recently included in LA Weekly’s Best of LA 2012 as one of the 10 Best Classes in LA. In 2017 she received the Dean’s Award from UCLA Extension for outstanding instruction and contributions to the UCLA Extension community.

Recently she was recognized as one of the top 100 business trailblazers in the Women Worth Watching 2015 issue of Profiles in Diversity Journal. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Luskin Center for Innovation and on the Advisory Boards of Sustainable Works and the Green Business Council of Southern California as well as the Steering Committee for the USGBC Resilience LA Initiative, the Built Environment Advisory Board for the LA Cleantech Incubator, and the leadership team for Path to Positive LA. Nurit is also working on building statewide collaboration and best practice sharing through the CA Higher Education Sustainability Conference Steering Committee.  In 2010 Nurit completed a full Ironman distance triathlon with Team in Training in support of the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.

Employer: UCLA
Profile: linkedin.com/in/nuritkatz
Twitter: @sustainUCLA
Media: Sustridge, Vimeo, TEDx Talk, American School & University, Faalta.com, Daily Bruin, AffordableCollegesOnline, WomenWorthWatching.com, Smart Cities Dive, Humboldt Magazine

2016 MPP Alumnus of the Year Chuck Gatchell, MPP 2005

Chuck Gatchell has worked at Nike, Inc. for 16 years and currently leads Nike’s efforts related to the Tokyo Summer Olympics and other global initiatives, where he is a Global Vice President / General Manager.

Prior to his current role, Chuck has had the opportunity to lead teams in various functional areas including strategic planning, innovation, product management and marketing, general management, corporate finance, and sustainability. Chuck’s first Nike role was developing Nike’s first public sustainability reports and leading corporate transparency efforts related to labor relations, environmental sustainability, community affairs, diversity and inclusion, and government affairs. Prior to Nike, Chuck was a senior consultant at Ernst & Young LLP in Los Angeles.

Chuck holds an undergraduate degree in Management from the University of California, Berkeley (Haas School of Business), where he also earned a minor in Creative Writing and ran cross-country and track (steeplechase).  He also holds master’s degrees in Accounting from the University of Virginia and Public Policy from UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs.

A first-generation college graduate, Chuck co-founded Advance!, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing college awareness, information, and access for underserved populations, in his hometown of La Habra, California in 2002.  He also coaches various youth sports, advises start-ups in the social and environmental impact space, and serves on advisory boards for the UCLA School of Public Affairs and the Haas School of Business (Berkeley).

Chuck spends time away from work with his wife, Melissa, who holds a PhD in Public Health from UCLA, and their four children (Nate, Dylan, Zach, and Charlize).  Chuck is based in Portland, Oregon, USA.

Employer: Nike
Profile: linkedin.com/in/gatchell
Twitter: @chuckgatchell
Media: Berkeley Haas Magazine, Oregon Live, Podium Runner

2017 MPP Alumna of the Year Tanzila "Taz" Ahmed, MPP 2007

Tanzila “Taz” Ahmed is an activist, storyteller, and politico based in Los Angeles, California.

An electoral organizer by trade, she’s mobilized thousands of Asian American & Pacific Islanders to the polls in over seventeen different languages in the past fifteen years. In 2004, she founded South Asian American Voting Youth (SAAVY), a national organization that organizes South Asian American youth to have a political voice and get involved in the electoral process. She has since worked at Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles and Orange County Asian and Pacific Islander Community Alliance employing in-language culturally competent tools to mobilize hundreds of thousands of AAPI voters to the polls. She currently is a Campaign Strategist at the Asian American new media organizing group 18MillionRising.

With a Master in Public Policy degree with concentration on racial justice policy from UCLA’s School of Public Affairs, she was part of a student led initiative to bring Critical Race Theory into public policy. While at UCLA, her thesis project entitled Barriers to Student Voting examines the various barriers that students in California face when exercising civic engagement. An experienced campaign trainer, she has led workshops with EnviroCitizen, APIA Vote, the League of Young Voters, and Campus Camp Wellstone.

In 2016, Taz was honored as a White House Champion of Change for Asian American and Pacific Islander Art and Storytelling. She is cohost of The #GoodMuslimBadMuslim Podcast that has been featured in Oprah Magazine, Wired, andBuzzfeed as well as live shows recorded at South by Southwest and the White House. An avid essayist, she had a monthly column called Radical Love, was a blogger for Sepia Mutiny, has written for Truthout, The Aerogram, The Nation, Left Turn Magazine, and more. She is published in the anthology Good Girls Marry Doctors (2016) and poetry collection Coiled Serpent (2016) and was published in the anthologyLove, Inshallah (2012). Her third poetry chapbook Emdash and Ellipses was published in early 2016. Taz curates Desi music atMishthi Music where she co-producedBeats for Bangladesh and she annually makes #MuslimVDay Cards. Her artwork was featured in the shows Sharia Revoiced (2015), in Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Centers “H-1B” (2015), and Rebel Legacy: Activist Art from South Asian California (2014).

Employer: #GoodMuslimBadMuslim Podcast, 18 Million Rising
Profile: linkedin.com/in/tanzila
Twitter: @TazzyStar
Media: NBC News, NPR, Mother Jones
Website: tazzystar.me, goodmuslimbadmuslim.com, eightpointfivemillion.org