Our Team

Principals

Andrew Wiegand

Andrew Wiegand, Ph.D., M.P.P.

President, CEO, and Principal
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Andrew Wiegand is the President and Chief Executive Officer at Social Policy Research Associates. He previously served as SPR’s Vice President of Research and Business Development. During nearly twenty years of program and evaluation research, he has developed specialized expertise in quantitative analysis, survey methods, impact and outcomes evaluations, and technical assistance designed to improve data collection and accountability. He has led numerous multi-year evaluations of workforce development programs for both disconnected youth and adults. He also has presented papers at several national conferences, including the American Psychological Society and Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM). Dr. Wiegand received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He also received his Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley and his B.A. in Psychology from Beloit College. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, hiking and other exercise and spending time with his wife and two children. Contact Andrew

Traci Endo Inouye

Traci Endo Inouye, M.P.P.

Vice President and Director of the Equity, Education & Community Change Division
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Traci Endo Inouye is a Principal with specialized expertise in foundation grantmaking, multicultural evaluation methods, and the intersection between race and public policy. She has managed and directed a range of projects at SPR, including a number of projects related to youth development and activism, community-led change, and diversity-related grantmaking and evaluation. Previously, Ms. Inouye worked with the San Francisco School District, as well as with the California Department of Health Services, on Capitol Hill as a congressional fellow, and at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on immigrant welfare reform issues. Ms. Inouye received her Master in Public Policy from Harvard University, where she concentrated on education and human services and the strategic management of organizations. She received her B.A. in Communication Studies and Asian American Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. Contact Traci

Kate Dunham

Kate Dunham, M.P.P.

Principal, Director of the Workforce and Human Services Division, and Director of Research and Project Operations
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Kate Dunham is a Principal and Director of SPR’s Workforce Development and Human Services Division. She specializes in qualitative research, program evaluation, and technical assistance and training for workforce development, offender re-entry, and health projects. She has managed a variety of projects and tasks, including an evaluation of technology-based learning, technical assistance to the U.S. Department of Labor on National Emergency Grant reporting, and an evaluation of efforts to combat sex trafficking. Prior to joining SPR, Ms. Dunham served as School-Linked Services Coordinator for Alameda County, worked as a consultant in Hanoi, Vietnam for Oxfam Hong Kong and Action Aid, and was China and Taiwan Programs Director for Volunteers in Asia. She earned her Master in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on collaboration and social and educational policy. Ms. Dunham received her B.A. in Politics and Economics from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Ms. Dunham is an avid traveler and has traveled around the world from Beijing to Los Angeles by train. Contact Kate

Heather Lewis-Charp

Heather Lewis-Charp, M.A.

Principal and Director of the Equity, Education & Community Change Division
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Heather Lewis-Charp has over 17 years of experience designing and leading studies for a variety of clients, including foundations, federal, state, and local government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. Her research interests include issues related to youth and education, violence prevention, and post-secondary access and success. She is interested in using evaluation to help strengthen individual programs and systems that promote community engagement and that lead to more equitable opportunities and outcomes for young people and families. Whenever possible, she uses a mixed methods approach to evaluation, having led formative, implementation, and outcomes studies focused on individual, organizational, and systems-level change. Ms. Lewis-Charp has authored numerous journal articles and report chapters and served as the lead writer of over 20 major evaluation reports. She received a Master’s in Education Research from the University of California, Santa Cruz and a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of California, Berkeley. Contact Heather

Senior Associates

Skye Allmang

Skye Allmang, Ph.D.

Senior Associate
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Skye Allmang is a Senior Associate with expertise in workforce development policies and programs for youth. She recently completed her post-doctoral training at Rutgers University’s School of Social Work, during which she conducted research on gender equity in training and employment, wage theft, and youth job-training program delivery during COVID-19. Prior to her graduate studies, she was a project coordinator at a local community-based organization in Santa Barbara County, where her responsibilities included collaborating with local governments and non-profits to develop team-based work projects for youth job-training participants. She holds a Ph.D in Social Welfare and an MSW from the University of California, Los Angeles, and an MPP from Brandeis University. Contact Skye

Laura Aron

Laura Aron, M.P.P.

Senior Associate
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Laura Aron has expertise in workforce development policy analysis, technical assistance and training, political analysis, qualitative research methods, and multicultural issues. Ms. Aron has trained thousands of workforce development practitioners in One-Stop system building, heightening organizational capacity, enhancing performance, and developing partnerships. Prior to joining SPR, she conducted legislative research and policy analysis in the areas of career advancement for low-income workers, first source hiring, and living wage issues. Ms. Aron received a Master in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. in Philosophy and Psychology from Emory University. Contact Laura

Daniela Berman

Daniela Berman, M.P.P., M.A.

Senior Associate
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Daniela Berman is a Senior Associate with experience in evaluation and strategic learning within the context of the K-12 education system. She has directed and managed a range of projects within her portfolio focused on philanthropic investments in education transformation, to which she brings specialized expertise in student-centered learning, education equity, culturally responsive teaching and learning, K-12 systems change, and organizational learning and effectiveness. Prior to SPR, Ms. Berman conducted research for the John Gardner Center for Youth and their Communities, and for the California Statewide Special Education Task Force. She received a Master of Public Policy degree and a Master’s in Education degree from Stanford University, where she concentrated on education policy, organization, and leadership. Ms. Berman received her Bachelor’s in Sociology from Georgetown University. Contact Daniela

Verenice Chavoya-Perez

Verenice Chavoya-Perez, M.P.P.

Senior Associate
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Verenice Chavoya-Perez is a Senior Associate with specialized expertise in strategic consulting, research and evaluation for philanthropic organizations. At SPR, she directs complex, multi-level evaluations of racial equity, community-centered change, movement and power-building and collaborative development. Ms. Chavoya-Perez uses equity-focused, culturally-responsive evaluation approaches to engage the voices of communities of color and immigrant communities within policy and social change efforts. She received a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor’s in Sociology and Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles. In her spare time, she enjoys taking spin classes, hiking, reading, and traveling. Contact Verenice

Mika Clark

Mika Clark, M.P.P.

Senior Associate
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Mika Clark is a Senior Associate specializing in mixed-methods research. Her research interests include violence prevention, workforce development, education, and youth development. Prior to joining SPR, Ms. Clark coordinated early childhood and afterschool programs with an Oakland-based organization and researched violence prevention initiatives for the City of Oakland. She has also taught at bilingual elementary schools in Mexico and served as an AmeriCorps VISTA member with the San Jose Conservation Corps. Ms. Clark received her Master of Public Policy degree, as well as her B.A., from UC Berkeley. Contact Mika

Renatta DeFever

Renatta DeFever, Ph.D.

Senior Associate
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Renatta DeFever is a Senior Associate at SPR with expertise in education policy, educational accountability frameworks, second language acquisition, and survey and quantitative research methods. Her research has focused on how state and school level policies impact the academic achievement and language development of English Learners. She has experience in survey design and implementation, and collecting and analyzing data from school districts and data from other public sources. Prior to joining SPR, she was a Research Associate at Public Policy Institute of California and a Senior Research Analyst at the University of California Office of the President. She received a Ph.D. in School Organization and Education Policy from University of California Davis, an M.A. degree in Political Science from San Francisco State University, and a B.A. in International Relations and Political Science from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. She is fluent in English and Spanish. Contact Renatta

Rachel Estrella

Rachel Estrella, Ph.D.

Senior Associate
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Rachel Estrella is a Senior Associate with specialized expertise in racial equity initiatives, early childhood education, educational access, multicultural evaluation methods, foundation grantmaking, and the arts. She has managed and led a range of projects at SPR, including a number of projects related to diversity-related grantmaking and evaluation, capacity-building for organizations serving communities of color, effective academic supports for marginalized students, and effective advocacy. She also has extensive experience as a technical assistance provider, meeting facilitator, and curriculum developer. Prior to her work at SPR, Dr. Estrella worked as a Senior Project Associate at Fern Tiger Associates, where she worked with nonprofit organizations in strategic planning and communications, and at UCLA’s Institute for Democracy, Education, and Access, where she worked as a Senior Researcher addressing issues of educational access for students of color. She received her Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she had a dual concentration in urban schooling and the use of the arts in popular education and civic engagement. She received her B.A. in Psychology and Mass Communications from the University of California, Berkeley. Contact Rachel

Christian Geckeler

Christian Geckeler, M.P.P., M.A.

Senior Associate
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Christian Geckeler is a Senior Associate at SPR with expertise in qualitative research methods and random assignment impact studies. He specializes in evaluations of interventions designed to improve workforce system services and programs targeting both adults and youth who have been involved in the justice-system. Mr. Geckeler has managed and led tasks on numerous evaluations examining ways to help hard-to-employ individuals, including at-risk youth and ex-offenders, and which have been funded by federal, state and local government agencies and foundations. Prior to joining SPR, Mr. Geckeler was a researcher with MDRC, where he worked on random assignment and implementation studies focused on higher education and K-12 programs. Mr. Geckeler received a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley. He also received his M.A. in Philosophy from the University of California, Davis and his B.A. in Philosophy from The College of Wooster. Contact Christian

Raquel Gonzalez

Raquel L. González, Ph.D.

Senior Associate and Director of Business Strategy
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Raquel L. González is a Senior Associate and Director of Business Strategy at SPR. Dr. González has over 15 years of experience leading studies and evaluations for state and federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation, First 5 Los Angeles, and First 5 California. She has served as a co-principal investigator, project director, and senior researcher on studies focused on early childhood education; family engagement; and recruitment and retention of underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). She is a mixed-methods researcher who has led both qualitative descriptive studies as well as longitudinal randomized controlled trials and has methodological expertise in survey design. Prior to joining SPR, Dr. González was a senior researcher at the American Institutes for Researcher where she led a portfolio of projects worth over $11 million. Dr. González holds a Ph.D. in Education Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park. She also has a B. S. in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Contact Raquel

Leela Hebbar

Leela Hebbar, Ph.D.

Senior Associate
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Leela Hebbar is a Senior Associate specializing in program evaluation, mixed-methods research, and data management. Her areas of focus include workforce development, unemployment, and higher education. Prior to joining SPR she was a Research Associate at WestEd and Project Director at the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, where she worked on program evaluations and technical assistance projects. She was also a Consultant at MGT of America, where she assisted colleges and universities with their long term planning decisions. She received her Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Policy Development from Rutgers’s University and a M.Phil. in Development Studies from Cambridge University.
Contact Leela

Jennifer Hogg

Jennifer Hogg, M.P.P.

Senior Associate
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Jennifer Hogg is a Senior Associate with experience in mixed-methods research related to education policy and practice. At SPR, she focuses on student-centered learning, whole student supports, and in-service teacher professional development as mechanisms for school improvement and student growth. Before joining SPR, Ms. Hogg conducted research for the US Office of Management and Budget’s education division and Berkeley Unified School District. She previously taught middle school mathematics in North Carolina. Ms. Hogg holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA from the University of Michigan. Contact Jennifer

Deanna Khemani

Deanna Khemani, M.P.S.

Senior Associate
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Deanna Khemani is a Senior Associate at SPR in the Workforce Development and Human Services Division, with expertise in technical assistance and qualitative research. Prior to joining SPR, Ms. Khemani served as a Workforce Development Specialist for the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration in the San Francisco Regional Office where she was a state lead for Arizona and California. She has extensive experience working with state and local boards to implement key provisions of workforce programs, including the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), now superseded by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, and the National Emergency Grant program. She has also served as a performance accountability expert for federal workforce programs. Ms. Khemani has a special interest in actionable evaluation and using data and information to support continuous improvement efforts. Recently, Ms. Khemani served as a lead evaluator on two large-scale Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Technical Training (TAACCCT) grants in Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Ms. Khemani has written numerous reports and presented her findings at several academic and professional conferences. In her spare time, Ms. Khemani enjoys reading, watching her daughter play competitive soccer, and assisting non-profits in their grant writing efforts. Ms. Khemani earned her Master of Political Science from Northeastern University in Boston, MA. Contact Deanna

Vinz Koller

Vinz Koller, M.A.

Senior Strategist for Capacity Building, Workforce and Human Services Division
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Mr. Koller is a national expert on US career education and workforce policy and a thought leader in adapting a European dual professional education system for the US. As a Swiss-American dual national, he has deep understanding of the Swiss and the US systems. Through project work for the US Department of Labor, Education and Housing and Urban Development, he has also developed particular expertise in developing career pathway and apprenticeship programs, improving reentry programs for ex-offenders in education and workforce development. Mr. Koller is project director of the Apprenticeship Inclusion Model (AIM) project and the Policy Development Center of the U.S. DOL’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). Both projects are identifying policy options for State and local governments to improve career opportunities for people with disabilities. He has also been supporting career education reform efforts in California through California’s Apprenticeship Initiative and other state-based and regional innovation projects. Contact Vinz

Madeleine Levin

Madeleine Levin, M.P.H.

Senior Associate
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Madeleine Levin is a Senior Associate at SPR in the Workforce Development and Human Services division, with expertise in technical assistance and qualitative research. Prior to joining SPR, Ms. Levin worked in a variety of research and policy settings, including as a senior researcher at IMPAQ International, where she managed multiple projects funded through federal and state governments to improve the provision of the federal nutrition programs. As a policy analyst at the Food Research and Action Center for nine years, she conducted policy and program evaluation research through surveys of state agencies and school districts, and analysis of large USDA school meals participation data sets. She authored reports on the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, resulting in the identification of effective policies and practices to expand participation. Prior professional experience also includes nine years as a Head Start Technical Assistance Project Coordinator at Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development. Ms. Levin earned a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Illinois, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Chicago. Contact Madeleine

Marian Negoita

Marian Negoita, Ph.D.

Senior Associate
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Marian Negoita (Ph.D., Sociology, University of California-Davis) is a Senior Associate at SPR. His research interests include the decentralization of public service delivery, the use of performance measures in government agencies, public-private collaboration in governance, market and government failures, complex organizations, and innovation. He currently serves as principal investigator, project director, and senior analyst for several of SPR’s workforce and human services division projects. Methodologically, he is well versed in several different quantitative approaches including multivariate modeling, survey research, and quasi-experimental designs, as well as qualitative approaches such as comparative case study designs. Dr. Negoita has published numerous articles in academic journals and edited books, and he has presented his work at several academic and professional conferences. In his spare time, he is an avid consumer of soccer and classical music. Contact Marian

Dallas Oberlee

Dallas Oberlee, M.P.A.

Senior Associate
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Dallas Oberlee is a Senior Associate at SPR, in the Workforce Development and Human Services Division, specializing in Technical Assistance and Training. Prior to joining SPR Dallas was a Program Director at W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research where she managed the operations of a variety of programs including TANF, SNAP E&T, Prisoner Reentry, Non-Custodial Parent, and Employer Resource Networks. She enjoys spending time with her family and participating in anything outdoors such as hiking, mountain biking, skiing or heading out on a camping trip. Dallas earned her B.A. in Criminal Justice and her Master of Public Administration from Western Michigan University. Contact Dallas

Jessie Oettinger

Jessie Oettinger, M.P.P.

Senior Associate
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Jessie Oettinger is a Senior Associate at SPR, providing technical assistance and coaching to education, workforce, nonprofit, and economic development entities. At SPR Jessie has led TA efforts for the development of stackable credential programs within multi-college networks, the formation and implementation of apprenticeships in nontraditional industries, WIOA strategic planning, and the revision and development of new procurement processes for local workforce development boards. Prior to joining SPR, Jessie served on two national technical assistance teams for USDOL grants, worked with numerous workforce-education-economic development-industry collaborations to build strong regional sector partnerships, and wrote extensively on the broker function of governments and other intermediaries in the development of high tech industry sectors. Her passions include cooking, yoga, pre-apprenticeship, multi-stakeholder collaboration and her family. Jessie is from Oregon, earned her B.A. from the University of Oregon, and eventually moved south for the sunshine. She holds an M.P.P. from the University of California, Berkeley. Contact Jessie

Kris Palmer

Kris Palmer, M.P.A.

Senior Associate
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Kris Palmer is a Senior Associate at SPR, providing technical assistance (TA), qualitative research, and evaluation services for a variety of workforce development and post-secondary education projects. Prior to joining SPR, Kris led TA efforts for California Community Colleges (CCC) systemic reform initiatives that furthered innovation, up-skilling, equity, inclusion, and completion. With 116 colleges and their workforce, K-16, employer, and community partners, the work strengthened career pathways, student services, transitions from high school to college, and institutional change processes. Kris formerly was a grant maker with the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation where she co-founded the Bay Area Workforce Funding Collaborative (now ReWork the Bay), a foundation collective investing in economic mobility. In her free time, Kris enjoys teaching political science at Chabot College, hiking, music, and experimenting in her kitchen and garden. She earned her BA from Indiana University and an MPA from Princeton University. Contact Kris

Anne Paprocki

Anne Paprocki, M.P.P.

Senior Associate
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Anne Paprocki is a Senior Associate with experience doing both qualitative and quantitative research and program evaluation. At SPR, she focuses on workforce development and human services projects. Prior to joining the organization, Ms. Paprocki conducted evaluations of homelessness prevention and workforce development programs for the San Francisco Human Services Agency. She also worked for three years at Catholic Charities CYO, where she wrote grants and provided crisis management for families in their homelessness prevention program. Ms. Paprocki received a Masters in Public Policy from the Goldman School at UC Berkeley. She also holds a B.A. in French and English from Pomona College. Contact Anne

Laura Pryor

Laura Pryor, Ph.D.

Senior Associate
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Laura Pryor is a Senior Associate at SPR with expertise in culturally responsive evaluation, survey design and analysis, quantitative research methods, and formative and summative evaluation designs. She began her evaluation career in 2011 as an American Evaluation Association Graduate Education Diversity Intern and has since worked on numerous evaluations focusing on K-12 education, youth development, offender reentry, and higher education. Dr. Pryor received a Ph.D. in Quantitative Methods and Evaluation from the University of California Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education. Her doctoral research focused on the ways in which quantitative methods can align with a culturally competent approach to evaluation. Additionally, she received an M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles and a B.A. in Urban Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. Contact Laura

Anna Marie Ramos, Ph.D.

Senior Associate
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Anna Marie Ramos is a Senior Associate with a range of research experiences dedicated to supporting practitioners, advocates, and policymakers with advancing equity through educational programs. Prior to joining SPR, she contributed to studies at MDRC, the Campaign for College Opportunity, and the American Council on Education. Dr. Ramos specializes in using ecological frameworks to understand how high schools and colleges can be responsive to local needs, particularly through examinations of California’s college access policies and efforts to mitigate basic needs challenges in higher education. She holds a Ph.D. in School Organization and Education Policy, as well as an M.A. focused on Educational Assessment and Measurement from the University of California, Davis. Dr. Ramos also received a B.A. in International Studies from the University of San Francisco. Contact Anna Marie

Caleb van Docto, M.A. SPED

Senior Associate
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Caleb van Docto is a Senior Associate at SPR with experience in integrative workforce systems, disability policy, and K-16 education. Prior to joining SPR, Mr. van Docto served as director for an Oakland-based non-profit providing academic and living skills training, and community advocacy for disabled youth and adults. His background includes integrated curriculum development for both core and expanded core subject areas, qualitative research and program evaluation, and career transitions for individuals with barriers to employment. Mr. van Docto received his Masters in Special Education from San Francisco State University, and holds a B.A. in English from UC Santa Barbara. Contact Caleb

Kristin Wolff

Kristin Wolff, M.A.

Senior Associate
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Kristin Wolff is a Senior Associate at SPR with 20 years of experience in the jobs and social innovation space. Her work spans policy, research, program, and technical assistance domains. She has worked in communities large and small, rural and urban, in the US, US territories, and in Europe and Asia. Her current project portfolio includes: the Workforce Data Quality Initiative, a US Department of Labor (DOL) effort to help states develop better intelligence about labor markets and tools that help customers navigate the Future of Work; a federal evaluation of the US DOL Office of Apprenticeship Expansion Grants; and the California Apprenticeship Initiative Evaluation and Technical Assistance project which provides direct support to projects, designs technical assistance activities to help stakeholders share effective practices. Kristin also runs a small business in Portland, OR (thinkers+doers) that supports small, experimental projects in the social innovation space. She also chairs a local nonprofit board, and is a three-time Hack Oregon Project alumna, a seven-time alumna SIX Social Innovation Schools (Poland, Singapore, Australia, Canada, Korea, India, and the UK), and a founding member of the Solutions Journalism network in Portland.

Kristin holds a B.A. in social science from Miami University (OH) and an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Arizona. She likes bikes – and chocolate. Ask her about The Tomorrow Project. Contact Kristin


Sallie Yoshida

Sallie Yoshida, Ph.D.

Senior Associate
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Dr. Sallie Yoshida is a Senior Associate in the Philanthropy Equity and Youth division. Dr. Yoshida comes to SPR with over 13 years of experience in the design and implementation of community-based program and policy evaluations of healthy food access and obesity prevention initiatives in low-income communities of color. In previous work, as manager of the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program in Fresno County, she worked on several programs to combat child hunger. She most recently served as the Executive Director of the Sarah Samuels Center for Public Health Research and Evaluation for the past seven years. Her interest is in the intersection of community development and food insecurity, having led the evaluations of healthy food financing initiatives in three states – California FreshWorks, Colorado Fresh Food Financing Fund, and the Michigan Good Food Fund. She received a Masters and Doctoral degree in Public Health from the University of California Berkeley and is a registered dietitian. Contact Sallie

Associates

Isis Covington

Isis Covington, M.S.Ed.

Associate
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Isis Covington is an Associate with experience in mixed-method research, community engagement, and racial equity work. At SPR, she focuses on equity, education, and community change projects. Isis is a strong believer in the strengths of education and is passionate about creating equitable K-12 experiences and opportunities for disadvantaged youth. Prior to joining SPR, Isis worked at the University of Washington Dream Project where she supported university students serving in 7 South King County districts focused on helping Black and brown youth create and achieve their postsecondary college and career plans. She has also conducted research for the Philadelphia Office of Children and Families. Isis received her Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed) in Education Policy from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from Seattle University. Contact Isis

Marianne Cuellar

Marianne Cuellar, M.P.H.

Associate
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Marianne Cuellar is an Associate with evaluation experience in public health, place-based initiatives, and K-12 education. At SPR, she focuses on philanthropy, equity and youth projects. Mrs. Cuellar is passionate about applying public health and social welfare frameworks to the research and evaluation field. Prior to joining SPR, she managed the data collection and analysis needs of over 80 Expanded Learning sites at the Youth Policy Institute. She has also worked at a large human services organization based in Los Angeles in their Research and Evaluation Unit, where she facilitated the development of a community-based participatory research project and evaluated a leadership program that aimed to better support Asian American women in leadership roles across the United States. Mrs. Cuellar received dual Masters in Public Health and Social Welfare from the University of California, Los Angeles and a B.A in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego. Contact Marianne

Lea Folsom

Lea Folsom, M.A.

Associate
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Lea Folsom is an associate with expertise in survey methodology and quantitative research experience. Ms. Folsom has seven years of experimental research experience assessing prejudice and discrimination. Specifically, her research on group dynamics focused on manifestations of prejudice, particularly in perceptions, such as likeability and blame judgments, as well as discrimination and how it may manifest itself in the withholding of help. A strong proponent for social equality, her research interests include workforce development and social policy initiatives aimed at benefiting underrepresented communities. Lea received her Master of Arts in Social Psychology from San Francisco State University and a B.S. in Psychology from Kansas State University. Contact Lea

Julia Forte Frudden

Julia Forte Frudden, M.A.P.

Associate
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Julia Frudden is an associate with qualitative methods experience and is passionate about education, racial equity, and social justice. At SPR, she focuses on equity, education, and community change projects. She has experience in community engagement, early education policy, and advocacy campaigns. Before joining the SPR team, Julia was a research consultant for Oakland Starting Smart and Strong and a Graduate Student Instructor for Professor Robert Reich at UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy. Previously, she worked at the Child Care Law Center where she directed advocacy and engagement efforts for the organization’s community development initiatives supporting families and early care providers. Julia also taught first grade for four years in East Palo Alto, CA and Denver, CO. She is currently the Board Chair of BANANAS, a child care resource and referral agency. Outside of the office, Julia loves reading and has been part of an Oakland womxn of color book club for over 4 years. She received her Master of Public Affairs from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Pepperdine University. Contact Julia

Ivette Gutierrez

Ivette Gutierrez, M.A.

Associate
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Ivette Gutierrez is an Associate with experience in qualitative health research, youth development, and program evaluation. At SPR, she focuses on workforce development and human services projects. Prior to joining SPR, Ivette worked at the University of California San Francisco where she sought to strengthen health career pathways in the Oakland Unified School District, supported nursing and school-based health research, and worked on a federally funded project integrating mental health and primary care. She has also worked at a nonprofit agency dedicated to empowering East Oakland youth. Her research interests include health equity and disparities, youth development, and career pathways. In her spare time, Ivette enjoys reading fiction and non-fiction by Latina writers, volunteering as a citizenship exam aide, and exploring Oakland. Ivette received her B.A. and M.A. in Political Science from CSU, Long Beach. Contact Ivette

Nikkolette Hunter

Nikkolette Hunter, M.S.Ed.

Associate
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Nikkolette Hunter is an Associate with experience in community engagement, youth development, and education policy research. She is passionate about research addressing inequitable access to educational resources. Prior to joining SPR, Nikkolette conducted research for the Delaware Valley Consortium for Excellence and Equity (DVCEE). Additionally, she has worked with youth in nonprofit afterschool programs, supported grantmaking efforts at The Riordan Foundation, and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay. Nikkolette received her M.S.Ed. in Education Policy from the University of Pennsylvania and her B.A. in International Development Studies and minor in Latin American Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. Contact Nikkolette

Jessica Munoz

Jessica Muñoz, M.P.P.

Associate
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Jessica Muñoz is an Associate with experience in policy research and evaluation, which includes assessing workforce training partnerships and the CalFresh expansion to SSI recipients. At SPR, Jessica works on projects focused on workforce development and human services. Before joining SPR, she was a Graduate Student Researcher with the UC Berkeley Labor Center’s Labor-Management Partnerships Program. In her role, Jessica supported a research project to expand the High Road Training Partnership (HRTP) community of practice. Jessica also has experience working in local and federal government. She received a Master of Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Macalester College. Contact Jessica

Savannah Rae

Savannah Rae, B.A.

Associate
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Savannah Rae is an Associate who supports research and evaluation projects at SPR across all divisions. Prior to joining SPR, Savannah worked as a Research Assistant for the Network for Transformative Change at the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society. Her work at Haas and in other research positions in college focused on the psychological and social effects of income and racial inequality. Savannah’s research interests include youth, education, the justice system, and racial equity. When she’s not in the office she enjoys exploring the different neighborhoods in the Bay Area. Savannah received her B.A. in Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley. Contact Savannah

Mahika Rangnekar

Mahika Rangnekar, M.P.A., M.P.H.

Associate
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Mahika Rangnekar is an Associate with experience in community engagement, program evaluation, and mixed-methods research related to health systems strengthening. Her research interests lie at the intersection of health, policy, and social and economic justice. Before joining SPR, Mahika worked for Marin County Health and Human Services as an Eligibility Worker for SNAP, TANF, and Medicaid, and more recently she conducted monitoring and evaluation research in the Bay Area, Seattle, and Peru. Mahika received dual Masters in Public Health and Public Administration from the University of Washington in Seattle, and dual Bachelor of Arts in Social Welfare and Spanish from the University of California, Berkeley. Contact Mahika

Laura Ravinder

Laura Ravinder, M.P.P.

Associate
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Laura Ravinder is an Associate with experience in community development, racial equity initiatives, and public policy analysis. Before joining SPR, Laura worked at Living Cities, a community development foundation and supported their cross-sector partnerships to advance systems change to improve the lives of low-income people of color. She has also worked at nonprofit organizations focused on racial and gender equity, economic empowerment, and entrepreneurship education in Oakland, Los Angeles, and Boston. She is passionate about helping organizations understand, measure, and grow their impact and building strong, diverse communities. Ms. Ravinder holds an M.P.P. from The Harris School at The University of Chicago and a B.S. in Physics from Azusa Pacific University. Contact Laura

Enrique Romero

Enrique Romero, Ed.M.

Associate
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Enrique Romero is an Associate with mixed-methods research experience, who is passionate about education equity and education policy that creates opportunities for historically marginalized student groups. Prior to joining SPR, he was a research assistant for projects focused on underrepresented students in higher education, college access, and non-profit education organizations. In addition, Enrique was a Program Officer for the Fulbright Commission in Mexico (COMEXUS), where he managed the Fulbright-García Robles Mexican Graduate Studies Program. He was also a diversity intern and admission fellow at Pitzer College’s Officer of Admission, as well as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant to Mexico. Enrique received his Ed.M. in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and his B.A. in Sociology and Spanish from Pitzer College. Contact Enrique

Maureen Sarver

Maureen Sarver, M.P.P.

Associate
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Maureen Sarver is an Associate at SPR with experience in both qualitative research and technical assistance in the areas of human services and workforce development. Prior to joining SPR, Ms. Sarver was a senior research analyst at IMPAQ International, where she conducted evaluations of federally-funded human services and workforce development initiatives. She also previously worked at HomeBase as a policy analyst and technical assistance provider focusing on U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development programs, along with county needs assessments and strategic plans related to homelessness, food security, and child welfare. She received a Masters degree in Public Policy from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a B.A. in Sociology from Baldwin Wallace University. Ms. Sarver served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco. Contact Maureen

Sehej Singh

Sehej Singh, M.P.A.

Associate
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Sehej Singh is an Associate experienced in mixed-methods social policy research focusing on child welfare, criminal justice, and immigration policy. Her passion lies in research that works to dismantle systems of oppression and to empower underserved communities. Prior to joining SPR, she worked at multiple non-profits serving under-resourced communities such as the Center for Children & Youth Justice and the International Rescue Committee. More recently, she conducted two evaluations on community impact and integrating equity into social programs at Columbia Legal Services and the Office of Evaluation Sciences. Sehej received her Master in Public Administration at the University of Washington, Seattle and her B.A. in International Relations at the University of Southern California. Contact Sehej

Lorraine Sturdevant

Lorraine Sturdevant, M.P.P.

Associate
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Lorraine Sturdevant is an Associate at SPR with a background in sustainable planning and policy. At SPR, Lorraine supports a variety of technical assistance and evaluation projects for the workforce and human services division. Prior to SPR, Lorraine was an Associate with Kimberlina Whettam & Associates where she advised clients in the management and streamlining of development projects through urban planning consulting. She also worked as a Policy Consultant for the Public Service Innovation Branch (PSIB) of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs where she conducted research and analysis on the qualities of effective local public institutions in advancing the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Lorraine has a Master of Public Policy from the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy with specializations in International Policy and Planning and Sustainable Policy and Planning, and a B.A. in Sociology from the University of California, Merced. In her free time, Lorraine enjoys hiking, backpacking, and trying new cafés with friends. Contact Lorraine

Programmers

Mary Hancock

Mary Hancock, M.Ed.

Senior Research Programmer
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Mary Hancock is a Senior Research Programmer at SPR with over 35 years of experience programming to build, clean, manage, and analyze databases. She has significant experience managing and merging multiple data sources and manipulating large-scale public databases in a variety of formats. She is responsible for programming to compile, review, and clean nationwide data from the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Joint Performance Accountability Information and Reporting System (PIRL) and produce annual data book tables and quarterly reports and databases used by the U.S. Department of Labor. She also worked with secure and encrypted data from 26 states as programmer for the Trade Adjustment Assistance Act Evaluation, compiling data from unemployment insurance claim and wage records, Trade Act Participant Records (TAPR), and Workforce Investment Standardized Records (WIASRD). Ms. Hancock received a B.S. in Education from Weber State University and a M.Ed. from Utah State University.
Contact Mary

Martha Eichlersmith

Martha Eichlersmith, M.S.

Junior Research Programmer
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Martha Eichlersmith (M.S., Statistics, Northwestern University) is a Junior Research Programmer at SPR. She has experience in R, R Shiny, SAS, LaTeX, and Github. She is responsible for assisting with programming tasks including data management on the following projects: Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Study: Behavior Interventions Evaluation and Design Options for a Long-Term TAA Evaluations, ODEP’s Lead Center, Workforce Systems Data Analysis , Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) performance Accountability Technical Assistance. Prior to joining SPR, Martha worked in investment banking focusing on the senior living industry. Martha received a B.A. in Mathematics from Gustavus Adolphus College, and a M.S. in Statistics from Northwestern University.
Contact Martha

Finance and Administration

Robert Corning

Robert Corning

Chief Financial Officer
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Robert is responsible for the financial, administrative, and risk management operations of SPR and brings to the position more than twenty five years of financial management experience with privately held and publicly traded companies. Robert is a BA graduate of Brown University (Mathematics and Economics) and is a member of the Institute of Management Accountants. Contact Robert

Carole Guzman

Carole Guzman

Executive Assistant
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Carole Guzman is our Executive Assistant and Office Manager. For over 20 years, she supported executives at international manufacturers in the oil/gas, semiconductor and biometrics industries. Prior to that, she worked at Bank of America in various administrative capacities, the latest as a loan officer. Carole attended Bay Area community colleges over the span of her diverse career, concentrating on the latest computer courses and other business-related classes. In her spare time, she loves spending time with family and friends and traveling the globe. Besides exploring the USA, she and her husband have traveled internationally to: the South Pacific, Canada, Mexico, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Portugal, Spain and numerous Caribbean Islands. Plans to visit other countries in Europe in the near future. Contact Carole

Ann Kingsbury

Ann Kingsbury

Senior Accountant
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