MPP Alumni Spotlights



Dedicated to helping disadvantaged communities as FEMA national advisor
Gabriele Almon MPP ’12 serves on the FEMA National Advisory Council, where she focuses on advocating for low-income, vulnerable communities when disasters occur.
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Cohen named 2018 Eisenhower Fellow, will research global policies on self-driving cars
Jennifer Cohen MPP ’06, director of government affairs at the L.A. Department of Transportation, has been named a 2018 Eisenhower Fellow — with plans to visit Singapore and Vietnam in May, then France in the fall, to learn how other countries handle autonomous vehicle technology.
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Ward earns Liberty Fellowship, aims to improve South Carolina education
Bunnie Lempesis Ward MPP ’99 will soon begin an 18-month journey as a Class of 2019 Liberty Fellow, which aims to connect and help young, proven leaders collaborate to build a stronger South Carolina. She currently serves as the director of policy development and evaluation for the South Carolina Education Oversight Committee.
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Liana Elliott, MPL/MPP ’14

Alumni Q&A: Liana Elliott, MPP/MPL ’14
Liana Elliott currently serves as the Chief of Staff to the New Orleans City Council president. In addition, she co-founded a new community radio station – WHIV-FM – which features programming dedicated to human rights and social justice. Elliott graduated with dual master’s degrees in public policy and urban planning from the USC Price School of Public Policy in 2014.
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From foster advocate to adjunct faculty, alum shares commitment to helping groups in need
La Mikia Castillo MPP, MPL ’12 describes herself as being “passionate about impacting and addressing issues that have an effect on low-income communities and communities of color.” It’s a passion rooted in her faith that she brings each day to the National Foster Youth Institute, where Castillo leads community organizing initiatives aimed at transforming the child welfare system. Her contributions, however, aren’t limited to just the professional arena. She’s also extended her impact into the classroom, working with students as a new adjunct faculty member at USC Price.
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Price alumni group amplifying grads’ efforts to shape LA education sector
Education is often cited as an area that could create an enormous positive difference on issues of social justice. But such a result would require an immense effort of people working together to make systematic change over time. A group of USC Price School alumni – including Matthew Gonzalez MPP ’15; Justin Tandingan MPP ’14; Rebecca Velasco MPP ’15; Jennifer Power MPP ’15; Avery Seretan MPP ’16; and Megan VandenBos MPP ’15 – have formed the Price Education Network (PEN) to try to make a collective impact in education.
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chifeinjoDavid Feinberg MPL ’09, Lauren Chianese MPP ’10, Priti Johari MPP ’06
For a dozen years, David, Lauren, and Priti traveled remarkably similar courses from different parts of the country. From their varied experiences, they drew identical conclusions about education and equity. Last year, their paths finally crossed when the three were brought together as participants in the Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE) Public Leadership Fellows program.
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wang-thumbAlumni Q&A: Wendy Wang, MPP ’01
Wendy is the president of the USC Price Alumni Association Board of Directors and a member of the Athenian Society’s Leadership Council. A Dean’s Merit Scholar, Wang graduated in 2001 with a Master of Public Policy. Presently, she serves as the corporate director of community education, outreach, and public policy at Pacific Clinics, the largest non-profit behavioral health care provider in L.A. County.
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Kabira Stokes

Alumni Q&A: Kabira Stokes, MPP ’10
After graduating with a Master of Public Policy from USC Price in 2010, Kabira Stokes is the founder and CEO of Isidore Electronics Recycling. The LA-based company provides electronics recycling services, while also functioning as an on-the-job training and employment program for previously incarcerated individuals who face barriers to employment.
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