2013 NLC Fellows: Los Angeles


Aixle Aman, Director of Political and Community Affairs for School Board Member Tamar Galatzan, Los Angeles Unified School District

Aixle Aman currently serves as the Director of Political and Community Affairs for Los Angeles Unified School District Board Member Tamar Galatzan. She personally acts as a liaison between Board Member Galatzan and 30 district schools in the San Fernando Valley, where she grew up and went to school. In this role, she oversees Board District 3’s ongoing technology efforts, works on facilities issues, oversees Facilities, Budget and Audit Committee meetings, and collaborates with community and stakeholder groups. Previously, Aixle (pronounced ACE-EL) taught third and fifth grade students at a public school in Brooklyn, as a 2006 Teach for America corps member. In 2008, she returned to California to teach middle school math and English at the Westside Neighborhood School. During her graduate experience in Berkeley, she conducted a program evaluation of an after-school tutoring program, supervised teachers who were participating in the University of San Francisco Teacher Education Program, and served as a Graduate Student Instructor for Professor Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor. Aixle completed her Master of Public Policy from the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley in 2012. She also has a B.A. in Political Science from UC San Diego and a Master of Science in Teaching from Pace University in New York City.

Jesús Andrade, Civic Engagement Organizer, Community Coalition

Jesús Andrade is a first generation, U.S-Latino from California’s Central Valley. He completed his undergrad education at the California State University at Sacramento, where he served as student body president his final year and earned a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy-Applied Ethics & Law. Before graduating from Cal State Sacramento, Jesús was awarded a Jesse M. Unruh Assembly Fellowship and spent the following year at the State Capitol working on public infrastructure, budget finance, and education policy. Soon after, Jesús went to work as a field organizer for the 2008 Obama Campaign. As an organizer, Jesús assisted with the campaign’s Latino voter outreach strategy in southern Colorado. The invaluable experience taught Jesús about electoral campaigns and politics through the campaign’s unique organizing structure. Skills gained were further honed at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) where Jesús worked as a statewide Field & Campaign Organizer in California. In this capacity, Jesús was tasked with fostering relationships with affiliated organizations to build a stronger NCLR presence at the state and local level. Further initiatives included NCLR’s national immigration and healthcare reform campaigns, as well as the Boycott Arizona campaign. Jesús now works with the Community Coalition – a community organizing institution whose mission is to address the economic and social conditions that foster addiction, crime, violence, and poverty amongst African American and Latino families in South LA – as a Civic Engagement Organizer. In his first year with the Community Coalition he successfully led three large Get-Out-The-Vote campaigns to bolster the organization's political and electoral power in South Los Angeles. The most recent GOTV campaign led to the passage of Prop 30 and the defeat of Prop 32. In 2013, Jesús will help establish the Community Coalition’s 501(c)(4) Action Fund, which will seek to recruit and train the next generation of political leaders. Jesús Andrade is married and has three sons, and lives in South Los Angeles.

Kelly Boston, Marketing Analyst, Air Tahiti Nui

Kelly Boston is an analyst working for French Polynesia’s flag carrier airline, offering flights from Los Angeles to Tahiti, France, New Zealand, Australia, and Japan. This position involves evaluating market trends, analyzing revenue, and working with an advertising agency in designing creative for marketing campaigns. Before working for the francophone airline, Kelly spent nine months teaching English in Paris, France as part of the TAPIF program, as well as working as an au pair. She is highly interested in human rights, animal rights, and social justice, protecting the environment and especially how these issues intersect. Being interested in many progressive issues, Kelly has a range of volunteer experience from the Humane Society caring for animals, to tutoring in an ESL classroom, to two years of Big Brothers Big Sisters. Recently she completed an internship for Compassion Over Killing, a non-profit working to end cruelty to animals in agriculture and promotes vegetarian eating as a way to build a kinder world for animals and humans. Kelly earned a BA in English with minor French and an emphasis in Secondary Education at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Kelly is certified to teach grades 6-12 in the state of Michigan. She passionately enjoys travel and has couch surfed in several European countries to gain a deeper understanding of other cultures.

Emily Dubin Field, Director of Development, City of Hope

Emily Dubin Field is an entrepreneur and nonprofit professional. She is the owner of Heaven Cent – Jewelry that makes change. Emily started the business in memory of her dad and donates a portion of each sale to charity. She is also a Director of Development for City of Hope where she is developing new philanthropy programs including online giving, social media initiatives, e-engagement strategies, special events and young leadership programs. As a professional staff member, lay leader and volunteer for various nonprofit organizations, Emily offers a unique perspective and understanding of key constituencies in the nonprofit sector. She has extensive experience with board development, program development and management and volunteer coordination. Emily spent five years as the Director of Family & Hospital Relations for Camp Ronald McDonald, a program of Ronald McDonald House Charities. She also does consulting for nonprofit organizations and was a Coro Executive Fellow. Emily has volunteered for the last seven years for Our House Grief Support Center where she founded the Associate Board, led grief support groups and was the 2010 Spirit of Life Volunteer Award Recipient & Honoree Speaker. One of her deepest passion is to help grieving families. Emily earned her MBA in Nonprofit Management from the American Jewish University. There she received the David Lieber Leadership Award, was the Graduate Student Speaker and co-founded the MBA Advisory Taskforce. Her graduate thesis was entitled “Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential Online Fundraising Campaign: Model for the Nonprofit Sector”. Emily completed her BA at UCSB, studied abroad in Spain and interned for Senator Dianne Feinstein.

Mitra Eskandari-Azari, Senior Associate, Alston & Bird, LLP

Mitra Eskandari-Azari is a Senior Associate with the international law firm Alston & Bird, LLP. Her practice focuses on intellectual property litigation and transactional work involving patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret issues for high tech and entertainment clients. Mitra’s IP litigation practice focuses patent infringement defense of technology companies in suits brought by non-practicing entities, copyright protection for motion picture studios and trademark and trade dress protection for internationally known brands. Her IP transactional practice focuses on advising right holders, licensing technology and clearing product designs. She has practiced law for the past six years and is licensed in both California and Pennsylvania. Mitra spends a significant amount of time doing pro bono legal work and serves on Alston & Bird’s Pro Bono Committee. In her pro bono work, Mitra provides legal services to undocumented minors facing deportation through Kids In Need of Defense, foster families in the process of adopting foster children through the National Adoption Day program and homeless veterans through the Inner City Law Center where she is currently a member of the board. Mitra also volunteers as a mentor for at risk elementary school students through Everybody Wins! and regularly participates in athletic racing events benefiting the Aids Project Los Angeles (LA Marathon) and the Los Angeles YMCA (Los Angeles Stair Climb). Mitra earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Comparative Literature and Cinema Studies with honors from the University of Washington and her Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). Mitra is a native of Austin, Texas, but spent half of her childhood outside of Seattle, Washington. She now calls Los Angeles her home and lives there with her husband, daughter and puppy. In her (almost non-existent) free time she loves to cook, bake, watch old movies and laugh.

Jocelyn Krause, Organizer, SAG-AFTRA

Jocelyn Krause is currently an Organizer with SAG-AFTRA, the labor union comprised of media professionals in television, music, and film, where she works to grow and strengthen the organization through initiatives that engage members and develop new leaders. Her position was initially based in Chicago, working on programs and campaigns across five Midwest markets. Prior to her work at SAG-AFTRA, Jocelyn was an Internal Organizer with the Transport Workers Union in New York City. There, she worked with a diverse group of member activists to help elect Democratic candidates and lobby public officials on the issues most pressing to transportation workers. In addition to labor organizing, Jocelyn is passionate about women's health issues. Her first work in activism was on her college campus, raising student and community awareness of reproductive rights through education campaigns. Jocelyn graduated from Carleton College in Northfield, MN with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and International Relations. She also participated in Cornell University’s strategic corporate research summer school, a week-long intensive training on research and campaign design. As a new Angelino, Jocelyn spends her free time exploring this great city. She welcomes suggestions for places to check out, especially if those places are taco trucks.

Samuel Liu, Campaign Manager, Terry Hara for Council

Samuel Liu is currently the Campaign Manager for LAPD Deputy Chief Terry Hara who is running for Los Angeles City Council in the 9th District. Prior to joining the Terry Hara for Council campaign, Samuel ran the campaign for Democratic candidate Jay Chen in the 39th Congressional District in California during the Presidential cycle. Samuel is also actively involved with non-profit communities having worked as a law clerk at the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) in New York in 2010 and the Alliance for Children’s Rights in 2011. In addition to his political life, Samuel serves on the board of the Asian Professional Exchange (APEX) as the Director of Development. Samuel also founded the South Bay chapter of the Young Democrats club and volunteers his free time on local, state and national races. Born and raised in Torrance, Samuel is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley with a bachelors of science in Sociology. He then went on to earn his law degree from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles where he served as the president of the Student Bar Association from 2010-2011. Samuel is also an award winning karaoke singer having won several regional competitions from 2003-2008.

Ngoc Nguyen, Co-Founder, Colibri Law Group

A native of Orange County, Ngoc was raised in the housing projects of Santa Ana, CA, one of the most impoverished cities in America. She spent her childhood in a neighborhood struggling with crime, drugs, gangs, and poverty. Despite these challenges, Ngoc managed to become the first in her family to graduate from college and law school. She believes that her passion for helping others and her professional success stems from her early life experiences. After graduating from law school, Ngoc went to work for law firms handling transactions in a variety of areas. After a short time, she became unhappy with what law had to offer her. She found that the legal practice did not nurture her love for people and creativity. As a result, Ngoc sought to create a law firm that embodied these elements while also focusing on addressing the needs of people, the justice system, and community. She co-founded Colibri Law Group on these principles. Ngoc also is a founding member of the Western Gate Roots and Wings Foundation, an organization committed to providing Rites of Passage ceremonies to at risk youth to help eliminate gang violence, substance abuse, and suicide rates among the population. She currently lives in Culver City, CA.

Jessica G. Price, Staff Attorney, ACLU of Southern California

Jessica G. Price is a staff attorney at the ACLU of Southern California. At the ACLU she has worked on issues involving educational equity, language access, police practices and jail conditions. She has traveled to various schools to provide Know Your Rights presentations, particularly to parents who do not speak English who are interested in navigating the school system. Her work has included successful representation of a member of a tagging crew against a criminal gang injunction, pending representation of inmates with mobility impairments, successful advocacy for the religious freedom of prison inmates, and the successful representation of young English learners in the Central Valley of California who sought access to literacy opportunities. Jessica graduated from Harvard Law School and graduated with Honors with her B.A. in Sociology with Political Science from Yale College. She was the Choreographer for Steppin’ Out, the Events Coordinator for Steppin’ Out, and she served as the student representative on the Yale College Council’s Police Advisory Board. After college she worked as a Public Benefits Advocate at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago. At Harvard, she was an editor for the Harvard Civil Rights/ Civil Liberties Law Review. She was also Co-Chair of La Alianza, she became a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Scholar, and she won first place in the Negotiation Challenge in Leipzig, Germany. She spent time interning in the Office of Governor Deval Patrick, and in the California Attorney General’s Office Consumer and Civil Rights Divisions. After law school, Jessica moved to New Orleans to serve as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Eldon E. Fallon in the Eastern District of Louisiana. The following year, she clerked for the Honorable Dorothy W. Nelson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She has been an attorney with the ACLU since 2010. She is also a Board Member for the Salvadoran American Leadership and Educational Fund, an organization that provides scholarships to members of underserved communities, that promotes the civic participation of Salvadoran and other communities, and that is dedicated to social justice, political access and economic justice. As a graduate of Crenshaw High School, she has returned to Los Angeles to serve her community as a civil rights attorney.

Brian Rosario, Governmental Affairs Coordinator, Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce

Brian Rosario is the Governmental Affairs Coordinator for the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce (TACC). In the short time at the chamber, Brian has organized and transformed the chamber’s Government Affairs Policy (GAP) group into a stronger voice for business in the South Bay area. Transitioning from a 12 year career as a college basketball coach, he is now the first Governmental Affairs Coordinator in the 74 year history of the TACC and has immediately gained respect from his colleagues, TACC Board of Directors, City of Torrance officials, and legislative representatives. His primary responsibility is developing and upholding the legislative platform and representing the Torrance business community and companies such as ExxonMobil Corporation, Toyota Motor Sales USA, American Honda Motor Company, Torrance Memorial Medical Center, and smaller businesses like Red Car Brewery, the Daily Breeze, and Continental Development Corporation. Brian comes from higher education and the world of women’s basketball. His coaching resume includes Loyola Marymount University, Cornell University (NY), University of the Cumberlands (KY), and McNeese State University (LA). Brian’s work at prestige universities with all levels of athletics has allowed him to recruit and coach student-athletes from many walks of life. From the bayous of Louisiana to the bluegrass of Kentucky, and from the hills of upstate New York to the shores of California, he has offered athletic scholarships to players who would not have had the opportunity to go to college and has mentored them throughout their college career. Brian’s passion to address women’s rights, education funding and preparedness, and social equality are driven by his experience as a coach and a mentor. Brian graduated from the University of San Diego with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and earned his Master degree in Middle School Special Education while coaching at the University of the Cumberlands. Born and raised in Oxnard, California, Brian aspires to use his experience and leadership to bridge the gap between education and business to promote progressive social and economic change within our society.

Jaime Sanchez, Project Engineer, Applied Engineering Concepts

Jaime Sanchez currently serves as Project Engineer at Applied Engineering Concepts (AEC), an Electrical Engineering Consulting firm where he manages the design and testing services for some of LA’s high-profile projects such as Disney Cars Land and the LAX Tom Bradley Expansion. He is a recent alum of the Riordan MBA Fellows Program where he took on the lead role as Corporate Sponsorship Chair and fundraised over $92,000 to support the Riordan Scholars Program; a program designed to support diverse and underserved high school students through scholarships, college tours, SAT preparation and mentorship. Jaime received his B.S. in Civil Engineering and Construction Management from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. While in college, he was an active member of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) where he has undertaken leadership roles in outreach to increase interest in STEM related careers and orchestrated college fairs, college admission and financial aid workshops for high school students and their parents in both English and Spanish. He currently serves as Outreach Director on the Executive Board for the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (NSHMBA) and plans to apply to Business School to obtain his MBA in the very near future.

C.C. Song, Program Associate, Rebuild the Dream

C.C. Song is currently the Program Associate at Rebuild the Dream, a platform for bottom-up, people-powered innovation in areas of policy, economics, and media. At Rebuild the Dream, C.C. assists the President and Co-founder, Van Jones, in managing donor, VIP, and media relations, and organized 25 community organizations in Chicago to put together the Rebuild the Dream Village at three Prince concerts. Prior to joining Rebuild the Dream in 2011 as a New Organizing Institute fellow, she spent a year in Berkeley at The Greenlining Institute, a think-and-do tank focusing on California’s communities of color, as the Green Assets fellow. There, she served as a liaison to Communities United, a coalition organizing communities of color to defeat Proposition 23 in 2010. She also conducted research and wrote reports and briefs on environmental and energy issues, executed media outreach, and organized press conferences and lobby visits. She graduated from the University of Michigan with B.A.s in Political Science, English Literature, Creative Writing, and a minor in Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies. Shortly after college, she started working at the New York Public Interest Research Group as a campus organizer, where she organized students to support better environment and consumer protection legislation in New York State. C.C. was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and immigrated to the U.S. when she was in high school. A Wolverine football fan, she can be found screaming at the TV watching “The Game.”

Neil Spears, Co-Director, CFY

Neil Spears is the Co-Director of CFY in Los Angeles, a national education nonprofit that helps students, teachers, and families in low-income communities harness the power of digital learning to improve educational outcomes. In this role, Neil serves as a senior leader of the region and is responsible for CFY's external relations efforts in greater Los Angeles, including fundraising, board development, and relationships with Los Angeles Unified School District and charter management organizations. Neil helped guide CFY-Los Angeles during a period of transformative growth sparked by a $7.6 million federal stimulus grant. Prior to CFY, Neil was a sixth grade teacher and Teach For America corps member at El Sereno Middle School in east Los Angeles. As a teacher, Neil was struck by the unequal education students receive based on where they live and he has since dedicated his career to ensuring that all students receive high-quality educations so they can succeed in school, college, and life. In addition to teaching English and social studies, Neil also took his students to overnight science camp, he played percussion in the school's faculty band, and he helped launch CFY's partnership with the school (the organization's first partner school in Southern California). Neil is active in the Jewish community and previously served as a fellow and board member of Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. He volunteers with PresenTense, a social entrepreneurship fellowship for the Jewish community. Neil holds an Ed.M. in education policy and management from Harvard University and a B.S. in psychology with a minor in political science from the University of California, San Diego. While at Harvard, Neil won the annual case competition held by the Public Education Leadership Project. Neil also maintains a multiple subject California teaching credential. Neil grew up in San Bernardino, California.

Marcus Williams, Student, Southwestern Law School

Marcus Williams is currently a J.D./M.B.A. candidate at Southwestern Law School and the Drucker Graduate School of Management, where he is pursing a joint-degree in law and business. Since starting his program, Marcus has clerked with the Los Angles Public Defender’s Office and currently serves as a judicial extern for the Honorable Bobbi Tillmon of the Los Angeles Superior Court. Prior to entering into the joint-degree program, Marcus served the Los Angeles community as a Teach for America Corps Member, teaching and mentoring kindergarten and high school students in South Central. There, he designed and executed an after-school program for at-risk students to receive additional help, and also served as an academic private tutor. Marcus holds a Masters in Urban Education from UCLA and also a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. While in college, Marcus served as a student government representative and developed a lease-signing program for university students in collaboration with University departments. He also served as the regional undergraduate president for the Northern Province of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, was selected to the membership of Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society, sat on a board of advisors to the Vice President of Student Affairs, and has facilitated courses at the University of Michigan on social justice. Marcus is also an active member of the Culver City-Foshay Lodge of Freemasonry, and frequently gives back to the LA community. Born and raised in Flint, Michigan, Marcus is a devoted Michigan Wolverines sports fanatic, and has become a devoted Lakers and Dodgers fan since relocating to Los Angeles.