Founder and Former Executive Director, Urban Habitat
Co-founder, Breakthrough Communities Project
Carl is currently a co-founder of the Breakthrough Communities Project, and recently published his memoir The Earth, the City, and the Hidden Narrative of Race. He is also a visiting Professor at the UC Davis Center for Regional Change. Previously, he was Acting Director of the Community and Resource Unit of the Ford Foundation, supervising 6 Program Officers in the United States, and Program Officers in 13 countries abroad. From 1991 through 1997, Carl served as President of Earth Island Institute, an international environmental organization to protect and conserve the global biosphere. Congressman Ron Dellums appointed Carl Anthony Chair and Principal Administrative Officer of the East Bay Conversion and Reinvestment Commission in 1993. He taught at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture and Planning and the UC Berkeley Colleges of Environmental Design and Natural Resources. Carl has a professional degree in architecture from Columbia University. In 1996, he was appointed Fellow at the Institute of Politics, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Senior Fellow, PolicyLink
Joe, a Senior Fellow for PolicyLink, is a senior advisor to the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color team and ACCESS to Financial Security for All, a project funded by the Ford Foundation’s Building Economic Security Over a Lifetime program. Prior to working for PolicyLink, Joe was a faculty member for inaugural Black studies departments at two universities: University of California, Berkeley, and San Francisco State University. Joe has also served as President of the Emergency Land Fund in Atlanta, Georgia, and was editor of the Review of Black Political Economy, published by the Black Economic Research Center in New York City. He was formerly program executive for Neighborhood and Community Development at The San Francisco Foundation, where he directed the foundation’s Workforce Development and Interfaith Initiative, FAITHS. Brooks also served as the national co-chair of the Neighborhood Funders Group and vice-chair of the Association of Black Foundation Executives.
Ben is an account manager at Marin Clean Energy, a former commissioner on the Richmond Planning Commission, and was elected to serve as a Councilmember on Richmond's City Council in November 2016. A graduate of Urban Habitat's BCLI program, he is the first alumni to serve on Urban Habitat's Board, and acts as an advisor to that program, nominating, interviewing, and selecting new cohort members and providing feedback on BCLI curriculum. At MCE, California's first and only currently operating Community Choice Aggregation energy provider, Ben has been passionately engaged in community outreach and customer care in Richmond surrounding the city's enrollment in the MCE program. He holds a BA in Fine Arts from Amherst College.
Chief Financial Officer, Public Health Institute
Chief Financial Officer Tamar Dorfman leads the Public Health Institute's finance & accounting, grants & contracts, and audit & compliance teams. For more than a decade she has directed finance and operations in non-profit and public sector organizations that promote community development, workforce development, and affordable housing. Her career has focused on developing strong financial strategies and efficient operations so that organizations can maximize impact while ensuring compliance with funder and regulatory requirements. Prior to joining PHI, Dorfman was the Chief Financial Officer for PolicyLink, and the Mayor's Offices of Community Investment and Housing in San Francisco. She also served as the Fiscal Manager for the Corporation for Supportive Housing and was a Principal Budget Analyst for the City of Chicago. She holds a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor's degree from Stanford University.
Network Manager of Contra Costa Reentry Network
Patrice Guillory has a wealth of experience in advocating for system and policy changes that promote social and economic equity. Prior to her current post, Guillory served as Program Manager for the Healthy and Livable Pittsburg Collaborative, reducing the social and environmental barriers to community health and wellness for Pittsburg's most vulnerable populations. Guillory is committed to enhancing local partnerships that employ effective reentry and restorative justice practices that will lead to improving the life outcomes of returning citizens. She is a graduate of Spelman College and is a masters degree candidate of Northwestern University. Guillory resides in East County with her husband and daughter.
Dwayne S. Marsh
Prior to GARE/CSI, Dwayne was a senior advisor in the Office of Economic Resilience (OER) at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for six years. He was OER’s principal coordinator for a $250 million grant program and led the development of capacity building resources that reinforced the work of pioneering grantees in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Under his leadership, OER prioritized equity as a foundational principal for its planning and investment initiatives. Before HUD, Marsh spent a decade at PolicyLink. Prior to PolickLink, he directed the FAITHS Initiative for eight years at The San Francisco Foundation.
President & CEO of Public Advocates Inc
Guillermo Mayer (who also goes by the nickname “Memo”) became President & CEO of Public Advocates Inc. in November 2013, after serving for more than 9 years on the organization’s legal team. There, he specialized in litigation and advocacy to improve public transportation services in low‐income communities and communities of color. An expert in transportation equity matters, Guillermo played leading roles in state and national policy campaigns to enforce civil rights in transportation decision‐ making, improve equitable outcomes in regional transportation planning, and secure greater funding for local bus service for transit dependent populations. The grandson of a bracero who worked on California’s railroads in the 1940s, Guillermo immigrated to the United States from Mexico when he was 10 years old. His experience growing up on both sides of the Tijuana/San Diego border propelled him into political activism at an early age, organizing against propositions 187 and 209. Before joining Public Advocates, Guillermo worked in the California Senate as legislative director for former State Senator Tom Hayden and as a legislative aide for former State Senator Hilda Solis. There, he worked on an array of legislative matters, including higher education, immigrant rights, health care and gang violence prevention. Guillermo is a proud Mexican soccer fan and lives with his wife and son in Oakland, California.
Executive Director, Working Partnerships USA
Derecka Mehrens was named executive director of Working Partnerships USA in August 2013. She brings almost fifteen years of community organizing, civicengagement, and public policy experience working in communities of color and with low and moderate-income families. As Working Partnerships USA’s organizing director beginning in 2008, she was instrumental in developing organizing and campaign strategies to win policies improvingthe lives of workers and their families, including the 2012 minimum wage increase in the City of San Jose. She led the organization’s non-partisan civic engagement programsbuilding an organized base of more than 40,000 low-income communities of color in Silicon Valley, registering more than 14,000 voters and working to increase civic participation rates of voters of color and low-income voters in Santa Clara County. Recently, the organization has launched initiatives to support organizing and policy campaigns in support of workers in the food processing and tech industries, lowwage workers and transit riders, and immigrant communities organizing for equitable investment in our public schools, parks, and community infrastructure. Mehrens is the daughter of a union construction worker and a union community college teacher and is married with two young children. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor's degree in Sociology, History and International Studies.
Senior Advisor, Prevention Institute
Rea is currently a Senior Advisor at Prevention Institute (PI), a national center dedicated to building momentum for community prevention, where she leads projects to advance community prevention in health reform implementation and health care settings. She works closely on advancing PI’s Community-Centered Health Homes Model through strengthening the practice of community health centers and other health care organizations, as well as policies that support better integration of community prevention. Previously as an independent consultant, where her primary clients included Prevention Institute and The California Endowment, Rea worked on projects related to program development and capacity building with a racial equity lens. Prior to this, Rea served as Director of Minority Health Initiatives at Families USA in Washington, D.C., a national policy advocacy organization and a leading voice in the health reform debate. She has also held positions at Grantmakers In Health (GIH), National Business Group on Health and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Rea serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum and was also recently appointed to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health Advisory Committee. Rea holds a master's degree in health policy and management from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley in molecular and cellular biology.
Board Treasurer, Urban Habitat
Carlos is a housing development and land use consultant for non-profit and community-based organizations. Over the past 25 years he has been involved in almost every aspect of developing and operating community housing and economic development organizations as a founder, board member, project manager, and executive director. From 2008 to 2012 Carlos was a City Councilman in East Palo Alto and served as Mayor in 2011. During that period he also served as chair and vice chair of the East Palo Alto Redevelopment Agency, and as vice-chair of the City/County Association of Governments of San Mateo County. Carlos did his undergraduate studies in international relations and economics at Stanford University, was a Fannie Mae Fellow at the Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in 2001, and in 2004/2005 was a Harvard Loeb Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Board Secretary, Urban Habitat
Chris is a Senior Associate at PolicyLink, conducting research on equitable economic growth strategies, including best practices for advancing equity in job creation, entrepreneurship, and workforce development. Prior to joining PolicyLink, Chris worked with the UC Berkeley Labor Center on job creation strategies. She has also worked on community engagement campaigns in transportation and land use planning at TransForm. She holds a Masters Degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley.