Ellen Wu

Executive Director

Ellen has dedicated her professional career to improving the health and wellbeing of low-income communities of color. Prior to joining Urban Habitat, she was Executive Director of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN) for 12 years. She serves on numerous boards and advisory committees, including: City of Oakland’s Park and Recreation Commission and the Board of Directors for the East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO) and the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN). She received her Masters in Public Health from UCLA.

email: ellen@urbanhabitat.org
extension: x305

Bob Allen

Director of Policy and Advocacy Campaigns

Bob has led the Transportation Justice Program at Urban Habitat since 2007. In 2009, Bob helped lead a successful campaign to stop the use of $70 million in federal stimulus funds for the Oakland Airport Connector project based on civil rights violations. More recently Bob led UH's work supporting the successful Free MUNI for Youth campaign and regional equity campaign through the 6 Wins for Social Equity Network. His background and experience include community planning and policy work both in the United States and internationally, labor organizing, as well as organizing and advocacy with refugee and immigrant communities. Bob received both his Bachelor's degree in Political Science and History and his Master's in Public Policy from Rutgers University.

email: bob@urbanhabitat.org
extension: x314

Larisa Casillas

Program Director of Leadership Development and Advocacy

Larisa is a passionate advocate with a great sense of humor and love for justice. Working with and for communities of color and low-income communities energizes and inspires her. At Urban Habitat, she oversees the leadership development activities of the organization, ensuring alignment with our policy priorities. She is an alumna of Urban Habitat's Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI). Larisa is an advisory board member for PODER, a San Francisco-based economic and environmental rights organization and board treasurer/secretary for EBASE, an Oakland-based regional economic rights organization. Prior to joining Urban Habitat, she managed a ten-county immigration legal services collaborative at the International Institute of the Bay Area.

email: larisa@urbanhabitat.org
extension: x319

Pam Flood

Director of Finance and Operations 

For over 25 years, Pam Flood has worked to provide a strong foundation for non-profits working for equity and social justice. Prior to joining Urban Habitat, she was the Director of Finance and Operations of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN) for 15 years. Her experience includes financial management, operations, human resources, event management, fundraising, and grantmaking. Pam is a graduate of Amherst College, earning a B.A. in Sociology and Black Studies.   

email: pam@urbanhabitat.org
extension: x332

Leslie Gordon

Program Manager of Policy and Advocacy 

Leslie is from the Bay Area and is committed to building better cities through equitable land use and planning policies. She worked in the non-profit sector in New York City for several years before returning to the Bay Area to earn her master's degree in Urban Affairs from the University of San Francisco. Her master's thesis, "Building a Better Map: Imagining Racial Equity in Oakland," looks at institutional and grassroots visions of racial equity for Black Oaklanders and considers the ways in which urban space could promote public benefit rather than private profit. Leslie's work centers community-based research and advocacy in order to promote the right to the city and racial justice.

email: leslie@urbanhabitat.org
extension: x311

Chris Norman

Program Manager, Leadership Development

Chris Norman was born and raised in the Bay Area, and his work revolves around creating spaces and structures for racially equitable decision-making and representation. He earned his B.A. in Geography from Dartmouth College where he studied the intersections of urban space, race, and class inequalities. Prior to joining Urban Habitat, Chris worked for the City of San Francisco on a public housing redevelopment and anti-poverty collective impact initiative called HOPE SF. He is an alumnus of the BCLI program (2016), and currently serves on the San Francisco Fellows Advisory board, as well as the board of the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center. He enjoys spoken word poetry, facilitating trainings and workshops, discussing identity, power, and opportunity, and eating burritos.

email: chris@urbanhabitat.org
extension: x308

Mashael Majid

Program Director of Equitable Development

Mashael is a planner rooted in social justice and transformative practice. Her dedication to multiracial movement building comes from years of organizing on land access, public benefits, and anti-displacement issues. Prior to joining Urban Habitat, she coordinated a resident-led campaign fighting for community controlled development in Somerville, MA. Mashael received her BA from UCLA and MUP from the University of Illinois. When not drowning in maps, you can find her marching towards collective liberation, ruminating on Rumi, or sipping masala chai. She is a proud member of Union United, Planners Network, New Leaders Council, and Bruins Nation.

email: mashael@urbanhabitat.org
extension: x306

Tony Roshan Samara

Program Director of Land Use and Housing

Tony has conducted extensive research focused on the politics of development and the marginalization of low-income communities, with an emphasis on housing, gentrification, and displacement. Since 2007 he has worked with the Right to the City Alliance as a resource ally, and currently serves on the Alliance’s national steering committee. Tony has a PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and an MA from the City University of New York. Before joining Urban Habitat he was an associate professor of sociology at George Mason University. He runs the Cities and Globalization Twitter account at https://twitter.com/CGWG2 and most of his publications are available at http://independent.academia.edu/TonyRoshanSamara.

email: tony@urbanhabitat.org
extension: x313