Lexi Paza, Co-Director
Lexi has worked within the intersection of good design, the built environment, & the social fabric of communities for over ten years. She's a fierce believer that the design and use of spaces are deeply linked to equity.
Currently on the Real Estate at Tides, Lexi builds collective impact by activating Tides' collaborative workspaces through events, coworking, partnerships, and collaborative infrastructure. She also drives Tides' consulting on the development and management of community space, where corporate partners' real estate can be leveraged for good. She’s also worked at the Housing Industry Foundation, KaBOOM!, and Rebuilding Together Silicon Valley.
Originally from western Maryland, Lexi comes to San Francisco by way of the Midwest, where she earned an MA in Social Service Administration with a concentration in Community Planning, Organizing & Development from the University of Chicago.
She was a 2013 Fellow in the Silicon Valley chapter of New Leaders Council and served on the board until 2015, then transitioned onto the board of NLC San Francisco in December 2015, serving as director since March 2016.
Kristin Garcia, Co-Director
Kristin García is an associate attorney at Altshuler Berzon LLP, where she represents labor unions and brings affirmative litigation to fight for economic justice. Kristin was a law clerk to the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She previously served as a Legislative Assistant in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs.
Prior to serving in the White House, Kristin was a Deputy Field Director for the 2008 Obama Campaign in Ohio. She also worked as a community organizer for the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization and has been involved in international democratic development work, observing elections in Pakistan and Venezuela. In 2005, Kristin served as the President of the Phillips Brooks House Association, the largest student-run nonprofit in the country.
Kristin is a graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Law School. In addition to serving as the Co-Director of NLC-SF, Kristin serves on the board of the Housing and Economic Rights Advocates.
Ben Chida, Mentorship Chair
Ben Chida is a legal and policy counsel specializing in higher education and education technology. He is currently an associate at Boies Schiller Flexner LLP.
Previously, Ben was Attorney-Advisor in the executive office of then-California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, where he led many of the Attorney General's initiatives on education, juvenile justice, foster youth, and data. He also served as a judicial law clerk to two federal judges: the Honorable Robert L. Wilkins of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and the Honorable David O. Carter of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.
Prior to his career as a lawyer, Ben served in a variety of roles in education. With Professor Michael Sandel, he managed the development and launch of the first humanities MOOC (massive open online course) on edX, which made Harvard College's most popular political philosophy course (Justice) freely available online and enrolled approximately 100,000 students worldwide. Ben also served as a legal intern in the U.S. Department of Education's Office of the General Counsel. Before that, he spent three years as a third-grade teacher at P.S. 325 in West Harlem, New York through Teach For America.
Ben's interest in education (especially higher education and alternative modes of instruction) began when he dropped out of high school his freshman year. For five years, he worked full time as a roofer while attending community college.
Ben holds a B.A. in political science from UC Berkeley and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Dean Guzman, Institute and Curriculum Chair
Dean is currently on the Program Team for California Education Partners - a non-profit that believes that people working in our school systems are the ones who are most capable of improving outcomes for all students.
Prior to moving back to California, he was an Associate Director of Strategic Planning at the Office of District Planning of the New York City Department of Education where he focused on district wide priorities and planning in the borough of Queens. In this role, he also coordinated the implementation of the strategic removal of the Transportable Classroom Units across the city as part of the Mayor and Chancellor’s initiative to remove all units within five years. Dean was also a Board of Directors member for St. HOPE Leadership Academy Charter School in Harlem where he met monthly to discuss, analyze, and vote on school wide strategy. As a board member, he initiated, presented, and developed the strategy to reconfigure grade levels served at the school by truncating the fifth grade and only serving grades six through eight. Dean’s city government experience also includes being an Urban Fellow at the Workforce Development Division of the New York City Department of Small Business Services where he developed education and health care related workforce programs.
Prior to working in city government, Dean taught twelfth grade AP Environmental Science and was the Science Department chair at a small public charter high school in Los Angeles.
Dean graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara where he majored in Environmental Studies and Geography. He grew up in San Diego and is finally living in the Bay Area. He enjoys long distance running, fantasy sports, and interior design.
Ian Fregosi, Recruitment and Selections Chair
Ian is a community organizer with Evolve California working to reform Proposition 13 and increase funding for public education. During his time at Evolve, Ian has specialized in grassroots donor cultivation and direct lobbying to build support for Prop. 13 reform among voters and elected officials. As a fundraiser, he has identified and cultivated thousands of small and large donors who form a statewide network of support and sustain Evolve’s grassroots organizing. He has also overseen lobbying efforts to persuade 120 elected government bodies and 1,300 elected officials across the state to go on record supporting a split-roll reform of Prop. 13.
Outside of his day job, Ian is an active member of several local Democratic Clubs and serves as the treasurer of the Latin@ Young Democrats of San Francisco. In 2017 Ian was elected as a Delegate to the California Democratic Party as part of a progressive slate of candidates determined to build a more progressive Democratic Party that inspires and activates more young people.
Outside of politics, Ian loves taking weekend trips outside of the city, indulging a number of HBO & Netflix shows, and playing softball.
Ian Magruder, Mentorship Chair
Ian Magruder is Director of Partnerships at Landed, a San Francisco-based venture-backed startup helping teachers and other essential professionals buy homes in expensive housing markets.
Prior to Landed, Ian spent four years leading Business Development at the mobile canvassing startup Organizer, and nearly a decade working on Democratic and progressive political campaigns at the local, state, and federal levels.
In addition to his work in business and politics, Ian has a background in public policy, and was selected as a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He received a B.A. magna cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley.
Ian currently serves on the New Leader Council's National Programs Committee and as Mentorship Co-Chair in the San Francisco chapter. Previously, he served for two years as Co-Director of the San Francisco chapter, which was recognized as Chapter of the Year in 2016.
Originally from Santa Cruz, California, in his free time Ian enjoys hiking, surfing, and playing beach volleyball.
Kevin Diep, Communications Chair
Kevin is the Technology Coordinator at the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, where he manages the organization’s database, web applications and technology operations.
Prior to joining the SF Bicycle Coalition, he worked in higher education helping to improve teaching and learning through the better use of technology. Kevin was also an elementary school teacher and City Year AmeriCorps Member and holds an M.P.A. from the University of Southern California.
Kevin was a 2012 NLC Los Angeles Fellow and served on the NLC-LA board until he moved to the City in 2016. In his spare time, he likes to rock climb, travel, cook and explore the city on bike. He also loves spending time with his adorable dog, Chego.
Jamal Anderson, Institute and Curriculum Chair
Julie Barton, Finance and Fundraising Chair
Julie Barton is passionate about the power of story to enact positive social change and believes that quality children’s literature can change the world. Julie is currently the Development Director at Tandem, Partners in Early Learning, a Bay Area nonprofit dedicated providing books and training to thousands of families and children every year. Prior nonprofit development work includes positions with the Harry Potter Alliance and the Philharmonia Orchestra in London.
Julie holds a PhD in Literature and a MA in Children’s Literature. While pursuing her graduate work in London, Julie served on the UK chapter of the International Board on Books for Young People; currently she serves as a committee member for the US branch, USBBY. In addition, Julie serves on the board of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and was a 2016 Leadership San Francisco Fellow. She is finance co-chair on the New Leaders Council - SF Executive Board, on the National NLC Advancement Committee, and serves as a Life Entrepreneurship Trainer for NLC Institutes. Julie is determined to never be too old (or too busy!) to read books written for children.
Joi Jackson-Morgan, Finance and Fundraising Chair
Marta Hanson, At-Large Board Member
Marta Hanson is a passionate advocate working at the intersection of leadership development and social change. Her background spans reproductive rights, politics, fundraising, business coaching, community building, and higher education – including work in both the DC and SF offices of NARAL Pro-Choice America and on the 2014 CA Attorney General re-election campaign of now-Senator Kamala D. Harris.
Currently, Marta serves as Assistant Dean & Associate Director of the Stanford Women's Community Center, where she gets to help build and support a thriving intersectional feminist community. As a certified strengths coach & facilitator and founder of Social Impact Coaching, Marta brings strengths-based development to individuals and organizations working for social justice. She serves as board co-chair of the Stanford Alumni Women's Impact Network (WIN), which connects Stanford alumni committed to social justice across the globe, and on the San Francisco board of New Leaders Council (NLC).
Marta enjoys dancing the lindy hop and making boozy baked goods, and she can say “thank you” in over a dozen languages.
Michelle Roberts, Recruitment and Selections Chair
Michelle Roberts is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and counts herself lucky to be in a field that allows her to combine her passion for mental health with her drive to fight systems of power, oppression, and injustice. Michelle has spent the last 10 years working on the ground with some of society’s most vulnerable people: those suffering from the effects of mental illness, substance abuse, and psychological trauma, on top of the daily realities of all manner of social and economic disparities.
Currently, Michelle works as the Clinical Supervisor at St. Mary's Center, serving homeless seniors 55 years of age and older, as well as training and supervising other staff to do the same.
Previously, Michelle has worked with youth and families impacted by the criminal justice system, low income adults at an outpatient mental health clinic, and adolescents at an alternative high school. Michelle will tell you she works with the most awe inspiring and resilient people in the world. Her clients are her heroes. NLC has begun to give Michelle the platform, tools, and support to use the lessons her clients have taught her to begin to create change in the social and political structures that they suffer under every day.
Michelle completed her Master’s Degree in Social Work at Smith College School for Social Work and her Bachelor’s Degree at Washington University in St. Louis. Michelle joined the NLC Family in 2017 as a Fellow and is excited to be this year’s Recruitment and Selections Co-Chair.
Michelle’s favorite ways to recharge are: being in nature, going on all kinds of adventures, baking/cooking, spending time with her supportive husband and adorable dog, and generally laughing and having a good time.