Our Team

Meet Our Team

These are the individuals responsible for making The Children’s Partnership what it is today.

Board Of Directors

Berenice Núñez Constant

Berenice Núñez Constant

Chair
Berenice Nuñez Constant is the Senior Vice President of Government Relations & Civic Engagement at AltaMed Health Services Corporation, the nation’s largest federally qualified health center. In her current role, she leads policy and advocacy strategies through a social justice lens to advance federal and state actions to eliminate disparities in healthcare access for all. She also leads AltaMed’s Civic Engagement Program aimed at building community power by engaging vulnerable communities in the electoral process, advocacy and leadership. She holds a Master’s Degree in Public Health from UCLA, and serves on various boards including the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California, UCLA’s Latino Policy & Politics Institute and the SELA Collaborative. Berenice is also a Commissioner for the LA County Workforce Development Board.
Romie Barriere

Romie Barriere

Board Memeber
Romie Barriere is a director at KPMG consulting for state and local government in Los Angeles. Her career has focused on government operations, strategic planning and policy development as levers for increasing advocacy and resource distribution to marginalized communities. Romie previously served as the deputy chief strategy officer for the New York City Department of Education, the nation’s largest school district, and helped to implement and scale the city’s universal pre-K program. She has also served in various senior leadership roles for New York City government.

Romie received her JD from Columbia Law School and was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2011. She received her undergraduate degree in political science and art history from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Romie is also a proud alumnus of The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Graduate Fellowship and the Coro Leadership New York program.

Susan Fleischman

Susan Fleischman

Board Member
A seasoned clinician and healthcare executive, Susan Fleischman, MD, has excelled as a strategic business leader with expertise in Medicaid Managed Care policy, financing and care delivery with organizations including an integrated health plan and delivery system; she brings this vast experience and know-how to help guide HMA clients.

Prior to joining HMA, she served as national vice president for Medicaid, Charitable Care and Coverage for Kaiser Permanente where she was responsible for the creation and implementation of strategies for Kaiser Permanente to participate in Medicaid.

She has also served as a Medicaid health plan medical director providing medical oversight for a one million-member program serving members insured through government payers including Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Her clinical experience includes serving as medical director and physician for a Federally Qualified Health Centers providing healthcare services to low-income uninsured individuals and families, including the homeless. She has also been an associate professor at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) teaching community medicine to residents and medical students. Dr. Fleischman is active in advocacy and improving programs and care for families in need. She earned a Doctor of Medicine degree and bachelor’s degree in chemistry from UCLA and is a graduate of the first class of the California Healthcare Foundation Medical Leadership Fellowship. She has also participated as faculty for the program. She has two children in college, and enjoys running, spinning, yoga, music, and scuba diving.

Anthony Perez

Anthony Perez

Board Member
Anthony Perez is a principal at The Raben Group, providing strategic communications, advocacy, and planning support to clients in California, Texas, and nationally.

Anthony has worked with a broad range of clients focused on pushing progressive criminal justice reform policies and new safety priorities. In California, he has worked with Californians for Safety and Justice on the passage and implementation of Proposition 47. He worked with the client to build a broad coalition of Latino, immigrant rights and business leaders to support the ballot initiative and engage in its implementation. Anthony has also been working with a group of re-entry providers in LA County to integrate financial coaching into their service delivery model and help build a national model on asset building for formerly incarcerated individuals. Nationally, Anthony has been working with Alliance for Safety and Justice to help the organization build its visibility nationally and in seven of the nation’s top incarceration states.

Anthony helped with the firm’s expansion into Texas, working alongside colleagues to assess the needs and opportunities in the Lone Star State. Anthony has provided communications and advocacy support to The Borderplex Alliance and the Council on Regional Economic Expansion and Educational Development (CREEED) as they tackle economic development and education issues in the Texas border region. Anthony has helped both clients build relationships with national reporters and influencers and gotten them featured in The Huffington Post, The Atlantic, Washington Post, Fort-Worth Star-Telegram, and El Diario de Mexico. A few of Anthony’s other clients include The California Endowment, The Campaign for College Opportunity, and Diverse Asset Managers Initiative. Prior to joining The Raben Group, Anthony worked as a data analyst for The Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) at USC, conducting quantitative and qualitative research on a broad range of policy issues such as immigrant integration, environmental justice, and movement building and publishing reports on these topics. Anthony also worked at The California Endowment, developing grant-making strategies on youth development and violence prevention in California. Anthony is a native of Santa Ana, California, and child of immigrant parents whose story of adversity and perseverance navigating this country keep him grounded and committed to social justice. Anthony holds a master’s in Public Policy from the University of Southern California and received his undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley.

James Perez

James Perez

Board Member
James serves as Associate General Counsel at Caltech/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He has over 16 years of litigation and investigation experience. Prior to joining Caltech/JPL, James was an attorney in private practice in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., and served as Counsel to the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, where he helped manage the largest U.S. Attorney’s Office in the country. He was also a Senior Assistant United States Attorney in the Office’s Appellate Division. James earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California (USC) and his J.D. from New York University School of Law, where he was the Executive Editor of the New York University Law Review. He also served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Damon J. Keith for the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Detroit, Michigan and to the Honorable Julian Abele Cook, Jr. for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. In 2016, Mr. Perez was named one of the National Bar Association’s “Nation’s Best Advocates: Top 40 Under 40 Lawyers.” For his pro bono work, he received the 2019 Humanitarian Award from the ACLU of Southern California.
Jessica Perez

Jessica Perez

Board Member
Jessica Perez is a Partner in Deloitte’s Healthcare & Life Sciences practice and serves as the national Healthcare M&A Leader and as Deloitte’s Global Life Sciences and Health Care Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Leader. Jessica has over 16 years of public accounting experience in the healthcare industry. Jessica has experience advising senior executives on M&A strategy and execution. Her experience includes advising both private equity and corporate clients on many aspects of acquisitions including; due diligence, accounting structuring, financial reporting, valuation considerations and financing documents. She also leads Deloitte Academy, a program that helps underrepresented students overcome obstacles on their path to college readiness, serves as the Dean of Students for the Advisory Summer Intern program, and leads the Hispanic Network in her local office. Jessica holds a BS in Accounting and BBA in Management from Loyola Marymount University.
Rhonda Welch Scalco

Rhonda Welch Scalco

Board Member
Rhonda Welch Scalco is an enrolled member of the Barona Band of Mission Indians, former Chairwoman of the Tribe, and full-time faculty at MiraCosta College. Her educational background is steeped in child development, early childhood special education and in risk and resilience. Dr. Welch Scalco is passionate about early childhood education and supporting tribal children who have special learning needs to achieve their educational goals. Rhonda has authored two infant board books, “ilymash shemap” and “sin, hewak, hemuk” in her native language in conjunction with starting a chapter of Reach out and Read at Southern Indian Health Council. Rhonda is also a founding member of the Barona Cultural Center and Museum website, Shiimull Mata’yuum, that assists in teaching the youngest members of the tribe “our ways of knowing.” She also sits on the state’s American Indian Oversight Committee and is on the board for California Indian Education for All. 
Jessica Huey

Jessica Huey

Board Member

Jessica Huey serves as an advisor and strategist to social change organizations. Her career has focused on cross-sector partnerships with experience in public, private and nonprofit sectors.

Currently, Jessica is a director with BDO Nonprofit & Grantmaker Advisory, a consulting group dedicated to helping nonprofits, foundations and other social sector organizations strengthen their financial health and operational strategies. In her work, she leads BDO Nonprofit & Grantmaker Advisory’s Southern California initiatives with a focus on creating equitable access to government funding.

Prior to her career in consulting, Jessica spent several years in city government (City and County of San Francisco) and federal government (http://Challenge.gov , Center for Excellence in Digital Government). She served in the inaugural class of City Hall Fellows and went on to co-chair its advisory board. She also has served on several nonprofit boards, most recently serving on the Advisory Board of Oasis for Girls, dedicated to supporting under-resourced girls of color in San Francisco.

Senior Advisors

The Children’s Partnership was founded in 1993 by Wendy Lazarus and Laurie Lipper to identify new trends and emerging issues that affect children and provide analysis and strategies for action.  Along with partners and supporters, The Children’s Partnership is now a leading children’s advocacy organization fighting to ensure access to health care and technology for every child, especially those most in need.
Today, our co-founders serve as Senior Advisors to the organization’s new president, Mayra E. Alvarez. The Senior Advisors are also engaged in efforts to support nonprofits in their transition of leadership. In May 2017, Wendy and Laurie’s article Six Strategies for Nonprofit Leadership Transition was featured in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. It provides helpful insights on how to successfully hand off your organization to the next generation.
Wendy Lazarus

Wendy Lazarus

Co-Founder and Senior Advisor
Wendy Lazarus is Co-Founder of and Senior Advisor to The Children’s Partnership (TCP), a national, nonprofit organization founded in 1993 to advance the interests of America’s children and families—especially those at risk of being left behind. In 2015, she co-led an executive transition, turning over leadership of the organization to Mayra Alvarez, the current President of TCP.

Ms. Lazarus is a leading advocate and policy expert on a wide range of children’s issues, having spent more than 40 years working on the front lines for children across the nation. Throughout the years, she has helped secure improved health care, child support, access to information technologies and other vital resources for hundreds of thousands of children and families.

Through her leadership at The Children’s Partnership, digital opportunity for children has become a forefront policy issue in the United States. Ms. Lazarus helped secure first-in-the-nation technology policy gains in California that directed technology resources and training to underserved children and their families.

She also carried out pioneering work on the content dimension of the digital divide, having co-authored the first comprehensive report on Internet content from the standpoint of the needs of underserved Americans. The Children’s Partnership also developed a portal to help low-income and underserved communities use and create online content and produced a widely used Parent’s Guide to the Internet.

In addition, Ms. Lazarus has worked to ensure that every child in America has access to quality health care and has led a number of health reform efforts, including major improvements in the federal Medicaid program for children. While at TCP, she helped create and lead the 100% Campaign, a California-based effort which succeeded in its goal of enabling all children to get health coverage. With Ms. Lazarus’s leadership, The Children’s Partnership also spearheaded the creation and roll-out of Express Lane Eligibility, pioneering a way to use technology to expedite enrollment in public health insurance programs for hundreds of thousands of uninsured children through other public programs in which they are already enrolled. Ms. Lazarus also developed the next frontier in health care for children—the deployment of new technologies such as telehealth to improve children’s health.

Prior to founding The Children’s Partnership, she served as the Children’s Defense Fund’s first national Director of Health, as founding Vice-President for Policy at Children Now, and as a consultant to the Conrad Hilton and Piton Foundations.

Laurie Lipper

Laurie Lipper

Co-Founder and Senior Advisor
Laurie Lipper is Co-Founder of and Senior Advisor to The Children’s Partnership (TCP), a national, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1993 to advance the interests of America’s children and families—especially those at risk of being left behind. In 2015, she co-led an executive transition, turning over leadership of the organization to Mayra Alvarez, the current President of TCP.

Her work at The Children’s Partnership has been recognized for its foresight and leadership, especially in the area of children and digital media. In 1994, she co-authored the first comprehensive report on how digital society impacts children, followed by co-authoring an award-winning, first-of-its-kind parenting resource for the information age. In the following years, she authored multiple publications about children and the digital society and led the development of several digital projects including the first website focused on creating content for low-income Americans. She created and managed communications for many successful advocacy campaigns, securing increased health care and dental care for California’s children, the expansion of next-generation technologies for health care through telehealth, and numerous efforts to close the digital divide.

Ms. Lipper was founding Vice President for Communications at Children Now, a California-based policy organization, where she developed groundbreaking communications strategies for child advocacy. Her work at Children Now included several innovations such as fashioning the marketing elements and releasing, in 1989, the first California Report Card on how the state’s children are faring. This technique spawned a generation of data-based accountability tools supported by communications presentations and messaging in child advocacy. She also developed a model media and communications program for children’s issues, including public opinion research projects, the blending of policy and communications outcomes in strategy development, and the creative development and production of the print, digital, and video advocacy tools for the organization.

Previously, she was Deputy Campaign Manager for a California campaign reform initiative, Proposition 68, and Marketing Director of Hands Across America, a one-of-a-kind mega-event that raised awareness and funds to alleviate hunger and homelessness. She served as Executive Director of The Nation Institute, a New York-based organization that promotes civil liberties and debate on foreign and domestic policy.

Throughout her career, Ms. Lipper has fostered innovative approaches to advocacy. She has been adept at anticipating emerging issues and developing them into advocacy platforms. At The Children’s Partnership, she also honed the structure of the organization to support 22 years of co-leadership and a virtual organization with multiple offices. She has worked to recruit and mentor young advocates interested in pioneering new approaches to advocacy and she has designed organizational structures to support innovation.

In 2017, Laurie Lipper co-founded Kids Impact Initiative, a nonprofit project started to improve the lives of the nation’s 74 million children. After more than three decades as an advocacy organization executive, Ms. Lipper launched Kids Impact to support and strengthen the child advocacy field as a whole. Kids Impact analyzes advocacy trends and lessons across a broad range of issues, advancing new ways to reinforce effective efforts already underway and ratchet up accountability and advocacy for children. Currently, Ms. Lipper serves on the Washington Advisory Council of Common Sense Media. She is an accomplished speaker to schools and parent groups, and to the media. Ms. Lipper received her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara and resides in Washington, D.C.

Our Staff

Mayra E. Alvarez

Mayra E. Alvarez

President
malvarez@childrenspartnership.org

Mayra E. Alvarez, MHA is President of The Children’s Partnership, a nonprofit advocacy organization working to advance child health equity by ensuring all children have the resources and opportunities they need to grow up healthy and lead productive lives. In 2023, she was nominated by California Governor Gavin Newsom to serve on the Covered California Board of Directors, and in 2019, to serve on the Early Childhood Policy Council. In 2021, she was named by President Biden to the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. Since 2017, Ms. Alvarez has served on the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC), nominated by Attorney General Rob Bonta in 2021 and previously by then-Attorney General Xavier Becerra in 2017.

Prior to The Children’s Partnership, Ms. Alvarez completed a several-year set of assignments at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in the administration of President Barack Obama. She served as the Director of the State Exchange Group for the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and led a team responsible for supporting states in the establishment of Health Insurance Marketplaces.  Previously, Ms. Alvarez served as the Associate Director for the HHS Office of Minority Health, where she led the coordination of OMH’s work related to the Affordable Care Act, community health workers, and language access. Prior to this role, Ms. Alvarez served as Director of Public Health Policy in the Office of Health Reform at HHS where she had primary oversight responsibility for coordinated and timely implementation of the public health, prevention, and health care workforce policy provisions in the Affordable Care Act.

Before joining the Obama Administration, Ms. Alvarez served as a Legislative Assistant for Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and for then-Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis (D-CA). Ms. Alvarez began her professional career as a David A. Winston Health Policy Fellow in the office of then-Senator Barack Obama (D-IL).

She completed her graduate education at the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her undergraduate education at the University of California at Berkeley. She is originally from outside San Diego, CA, and is the proud daughter of Mexican immigrants.

Angie Franchino

Angie Franchino

Vice President
afranchino@childrenspartnership.org

Angie Franchino is Vice President at The Children’s Partnership and oversees all operations for the organization. Angie has been working in the nonprofit sector for more than 20 years and is committed to ensuring TCP’s internal operations are in alignment with our values. Angie came to TCP after a decade at Step Up, a national nonprofit empowering girls in marginalized communities to fulfill their potential. Angie left Step Up as Chief of Staff after having helped grow the organization in a number of roles, from after-school instructor to Managing Director to VP of Fundraising & Operations. Prior to Step Up, Angie held membership and marketing roles at UCLA, and worked in meeting planning for the American Staffing Association. Angie received her B.S. in journalism from Boston University. Angie is passionate about public service and volunteering and has served as a crisis counselor, a Court Appointed Special Advocate and a resource parent.

Kristen Golden Testa

Kristen Golden Testa

Policy Director
ktesta@childrenspartnership.org

Kristen Golden Testa is a Policy Director at The Children’s Partnership, where she leads the development and execution of TCP’s policy and advocacy agenda, specifically focusing on health. Since joining TCP in 2001, she has worked on expanding and improving health coverage, health care quality, access and enrollment for children, focusing on Medi-Cal, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Covered California. She also leads on federal health coverage issues affecting children. She played an early role in advancing health4all kids, which was enacted in 2015 and more recently led a coalition in advocating for California’s recent continuous Medi-Cal coverage for young children. Before joining TCP, Kristen served as the Assistant Secretary for Program and Fiscal Affairs for the California Health and Human Services Agency, where she oversaw the policy and budget issues for the former Healthy Families and Medi-Cal programs, among others. Kristen served as an ex-officio member representing the Secretary on the Managed Risk Medical Insurance Board (MRMIB). Prior to her state political appointment, she served as the lead for legislation on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance (for the Ranking Member, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan). Starting with her Presidential Management Fellowship, she worked in the Office of the Secretary for Budget at the US Department of Health and Human Services, where she advised the Assistant Secretary on Medicaid issues. She received her undergraduate degree from Tufts University and her master’s degree in Health Science from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and Hygiene. From 2005-2006, she served as the Packer Policy Fellow, which aims to promote health policy exchange and collaboration between Australia and the United States. She has lived all over the United States, growing up in the Netherlands and now resides in Mill Valley California with her husband, 2 daughters, Izzy the beloved family dog and 10 chickens.

Angela Vazquez

Angela Vazquez

Policy Director
avazquez@childrenspartnership.org

Angela Vazquez is a Policy Director at The Children’s Partnership, where she leads the development and execution of TCP’s policy and advocacy agenda, specifically focusing on mental health and child well-being. Throughout her career, Angela has worked to ensure marginalized young people, like foster youth, have better access to mental health services and education supports for which they are entitled to through policy and administrative regulation analysis and advocacy. In doing so, she has always worked to uplift the voices of impacted communities. In 2020, Angela was appointed to the California Citizens Redistricting Commission where she centered community voice throughout an 18 month process to redraw the state’s legislative and federal elections boundaries for the first time in 10 years. She received a B.A. in Psychology/Religious Studies from Claremont McKenna and her M.S.W. from USC. Angela is also President of Body Politic, a grassroots health justice organization at the forefront of the patient-led movement for Long COVID.

Maddie Ribble

Maddie Ribble

Policy Director
mribble@childrenspartnership.org 

Maddie Ribble is a Policy Director at The Children’s Partnership, where he leads the development and execution of TCP’s policy and advocacy agenda, specifically focusing on social determinants of health and their impact on child health and well-being, including digital equity, such as broadband access and telehealth, economic security, and housing. In addition, the position serves as TCP’s strategic lead on evaluating TCP’s emerging issues in California and nationally. Maddie’s career has been focused on building campaigns, coalitions, and partnerships to change policy, reform systems, and build community power for health equity and racial justice. Most recently, Maddie served as Senior Policy Associate for Health & Economic Justice at the Children’s Defense Fund-California where he worked to advance environmental justice, guaranteed income programs, and stronger tax credits initiatives. Prior to relocating to California in 2021, Maddie served for 13 years as Director of Public Policy and Campaign Strategy at the Massachusetts Public Health Association. Maddie’s advocacy and coalition leadership at MPHA were instrumental in major policy reforms and investments to improve the effectiveness and equity of the local public health system, the creation of the statewide COVID-19 Equity Task Force and the Vaccine Equity Now! Coalition, establishment of the Massachusetts Prevention & Wellness Trust Fund, stronger focus on health-related social needs and community based organizations in Medicaid reform, new financing sources for healthy food retailers, investments in public and active transportation, and stronger relationships between public health and grassroots organizations. Maddie served as a board member for several statewide housing and transportation policy coalitions, including as co-chair of the Transportation Justice Working Group of Transportation for Massachusetts, and he was appointed to numerous advisory committees regarding Medicaid reform and hospital community benefits. Prior to his work at MPHA, Maddie served as Director of Intergovernmental Relations at the Boston Public Health Commission. Maddie also served for more than 15 years in a variety of volunteer organizing, advocacy, and governance roles for community-based organizations focused on affordable housing in Boston neighborhoods. He received his MPH from the Boston University School of Public Health. Maddie currently lives in Long Beach with his partner and two kids, 10 and 8.

Eva Rivera

Eva Rivera

Policy Director

Eva Rivera is a Policy Director at The Children’s Partnership, where she leads the development and execution of TCP’s policy and advocacy agenda, specifically focusing on early childhood development. Eva is the organizational lead on issues impacting children ages 0-5 and their families. Eva has served in various positions working on program development and design, outcomes measurement and quality improvement, coaching and facilitation, and project management. As a Family Support Supervisor for an Educare school within the Educare Learning Network, a national network of 20 early learning centers, Eva was responsible for health, mental health, social and emotional, and parent services integration and coordination for families enrolled at the center. Eva led the development of parent programming focusing on child development and self-sufficiency issues as identified by parents, and chaired the English Language Learner Committee, which provided professional development programs and practices for providers working with English Language Learner students and their families. While in multiple leadership positions at the Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP), in partnership with other LAUP leaders, Eva devised and implemented strategic plans to utilize continuous quality improvement cycles to create new and refine existing programming for practice improvement across a variety of outcome measures. In addition, Eva provided direct supervision toof a team of twelve coaches and trainers and managed a technical assistance team that served over 175 of LAUP’s early learning program partners annually. Originally from Mexico City, Eva is fluent in both English and Spanish. She is a certified National Facilitator of the Touchpoints Approach with the Brazelton Touchpoints Center and is an adjunct instructor for her alma mater the Grace Abbott School of Social Work at the University of Nebraska, Omaha where she received her Master of Social Work. Eva currently lives in Gardena, CA with her two daughters, Sophia and Miranda, and her dog Juno.

Liza M. Davis

Liza M. Davis

Director, Community Engagement & Advocacy
ldavis@childrenspartnership.org

Liza M. Davis (she/ella) is Director, Community Engagement & Advocacy at The Children’s Partnership and plays a leadership role in cementing our statewide reach by engaging partners at the local, state and national level in our policy work through transformational relationship-building. Liza designs, executes and supports campaigns, programs, and policy development research, creating bridges between policymakers, legislators and community members. Liza also supports the creation of community-informed, culturally appropriate resources for families that reflect how policies impact them. For the last decade, Liza worked as a public interest attorney, collaborating with, and providing direct representation to some of the most marginalized members of our community. Liza dedicated her entire legal career to representing children and families. As an attorney, Liza represented thousands of clients in matters regarding education law, family law, juvenile law, guardianship, public benefits, immigration, and other issues vital to improving their quality of life. Before joining TCP, Liza was a Staff Attorney at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA) where she represented victims of torture, domestic violence, trafficking, and other serious crimes in both family law and immigration matters. In addition to representing clients, Liza advocated for the rights of families impacted by domestic violence via active participation in committees and various community-led coalitions focused on reimagining the way we serve families in crisis. Most recently, Liza helped develop the Reimagine Child Safety Coalition, which works to reimagine our family regulation system and the way we address child safety. While at LAFLA, Liza also helped develop and execute Legal Aid’s first all-staff policy initiative: Support Over Separation (SOS), a policy initiative aimed to strategically address the intersection between legal aid and the child welfare system, with the goal of ensuring that families received the support and resources they need to stay together. Prior to joining LAFLA, Liza worked at Public Counsel where she provided direct legal services, policy and legislative advocacy on issues related to youth in the juvenile justice system, youth in foster care, and young victims of commercial sexual exploitation. While at Public Counsel, Liza worked to enforce the education/special education rights of system-involved youth and to decriminalize children with disabilities in schools, group homes and other foster care placements. Immediately after graduating Southwestern Law School, Liza helped establish and direct the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) pro-per clinic at the Immigration Center for Women and Children. She joined Southwestern Law School as an Adjunct Professor of Law in 2018 where she teaches, and mentors students interested in public interest and public sector law. Liza received a B.A. in Sociology with minors in Applied Psychology and History from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is a proud immigrant from Guatemala, raised in Los Angeles. She shares her life with her husband Ryan, their two daughters, and their dog Chase.

Maya Meinert

Maya Meinert

Director, Communications

mmeinert@childrenspartnership.org

Maya Meinert is Director of Communications and leads communications in support of TCP’s strategic plan. Maya joins The Children’s Partnership with a seasoned background in nonprofit communications and storytelling. Most recently, she was Associate Director of Content at Venice Family Clinic, a community health center with 17 sites dedicated to providing high quality, comprehensive primary health care to people who need it, regardless of income, insurance or immigration status. Prior to her time at the Clinic, Maya spent a decade at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, where she served as Head of Communications. She also has held stints as a reporter for Los Angeles trade publications. Maya has a master’s in journalism from USC and a bachelor’s in sociology from UCLA. She enjoys reading thrillers, listening to live music and having a good meal. Maya lives in Los Angeles with her husband, dog and cat.

Raven Jones

Raven Jones

Director, Peer-to-Peer Youth Mental Health
rjones@childrenspartnership.org

Raven Jones is Director, Peer-to-Peer Youth Mental Health at The Children’s Partnership. Raven is responsible for the execution of a 5-year, $10 million pilot program focused on peer-to-peer youth mental health. Raven will support the pilot sites across California to execute up to 3 school years of peer support programs that are responsive to the mental health needs of youth in those communities and connect to the broader ecosystem of resources and assets in order to inform a set of recommendations for a model statewide.

Raven has spent her career working as a conduit for transformation on behalf of and alongside young people. As a youth development expert she has created safe spaces for individual growth, exploration and access to opportunity for Black and brown youth in systemically underserved communities. Throughout her tenure in community based non-profits, she’s been tapped to open new national offices, expanding programming and building partnerships within local districts and charter networks across Southern California and Northern Texas. Before joining TCP, Raven served as a Director for Organizational Strategy and Equity Programs for one of the largest charter networks in Southern California. Managing annual strategic planning, diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and a wide range of crisis management special projects. Throughout her career, she has pushed the organizations and communities she’s been part of to work towards adopting actionable anti-racist and pro-Black commitments. She believes wholeheartedly in centering inclusion and equity for both the youth we support and the adults within the organization doing the work. Raven holds a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Studies with a focus in Gender, Race & Class from Pitzer College and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy & Public Administration from Northwestern University.  She proudly identities as a Black queer woman. She and her partner live in Long Beach and share a 6 year old dog named Shadow. She loves interior and floral design, vegan tacos and ice cream!

Monique Parks

Monique Parks

Operations Manager
mparks@childrenspartnership.org

Monique Parks is Operations Manager at The Children’s Partnership. She plays a critical role in supporting and ensuring the effectiveness of the TCP team by ensuring the organization runs smoothly, with particular emphasis on administration, finance & accounting and organizational governance. Prior to stepping into an operations role at TCP, Monique was Ms. Parks – a first grade teacher in Lost Hills. Having worked the last few years in a small town in the Central Valley, Monique got to experience firsthand how health and food deserts can be detrimental to a community. Monique is passionate about making systems and processes work so others can focus on their primary work and feel supported. Monique earned dual bachelor’s degrees at Howard University in Sociology and Administration of Justice. She is originally from Roanoke, Virginia.

Laura Murray

Laura Murray

Development Manager
lmurray@childrenspartnership.org

Laura Murray is Development Manager at The Children’s Partnership and spearheads all fundraising activities including grant-seeking and individual donor cultivation. Laura came to TCP in 2022 after nearly a decade of working with The Public Interest Network in Atlanta, Boston, Ann Arbor, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles. In that time, Laura developed expertise in making change at the state level by working on environmental, consumer and good government campaigns in roles ranging from Senior Grantwriter to Consumer Associate and Canvass Director. Laura received her Bachelor of Arts degrees in Public Policy and American Studies from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where she worked at a candy store. Originally from Alexandria, VA, Laura lives in Los Angeles with her goofy dog Laszlo.

Gabby Benitez

Gabby Benitez

Senior Policy Associate
gbenitez@childrenspartnership.org

Gabby Benitez is a Senior Policy Associate at The Children’s Partnership, where she works in multiple areas of the organization’s policy and advocacy efforts including immigrant health, oral health and health care coverage that aim to advance children’s health equity and access. Gabby leads the development of different policy and research projects in the organization to identify issues and policy solutions to address support gaps for historically marginalized children. Gabby represents TCP and collaborates with various national and state workgroups and coalitions addressing the systemic inequities children in immigrant families face advocating for their right to have the opportunities and safety nets they need to thrive. Gabby is native to Mexico, and as an immigrant herself, Gabby strives to ensure that the voice of immigrant families is integrated in policy solutions that directly impact their lives. Prior to joining TCP, Gabby worked in public opinion research and program evaluation, assessing programs for government and community based organizations in the areas of education, public health and community outreach. Gabby is a triple alumnus of UC Irvine with a B.A. in Political Science, B.A. in Criminology, Law and Society, and a Master’s degree in Public Policy.

Sohna Bruce Oliver

Sohna Bruce Oliver

Associate Director, Community Engagement, Partnerships
sboliver@childrenspartnership.org

Sohna Bruce Oliver is Associate Director, Community Engagement & Advocacy, Partnerships Sohna engages the community in our policy work through relationship-building with direct service providers, community-based organizations, and fellow advocacy organizations. Sohna comes to TCP from a technology company specializing in addressing the social determinants of health. That experience endowed her with a unique perspective on leveraging technology for positive impacts on community well-being. Sohna is committed to serving underrepresented communities across California. Her background in public administration and communication empowers her to effectively navigate the intersection of policy and community engagement. Motivated by a genuine desire to make a meaningful difference, Sohna Bruce-Oliver is excited about her new role at The Children’s Partnership. With a proven track record of community empowerment and a strong background in public service, she is poised to contribute her skills and expertise to further the organization’s mission of positive social change. Sohna received her BA in Communications and Media Studies at California State University, Bakersfield and a Master’s in Public Administration from University of San Francisco.

Oscar Sandoval

Oscar Sandoval

Manager, Community Engagement, Research and Education
osandoval@childrenspartnership.org

Oscar Sandoval is Manager, Community Engagement & Advocacy, Research and Education.He leads campaigns and initiatives that bridge the gap between policymakers and the community, while also developing accessible resources and conducting research to inform and support TCP’s advocacy goals and the well-being of communities across California. Before The Children’s Partnership, Oscar served students and families in the Bay Area as an education organizer, middle school teacher, and high school advisor. In each of these roles, he emphasized the power of cultivating authentic relationships within and across communities to challenge and ultimately dismantle oppressive systems. Oscar received his BA in International Relations and Spanish from Stanford University and completed his teaching credential program at Alliant International University. The proud son of Mexican immigrants, Oscar spent his childhood in San Diego County and the Inland Empire. Outside of work he enjoys spending time in nature, writing poems and stories, playing soccer, traveling, going to live music and art events, and kicking it with his two cats, Cielo and Nube.

Ebony Durham

Ebony Durham

Community Engagement & Advocacy Associate
edurham@childrenspartnership.org

Ebony Durham is a Community Engagement and Advocacy Associate and is responsible for the engagement of community members in our policy work through relationship-building with direct service providers, community-based organizations, and fellow advocacy organizations. Ebony is from Sacramento and now resides in Los Angeles. She attended Alabama State University where she received her BS in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Juvenile Justice. She also attended CSU, Dominguez Hills where she received her MA in Sociology. Ebony’s passion is helping the lives of people of color by providing knowledge, opportunities, and solutions for them to succeed in life. Ebony has experience in multiple fields from family services to K-12 education to community outreach. Ebony is a part of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated. Ebony enjoys volunteering with her professional organizations, brunch with friends, traveling, art museums, and much more!

Jen Ford

Jen Ford

Policy Associate
jford@childrenspartnership.org

Jen Ford is a Policy Associate and supports the policy team with developing and implementing advocacy strategies that engage policymakers, key stakeholders, and build coalitions around TCP’s core issue areas. With academic training spanning history, public policy, and law, Jenifer brings an informed perspective shaped by over 8 years in the classroom. She is driven by a passion for social justice and improving children’s well-being through thoughtful policy solutions. She is a graduate of Whitworth University, Kings College London, Pace University, and Pepperdine School of Law. Jenifer believes in the power of uplifting underserved communities and driving positive change. Outside of work, Jenifer enjoys reading and writing fiction. She lives in Whittier with her husband and twin daughters.

Jamila Michael

Jamila Michael

Policy Associate
jmichael@childrenspartnership.org

Jamila Michael is a Policy Associate and supports the policy team with developing and implementing advocacy strategies that engage policymakers, key stakeholders, and build coalitions around TCP’s core issue areas. With a background spanning legal studies and community engagement, Jamila brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her role. Educated at Wellesley College with a B.A. in History and pursuing her Graduate degree at Pepperdine Caruso School of Law, Jamila’s journey led her to the California Innocence Project as a Case Assistant. There, she played a pivotal role in passing California SB446, securing timely compensation for exonerees wrongfully convicted. During her time in the Innocence Network, she not only shared expertise on opening wrongful conviction cases but also initiated vital discussions about BIPOC experiences within the Innocence Network staff, fostering understanding and solidarity among diverse professionals. With five years as a dedicated Peer Tutor, Jamila empowered first-gen high school students, from college preparation to navigating coursework. She extended her impact to high school seniors, guiding their college admission journey and crafting resonant scholarship essays. Outside work, Jamila enjoys competitive video games, hitting the San Diego beaches, and challenging gym workouts. Her philosophy of inclusivity and empowerment drives her, echoing her belief that prosperity’s table has room for all.

Jazmin Estevez-Rosas

Jazmin Estevez-Rosas

Policy Associate
jerosas@childrenspartnership.org

Jazmin is a Policy Associate and supports the policy team with developing and implementing advocacy strategies that engage policymakers, key stakeholders, and build coalitions around TCP’s core issue area. Jazmín began her work with TCP as an undergraduate policy and communications intern. She attended The University of Pennsylvania and graduated with a B.A. in Health and Societies, concentrating in health policy and law. Jazmín is a proud Boyle Heights native and is passionate about social justice, equity, and the intersection of the sciences, policy, and the sociology of medicine. She has a particular interest in holistic health care and the role of community in public health. Fun fact: Jazmín was president of the biggest dance troupe at Penn and worked at a dog-themed restaurant during her time in college. On the weekends she likes to go salsa dancing and loves the outdoors.

Alejandra Alvarez

Alejandra Alvarez

Executive Assistant
aalvarez@childrenspartnership.org

Alejandra Alvarez is Executive Assistant at The Children’s Partnership. Ale serves as a key administrative partner to the President and senior staff, triaging communications with external stakeholders, managing scheduling requests, and anticipating logistical needs to create effective synergy. Her role serves to help ensure the organization runs smoothly, with particular emphasis on efficient administrative logistics and relationship management. Before The Children’s Partnership, Ale worked in the service industry for over 10 years. Ale enjoys long walks and spending time with her loved ones in sunny San Diego.

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