Sheila Chung Hagen

Principal, Chung Hagen Consulting

Sheila Chung Hagen is Principal at Chung Hagen Consulting, where she helps foundations, nonprofits, and government agencies develop high-impact, public policy initiatives in the areas of affordable housing, public transportation, environment, and immigrant rights. Since 1999, Sheila has worked in the nonprofit and government sectors, where she learned the importance of building strong ties between community and government partners. She has played key leadership roles in organizations such as the Bay Area Immigrant Rights Coalition, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the San Francisco City Administrator's Office, and the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. Prior to starting her consultancy, she was Legislative Aide to two San Francisco Supervisors, specializing in land use and public transportation policy. In these capacities, Sheila developed and launched innovative programs like Free Muni for Youth and the City ID Card. In 2016, Sheila was elected to the Executive Committee of Sierra Club San Francisco. Sheila earned a BA in International Politics from UC Berkeley and an MA in Environmental Management and Sustainability from Harvard University. She is bilingual in Spanish and English, and lives in San Francisco with her family.

Dwayne S. Marsh

President and CEO, Northern California Grantmakers

Dwayne S. Marsh is the president and CEO at Northern California Grantmakers. Most recently, Dwayne was co-Director of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) and Vice President of Institutional and Sectoral Change at Race Forward. 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 principle 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.

Derecka Mehrens

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, civic engagement, 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 improving the 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 programs building 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, low-wage 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.

Rea Pañares

Board Secretary, Urban Habitat
Deputy Chief of Strategy & Innovation, Alluma

Rea Pañares is currently the Deputy Chief of Strategy and Innovation at Alluma, a leading nonprofit social enterprise that combines technology and policy to create better solutions that eliminate barriers to getting help. In this role, she works to organize and align strategic priorities, create systems and processes that foster innovation, and reinforce Alluma's mission, vision, and beliefs throughout its functional areas. She has over 20 years of experience working in diverse fields and ecosystems (philanthropy, policy advocacy, the federal government, and public health) holding positions with Prevention Institute, Families USA, Grantmakers In Health, National Business Group on Health, and the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. A constant in her career has been being a part of organizations that are trying to make the world more equitable and just in their own way and working to make sure that all people have the opportunity to be healthy and thrive. 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.

Robert Phillips

Board Chair, Urban Habitat
President and CEO, Alluma

Robert Phillips oversees the strategic direction, fiscal stewardship, and overall management at Alluma. He is an accomplished executive with nearly 25 years of experience working in political campaigns, health policy, health systems, technology, philanthropy, and strategic consulting. Prior to joining Alluma, Robert led communications for Kaiser Permanente’s Community Benefit and Strategy. Robert also worked at The California Endowment and Sierra Health Foundation, where he led efforts around health care reform, health advocacy, community health, and improving the health of children and youth of color. Other previous work includes PolicyLink, SEIU, and the AFL-CIO. Robert received a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Morehouse College in Atlanta, a master’s in public affairs from Syracuse University, a master’s in public health from Harvard University, and is ABD from the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Carlos Romero

Board Treasurer, Urban Habitat

Carlos Romero 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.

Noni D. Session

Director, East Bay Permanent Real Estate Cooperative

Noni Session is a 3rd generation West Oaklander and Cultural Anthropologist. Her research and organizing work spans national and global arenas. Under the umbrella of the UNDP in Nairobi, Kenya, Noni carried out her doctoral research in international humanitarian strategies and their on-the-ground consequences. After nearly gaining election to the Oakland City Council in 2016, she decided that her community’s best solution to rapid displacement was to develop an independent cooperative economy. Noni is closely engaged with Mandela Grocery Cooperative, a Black-led worker-owned cooperative in West Oakland bringing organic produce and local economics to the community, as well as contributing her visionary energy to homeless advocacy groups across West and East Oakland who are building a movement of houseless and volunteers organizing for housing dignity through direct action and policy.

Miya Yoshitani

Executive Director, Asian Pacific Environmental Network

Miya Yoshitani is the Executive Director of the Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN). She has an extensive background in community organizing and a long history of working in the environmental justice movement. APEN has been fighting—and winning—environmental justice struggles for the past 25 years and remains one of the most unique organizations in the country, explicitly developing the leadership and power of low-income Asian American and Pacific Islander immigrant and refugee communities. Through many years of leadership, Miya has supported APEN’s growth and expansion from a powerful local organization in the Bay Area, to having a statewide impact through an integrated API voter engagement strategy, a statewide Asian Pacific American Climate Coalition, and winning transformational state policy for equitable climate solutions and transitioning the state to a clean energy economy for all Californians. A movement leader in many key local, state, and national alliances, APEN is helping to shift the center of gravity of what is possible when the health and economic well-being of working families, immigrants, and communities of color are put at the center of solutions to the economic and climate crises. Miya has been Executive Director since November 2013 and proudly supports APEN to be a leading force for climate justice for all communities.



Carl Anthony, Emeritus

Founder and Former Executive Director, Urban Habitat
Co-founder, Breakthrough Communities Project

Carl Anthony 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.