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Staff

Executive Director

Sarah SwanbeckSarah Swanbeck is a public policy analyst with expertise in California state and local governance and budget issues. She previously worked in Legislative Affairs for California Common Cause, a nonprofit that advocates for more open, honest, and accountable government. While at Common Cause, she successfully advocated for important changes to the state's campaign finance laws as well as the first ever substantive reform to California's century-old initiative process.

Outside the realm of California politics, Sarah has spent years working as a policy analyst on both state and local issues. As an analyst for the Controller in San Francisco, she worked with a range of city departments to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their services. She also previously worked for the Public Policy Institute of California and the the California Public Utilities Commission on state energy and water policy. She holds an MPP from the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley and a BA in Economics from Wellesley College.

Policy Director

Sarah SwanbeckErin Coghlan recently completed a PhD program in Education Policy at Berkeley. Her dissertation research focused on policy paradigms in education with an emphasis on the school accountability debate in California and Tennessee. While at Berkeley, Erin was very engaged with student organizations on campus and was the federal legislative director for the graduate assembly. She also worked for the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at Berkeley to promote faculty research in their policy brief series on topics related to the labor market and the economy. 

Prior to graduate school, Erin spent several years working for the nonprofit evaluation firm, MDRC, where she was a qualitative researcher and studied programs to improve student access and success at community colleges. She also has a background in media and government relations and was the communications representative of the Minnesota Department of Finance. In addition to her PhD, Erin holds a Master's degree in Education from Berkeley, and a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of Minnesota.

Associate Director

Sarah SwanbeckJames Hawkins is a policy researcher with experience in environmental and economic policy. During his tenure at the environmental non-profit Heal the Ocean, he led policy campaigns focused on building the case for recycled water as a green water supply alternative. This work included publication of a white paper on a novel form of advanced water recycling and a comprehensive analysis of the potential for recycled water production from coastal wastewater treatment plants in California.

During his graduate studies, James completed work spanning efforts to improve voter knowledge of electoral candidates and an evaluation of potential policies for large expansions of the social safety net. His interests at BIFYA include examining public policies designed to expand opportunity for young people in today’s labor market, as well as tomorrow’s. He received his BA in Political Science and Environmental Studies from UC Santa Barbara and his MPP form UC Berkeley.

Postdoctoral Scholar

Seva RodnyanskySeva Rodnyansky joined the Goldman School of Public Policy as a Postdoctoral Scholar in July 2018. He received his PhD in Urban Planning and Development at the University of Southern California's Price School of Public Policy and a B.A. in Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences, Economics, and Urban Studies from Northwestern University in 2009. His current research focuses on gleaning insights into planning and policy issues by studying where and how often households move, especially pertaining to housing, real estate, transportation, and civic participation. Seva's other research spans the domains of housing, transportation, and demography. Specific areas of focus include small and medium multi-family housing; travel behavior, emissions, and transit-oriented development; and LIHTC affordable housing. Seva has co-authored numerous research reports and his work has appeared in Cityscape and is forthcoming in Transportation Research Record. Prior to his graduate studies, Seva was a strategy and management consultant at Booz & Company (now PWC Strategy&), advising clients in the transportation, industrial, automotive, aerospace and defense industries, on a range on business strategy topics. 

Research Analyst

Sofia JordanSofia Jordan is a first-year Master in Public Policy student from Chile. For the past 5 years, she worked in data analysis both at a public policy think tank and at the National Antitrust Agency. As a result, she developed an unwavering commitment to using her knowledge and skills to further understand the issues we face as a modern society and how to confront them. At BIFYA, Sofia is part of the State Budget Project, where she is eager to contribute to the study of how states enact their budgets and how well they take future generation's into account.

 

 

Research Analyst

Terren WingTerren Wing is a Master of Public Policy candidate at the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy. She is interested in how housing policy impacts access to opportunity for marginalized communities. She has worked primarily in the realm of affordable housing and homelessness, ranging from direct services advocacy to consulting, data analysis, and local government. Most recently, Terren worked for a local housing finance agency in her hometown of Sacramento, where she underwrote multifamily affordable housing developments. Terren earned her bacehlor's in Urban Studies from Barnard College.