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Tom Steyer is a business leader and philanthropist who believes we have a moral responsibility to give back and help ensure that every family shares the benefits of economic opportunity, education, and a healthy climate.
In 2010, Tom and his wife, Kat Taylor, pledged to contribute most of their wealth to charitable causes during their lifetimes. That same year, Tom worked to defeat Proposition 23, an attempt by the oil industry to roll back California’s historic plan to reduce pollution and address climate change.
In 2012, Tom led a campaign to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in California schools annually by closing a corporate tax loophole. To date, Proposition 39 has put nearly a billion dollars into California schools and clean energy projects, saving millions of dollars in annual energy costs.
Tom founded a successful California business, which he left to work full-time on non-profit and advocacy efforts. He now serves as President of NextGen Climate, an organization he founded in 2013 to prevent climate disaster and promote prosperity for all Americans. Tom also serves as co-chair of Save Lives California, the coalition to prevent teen smoking and fund cancer research.
Tom’s dedication to public service is greatly inspired by his wife, Kat, the co-CEO of Beneficial State Bank in Oakland. They founded this nonprofit community bank in 2007 to provide loans to people and small businesses shut out by the traditional banking system. Unlike most banks, by statute Beneficial State Bank invests any profits back into the community.
Tom and Kat live in San Francisco and have four children.
Martha Dina Argüello is the Executive Director of Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles, a physician and health advocate organization that works to protect public health from nuclear and environmental threats. For the past 35 years, Martha has served in the nonprofit sector as an advocate, community organizer, and coalition builder. She is committed to making the credible voice of physicians a powerful instrument for transforming California and our planet into a more equitable, safer and healthy place. As a coalition builder, Martha has emphasized the need for local grassroots advocacy working in partnership with statewide policy actions. She is an active board member of numerous organizations, including Californians for Pesticide Reform and Californians for a Healthy and Green Economy. She also co-founded the Los Angeles County Asthma Coalition and the Coalition for Environmental Health and Justice, and was appointed to the California Air Resources Board’s Global Warming Environmental Justice Advisory Committee.
Allison Schroeder is best known for Hidden Figures, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award, WGA Award, and BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Her other honors include the Humanitas and Veritas Awards. She recently sold her musical television show, Inspiration, with Scooter Braun to UCP/E! She’s also in development on numerous feature projects as well as her directorial debut. She’s the Co-Chair of the WGA Women’s Committee and a member of the Diversity Advisory Group. Other credits include Side Effects and 90210.
When Dr. MariaElena Zavala graduated from Pomona College with an AB in Botany, she was the first in her family to earn an undergraduate degree. She earned her PhD from University of California, Berkeley where she became the first Chicana to have earned a Ph.D. in Botany at Cal and, according to some, the first in the USA. For the last 29 years, Zavala has been a professor at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) where her research focuses on the developmental regulation of plant roots. Zavala has been the pioneer and champion of CSUN’s STEM diversity initiatives including the NIGMS’ Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) and The Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) programs which are among the most successful in the nation for mentoring students to enter competitive Ph.D. programs. Dr. Zavala served as president of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)—the first woman to hold this office. Among her many awards due to her scientific achievements and commitment to mentoring, Dr. Zavala was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering in 2000. She was named Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2009) and American Society for Plant Biology (2016).
Dr. Lucy Jones is the founder of the Dr. Lucy Jones Center for Science and Society, with a mission to foster the understanding and application of scientific information in the creation of more resilient communities. She is also a Research Associate at the Seismological Laboratory of Caltech, a post she has held since 1984. Working with both the public and private sectors, Dr. Jones seeks to increase communities’ ability to adapt and be resilient to the dynamic changes of the world around them. The aim is to understand and communicate where the greatest vulnerabilities lie and what actions can be taken to reduce the risk that are the most cost-effective. With a BA in Chinese Language and Literature from Brown University and a PhD in Geophysics from MIT, Dr. Jones has been active in earthquake research for decades, furthering earthquake risk reduction through seismological research and integrated disaster scenarios.
Dr. Jones completed 33 years of federal service with the US Geological Survey in March 2016. Most recently, she was the USGS Science Advisor for Risk Reduction, leading the USGS’s long-term science planning for natural hazards research, and the SAFRR Project: Science Application for Risk Reduction that she had created to apply USGS science to reduce risk in communities across the Nation. In this role, she developed the first American major earthquake drill, the Great ShakeOut, that has expanded to now encompass 55 million participants around the world in 2016. She also led the creation of a national science strategy for all the natural hazards studied by the USGS to promote the science that would better prepare the Nation for future natural hazards and the development of science products that would make the information more accessible to decision makers. She has been one of the prominent public voices for earthquake resilience, conducting thousands of interviews with all kinds of media and appeared on most major news programs, including all national news broadcasts, all the major cable news networks, as well as NPR (All Things Considered, Science Friday, Weekend Edition), PBS, and numerous TV specials about earthquakes and disasters.
Dr. Jones began her career researching approaches to earthquake prediction using earthquake clustering and went on to write over 100 published papers on statistical seismology and integrated disaster scenarios. In 1979 while a graduate student at MIT, she was chosen to be in the first American scientist to go to China after normalization of relations as a Fulbright Fellow. Her research into earthquake occurrence probability and the short-term probability of foreshock and aftershock sequences created methodologies for assessing earthquake probability that have been the basis for all earthquake advisories issued by the State of California. She served on the California Earthquake Prediction Evaluation Council from 2003 to 2015 and was appointed by the Governor of California to the California Seismic Safety Commission from 2002 to 2009. Her pioneering science was recognized with the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal (one of just eight awarded to federal employees in 2015), the Ambassador Award from the American Geophysical Union, the William Rodgers Distinguished Alumni Award from Brown University, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Western States Seismic Policy Council, and most recently, the 2017 Distinguished Lecture Award of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute.
Dr. Michael Batie is CEO of the STEM Education and Research Collaborative, a forum for systematic study and joint action to resolve pressing problems in the areas of science and math education in communities of color. We seek to serve as an education, research, and training center by enlisting a wide range of community based organizations, professional researchers, consultants, businesses, professional organizations, parents, and teachers focused on math and science education and achievement in South Los Angeles.
Mr. Batie has over 40 years of work experience in the areas of STEM, including stints as a technician and spacecraft engineer at TRW and Hughes Aircraft Co., as an elementary and high school math and science teacher South Central Los Angeles, a lecturer at CSULA in the Charter College of Education, the CSULA School of Engineering, an adjunct faculty member in the UC Riverside Graduate School of Education, and as adjunct faculty at the USC Rossier School of Education teaching science education to prospective teachers.
His current efforts are centered around STEM54, a resource center located in South Los Angeles (www.stem54.com), and Mobile Math and Science Labs (www.mmsl-la.com) a support program that delivers the necessary materials, supplies equipment and support personnel for the effective teaching of k-12 hands on science and math activities. Current clients include public schools and LA County Office of education facilities. These programs and projects are designed to provide youth in South Los Angeles with exposure to scientific equipment, concepts, and activities once unavailable in our community.
Dr Batie holds a BS in Physics and an MS in Education Foundations from CSULA. In 2008, he obtained a PhD in Education from UC Riverside.
Sean Carroll is a theoretical physicist at Caltech. He obtained his PhD from Harvard in 1993, and his research involves gravitation, quantum mechanics, and cosmology. He is the author of several books, most recently The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself. He has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including from the American Institute of Physics, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Royal Society of London. He can be found internet at @seanmcarroll or http://preposterousuniverse.com/.
Tepring Piquado, PhD is a policy scientist and co-chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Committee at RAND Corporation. She came to RAND from the California State Legislature, where she was a Science and Technology Policy fellow placed in the Senate Human Services Committee. Her focus was on bills relating to CalWORKs, CalFresh and other welfare programs, child welfare and foster care. Previously her research centered on speech comprehension and memory, with a particular focus on changes associated with healthy aging. Dr. Piquado also spent 4 years as a high school and middle school science and math teacher. Currently, she leads major projects investigating gaps in physician knowledge of traumatic brain injury and exploring the future of human-machine systems. Dr. Piquado received her PhD in neuroscience from Brandeis University and her BS in computer science from Georgetown University.
Dr. Tanaka is currently the medical director of the Teenage and Young Adult Health Center, the Homeless Adolescent Wellness Center, and the My VOICE Transition Clinic, in the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. For the past 20 years, she has dedicated her career to providing innovative evidence-based medical care to adolescents and young adults where she assists her patients in developing the skills they need to transition to a meaningful and fulfilling adult life. Dr. Tanaka has a passion for teaching, whether in educating her patients on disease management, or in educating the future generation of physicians.
Dr. Tanaka is a native of Los Angeles and earned her medical degree from UC Davis. She completed her pediatric residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and her adolescent medicine fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. She is also an associate professor of Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
Farisa Morales is an active astrophysicist who hunts for planets, and a professor at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and Moorpark College. Born in the US, Morales was raised in Jalisco, Mexico, where she completed her primary education. As a teenager, she and her family migrated back to the US, where she completed high school in the Los Angeles county public school system. At 18 years of age, Morales married and began a family. With a three-year old daughter and a six-month old baby, she began her college education at L.A. Mission Community College, where she majored in Mathematics. The summer she transferred to UCLA, she participated in Caltech’s SURF internship program at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). While working at JPL as an academic part-timer, and raising her kids, Morales graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Astrophysics from UCLA, and with a Master’s degree in Physics from CSUN. Her work on planetary debris disks at JPL with the Spitzer Space Telescope, evolved into her PhD dissertation project, and attained her PhD in Physics from USC.
Using the Spitzer Space Telescope and the Herschel Space Observatory, Morales currently studies stars with planetary debris disks—the dusty ring-like structures, home to colliding asteroids and sublimating comets, that circle stars like the Sun, and hint at planet formation processes, their architecture and composition. Morales also searches for the planetary companions stirring the dust around nearby stars. She uses the powerful 10-meter Keck Observatory on Mauna Kea in Hawaii and the 5-meter Hale Telescope at Palomar Mountain in California. These telescopes have been adapted with optics that enable us to mask the star’s intense radiation and see the faint infrared light from the orbiting planets.
Nitin Apte holds a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Mumbai and an MS and MBA from Ohio State University. He is the President and CEO of Materia, a Pasadena-based company providing advanced catalysts and resins to customers in multiple industries. Nitin came to Materia after a 25 year career in high-performance plastics at GE Plastics and SABIC with global assignments ranging from Marketing and Product Management to Supply Chain and Manufacturing.
Joanne Boadi is a junior at the California Academy of Math and Science. In the future, she plans to study neuroscience and pursue a career as a cardiologist. Joanne began her interest in medicine when she was inspired by her mother completing nursing school. Since then, she has taken many science, engineering, and math-based courses to follow the pathway of becoming a cardiologist. She has also volunteered at her local hospital to get an idea of the dynamics of the hospital working environment. Joanne hopes to graduate high school in 2018. She loves learning and one day hopes to inspire others.
Professor Pincetl does research on cities, how they impact resources far and near such as water sources and ecosystems, and how those resources are used in cities, where, by whom, and to do what. She focuses on quantifying those flows, including urban generated wastes like greenhouse gases, and how institutions, regulations and rules shape the ways the flows are appropriated, and how cities are built (including infrastructures) and organized. She has created the first ever interactive energy web atlas that describes building energy use in Los Angeles County (www.energyatlas.ucla.edu). Buildings account for 40% of urban GHGs and the Atlas shows the relationships between building age, size, use with energy consumption, as well as energy use and sociodemographic characteristics in the residential sector. Her other main project is to understand the water system of Los Angeles County that has over 100 different water delivering agencies and 7 adjudicated groundwater basins. Pincetl assembles interdisciplinary teams of researchers to conduct work: ecologists, engineers, and hydrologists. Dr. Pincetl is a California native who has written extensively on land use regulations, habitat protection, environmental justice, urban ecosystems and water. She has a PhD in Urban Planning from UCLA, a Masters in Cultural Anthropology from UC Davis, and an undergraduate interdisciplinary degree in Land Ethics, an independent major she created while at UC Davis. She is the author of nearly 100 peer reviewed papers, and book chapters and is the co-lead of the urban chapter of the Second State of the Carbon Cycle Report to be published in early 2017.Pincetl has served on boards and commissions, including the statewide Planning and Conservation League and as President of the statewide environmental justice organization Communities for a Better Environment, and the Los Angeles Regional Planning Commission among others. She currently serves on the Board of the Theodore Payne Foundation.
Congressman Brad Sherman has represented the San Fernando Valley in the U.S. House of Representatives for the last 20 years. Congressman Sherman is a Senior Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee and the ranking Democrat on the subcommittee on Asia. He is also a senior member of the Financial Services Committee.