Staff

Office of the Executive Director

Dr. Christopher Nellum
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Dr. Christopher Nellum

Executive Director

Dr. Christopher Nellum (he/him/his) is the Executive Director of The Education Trust–West, a nonprofit education equity organization focused on…

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Dr. Carol Hedgspeth
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Dr. Carol Hedgspeth

Deputy Director

Carol (she/her/hers) identifies as a Black woman and started her career in the late 1990s in academia, teaching various…

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Sarah Pugeda

Sarah Pugeda

Executive Assistant

Sarah Pugeda (she/her/hers) joins the Education Trust–West as an Executive Assistant to the Executive Director. She has many years…

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External Relations

Lange Luntao
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Lange Luntao

Director of External Relations

At Education Trust–West, Lange Luntao (he/him/his) works closely with his colleagues to drive high-impact campaigns that achieve meaningful policy…

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Clara Medina Maya

Clara Medina Maya

External Relations Associate

Clara E. Medina Maya (they/them/theirs) is an unapologetically queer and undocumented education justice advocate. They join the Education Trust-West…

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Joshua Prudhomme

Joshua Prudhomme

External Relations Manager

Joshua J. Prudhomme (he/him/his) strongly believes in the collective power of people to co-create a reimagined world where we…

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Communications

Daisy Ruiz-Purcell

Daisy Ruiz-Purcell

Director of Communications

Daisy Ruiz-Purcell (she/her/hers) joins The Education Trust–West as a fierce advocate for education equity. As a first-generation college graduate…

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Mariel Matze

Mariel Matze

Communications Manager - Public Relations Specialist

Mariel (she/her/hers) joins The Education Trust–West with a background in K-12 education and expertise in writing, storytelling, press relations,…

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Esha Pillay

Esha Pillay

Communications Associate

Esha (she/her/hers) joins The Education Trust–West with a background in student affairs, writing, and digital media communications. She oversees…

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Government Relations

Raquel Morales

Raquel Morales

Policy and Government Relations Associate

Raquel Morales (she/her/hers) joins The Education Trust–West as the Policy and Government Relations Associate. As a first-generation student who…

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Brian Rivas
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Brian Rivas

Senior Director of Policy and Government Relations

Brian (he/him/his) has been working to improve educational opportunity for disadvantaged students in California for nearly twenty years. His…

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Manny Rodriguez

Manny Rodriguez

Associate Director, Policy & Government Relations

As a first generation son of immigrants, Manny (he/him/his) strongly believes in equity and has a passion for supporting…

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Research & Policy Analysis

Denise Castro

Denise Castro

Policy Analyst

Denise Castro (she/her/hers) is a Policy Analyst at The Education Trust—West. Denise joins The Education Trust—West with experience in…

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Yvonne Muñoz
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Yvonne Muñoz

Higher Education Senior Policy Analyst

Yvonne Muñoz (she/her/hers) is a Higher Education Policy Analyst at the Education Trust–West. She contributes to research and analysis…

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Dr. Carolina Ramirez

Dr. Carolina Ramirez

Research & Data Analyst

Dr. Ramirez supports The Education Trust—West’s research. Her work spans the P-16 spectrum and is centered on the belief…

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Abby Ridley-Kerr

Abby Ridley-Kerr

Interim Associate Director of P‑16 Research

Abby Ridley-Kerr (she/her/hers) joins The Education Trust–West to support the Research and Policy Analysis team. She comes to Ed…

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Samantha C. Thompson

Samantha C. Thompson

Associate Director of Early Learning Policy

Samantha C. Thompson, (she/her/hers) is the Associate Director of Early Learning Policy at the Education Trust-West. Samantha served as…

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Natalie Wheatfall-Lum
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Natalie Wheatfall-Lum

Director of P-16 Education Policy

Since Natalie (she/her/hers) joined The Education Trust—West in 2014, she has supported the organization’s policy research, analysis, and position…

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Educator Engagement

Dr. Mayra A. Lara

Dr. Mayra A. Lara

Associate Director of Educator Engagement

At a young age, Dr. Mayra A. Lara (she/her/ella) immigrated to the United States from Mexico with her parents…

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Jana Luft

Jana Luft

Senior Educator Engagement Associate

Jana Luft (she/her/hers) joins the Education Trust–West as a Senior Educator Engagement Associate. She brings experience as a teacher,…

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Camille Medrano

Camille Medrano

Educator Engagement Associate

Camille (she/her/hers) joins the Education Trust—West as an Educator Engagement Associate. From her experiences navigating the education system in…

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Rachel Ruffalo

Rachel Ruffalo

Director of Educator Engagement

Rachel Ruffalo’s (she/her/hers) career in education spans more than twenty years of serving as a teacher, new school developer,…

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Planning, Grants & Administration

Natalie Johal

Natalie Johal

People and Operations Manager

Natalie (she/her/hers) serves as People and Operations Manager at the Education Trust–West. Prior to her current role, Natalie was…

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Yasmeen Lange-Asmar

Yasmeen Lange-Asmar

Development Associate

Yasmeen (she/her) joins the Ed Trust–West as a Development Associate with a background in nonprofit operations and the arts.…

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Erika Oseguera
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Erika Oseguera

Director of Planning, Grants, and Administration

Erika (she/her/hers) comes to Ed Trust–West with over 12 years of operational support experience in the private and non-profit…

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Ed Trust—West Staff Contact

The Education Trust—West

580 2nd Street, Suite 200

Oakland, CA 94607

Tel: 510.465.6444

Fax: 510.465.0859

For general inquiries about The Education Trust—West, please contact Margaret Canto at x300.

For information on job opportunities or internships, visit our career opportunities page.

For media inquiries, contact Mariel Matze at (650) 380-1973.

For information about research and policy analysis, including data inquiries contact Leni Wolf at x310.

For government affairs, contact Brian Rivas at (916) 761-9060.

For information about our work with schools and districts contact the Educator Engagement team at x338 or x328