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) started her career in the late 1990s in academia, teaching various core college courses in departments of…

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Sarah Pugeda

Sarah Pugeda

Senior 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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Karla Fernandez

Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins the Education Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social…

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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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Melissa Bardo

Melissa Bardo

Associate Director of Policy and Government Relations

Melissa Bardo (she/her/hers) serves as the Associate Director of Policy and Government Relations for the Education Trust-West. Overseeing the…

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Research & Policy Analysis

Christa Koppuzha

Christa Koppuzha

Research and Data Analyst

Christa Koppuzha  (she/her/hers) was raised by Indian immigrants who instilled the value and power of education in her from…

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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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Vanessa Romo

Vanessa Romo

Research and Data Analyst

Vanessa Romo (she/her/hers) is a Research and Data Analyst at The Education Trust—West (ETW). She joins ETW with experience…

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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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Melissa Figueira

Melissa Figueira

Director of P-16 Research

Melissa (she/her/hers) joins The Education Trust–West with a background in education research and policy advocacy across the birth through…

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

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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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Marin Garcia

Marin Garcia

Operations Associate

Marin (she/her/hers) joins The Education Trust-West with a background in supporting the non-profit and postsecondary sector in administrative, operational,…

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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 us at (510) 465-6444.

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 Dr. Carol Hedgspeth at (510) 879-6204.

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 (510) 879-6210.