CIVIC EDUCATION PROGRAM MANAGER
Randi Aho is the Civic Education Program Manager at the Pat Brown Institute where she helps manage the Institute’s 2020 census activities, Civic University©, and the PBI-Manatt Civic Quiz. Randi has a background in human rights with experience in academic programming, advocacy, education, and nonprofit management. She has researched post-conflict reconciliation in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and women’s and girls’ development in India and Senegal. Prior to joining the Pat Brown Institute, Randi worked at the Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute, the Institute for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University, and the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program. Randi holds a Master of International Affairs degree from the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) at Columbia University. She received her B.A. in Global Studies and Intercultural Communications from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.
Diana Albarran is the Institute’s Administrative Assistant and a Cal State LA Alumni. She has been at the Institute since October 2015. Diana coordinates the Executive Director’s calendar, assists with financial record keeping and payroll, maintains the Institute’s personnel manual, and is responsible for the Institute’s contact database. She also provides office training to incoming interns and student staff on reception etiquette and procedures. Working at the Pat Brown Institute has influenced Diana’s interest in civic engagement and politics. When she’s not working, Diana enjoys spending time with her friends and hiking at Griffith Park.
PUBLIC POLICY PROGRAM MANAGER
Dr. Max Baumgarten serves as the Institute’s public policy program manager. He helps oversee the Institute’s public policy, research, and polling work. In addition to his work at the Institute, he teaches History courses at Cal State LA and has authored articles in American Jewish History and California History. A native of Los Angeles, he completed his undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley and holds an MA and PhD from UCLA. In his free time, Max enjoys biking, swimming, and watching television.
Nathan Chan is the Institute’s Research Associate. He analyzes survey data that The Pat Brown Institute originally collects. This includes the Living and Working in SELA survey and the Asian American, African American, Latino, and Jewish community polls. He first joined Pbi in August 2015, where he coordinated The Public Policy Education Program. He is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at The University of California, Irvine where he studies identity and political behavior. He has forthcoming articles in Politics and Religion and PS: Political Science & Politics. He also teaches courses in American Politics, Research Methods in Social Science, and Voting & Elections.
Tatiana Fernandez-Castro joins PBI as the Executive Assistant to the Institute. She works closely with the PBI team to streamline internal policies and procedures, coordinate events, provide financial management support, and run daily office operations. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations and a Master’s degree in Business Administration in Marketing. She has experience in the private sector, academia, non-profit, and federal government and has worked at UCLA, American University, and for the Department of State. She enjoys learning new subjects and perspectives about the world and the community. She grew up and lived in Costa Rica for over 20 years and speaks fluent Spanish. She likes to read, travel, watch movies, and listen to podcasts. Since moving to California in 2017, she has taken a liking to L.A.’s weather.
Monserrat Ramirez-Mendoza is an intern at the Institute and fifth-year student at Cal State LA pursuing a dual bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Philosophy. Currently, she is conducting research on the California gubernatorial candidates in preparation for the 2018 Governor’s Race.
Previously, as the Pre-Law Society’s Law Fair Chair (2014-2016) she organized Annual Law Fairs for prospective law school students to learn more about pursuing a Juris Doctorate. Inspired by her thirst for knowledge about the political process she hopes to acquire a Master’s degree in Public Policy program abroad followed by a Juris Doctorate degree in Constitutional Law.
Ms. Ramirez adheres to the saying, “leave no trace behind” by volunteering with Trash Free Earth and Alleviate Skid Row, and is a Make Life Count Co. adventurer who enjoys the outdoors experience.
Annie Thach is a student assistant at the Institute and a Biology and Microbiology undergraduate at Cal State LA. Fascinated by the complexity of life at a microscopic level, she is currently working on an honors thesis on the plasticity of stomatal traits in plant species across a latitudinal gradient. At the Institute, she assists in the creation, implementation, and daily management of PBI’s social media platforms and the preparation for events and projects. Working at the Institute opens her eyes to the complexity of life at another level, a macroscopic level of her community, and inspires her to learn how to be civically engaged and politically aware. She enjoys her free time hiking and traveling.
Vanessa Trissthain is a student assistant at the Institute pursuing a bachelor of science in Microbiology and a minor in Mathematics. Her interest in biostatistics developed over her fondness of number crunching and the opportunity to turn data into meaningful knowledge. Inspired to learn more about biostatistics, she was accepted into the Summer Institute of Biostatistics at the University of Minnesota during Summer 2018 where she learned how to create study design for a protocol project on a trial to reduce inflammation in HIV. Since joining the Institute, Vanessa has helped organize candidate debates, assisted with event logistics, and managed document digitization. In her free time, she enjoys spending quality time with her puppy and exploring new places.
Viviana Villafuerte is a student professional at the Institute pursuing a bachelor’s degree in political science. Her interest in politics began in high school where she took a journalism course and wrote articles, encouraging her to continue learning about politics and be dedicated to young people’s participation in diversifying the field. At the Institute, Viviana contributes in event planning, general office operations, and assisting program managers on various projects including our Civic University and polling program. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends, volunteering at her local library by creating monthly articles, catching up on the news, and shopping.