Board Bios

Kyra R. Greene, PhD, Board President

Dr. Kyra R. Greene became Executive Director of the Center on Policy Initiatives in June 2017. She also served as CPI’s Deputy Director and Research/Policy Analyst. Before joining CPI, Dr. Greene was an Assistant Professor of Sociology at San Diego State University, where she taught courses on socioeconomic inequality, race, and qualitative research methods. She has served as an instructor in sociological courses on public policy at both Rider University and Stanford University. She was also the Diversity Coordinator for Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education in the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (EDGE-SBE) program at Stanford University. Dr. Greene’s past research has focused on social movement messaging/framing, legislative processes, and public policies affecting the lives of people of color and people with disabilities. Dr. Greene earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Stanford University. She also holds a B.A. in Social Sciences from Bard College at Simon’s Rock. ...

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Sue Reynolds, Board Secretary

Sue Reynolds has led Community HousingWorks as President and CEO since 1997. Under her leadership, the corporation has become a nationally recognized multifamily developer, homeownership lender, and an innovator in community-based programs that strengthen communities and families’ financial independence. Since 1997, CHW has increased its operating budget and the number of apartments it has developed by a factor of six, and initiated after-school, financial education and leadership training programs that reach thousands, and expanded to a countywide area. CHW’s homeownership programs provide first mortgage and down payment loans, realty services, foreclosure prevention and education to thousands of families each year. Sue Reynolds’ thirty years of housing and community development experience include leadership in administering housing programs, policy development and advocacy, tax credit, HUD preservation and financial consulting, training programs for nonprofit housing developers, and ...

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Lowell Waxman, Board Treasurer

Lowell Waxman is a retired librarian with the City of San Diego Public Library. Before that, he worked for the United Workers of America for three years in its formative years. He brings to his service on the CPI board experience gained over 40 years of multi-issue economic and social justice activism in San Diego. Through the Campaign for Economic Democracy, Central America Information Center, Neighbor to Neighbor, Proposition 186, and other campaigns, Mr. Waxman has fought for single payer health in California, affordable housing, good jobs and workers’ rights, divestment from apartheid South Africa, district elections, corporate accountability, and other critical issues. Mr. Waxman studied industrial and labor relations at Cornell, received a B.A. in English from Long Island University in Brooklyn, and earned his M.A. in Librarianship from the University of Denver. ...

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Richard Barrera

Richard Barrera is the Secretary-Treasurer of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 135. Mr. Barrera also serves as President of the San Diego Unified School District, the second largest district in California with 130,000 students in pre-school through grade 12.  A first generation San Diegan whose father immigrated to the United States from Colombia and whose grandparents immigrated through Ellis Island, Mr. Barrera has spent nearly three decades striving to improve the lives of working families in San Diego and throughout the United States – including serving as Secretary-Treasurer of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council. Currently, Mr. Barrera also serves on the Board of the United Way of San Diego, the San Diego Workforce Investment Board, and the Cesar Chavez Service Club. He is a graduate of El Cajon Valley High School, holds a Bachelor’s degree in History from UCSD, and has a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Gov ...

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Alan Gin, PhD

Alan Gin is Associate Professor of Economics at the University of San Diego. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees, both in Economics, from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Dr. Gin is one of the affiliated faculty members of the University of San Diego’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate. He is best known for developing and publishing the University of San Diego’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County, a monthly report on the outlook for the local economy. Dr. Gin has given over 1,000 interviews to local and national media sources and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the San Diego Daily Transcript, the San Diego Business Journal, Newsweek, and other publications. He is currently a member of the Advisory Board of the Asian Business Association of San Diego and sits on the Board of ...

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Jill Esbenshade, PhD

Jill Esbenshade is Professor of Sociology at San Diego State University.  Dr. Esbenshade received a Ph.D. from University of California at Berkeley and B.A. from Brown University. She is the author of Monitoring Sweatshops: Workers, Consumers, and the Global Apparel Industry. Her research focuses on governmental and corporate policy as it relates to labor and immigration issues.  She has published numerous policy reports as well as academic articles and book chapters on a variety of topics including: sweatshops, wage theft, local anti-immigrant regulations, DNA testing of refugees, misclassification of independent contractors, and the working conditions of hotel housekeepers, restaurant employees, garment workers and taxi drivers. She also serves on the board of the Workers Rights Consortium and is a member of the California Faculty Association. ...

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