Staff Bios

KYRA R. GREENE, PHD, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Dr. Kyra Greene initially joined CPI as a Research/Policy Analyst before becoming Deputy Director and now Executive Director. 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. Presently, Dr. Greene serves on the bo ...

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QUYNH NGUYEN, DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

Quynh Nguyen started at CPI in 1998 as an organizer and is now focused on building CPI’s membership and grassroots fundraising as Director of Development. She is a board member of the Southwest Center for Asian Pacific American Law. Quynh graduated from UCLA with B.A.s in Sociology and Asian American Studies. Contact Quynh: quynh@onlinecpi.org ...

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PETER BROWNELL, PHD, RESEARCH DIRECTOR

Dr. Brownell holds a Ph.D. in Sociology and an M.A. in Demography, both from UC Berkeley. Prior to joining CPI, Dr. Brownell was an Associate Social Scientist at the RAND Corporation, where he also maintains an adjunct affiliation while continuing his role as Principal Investigator on projects relating to the occupational health of immigrant farmworkers and to estimating immigration flows. Dr. Brownell has also been a visiting research fellow at the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies and a guest scholar at the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, both at UC San Diego. His past research has focused primarily on immigrants and immigration, with a particular focus on migration between Mexico and the United States. Past projects have addressed the factors related to Mexican immigrants’ wages in the United States and the role of U.S. policy in structuring immigrants’ labor market outcomes and decisions regarding migration and settlement. His research has also addressed health topics suc ...

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ANJLEENA KOUR SAHNI, RESEARCH AND POLICY ANALYST

Anjleena Kour Sahni joined CPI in 2017, after graduating from the University of California, San Diego with a degree in International Studies-Political Science. Before joining CPI, she worked as a research assistant for Professor Tom K Wong, focusing on projects related to the executive actions on deferred action for undocumented immigrants, sanctuary jurisdictions, and civic engagement of immigrants and their families. Contact Anjleena Kour Sahni: asahni@onlinecpi.org ...

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ANDREA GASPAR, ORGANIZER

CPI Organizer Andrea Gaspar is a queer Mexican womxn born in San Diego and raised in Tijuana. She has a BA in International Studies and Chicana/o-Latina/o Studies from the University of California Irvine. As an undergrad, she organized to amplify the voices of students of color and served as the Executive Vice President of the Student Government and as a board member of the statewide University of California Student Association. Following graduation she worked with the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties as a Youth Organizer and developed a Civil Rights and Liberties organizing and leadership program at four high schools in San Diego County.  After the ACLU she became a consultant for the UCSD Community and Labor Project and implemented Social Justice youth programs with the Rincon Band of Luiseño Indians, and with Bell Middle School in Southeast San Diego. She also consulted for the San Diego Pride Office to convene a table of Tijuana LGBTQIA activists and organized a binational L ...

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TRINH LE, MA, LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR

Trinh Le is one of five children from a Vietnamese refugee family and grew up in a low-income, immigrant, single-parent household. She graduated from UCLA with a BA in Sociology and Asian American Studies. She has organized in many diverse communities in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast before coming back to San Diego. Trinh first joined the Center on Policy Initiatives as an organizer in 2011 and has worked on numerous campaigns including the Property Value Protection Ordinance, Project Labor Agreements, and the Community Budget Alliance. Now, as CPI’s Director of Leadership Development, she oversees CPI’s leadership development initiatives such as the Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI) and the Students for Economic Justice (SEJ) program. Trinh has been on the board of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) San Diego chapter, Mid-City CAN in City Heights, and the San Diego Leadership Alliance. She received “Most Valuable Org ...

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ANA LAURA MARTÍNEZ, LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR

Ana Laura Martínez was raised in Tijuana and San Diego. Coming from a working-class and immigrant household, she grew up aware of many forms of injustice that her family and community experienced. While a student at UC San Diego, she was involved in organizing for educational equity, immigration rights, labor, and anti-racist campus measures. She received her undergraduate degrees in Ethnic Studies and History from UCSD and is working on her Master’s degree in Latin American Studies. As a student, Ana Laura organized with SEIU-Good Jobs L.A. through the UCLA Labor Center, AFSCME 3299, and UAW 2865. She also worked at UCSD as a teaching assistant, grounding her teaching philosophy on critical thinking, empowering students to read the world differently, and inciting commitment to social justice outside of the classroom. At CPI, she manages leadership development programs including Students for Economic Justice (SEJ) and the Boards & Commissions Leadership Institute (BCLI). ...

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SUSAN DUERKSEN, MPH, SENIOR COMMUNICATIONS ADVISOR

A journalism graduate of Indiana University, Susan Duerksen was a newspaper reporter for 24 years. As a writer for the San Diego Union-Tribune, she primarily covered healthcare and medical news. Before joining CPI in 2006, she earned a Master in Public Health degree from San Diego State University and worked as a public health researcher for four years, with a focus on policy and community changes to prevent childhood obesity. Susan also served as volunteer co-director of the San Diego chapter of Health Care for All, a group supporting state legislation for single-payer health care. She is a cofounder of Women Occupy San Diego and an active member of Showing Up for Racial Justice San Diego. In her spare time, Susan is a certified instructor of Nia, a dance fitness program.   Contact Susan Duerksen: susan@onlinecpi.org ...

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JESSICA CÓRDOVA, MA, COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST

Jessica Córdova graduated from the University of California, San Diego, with a BA in Ethnic Studies and a Master’s in Latin American Studies with an emphasis in Communications. Most recently she worked at the County of San Diego Registrar of Voters in Latino Outreach. She has co-produced and edited various short documentaries. She formed part of an audiovisual oral history project interviewing militants and survivors of the Spanish Civil War and Francoist Dictatorship over three summers in Spain. These oral histories are available for public streaming at the UCSD Special Collections Library.   Contact Jessica Córdova: jcordova@onlinecpi.org ...

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LUIS SANTOYO-MEJÍA, COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST

A child of the Tijuana-San Diego border, and of a tireless working-class single mother, Luis enrolled at Southwestern College dreaming of dental glory in Southern California but mysteriously ended up graduating from Yale University with a bachelor’s in literature. Thrust into the wild world of (un)employment amid the Great Recession, he sought refuge among his steadfast sisters and brothers at San Francisco hotels, who mercifully took him in, swiftly handed him a picket sign, and patiently helped dissipate the fog then obscuring his vision. From there, the labor movement has taken him to the national headquarters of the AFL-CIO, where he was a Media Outreach Fellow, and back. Either as an organizer in Los Angeles with Unite Here, in the Bay Area with Jobs with Justice, or as a communicator, a role he humbly assumes under the perfect sun these days, he knows it’s bread we fight for, but we fight for roses too! Contact Luis Santoyo-Mejía: luis@onlinecpi.org ...

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SHANE A STAHL, MBA, DIRECTOR OF FINANCE & OPERATIONS

Shane Stahl earned both a B.A. in Psychology and a B.S. in Business Administration, Accounting, at California State University Los Angeles. While undergrad, he began his work in the nonprofit sector as AmeriCorps VISTA Program Manager at the newly formed Corporation for National Service. He went on to obtain his MA in Sociology from UCLA. In 2002, he became the first Associate Director of San Diego’s Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, where he worked to advance the business case for LGBT equality. In 2012, Shane returned to UCLA to complete his MBA at the Anderson School of Management, focusing on nonprofit corporations. Throughout his career, he has promoted gender equity, LGBT rights, and greater access to health and human services for adults with developmental disabilities, survivors of domestic violence, individuals living with HIV/AIDS, and immigrant and low-income populations. He joined CPI’s staff in 2016. ...

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KIM UY, OPERATIONS ASSISTANT

Kim Uy moved to California from New Manila, Philippines in 2001. She attended San Diego State University and earned a B.A. in Business. Kim is inspired by her grandmother to give back to her community. Kim joined CPI in 2014 and is happy to support the most passionate and determined group of people she’s ever encountered. In the long term she hopes to continue working in organizations that focus on helping out their local communities. When she is not concentrating on spreading good vibes at work and keeping the office running like a clock, Kim loves to make people laugh, cook, and bike around town. Contact Kim Uy: kimberlyu@onlinecpi.org ...

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