Raphael J. Sonenshein, Ph.D.
Dr. Raphael J. Sonenshein is the Executive Director of the Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs at CSU Los Angeles. Previously, he was Chair of the Division of Politics, Administration, and Justice at CSU Fullerton. He received his B.A. from Princeton, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Yale. He is the author of three books on Los Angeles politics and government. Dr. Sonenshein served as Executive Director of the Los Angeles (Appointed) Charter Reform Commission. He served as Executive Director of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Review Commission. He was Best Educator and Distinguished College Faculty Member at CSUF. He received a Wang Family Excellence Award. He was the first winner of the campus wide Carol Barnes Award for Teaching Excellence and one of two co-winners of the Haynes Foundation Research Impact award. He was the fall 2008 Fulbright Tocqueville Distinguished Chair in American Studies at the University of Paris 8.
Raquel Beltrán has served as associate director since September 2014. A native of San Diego, Raquel Beltrán’s professional experience includes over 35 years of public administration and non-profit experience. Her service with the Institute waspreceded by six years as the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles's executive director. Her prior years of experience have the unique characteristic of including work with a variety of organizations. Examples include business organizations, government agencies, organized labor, community organizations, institutions of higher learning, and community-based organizations. She is a graduate of the City of San Diego Management Academy; a former San Francisco Bay American Red Cross disaster preparedness specialist, and past –president of the Cal. State Dominguez Hills Alumni Association. She is also a co-founder of the United Domestic Workers Union of America. Raquel earned her Masters degree in Business Administration from California State University Dominquez Hills, with Delta Mu Delta honors. She completed her undergraduate studies at California State University, East Bay with a B.A. in Political Science. What does Raquel do for fun? She is founder and president of the Mariachi Academy of Carson, an after-school cultural and education program.
Lily Baba is currently PBI's administrative analyst. She has been a Cal State L.A. employee for the past 28 years, 16 of those years with the PBI. Lily has been a dedicated community volunteer for over twenty years. She serves on the executive committees of the Asian Pacific American Dispute Resolution Center and the Asian Youth Center boards. She is also a board member of Pacific Film Currents (PFC) and served as an associate producer for two PFC documentary productions, "442 for the Future" in 1997, and "Mothers, Daughters, Sisters," in 2000. Lily received her Bachelor of Arts in Management from the University of Phoenix in 1996.
Senior Coordinator, Youth Enrichment Policy Program
Yea-Lan Chiang spent many years working on leadership and training as well as developing policy when she served as the Ethics Officer for LAUSD. She has worked extensively in support of youth, having served previously as the Director of Policy and Planning for the Children's Planning Council, as Executive Director to an educational nonprofit, as head of Public Programs for the Tech Museum in San Jose, and as a high school teacher in Boston. Yea-Lan was also a management consultant for Monitor Group, helping Fortune 500 companies to develop strategies for improving their organizational performance. Yea-Lan received her B.A. and teacher's certification from Harvard, her Master's in Public Affairs from Princeton University, and is in the process of completing her doctorate in Education at UCLA.
Senior Coordinator, Public Policy Education Program
Danielle Lafayette, a South Los Angeles native, recieved her B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis in American Politics from Cal State University, Los Angeles. While Still a student at Cal State LA, she worked as Lead Community Organizer for the Gang Violence Bridging Project, a component of the Pat Brown Institute, helping aid in developing gang intervention and prevention initiatives with the communities of Pico Union, El Sereno and South Los Angeles. Since then, Danielle has worked with a number of other organizations on various projects, including Artists for a New South Africa, where she helped organize Nelson Mandela's visit to Los Angeles in 2000. She has also held multiple positions with former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa, including Special Events Coordinator, and Program Manager of the 77th Florence-Graham area in the Gang Reduction Youth Development (GYRD) program. Danielle also spent time working outside of Los Angeles working with the Campaign for College Opportunity in Oakland, California, where she got a chance to work on higher education issues. Now, she is bringing all her expertise and experience back to the place where it all began.
Jaime A. Regalado, Former Executive Director & Professor Emeritus