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New Leaders Council

Board of Directors


Mario B. Lopez, Co-Director, NLC Class of 2016 - Mario B. Lopez is a Policy Aide to Dave Cortese, President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. Mario oversees matters relating to social welfare, juvenile justice, immigration, and community outreach. As a social policy innovator, Mario leverages a racial justice and cultural responsivity framework to design and improve county policies, practices and programs in an effort to promote equity and uplift communities out of poverty.  

As the immigration policy lead for Supervisor Cortese, Mario has been instrumental in shaping the County’s immigrant integration efforts. Most notably, he established the New Americans Fellowship, the Immigrant Programs Task Force, and the Sheriff’s Notario Fraud Unit. Mario further advises Supervisor Cortese on state and federal immigration policies and oversees developments relating to the County’s “sanctuary” jurisdictions lawsuit.  In 2016, Mario successfully led efforts to repeal the assessment and collection of juvenile administrative fees charged to youth and their families involved in the juvenile justice system making the County of Santa Clara the fourth county in the state to do so.  

Prior to joining the County of Santa Clara, Mario served as a Regional Field Director on Congressman Mike Honda’s successful 2014 re-election campaign. He’s also worked for Young Invincibles, the Greenlining Institute, and California Immigrant Policy Center.  Mario currently  serves on the Board of BAYMEC (Bay Area Municipal Elections Committee), the premier LGBTQ civil rights political action committee in Silicon Valley.     

Mario, a DACA beneficiary himself, is originally from Mexico City, Mexico. At the age of 5, he migrated to the United States establishing roots in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. Mario holds a BA in Political Science with a focus on Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley.



Dora Maria Silva, Co-Director, NLC Class of 2016 - Dora Maria Silva was born in Guatemala and moved to California at the age of six. Ms. Silva graduated from University of California, Berkeley and in 2009 graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Environmental Biology and a concentration in Human Health. Ms. Silva worked in Santa Clara County at RotaCare Bay Area's free clinics as a Clinic Patient Navigator and later as a Clinic Manager, for over two years. Ms. Silva also worked at Community Health Partnership for two years, as a Program Coordinator for the Community Mammography Access Project and later also as a Health Educator for the Every Woman Counts state-funded program. Ms. Silva is now working at Kaiser Permanente as Business Manager for the Psychiatry Departments in Milpitas and Mountain View. Ms. Silva was an NLC Silicon Valley Fellow class of 2016 and soon after graduation joined the executive board as Institute Co-Chair. Ms. Silva is now serving as NLC Silicon Valley Chapter Co-Director and looks forward to continuing to make a positive impact in her community.



Sita Stukes, Institute Co-Chair, NLC Class of 2017Sita Stukes grew up in New York City before moving to Georgia to attend Emory University for her Bachelor of Arts and the University of Georgia for her Masters of Social Work. She moved to the Bay Area in 2015 and considers this the best place she has lived so far, and where she and her family plan to stay indefinitely. Sita has worked solely at community nonprofits since 2010, and since entering the world of social work, primarily in the field of clinical mental health. Her former position as Program Director for Eating Disorders Information Network provided her the opportunity to learn and hone grant writing and event planning skills, and as a clinician she has developed expertise working with special populations such as at-risk youth and clients with HIV/AIDS and substance abuse issues. Throughout her career, she has always been strongly interested in policy and advocacy. A combination of the 2016 election cycle and feeling there was only so much she could do for her clients when many are in a system that is stacked against them, pushed Sita to switch to activism. She was one of the core organizers of the Women’s March on Sacramento and is now on the Women’s March San Jose Leadership Team. Additionally, she serves as secretary for the Women’s March Bay Area board. She is a Campaign Committee Co-Chair for the Recall Persky campaign and a member of the 5 Calls research team. She is very passionate about protecting civil and human rights, which is the main goal of her work. 


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Jennifer Briscoe, Selections Co-Chair, NLC Class of 2017 - Jennifer Briscoe is an experienced program administrator, evaluator, early childhood education specialist and facilitator of process improvement.   She has been employed with non-profit organizations in the bay area and south bay for 20 years which included Head Start programs in Fremont and Oakland. She has held management positions vital to the success of at-risk children, birth to 5 years of age, and families by ensuring that no child goes without adequate health care, dental services, mental health or sufficient day care services. At the Oakland Head Start program, she successfully implemented on-site flu clinics for pre-school children, which was the first of its kind on the west coast and the third in the nation. 

Jennifer is currently a Program Manager at The Bill Wilson Center for the outpatient Youth & Family Mental Health Division in San Jose. She has operated a private practice internship in Oakland providing mental health counseling to individuals, families and couples including Victims of Crime for 5 years collecting over 3,000 clinical hours towards licensure. Jennifer is also an appointed Commissioner for Santa Clara County’s Commission on the Status of Women advising the Board of Supervisors on policies and issues impacting women and girls. Jennifer is an advisor for L.E.A.D. Filipino and a 2017 New Leaders Council Silicon Valley Fellow.

Jennifer holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Health Sciences with a minor in Human Biology from California State University, Hayward.  Jennifer also has a Masters of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology from John F. Kennedy University and a Doctor of Education degree in Counseling Psychology from Argosy University.


Mario Rosas, Selections Co-Chair, NLC Class of 2017 - Mario serves as a Budget Analyst for various city departments and capital programs with the City of San José, City Manager’s Office. The City Manager's Office provides strategic leadership that supports the Mayor and City Council, and challenges the organization to deliver high quality services that meet the community's needs. Mario is responsible for assisting his assigned departments in the development of their operating and capital budgets. Mario also assists in the preparation of the Annual Report, Mid-Year Budget Review, and Fees and Charges Report; analysis of revenue and expenditure projections; coordination and presentation of budget information to the City Manager as appropriate; and special projects as assigned.

Mario previously worked as a program coordinator at the Visitacion Valley Strong Families Collaborative and the Support Training and Employment Program (SF Labor Council) in San Francisco, coordinating and executing a variety of community development, service delivery, and case management activities for low-income and immigrant communities. He has also served as a field director for Democracy Resources and a research assistant for Somos Mayfair, both located in San José. Mario earned his MPA from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University where he focused his studies on public management and administration. Mario also received B.A. degrees in Political Science and History from the University of California, Berkeley.



Marisol Zavaleta Martin, Alumni Engagement Co-Chair, NLC Class of 2016 - Marisol Zavaleta Martin works at The Food Trust, a nationally recognized nonprofit working to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, nutritious food. Marisol implements the healthy corner store program in San Jose, CA that increases the availability and awareness of healthy foods. Previously, she worked both in the private and public sector working to close the achievement gap in marginalized communities and in business development. Marisol’s passions include advancing food access, education, immigration reform, and building a sustainable future. Marisol was raised in San Jose, California and holds a B.S. in Accounting and Information Systems from Santa Clara University.


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Annie Adams, Alumni Engagement Co-Chair, NLC Class of 2016 - Annie Adams is a founder and Co-Chair of Education at We Persist. She is also a Co-­Chair of Women's March Sacramento. With over 9 years of experience in nonprofits, schools, volunteer management, advocacy, organizing, event planning and government, she has worked for Hayward's Office of the City Manager and as a school social worker. Prior to that, she developed a rape crisis counselor training curriculum for YWCA Silicon Valley in collaboration with the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault. She has a BA in Communications from University of New Mexico and an MSW from San Jose State University.  Annie is passionate about women’s rights, social justice and public policy. She enjoys travel, spending time with her children and a sharing a good laugh with her friends.


Christian Valdez, Selections Committee Member, NLC Class of 2016 - Christian Valdez moved to the San Francisco Bay Area from Mexico City at the age of 4. Raised in Redwood City on the San Francisco Peninsula, he graduated from Atherton's Sacred Heart Preparatory in 2009. Attending the University of California Los Angeles, Christian earned a BA in Linguistics & Philosophy and a BA in Chicana/o studies with a concentration in law, labor, and policy studies. During his time at UCLA, Christian was involved in Camp Kesem, UCLA Mentorship, and IDEAS where his direct service to immigrant communities commenced. Christian is currently a program coordinator at Building Skills Partnership, a statewide nonprofit that aims to meet labor-management needs through in-depth programming around workforce development, immigrant integration, and community advancement. As a coordinator, he is responsible for programs oversight, evaluation, and participation in development strategies for the region. Christian’s immigrant background and passion for language continues to drive his commitment and dedication to immigrant communities in the San Francisco Bay Area.






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