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New Leaders Council

Our Board

NLC Silicon Valley Executive Board 


Anthony Piñeda, Co-Director 


Screen_Shot_2015-10-27_at_12.54.15_AM.pngAnthony Piñeda has been a student of the effects of music and human consciousness since 1999, when he reflected on the role music played in his own life. Hip hop, specifically a genre dubbed ‘Conscious Hip Hop‘, transformed his outlook and personal and professional goals. It was a catalyst to his personal evolution and launched him on a path to deepening his understanding of the music and sharing its potential with others, especially youth. After conducting his own research on hip-hop music within a multiple discipline framework, he began to work within educational institutions. As Anthony continued to explore his artistry in private, working in education opened new ideas on bringing hip-hop to youth and connecting with technology. Anthony founded Creatrix, integrating hip-hop culture into educational policy. Anthony works and serves in Silicon Valley, fostering dialogue on the hip hop education, and working in leadership development, cultural competence, and youth development. Anthony is a graduate of the 2012 cohort of New Leaders Council Silicon Valley, has served on the board for the past five years, and now serves as Co-Director of NLC Silicon Valley. Anthony earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Sociology, and African and African American Studies from UC Davis and Masters degree in Consciousness and Transformative Studies from John F. Kennedy University. 

Yan Yin K. Choy, Co-Director


Yan Yin K. Choy is an impact-driven full stack developer with a passion for civic tech, civic engagement and open data. As a recent graduate of General Assembly, a full-time immersive three-month bootcamp, Yan Yin learned to build web applications in one week sprints individually and in collaboration with teams. As a former nonprofit manager at Silicon Valley Talent Partnership, she was not satisfied with just project management in public-private partnerships. Yan Yin wanted to learn to build applications and use her creative and problem-solving skills with code. Yan Yin is former executive fellow with the Governor's Office of Planning and Research, where she coordinated interagency efforts on open data, drafted policy recommendations for the General Plan Guidelines, and recruited and managed 21 interns and fellows. Yan Yin earned a Bachelors of Arts in Environmental Studies and minor in Anthropology from SJSU. In 2015, Yan Yin Choy earned the Lee Sturtevant Woman Warrior Award and in 2012, she earned the Cesar E. Chavez Memorial Education Award. Upon graduating from the 2015 cohort of the New Leaders Council Institute, Yan Yin began to serve on the executive board of NLC Silicon Valley as Co-Director. In her spare time, Yan Yin volunteers on open source projects on affordable housing with Code for San José. Check out her portfolio and connect on LinkedIn. 




Louis Barocio ('15), Institute ChairLouis_Barocio.jpg

Louis Barocio is a proud son of parents who immigrated to the United States from Mexico. Raised in East San Jose, California, he attended public schools and proudly graduated from Independence High School. After high school he attended and graduated from University of California, Berkeley with honors. Afterwards, he joined Teach for America and returned to East San Jose to teach the next generation of leaders in the Alum Rock Union School District. Louis enjoyed teaching tremendously and sought to impact more students and the greater community by pursuing his Master of Arts and Administrator Credential from Teachers College at Columbia University in New York City. Subsequently Louis continued his professional path in education and became a Vice-Principal in Alum Rock and Berryessa Union School District. After serving as a Vice-Principal, he served as an elementary school Principal at a Title 1 school in Berryessa and has recently began the 15-16 school year as Principal of Eaton Elementary School in Cupertino, CA.



Dora Maria Silva, (‘16) Institute Co-Chair


Dora Maria Silva was born in Guatemala and moved to California at the age of six. After graduating from Hayward High School she pursued higher education at 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 also founded a nonprofit organization known as Organizing Medicine Globally, while a student at UC Berkeley, which provides health education and referrals to community resources for underserved communities in the Bay Area and in Guatemala. After college, 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. 


anna-schlotz.jpgAnna Schlotz ('11), Alumni Experience Co-Chair 
Currently, Anna Schlotz is Developer & Operations Manager for “Food, What?!” in Santa Cruz, a youth empowerment and food justice organization using food, through sustainable agriculture and health, as the vehicle for growing strong, healthy, and resilient teens. Anna Schlotz was formerly Development Associate for Women’s Community Clinic in San Francisco, Business Manager at Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americana (MACLA) in San Jose, Lead Organizer with Working Partnerships USA and South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council, a field director for Joan Buchanan's successful campaign in California Assembly District 15, and grassroots fundraiser for Environment California, CALPIRG and the Human Rights Campaign. Anna was born and raised in Fresno, CA and earned a degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from UC Berkeley. She enjoys baking, hanging out with her cats, detective dramas, and going to bed early.

Ana Lucrecia Rivera (‘16), Alumni Experience Co-Chair

Ana Lucrecia is GIS Assistant at Stanford Geospatial Center and a student of the Geography graduate program at San Jose State University.. She has been using Geographic Information Systems to conduct research on urban planning topics since she was an architecture student in Mexico. Her thesis project proposed an urban regeneration based on a GIS analysis. Still, she felt that her profession was missing a true environmental knowledge and decided to study a MSc. in Environmental Systems. There she applied geo-information systems and remote sensing to pursue research on Urban Heat Islands. She is passionate about urban planning topics and the power of Geo-Information Systems and Remote Sensing to assess the impact of cities on the environment, vulnerability assessments of human settlements, flood risk analysis, public policies and urban poverty.




Paul Escobar, (‘16) Institute Committee Member

Paul is a committed and active member of the community, regularly volunteering with a host of organizations and political initiatives. He has strong policy interests in Education Technology and Computer Science, Autonomous Vehicles, Marijuana/Drug Policy and Water.

Paul is the Senior Associate of Policy and Foundation Programs at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for Sunday Assembly Silicon Valley. Paul completed his undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley and his graduate studies at Harvard Divinity School.




Mario Lopez, (‘16) Selections Co-Chair


Mario, a native of Mexico City, grew up in East Los Angeles before transferring to UC Berkeley to pursue his undergraduate Political Science and Public Policy degree. While at Cal, he strengthened his political identity and grassroots organizing skills by being actively engaged and leading multicultural, student-led movements on and off campus. His work experience extends to the California Immigrant Policy Center, the Greenlining Institute, Young Invincibles, and most recently, Congressman Mike Honda's 2014 re-election campaign.  Mario currently serves as a Policy Aide to Dave Cortese, President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.




Christian Valdez, (‘16) Selections Co-Chair

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 program 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.


Chris Gonzales, (‘16) Selections Committee Member

Chris has over 8 years of experiences in the human services field, and a lifelong commitment to supporting people and communities struggling with mental health, elder justice issues, and poverty. Chris served in several capacities such as supervising, direct mental health counseling, interfaith organizing, and volunteering. In 2012, while serving as a VISTA for AmeriCorps, Chris was awarded a National Economic Development Impact Award in Chicago for developing a homeless resource center in Sacramento, CA. Chris is currently a Supervising Clinician at Asian American Recovery Services/HealthRight360. He received his Masters in Social Work from San Jose State University.

 Viviane Nguyen, (‘16) Selections Committee Member

Viviane Nguyen works as Housing Analyst with the City of San Jose. She was formerly a business development consultant at Oracle, working with innovative enterprise companies to help grow their businesses through technology. She also served as the communications co-lead at Oracle Pacific Americans Leadership. Prior to Oracle, Viviane has worked on community building and policy issues in D.C, Sacramento, and Thailand. She is also the Politics Editor for a Vietnamese issues focused online publication, Chopsticks Alley. Viviane completed her undergraduate studies at De Anza College, UC Berkeley and Thammasat University in Thailand.


Annie Adams('16), External Communications Chair 

Annie Adams graduated with a Master’s Degree in Social Work from San José State University in San José, California, with a focus in Children, Youth and Families. She also attained the Pupil Personal Services Credential. She has over seven years of experience in working in non-profit, schools, management, advocacy and government. Her former positions as Volunteer Coordinator and Trainer at both the YWCA of Silicon Valley and the Rape Crisis Center of Central New Mexico grew her passion for management, advocacy and community organization. Annie collaborated with the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault to develop and author a training curriculum for YWCA of Silicon Valley Volunteer Rape Crisis Counselors.

Annie is a member of the National Association of Social Workers, the International City/County Management Association and the American Civil Liberties Union. While attending graduate school, she has taken part in the NASW Lobby Days in Sacramento, California and will serve as a lead lobbyist in 2016. Currently, Annie serves as an intern with the City of Hayward, California in the Office of the City Manager. She is passionate about public policy, local government and civic engagement. Her primary interests are financial inequality, affordable housing and paid family leave.


Advisory Board

Ash Kalra, Advisory Board Honorary Chair

Ash Kalra was elected to represent the 27th Assembly District in November 2016. The district encompasses eastern portions of the city of San Jose. A resident of that city for most of his life, Ash previously represented the 2nd District on the San Jose City Council, where he was the first Indian American elected to that body.

During his time serving as a councilmember, he provided a voice on a number of issue areas, including improved schools and transportation options, and a cleaner environment as well as providing the tools for effective public safety.

Notably, he has fought to maintain funding in the face of cuts to public safety, specifically to restore the San Jose Police Department’s burglary unit and the Violent Crimes Enforcement Team.

He has also worked to bring economic incentives to the area and given a strong voice to extend BART into Silicon Valley.

Before serving on the city council, Ash spent 11 years as an attorney in the Santa Clara Public Defender’s Office.

Previously, he taught at San Jose State University and at high schools in Washington DC. During his tenure on the city council, he was a law professor at Lincoln Law School of San Jose.

Among the many non-profit boards that he has served include the Santa Clara County Bar Association, the Asian Law Alliance, Somos Mayfair, and the South Asian Bar Association.

Ash lives in Hayes, the same San Jose neighborhood where he grew up. He is one of the founders of the Hayes Neighborhood Association.

He is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he has a degree in communications and has a law degree from Georgetown University.

Kalen Gallagher
Entrepreneur, Slay
Trustee, Campbell Union High School District NEW_KG.png

Kalen grew up in San Jose and is a proud graduate of UC Davis and the UC Davis School of Law. After graduating and passing the California Bar Exam, Kalen opted against taking a big firm job and instead decided to teach 7th and 8th grade Social Studies in East San Jose. During his time teaching, Kalen was responsible for educating nearly 300 students, many of whom came from underprivileged backgrounds. As a result of Kalen’s dedication to the classroom, his students performed twice as well as the district average on the California Standards Test. Believing there is much more to education than is shown on standardized tests, Kalen also encouraged his students to get involved in their community and develop the interpersonal skills needed to achieve success throughout high school, college, and beyond.

Recognizing the abilities of technology to drive widespread systemic and structural change, Kalen made the tough decision to leave the teaching job he loved to join an innovative education startup called ClassDojo as its first employee. His company builds a free tool for teachers, parents, and students to help establish positive learning habits, strengthen the connection between in-class behavior and academic success, and break down the communication walls between the classroom and the home. ClassDojo is now one of the most-successful education technology startups of all time with over 50 million users in over 180 countries. After three years of building the company, Kalen decided to take a break from the tech world and joined a small non-profit which focuses on educational equity work in California.

Since returning home to San Jose from law school, Kalen has been very active in our community. Kalen co-founded and served as Co-Director of of New Leaders Council - Silicon Valley, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that annually identifies and trains 15-20 civic-minded, young professionals with the tools to make positive change in our community. Most recently, Kalen launched Code for San Jose, a local brigade of Code for America. Code for San Jose's mission is to help make San Jose the world-leader in open government, transparency, and civic innovation.

In 2012, Kalen was elected to the Campbell Union High School District receiving 31,725 votes from San Jose, Campbell, and parts of Los Gatos, Saratoga, Santa Clara, and Monte Sereno. He ran on implementing programs to solve CUHSD's 16% dropout rate, raising achievement scores that ranked us among the lowest similar schools in California, aggressively updating classrooms with technology, and eliminating the achievement/opportunity gap. Since being elected the district has made big strides in all of these areas and more.

Reeta Sharma
Legal Operations, Nimble Storage
Reeta grew up in the East Bay and is Legal Operations at Nimble Storage, a technology company located in San Jose. She also serves on the advisory board of the NWPC Silicon Valley and DAWN, organizations that work to get progressive women into office. Previously, she worked with technology startups at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati in Palo Alto. Reeta received her degree from UC Berkeley in Molecular & Cell Biology and Political Science.  

Carlos Jiménez ('13)
Director of Diversity Outreach, Bellarmine College Preparatory

Carlos is a first-generation Latino who moved to the United States at 16 years of age. His life experiences in México and San José have instilled in him a deep passion for social justice issues, particularly those concerning bridging the opportunity and achievement gaps in education and advocating for a humane immigration policy, which most profoundly affect the Latino community in Silicon Valley. Carlos has been involved in education ever since he graduated from Santa Clara University, where he obtained a BS in Political Science and later a Single Subject Teaching Credential. He taught Spanish, Social Studies, and Geography at Sacred Heart Nativity School in San José, a middle school for inner-city, low-income youth. Carlos is currently a teacher at Bellarmine College Prep. Carlos co-founded Vitamina Juices & Blends, a local juice bar in downtown San José's SOFA district with Montserrat Ayala.

Richard Nguyen ('13)
Management Analyst, Santa Clara Valley Water District
A proud graduate of public schools in San Jose and Campbell, Richard Nguyen believes every student in our district deserves a high quality education.Committed to student success, Richard is an attorney who volunteers as a coach for a high school mock trial team, a mentor for at-risk students, and a board member of a high school foundation. Richard Nguyen has a law degree from UC Davis and a master's degree in public policy from the University of Michigan. He serves as a Trustee on the Campbell Union School District Board. 



Yacanex_Posadas.pngYacanex Posadas ('13)
Small Business Advisory, Small Business Development Center

Yacanex Posadas was born and raised in San José. Yacanex now teaches at Santa Clara University Leavey School of Business and is the Program Manager for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley. Yacanex was formerly a Global Business Operations intern with McAfee, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel. His current responsibilities support Strategic Sourcing and Procurement strategies. Yacanex previously worked for Intuit in two different roles. The first was in Finance Operations within Quote-to-Cash, and the second was in Business Unit Finance working on the Payments Solutions Division. Additionally, one of his greatest passions is supporting Latino business students and developing Latino professionals. In his spare time, Yacanex enjoys spending time with his siblings and playing traditional Mexican folk music. He is also an avid reader. He graduated from San Jose State University with a degree in Business Management.

Angelica Ramos ('11)
Angelica is a proud alum of the Los Angeles Chapter of New Leaders Council. Since graduating from the Institute, she and her fellow 2011 Alums Adel Syed and Pauline Alvarado founded the Orange County chapter of New Leaders Council. Since the inaugural class in 2012, NLC OC has expanded this progressive network into the Inland Empire, Long Beach, and Orange County – places that have not traditionally been considered “progressive.” The chapter now services an entire region. Angelica is a bay area native with strong ties to the Silicon Valley community.  Currently, she serves as Chair for the National Women’s Political Caucus, an organization dedicated to getting pro-choice, progressive women into office. She also volunteers as a senior staff mediator at the Family Alliance for Counseling Tools & Resolution (FACTR) and as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for Child Advocates of Silicon Valley, advocating for children in the foster care system. Angelica’s educational background includes a Juris Doctorate from Whittier Law School with a specialization in Children’s Rights, a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from The American University, Washington, D.C., and graduated from Notre Dame High School, San Jose.

Alex Shoor ('13)
Director of Government Affairs, Fresh Lifelines for Youth (FLY)
Alex was raised in Silicon Valley and came home to make a progressive impact on this community after a dozen years away. He is currently a Policy Aide for Santa Clara County Supervisor Ken Yeager, for whom he covers issues such as land use, criminal justice, government operations and the environment. Alex has worked in numerous sectors in his career. In the field of communications, Alex has served as an Assistant Press Secretary for the Public Advocate for New York City, an Account Executive for Fenton Communications, an Account Manager for Consensus Inc., and the Southern Media Strategist for GLAAD. In terms of community involvement, Alex volunteers with Village Harvest, is an active member of the Silicon Valley Young Democrats and is on the Board of Directors of the Shasta/Hanchett Park Neighborhood Association. Alex lives in the Cahill Park neighborhood with his fiancée, Kristen. Alex studied Political Science and African American Studies while earning a Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University and holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Southern California.

Mia White
Financial Analyst, Zendesk 
Mia White graduated with a MBA from the Mills College Lokey Graduate School of Business with a focus in Socially Responsible Business. During her career she has worked in the public, non-profit, and private sectors. Mia began her career in the South Bay as an aide to Congresswomen Lofgren. In 2010, she worked as a staff member for Measure J, the successful ballot measure to build a new home for the San Francisco 49ers in Santa Clara. She also spent a year managing the programs of the largest soup kitchen in San Jose and assisted in opening an additional location to serve families in need. Mia most recently worked in corporate immigration law before leaving to pursue her MBA as a full-time student. She holds a degree in Nutrition from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Mia is also an avid Bay Area sports fan and works for the San Jose Earthquakes as a Brand Ambassador.

Lisset Nevárez ('13)
Staff Recruiting Manager, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C. 


Born and raised in San José, Lisset Nevarez received a Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies from San Jose State University. Currently a Manager, Staff Recruiting at law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C., Lisset also works part-time as Pre-Trial Service Officer with the Santa Clara County’s Office of Pre-Trial Services, allowing her to apply her Justice Studies degree. She is able to assist the Court in making custody release decisions and setting bond conditions by reviewing investigative reports, interviewing inmates, and assessing defendants’ pretrial risk and public safety after they are booked into jail.

Having grown up on the east side of San José, Lisset witnessed many social inequities and works diligently to ensure social justice by focusing on diversity and inclusion in both her work and home communities, and by providing Pro Bono Spanish translation services to indigent legal clients. The mother of a pre-teen son, Lisset is President of the North Valley Council of PTAs and serves on the county-wide Nominating Committee for the Sixth District PTA. Lisset also serves as the Silent Auction Chair of Sabor del Valle, an event showcasing Latino vintners and chefs, proceeds from which benefit three local non-profit organizations.

Lisset enjoys attending foreign and independent film festivals, volunteering at the local food bank, trying new local restaurants in search for the best salmon dish and is currently mastering the art of parenting her son.

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