CSII Staff Directory

CSII Leadership


Manuel Pastor, CSII Co-Director

Professor, Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity
USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

View Manuel Pastor's bio »

Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo, CSII Associate Director

Professor, Sociology
USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

View Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo's bio »



CSII Staff

(staff listed in alphabetical order by last name) 

Vanessa Carter, Senior Data Analyst

Office: JEF 102
Phone: 213.740.9638
E-mail: vanessa.carter@usc.edu

Vanessa Carter has worked at PERE/CSII since 2008. Her work focuses on immigrant integration, regional equity and movement building.  She has co-authored several journal articles, reports, and a book chapter with PERE/CSII staff and affiliated faculty, most recently: “An Agenda for Equity: A Framework for Building a Just Transportation System in Los Angeles County” (with Manuel Pastor and Madeline Wander), and “What’s at Stake for the State: Undocumented Californians, Immigration Reform, and Our Future Together” (with Manuel Pastor, Enrico Marcelli, and Jared Sanchez). Carter holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from UCLA and is a student at Fuller Theological Seminary.

Vanessa has conducted research for community organizations (i.e. Strategic Concepts in Organizing Policy Education, Second Baptist Church of LA) and foundations (i.e. The California Endowment). Trained in faith-rooted organizing, she lead the Justice, Advocacy, and Compassion ministry at her local church and writes thought pieces on the intersection of Christian activism and movement building.

Areas of Expertise:

  •     Writing for Social Change
  •     Immigrant Integration
  •     Faith-Based Social Movements

Jennifer Ito, Project Manager

Office: JEF 102
Phone: 213.740.0745
E-mail: itojenni@usc.edu

Jennifer Ito is a Project Manager at the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity at USC. She holds a Masters in Urban Planning from UCLA. Before joining PERE, Jennifer worked in varied capacities at Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE), a grassroots organizing and movement-building organization based in South Los Angeles. As Research Director, her areas of focus included clean energy economic and workforce development policy and campaign development, tax and fiscal policy reform, workforce development policy, healthcare career training, community health leadership development, and other research to support grassroots organizing and campaigns.
Jennifer also provided trainings and capacity-building support, such as GIS, campaign development, and power analysis, to other community-based organizations. She previously worked on urban environmental issues in Los Angeles and on rural sustainable economic development in Guatemala. Appointed by the California Assembly Speaker, Jennifer served on the California Commission on the 21st Century Economy. She currently serves on the boards of the Economic Roundtable and the Asian Pacific Environmental Network.

Areas of Expertise:

  •     Social Movement Research
  •     Regional Equity
  •     Movement Building

Gladys Malibiran, Communications Specialist

Office: JEF 102
Phone: 213.821.5258
E-mail: gladys.malibiran@usc.edu

Gladys Malibiran joined PERE/CSII in September 2013. As the Communications Specialist, she coordinates media relations, develops digital content (such as enewsletters, web and social media posts), and implements various communications initiatives (such as the PERE/KCET "L.A. in Motion" series). Gladys brings 10+ years of multimedia managment and capacity-building experience with grassroots community groups, nonprofits, and progressive philanthropy in the San Francisco Bay Area, NYC metro area and Boston.

Prior to PERE, Gladys completed a fellowship program with the Emerging Arts Leaders of San Francisco, while running a communications consultancy practice.  Her past staff roles include positions with Asian Americans Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP), National Gender & Equity Campaign, Partnership for Immigrant Leadership & Action (PILA), and the Sept. 11th Education Project in Outreach and Ethnic Media. She graduated from Boston College, where she studied Communications, Fine Arts and Cultural Diversity Studies. Gladys is also involved in cultural activism, arts advocacy, and new media for social change projects. 

Areas of Expertise/Interest:

  • Strategic communications
  • Digital and multimedia project management
  • Cultural organizing and social movements

Rhonda Ortiz. Project Manager

Office: JEF 102
Phone: 213.740.5594
E-mail: rmortiz@usc.edu

Rhonda Ortiz is a Project Manager at the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity and the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration at USC where she both manages research projects and conducts research.  Rhonda holds a Masters in Urban Planning from UCLA.  She co-authored California Immigrant Integration Scorecard; Making Change: How Social Movements Work and How to Support Them; and Immigrant Integration in Los Angeles: Strategic Directions for Funders with Manuel Pastor; Connecting at the Crossroads and The Color of Change: Interethnic Youth Leadership for the 21st Century with Manuel Pastor and Jennifer Ito; and Sustainable Advocacy for Fair Credit and Fair Banking with Manuel Pastor and Vanessa Carter. 

Rhonda previously worked as an Evaluation Associate for The California Endowment, working closely with evaluators serving the Hmong immigrant community of the Central Valley, evaluating initiatives targeting policy and advocacy work and grassroots organizations.  Prior to The Endowment, she worked in varied capacities, such as, a Research Analyst for SEIU Local 399, conducted research on living wages for the living wage ordinance in Santa Monica and coordinated an environmental education program. 

Fluent in Spanish, she has lived in Mexico and worked with a team of researchers to develop economic development projects between immigrant Hometown Associations in Los Angeles and their communities in Jalisco, Mexico.  Rhonda was a member of the inaugural cohort of the Rockwood Fellowship for a New California.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Immigrant Integration
  • Grassroots participation and advocacy
  • Program Evaluation 

Lauren Portillo, Administrative Assistant

Office:  JEF 102
Phone: 213.740.3643
E-mail: lportill@usc.edu

Lauren Portillo joined the PERE/CSII team in May 2014 as Administrative Assistant. Lauren became interested in social justice while studying at the University of Southern California where she graduated cum laude with a degree in Sociology.

During her senior year, she participated in the Sociology Honors Program where she conducted an original research project on Mexican-American identity in the suburbs of Los Angeles. As a first generation college student and later generation immigrant, Lauren is passionate about immigrant integration, particularly concerning educational opportunities for immigrants.

Jared Sanchez, Data Analyst

Office: JEF 102
Phone: 213.740.9718
E-mail: jpsanche@usc.edu

Jared Sanchez has been a Data Analyst at PERE/CSII since 2009.  He holds a Master's degree in Urban Planning from the University of Southern California.  Before PERE, he worked for The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA as a research assistant for The Initiative on School Integration.

Jared has co-authored several PERE/CSII reports, including: "A Foot in Both Worlds: Institutionalizing Progressive Community-­Engaged Research Centers within Universities" (with Jeffrey O. Sacha, Ange-Marie Hancock, and Manuel Pastor), and “What’s at Stake for the State: Undocumented Californians, Immigration Reform, and Our Future Together” (with Manuel Pastor, Enrico Marcelli, and Vanessa Carter). His work is focused on using quantitative methods to explore regional equity, immigrant integration, and a variety of rapid response requests for community-based organizations.

Areas of expertise/interest:

  • Race/ethnicity
  • Regional equity
  • Immigrant integration

Alejandro Sanchez-Lopez, Data Analyst

Office: JEF 102
Phone: 213.740.7110
Email: sanc874@usc.edu

Alejandro Sanchez-Lopez graduated in May 2014 from the University of Southern California with a Masters of Planning, Economic Development.  Prior to his role as Data Analyst, he worked at PERE/CSII as a graduate student research assistant conducting quantitative and qualitative data analysis on various environmental justice, immigrant integration, regional equity, and community organizing projects. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the University of California, Irvine.

Alejandro's past roles include internships with the City of Pico Rivera, the Koreatown Immigration Workers Alliance (KIWA), and the City of Los Angeles.

Areas of Expertise/Interest:

  • Regional Equity
  • Immigrant Integration
  • Community Organizing

Justin Scoggins, Data Manager

Office: JEF 102 
Phone: 213.740.5433
E-mail: scogginj@usc.edu

Justin Scoggins is the Data Manager at the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) at USC. He holds a Master’s degree in Applied Economics and Finance from the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). Before coming to PERE, he worked at the Center for Justice, Tolerance and Community at UCSC analyzing patterns of environmental injustice, labor market intermediaries, and regional economic development.

Justin currently manages the broad array of datasets used in PERE and CSII research, and provides guidance on and conducts quantitative analyses called for by various projects. Some of his recent work has included designing metrics of regional equity for metropolitan areas, further developing and facilitating the use of the Environmental Justice Screening Method, measuring economic contributions of immigrants to the California economy, and an analysis of residential proximity and labor market competition between African Americans and immigrants in California.

Areas of Expertise/Interest:

  • Data analysis and modeling of social inequality
  • Regional economic growth and labor markets
  • Neighborhood demographic change and residential segregation

Pamela Stephens, Data Analyst

Office: JEF 102
Phone: 213.740.5860
Email: pamela.stephens@usc.edu

Pamela Stephens holds a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from UCLA and Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from UC Berkeley. Prior to coming to PERE/CSII in June 2014, she worked as a research analyst for the Demographic Research Project at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles. She has also provided research in the past for the California Department of Housing and Community Development, the Southern California Association of Nonprofit Housing, and the Asian American Studies Center at UCLA.

Before working in a research capacity, Pamela worked in the Bay Area as an advocate for access to public health services: coordinating a youth peer education program centered on adolescent health and injury prevention, and providing advocacy support and direct service primarily to low-income women of color facing barriers in accessing reproductive health care.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Regional Demographic Profile
  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Mapping

Madeline Wander, Data Analyst

Office: JEF 102
Phone: 213.740.9721
E-mail: mwander@usc.edu

Madeline Wander holds a Master’s degree in Urban & Regional Planning from UCLA and a Bachelor's Degree in Urban and Environmental Policy from Occidental College. She conducts qualitative and quantitative data analysis and her work focuses on environmental justice, regional/transportation equity, and social movement building. She has co-authored several PERE reports, including Moments, Movements, and Momentum: Engaging Voters, Scaling Power, Making Change (with Manuel Pastor and Gihan Perera) and An Agenda for Equity: A Framework for Building a Just Transportation System in Los Angeles County (with Vanessa Carter and Manuel Pastor).

Prior to joining the PERE team, Madeline pursued her passion for social justice through a variety of organizing efforts, including Housing LA  a broad affordable housing coalition convened by the Southern California Association of NonProfit Housing (SCANPH) and Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign in Colorado. She has also interned at the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), and OneLA-IAF (Industrial Areas Foundation).

Areas of expertise:

  • Environmental justice
  • Social movement building
  • Urban planning and transportation equity

Jacqueline (Agnello) Wong, Senior Center Administrator

Office: JEF 102
Phone: 213.821.1325
E-mail: jagnello@usc.edu

Jackie (Agnello) Wong is the Senior Center Administrator at PERE/CSII.  Since 2007, she has led our administrative team by planning events, designing reports, and supporting communications. After 10 years of working with social justice research centers, Jackie is passionate about lifting up community concerns to inform policy decisions. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Administration from University of Southern California and holds a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Immigrant Integration
  • Web/Publication Design
  • Event Planning and Outreach


  • Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII), University of Southern California
  • 950 W. Jefferson Blvd
  • JEF 102
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089