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 focuses on social-movement building, regional equity, and immigrant integration. She has co-authored several journal articles, reports, and a book chapter with PERE/CSII staff and affiliated faculty, including: “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). She is often found writing, coaching others in writing, or speaking on PERE/CSII topics to diverse stakeholders. She holds an MA in Urban Planning (UCLA) and has worked at PERE/CSII since 2008.

Vanessa is involved with LA Voice (a PICO affiliate), a student at Fuller Theological Seminary, and writes on the intersection of the Christian church and economic and racial justice through HuffPo Religion and other outlets.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Writing for Social Change
  • Social Movements (esp. faith-based and African-American–Latino coalitions)
  • Immigrant Integration

Jennifer Ito, Project Manager

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

Jennifer Ito is a Project Manager at USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) where she conducts research primarily on issues of regional inclusion and social movement building. Jennifer has co-authored several PERE publications including States of Change: A Framework for Progressive Governance (with Manuel Pastor and Madeline Wander), Getting Real About Reform: Estimating Gains from Changes to California’s System of Assessing Commercial Real Estate (with Justin Scoggins and Manuel Pastor), and Transforming Lives, Transforming Movement Building: Lessons from the National Domestic Workers Alliance Strategy-Organizing-Leadership (SOL) Initiative (with Rachel Rosner, Vanessa Carter, and Manuel Pastor).

Before joining PERE, Ito worked for nine years 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, and workforce development policy. Ito also provided trainings and capacity-building support, such as GIS, campaign development, and power analysis.

Appointed by the California Assembly Speaker, she served on the California Commission on the 21st Century Economy in 2009 which was tasked with stepping back from the immediate fiscal crisis to evaluate the state’s tax structure and to recommend reforms. She serves on the California State Controller’s Council of Economic Advisors which is examining various tax reform proposals. She is also on the boards of the Economic Roundtable, California Budget and Policy Center, Asian Pacific Environmental Network Action, and the Liberty Hill Foundation’s Community Funding Board. She holds a Masters in Urban Planning from UCLA.

Areas of Expertise:

  •     Social Movement Research
  •     Regional Equity
  •     Movement Building

Magaly Lopez, Data Analyst

Office: JEF 102
Email: magalylo@usc.edu

Magaly N. Lopez is a Data Analyst at PERE/CSII.  Prior to joining the PERE team in July 2015, she contributed to capacity building efforts for nonprofits and conducted research on hometown associations and economic development policy in Mexico, day laborer workforce development in the U.S., construction work in New Orleans post-Katrina, and undocumented children in mixed-status households in New Mexico.  Most recently she co-authored Removing Barriers to Postsecondary Success for Undocumented Students in Southern New Mexico.

Lopez is a Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA) Fellow and holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Bachelor’s degree in International Development Studies and Spanish from UCLA.


Gladys Malibiran, Communications Specialist

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

Gladys Malibiran joined our team in September 2013 in the newly created role of PERE/CSII Communications Coordinator. Gladys is our media relations liaison, leads graphic design and PR/dissemination strategies, and manages content development for PERE and CSII's digital communications venues (e.g. enewsletters, websites, and social media accounts). She also facilitates communications partnerships and special projects, such as the PERE/KCET "L.A. in Motion" series on transportation equity and the Jobs to Move America "Women Can Build" report and photo exhibit.

Gladys brings 12+ years of exepertise with media production, social impact communications strategy, and grassroots/nonprofit capacity-building with arts & culture groups, social justice nonprofits, and progressive philanthropy in the San Francisco, New York, and Boston metro areas.

Prior to PERE/CSII, Gladys completed a fellowship with the Emerging Arts Professionals Bay Area, while working as a creative director and communications consultant. Her past staff roles include positions with Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP), the National Gender and Equity Campaign, Partnership for Immigrant Leadership and Action (PILA), and the IINJ's Post-9/11 Education and Outreach Project. She graduated from Boston College, where she studied Communications, Fine Arts, and Cultural Diversity.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Digital Media Content Development (strategy, production, and design)
  • Strategic Communications and PR
  • Nonprofit Capacity Building

Rhonda Ortiz. Managing Director

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

Rhonda Ortiz is the Managing Director at the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) 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 PERE/CSII, and has been with the organization since 2008. He holds a Master’s degree in Applied Economics and Finance from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and specializes in using data to illustrate patterns of social inequality and to inform the efforts of those working reverse those patterns. He currently manages the broad array of datasets used in PERE and CSII research, and provides guidance on and conducts analyses called for by various projects. He is the primary architect of the database that is the backbone of the National Equity Atlas, a project developed with PolicyLink. He has co-authored publications in academic journals including the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, the Journal of Urban Affairs, and the Journal of Planning Education and Research as well as numerous research reports that have had a significant impact on public policy. Some of his other recent work has included estimating the potential revenue gains from changes to California’s system of assessing commercial real estate, measuring the economic benefits of immigrant naturalization, and mapping the eligible-to-naturalize.

Before coming to PERE, he worked at the Center for Justice, Tolerance and Community at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he honed his skills in data analysis analyzing patterns of environmental injustice, labor market intermediaries, and regional economic development.

Areas of Expertise:

  • Empirical analysis of social equity issues
  • Data management/processing
  • Organization and structure of Census data

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. She conducts quantitative analysis across PERE/CSII’s areas of research. She is one of the core staff working on PERE’s partnership with PolicyLink making the economic case for equity in our nation’s regions and cities, primarily through the National Equity Atlas. As part of the Atlas team, she produced an analysis of full employment for the Fed Up campaign and developed environmental health indicators as part of the White House Opportunity Project. Pamela is the staff lead on the quantitative analysis for a multiyear study on Latinos in South Los Angeles. She also works with the Data Manager to coordinate trainings for data analysts, reinforce analytical standards, and ensure rigor and accuracy in the center’s analyses.

Prior to PERE/CSII, Pamela worked as a research analyst for the Demographic Research Project at Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles. She has also worked on research projects 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 becoming a researcher, she 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:

  • Racial and regional equity
  • Neighborhood-level analysis
  • Data visualization and mapping

Madeline Wander, Senior Data Analyst

Madeline Wander
Senior 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 BA in Urban & Environmental Policy from Occidental College. She conducts qualitative and quantitative data analysis and her work focuses on environmental justice, regional equity, and social-movement building. She has co-authored several publications, including: The Have-Nots, and the Health of Everyone: The Relationship Between Social Inequality and Environmental Quality (Annual Review of Public Health article); An Agenda for Equity: A Framework for Building a Just Transportation System in Los Angeles County (PERE report); and Moments, Movements, and Momentum: Engaging Voters, Scaling Power, Making Change (PERE report). She is the PERE staff lead on the Environmental Justice Screening Method and staffs PERE Director Manuel Pastor as an appointed member of the Strategic Growth Council, a state-level committee that allocates cap-and-trade revenue to California’s disadvantaged communities. Madeline also sits on the Board of Directors of the Center for Race, Poverty & the Environment (CRPE).

Prior to joining the PERE/CSII team, she 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), OneLA-IAF (Industrial Areas Foundation), the Pasadena Planning Department, and the Coalition for Economic Survival (CES). 

Areas of expertise:

  • Environmental justice
  • Social-movement building
  • Urban planning and transportation equity
  • Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII), University of Southern California
  • 950 W. Jefferson Blvd
  • JEF 102
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089