PERE Staff

Manuel Pastor, Director

Office: JEF 102
Phone: 213.740.5604

Manuel Pastor's bio and CV >>





(in alphabetical order, by last name)

Vanessa Carter, Senior Data Analyst

Office: JEF 102
Phone: 213.740.9638

About Vanessa Carter >>



Jennifer Ito, Project Manager

Office: JEF 102
Phone: 213.740.0745

About Jennifer Ito >>


Magaly Lopez, Data Analyst

Gladys Malibiran, Communications Specialist

Office: JEF 102
Phone: 213.821.5258

About Gladys Malibiran >>


Rhonda Ortiz, Project Manager

Office: JEF 102
Phone: 213.740.5594

About Rhonda Ortiz >>


Lauren Portillo, Administrative Assistant

Office:  JEF 102
Phone: 213.740.3643

About Lauren Portillo >>

Jared Sanchez, Data Analyst

Office: JEF 102
Phone: 213.740.9718

About Jared Sanchez >>


Alejandro Sanchez-Lopez, Data Analyst

Office: JEF 102
Phone: 213.740.7110

About Alejandro Sanchez-Lopez >>


Justin Scoggins, Data Manager

Office: JEF 102 
Phone: 213.740.5433

About Justin Scoggins >>


Pamela Stephens, Data Analyst

Office: JEF 102
Phone: 213.740.5860

About Pamela Stephens >>

Madeline Wander, Data Analyst

Office: JEF 102
Phone: 213.740.9721

About Madeline Wander >>



Jacqueline Agnello Wong, Senior Center Administrator

Office: JEF 102
Phone: 213.821.1325

About Jackie Agnello Wong >>




Affiliate Researchers

(in alphabetical order, by last name)


Chris Benner

Professor of Environmental Studies, Executive Director of the Everett Program, and the Dorothy E. Everett Global Information and Social Entrepreneurship Chair
University of California, Santa Cruz


About Chris Benner >>


Juan De Lara

Assistant Professor, American Studies & Ethnicity, University of Southern California

Office: KAP 462
Phone: (213) 740-1767

About Juan De Lara >>

Martha Matsuoka

Associate Professor, Urban and Environmental Policy
Occidental College

Office: Urban & Environmental Policy Institute 201

About Martha Matsuoka >>



Rachel Morello-Frosch

Professor, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management
University of California, Berkeley

Office: 128B Giannini, UC Berkeley

About Rachel Morello-Frosch >>

Rachel Rosner

Research Associate 

About Rachel Rosner >>

James Sadd

Professor of Environmental Science
Occidental College

Office: Hameetman Science Center 208

About James Sadd >>

Veronica Terriquez

Professor of Sociology
University of Southern California

Office: KAP 352
Phone: (213) 740-3533 

About Veronica Terriquez >>


Graduate Student Researcher Profiles

(listed alphabetically by last name)


Robert Chlala

Summer 2014 - present
Research Assistant

Robert Chlala is a Ph.D. Student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Southern California. Prior to graduate school, he spent over 10 years working in organizing, legal advocacy and educational services with youth and immigrant communities. He also conducted independent research for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, the California Fund for Youth Organizing and the California Endowment on issues affecting young people of color in California. Upon entering graduate school, he worked with Prof. Veronica Terriquez to conduct quantitative analysis tracing the impact punitive discipline has on young men’s educational and economic trajectories.

Robert's current qualitative research sits at the intersection of urban studies, labor, race/migration and social movements, investigating how workers mobilize to transform city policy around policing in Los Angeles.

He is excited to continue engaged research that can make lasting ties between universities and community and labor organizations, and can speak to the everyday concerns of people working hard to build lives of dignity, happiness and equality. Robert is inspired in this work by his family and friends’ struggles and victories, and his practice of Nichiren Buddhism with the Soka Gakkai International, a constant reminder of the vast potential that all life possesses.

Heddy Nam

Spring 2014 - present
Research Assistant

Heddy Nam joined PERE/CSII as a Graduate Student Researcher in January 2014. She is currently a Master of Public Policy candidate at Price School of Public Policy at USC, where she will serve as the Programming Chair for the Asian Pacific Islander Caucus in the 2014-2015 academic year. Before PERE, Heddy worked for seven years in international human rights advocacy - including four years at Amnesty International as well as fieldwork in Cambodia, India and Rwanda - and two years in social justice philanthropy at the Open Society Foundations. A native of Seoul who grew up in New York, her and her family’s experiences as an immigrant in the U.S. shaped her desire to work for social justice.

Her main interest is working with immigrants, people of color, low-income and other traditionally marginalized communities to use civic engagement and organizing to expand equitable access to economic rights such as healthcare, housing, education, or food. Heddy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Human Rights Studies from Barnard College. Outside of work and school, she loves to cook, hike, and sit on the beach and admire surfers.



Walter Thompson-Hernandez

Fall 2014 - present
Research Assistant

Walter Thompson-Hernandez is recent graduate from Stanford University with a Master’s in Latin American Studies and an emphasis in immigration, racial ideologies, and identity. In the past, Walter’s research has looked at the impacts of interracial mixing between African Americans and Latinos in South LA, and the transmission of racial ideologies between Mexican-origin groups in urban and rural spaces in California. He is a native of Los Angeles, California and is excited to be involved with PERE and CSII as a member of the Latinos in South LA research team before beginning his PhD studies in the fall of 2015.


Undergraduate Student Assistant and Intern Profiles

(listed alphabetically by last name)

Paxton Hall

Fall 2014 - present
Office Intern

Paxton is a Junior at the University of Southern California majoring in Business Administration and minoring in Digital Studies. His professional interests involve global business, finance, and digital media. One day he hopes that he can start a company where these interests can intersect and provide a positive impact on underprivileged communities.

On campus he works as a member of the executive board for ALPFA, an undergraduate finance and accounting club that strives to bring internships, jobs, and other opportunities to students of color at USC interested in the field of finance. As he finishes his remaining years at USC, Paxton hopes to take advantage of the various professional and social opportunities that USC provides, and looks forward to a fulfilling career after graduation.

Jinny Jung

Summer 2015
Communications Intern

Jinny is a senior at USC majoring in Health and Humanity. A self-described activist, she considers social justice and environmental consciousness her two main passions, and aims to work with community groups throughout Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Her previous experience includes producing a documentary examining the prison reintegration process, blogging about maternal health in Africa, and volunteering at local animal shelters. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a professional career in nonprofit and humanitarian work.

Chrystal Li

Fall 2014, Fall 2015
Graphic Design Intern

Chrystal is a Junior majoring in Environmental Studies with minors in Communication Design and Environmental Engineering at USC. Her studies aim to explore the interface between science, society, art, and design. Her previous experiences include internships for SURGE Art in China, where she designed style guides, website mockups, and various print projects. She has also developed magazine layouts, flyers, promotional and identity materials. Chrystal describes herself as a free spirited tree hugger with a creative streak and wishes to improve society’s attitude towards environmental issues. She can be found around campus dancing with the OTG Dance Team, innovating with a Design For America team, and participating in the USC Environmental Student Assembly (ESA).

Matthew Norris

Summer 2014 - present
Research Assistant

Studying Mathematics and Economics at USC (with particular interest in econometrics and data science) Matthew is the USC Applied Statistics Club president and also works as a programmer in the USC Office of Cultural Relations and University Events.  As a recent transplant to Los Angeles, Matt feels that his position at PERE dovetails his academic goal of getting a Master's in Data Science with his growing love for his new city. He is fascinated with how big data and statistics can be used to promote environmental justice and socioeconomic equity. When he finds a moment or two, Matt can be found running, watching horror movies, or scouring LA for gourmet cookies for his wife, Tiffany.

  • Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE)
  • 950 W. Jefferson Blvd., JEF 102
  • Los Angeles, CA 90089-1291