E: info@barhii.org | T: 510-210-8065

Staff

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Melissa Jones, MPA, is the Executive Director of BARHII. She has over 15 years of experience in non-profit management and municipal government, including work in the Bay Area’s large and small cities. Melissa’s work focuses on the intersection of social determinants of health, social inequity, and well-being.  Melissa is an active community member in Oakland and also serves on the Association of Bay Area Government’s Regional Planning Committee, which advises on regional planning issues.

Before joining BARHII, Melissa served as Senior Program Officer at Boston Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC), where she launched and ran Boston LISC’s Resilient Communities Resilient Families (RCRF) Initiative. The initiative works to ensure that residents of Boston’s Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan neighborhoods benefit from the rising tide of transit and other public investments. During her tenure, RCRF engaged several thousand residents and non-profits in neighborhood planning. The program has invested millions of dollars to fund affordable housing, leadership development, Family Financial Opportunity Center programs, and a local entrepreneurship pipeline program to ensure residents’ financial lives are improving. She was awarded the LISC’s President’s award in 2014 for her work on comprehensive community development.

Melissa has additional experience funding and implementing programs focused on community economic development, family financial stability, education, and civic empowerment.  Specifically, she has served in youth empowerment organizations, as Program Specialist for the City of Alameda, and as Program Analyst for the City of Oakland’s Oakland Fund for Children and Youth. Early in her career, she served as Director of Professional Development for Partners in School Innovation where she trained staff to support school reform efforts in San Francisco Unified, San Jose Unified, and Oak Grove Unified school districts.

Email: MJones@BARHII.org

Miriam Chion is the Director of Policy and Planning at BARHII. Miriam’s professional practice and academic work has focused on regional policies and strategies, city planning, community resources, place-making and international development.  Until 2017, she was the Planning and Research Director at the Association of Bay Area Governments.  At ABAG, she developed housing policies and economic development strategies in coordination with Bay Area cities and built a regional resilience program funded by FEMA, Rockefeller Foundation, and USGS.  Prior to that, she worked at the San Francisco Planning Department, where she led the Eastern Neighborhoods community planning process, designed industrial businesses and workers’ retention programs, and assessed changes in built environment. Miriam has additional experience working at Clark University, Massachusetts. Her publications have addressed the strength of communities shaping the development of cities and regions.  She completed her doctoral studies at University of California at Berkeley, and an architectural degree in Lima, Peru.

Email: MChion@BARHII.org

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Will Dominie, MURP, is the Policy Manager for Housing Affordability and Equitable Development of BARHII. Will brings a decade of policy experience, helping local health departments and community based organizations create equitable, health promoting communities. His work bridges health, housing, land-use, transportation, and climate change, and focuses on ensuring that working class communities and communities of color play a lead role in building the future of our cities, regions, and state. Will has particular expertise in making technical planning and policy information relevant and accessible so that those most impacted by health disparities can help shape healthier community policies.

Will has spent the last four years as a planner and policy specialist with San Mateo and Contra Costa County Health Systems, and has also been a leader in BARHII’s work on health and the built environment. Will’s research and writing has been published in Progressive Planning, The Informal American City, and by the Labor Community Strategy Center, and has won a top award from the Council of University Transportation Centers. He has developed and facilitated a wide range of popular education workshops for community based organizations, and has led a number of highly successful community planning processes. He also serves as a trainer and organizational development consultant with social justice organizations around the country.

Will has a M.A. in urban planning from UCLA, where he focused on the interactions between transit investment, land use patterns and environmental justice in low-income communities of color.

Email: WDominie@BARHII.org

Ali Cannon is the Training and Events Manager of BARHII. Ali Cannon joins BARHII with over twenty years of experience in education and community development and was highly recommended by a member in San Francisco’s Department of Public Health.  He brings a wealth of experience in trainings and development and systems change in public institutions.  Throughout his career, his experience has included depth in building strategic partnerships, engaging a wide variety of cross-sector stakeholders, and implementing trainings and programs in service to a broad range of communities.

At San Leandro Unified School District, Ali was a champion in internal systems change efforts related to homelessness.  As the Homeless and Foster Youth Liaison, he was faced with a district struggling to identify homeless students when he arrived. To meet the federal mandate to serve homeless children and youth, he trained over 400 district employees on best practices resulting in a 300% increase in students served. Additionally, he led the implementation of the district’s Safe Schools Initiative where he was instrumental in creating strategies to support LGBT youth, families and staff. Also under his leadership, he accomplished capacity building through creating collaborative partnerships, strategically visioning programs, and successfully applying for funding opportunities in a highly competitive landscape. In six years, he fundraised and sustained $7,920,000.

Ali earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Feminist Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz and San Francisco State respectively. He served on the Board of Our Family Coalition, the Bay Area’s LGBTQ Family Organization for eight years and currently serves on the Board of Kehilla Community Synagogue. A proud father and husband, he lives in Oakland with his wife, Jessica, an Oakland Unified principal, and their thirteen-year-old son.

Email: ACannon@BARHII.org

Renae Alvarez, MPH, is the Program Manager for Health Equity Investments and Business Systems Integration at BARHII. She brings over 8 years of health and human services experience promoting systems change. Prior to joining BARHII, as the Center for Long-Term Care Reform Director at Health & Medicine Policy Research Group, Renae managed two healthcare systems change projects addressing health inequities. She launched a Behavioral Health-Primary Care Integration Learning Collaborative that utilized a team-based approach to improve processes, practices, and systems that improve health outcomes and quality care, while reducing healthcare costs. Secondly, Renae served as Head of Strategic Development for the Bridge Model, which was a transitional care intervention that leveraged psychotherapy techniques to increase patient activation and follow-through, significantly lower hospital readmission rates, and decreased stress for patients and family caregivers.  Renae has leadership, clinical, and research experience working with people with disabilities and is a graduate of the Illinois Leadership and Education for Neurodevelopmental and other related Disabilities (LEND) and National Leadership Institute on Developmental Disabilities fellowships.

She received MPH from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health in the Community Health Sciences Division and a BA in Psychology and Human Development from the State University of New York at Geneseo.

Email: RAlvarez@BARHII.org

Melanie Newcomb serves as BARHII’s Senior Program Specialist. Melanie provides meeting, event, and overall program support; helps produce the BARHII Newsletter; and keeps BARHII.org up to date. She also maintains general office functions and assists in other roles as necessary. Concurrent with BARHII, she works for Regional Asthma Management and Prevention in the capacity of Administrative Assistant.

Prior to joining BARHII, Melanie worked as a family law paralegal. She currently assists transgender individuals with updating their identification paperwork and speaks to nursing students about transgender issues related to healthcare. Melanie holds a B.S. Degree in Physiological Sciences from UCLA.

Email: MNewcomb@BARHII.org