Alexander Sarno, the 2021 – 2022 Bohnett Fellow, is a Master of Urban Planning and Master of Public Policy dual degree candidate at the University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy. Through his experiences, he has grown passionate about fostering an equitable and ecologically sustainable future.
In 2016, Alexander earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies with a focus on Economics and a minor in Justice and Peace Studies from the University of St. Thomas (MN). Upon completion of his undergraduate studies, Alexander joined the Peace Corps and served in the Dominican Republic as a Community Economic Development volunteer. In this role he
supported a cooperative of freshwater fish farmers to develop administrative and business strategy. Additionally, he led a number of initiatives within the community including a workshop for young entrepreneurs, an environmental awareness campaign, and an empowerment workshop for women.
Though the challenges as a Peace Corps volunteer were considerable, they sharpened his zeal to contribute to the public good, particularly concerning infrastructure and shared space. As a result, Alexander is pursuing a mobility and transportation specialization in the dual-degree program while focusing on ecological sustainability in his projects. Since arriving in Los Angeles, he has worked for the USC Center for Sustainability Solutions, the USC Bay Area Policy Forum, and the U.S. Green Building Council – Los Angeles Chapter (USGBC-LA).
As this year’s recipient of the USC Bohnett Fellowship, Alexander is working in the office of LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis. He assists her Urban Planning Team to address economic, environmental and equity issues in the region. Supervisor Solis is currently the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair, as well as the 1st Vice Chair on the Board of LA Metro. Alexander is determined to use the skills he acquires at Price and through the Bohnett Fellowship to empower the communities he serves with holistic transportation and land-use planning.