Samantha is a Master of Urban and Regional Planning candidate at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. She is interested in affordable housing policy and development, eco-gentrification and just urban design. Samantha is working to advance a new paradigm of sustainable urbanism that has social justice, equity, and affordability at the core. She received her undergraduate degree from Pomona College where she conducted a sustainable food assessment of the College’s dining halls for her senior thesis. Based on her recommendations, she was hired to transform the campus food system with more sustainable and ethical purchasing practices and ultimately transitioned over 40% of purchases to local, sustainable and ethically produced foods.
Samantha went on to lead a coalition of eight Bay Area jurisdictions and over 100 business to reduce plastic pollution by eliminating single-use disposables at the source. She then lead sustainable procurement and programs at Smitten Ice Cream. It was at Smitten that Samantha observed firsthand the intertwined nature of housing and environmental work that led her to shift her focus to affordable housing policy and development.
Prior to starting her master’s degree at UCLA, Samantha worked for Baird + Driskell Community Planning and affordable housing developer and community advocacy non-profit TODCO. At Baird + Driskell, Samantha supported San Mateo County’s efforts to promote accessory dwelling units (ADUs). Her work at TODCO included advocating for existing residents’ needs in the City of San Francisco’s community planning process.
Samantha is honored to be joining the Mayor’s Office Homeless Initiatives as a 2019-20 Bohnett Fellow. She is eager to work with the passionate and experienced City leaders on innovative projects to provide affordable housing.