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Erika Dimmler

Erika Dimmler comes to Fuse Corps with over 16 years of CNN newsroom experience.  During that time she has served the nation’s leading news network as a Senior Producer covering stories ranging from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, the inauguration of President Barack Obama, and a myriad of economic stories including G20 summits around the globe and most recently, the 2012 Republican primary race for the White House. Erika’s political background and experience run the gamut.  Having covered seminal stories such as the Clinton impeachment trials as well as key moments during the Bush and Obama administrations, she has had a front row seat to Washington’s most impactful political stories: national healthcare reform, government shutdown and the recent repeal of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’.  Her duties at the network focused not only on covering the editorial elements of these stories, but also extended to capturing these moments from behind the lens of her camera. When she wasn’t traveling with the President, Erika dedicates much of her time to her insatiable photography habit, downhill skiing, letterpress design and spoiling her Jack Russell terrier, Abigail.

2012 Fellowship Year

Office of Mayor Kevin Johnson - Sacramento, CA

Cultivating and Revitalizing Sacramento’s Economy

Working alongside the Mayor and his senior staff, Erika took a senior leadership role to execute the Greenwise Action Plan. Erika brought together key stakeholders throughout Sacramento, including Sac High, Sacramento’s public schools, and the City of Sacramento, to build a national prototype for healthy food and jobs programs called Edible Sac High.  Erika’s efforts led to an integrated food systems curriculum at Sacramento High School that includes a schoolyard garden, student kitchen instruction, and cafeteria management experience. 90 students have signed on to plant, grow, cook, eat, or sell their own fruit and vegetables. The project has impacted the entire 1000-person student body. Since 98% of all the food grown in the Sacramento region is exported, this project is showing a path to demand for healthy, nutritious and local food.
  “The environment is a huge issue in California, both politically as well as socially, and being a part of something as progressive as the Greenwise Action Plan, and participating in its growth, is extremely exciting to me. I feel like this project has the potential to not only be incredible for the community, but could also be used as a model throughout the state and country.”

- Erika Dimmler

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Jeremy Goldberg

Over the past 8 years since graduating from the University of Texas Austin, Jeremy has worked as a non-profit executive, strategic consultant, and public-private partnership advisor on projects ranging in the United States and internationally focused on ICT for development, public health and education. He has lived, worked and traveled in ten countries across four continents. In 2003, Jeremy founded the Global Youth Partnership for Africa (GYPA), an organization that supports community development through sports and microfinance projects in post-conflict regions of East Africa. As Executive Director of the organization, he oversaw all operations, managed an international staff and raised more than half a million dollars and inkind contributions for program activities. He has also consulted for private family foundations developing programs in Africa. For example, he consulted on the launch of a 143-acre development project to construct a school campus in Rwanda. He is a proud alumni of the Socrates Program, Cal-ICMA, MMA of Northern California, SPUR and is conducting research on the California pension system while studying at the University of San Francisco.

2012 Fellowship Year

Office of Mayor Chuck Reed of San Jose, CA

Creating a Bridge to Bring Private Sector Talent to San Jose City Government

Jeremy led the city of San Jose’s efforts to implement the TalentBridge program. Working with the Office of Mayor Chuck Reed in San Jose, Jeremy led the development of San Jose’s first public/private partnership to bring pro-bono talent from city companies to make city services more effective for residents: the Silicon Valley Talent Partnership (SVTP). Projects include building a Web-based Business Permitting and Licensing Website and building a financial plan for San Jose’s Parks. He  developed a Strategic plan for SVTP that has already created 4-5 strategic projects. Year one started with over 20 pro-bono corporate professionals participating.
  “As I see it, there is no better way to determine an answer than to work in city government during some of the most challenging economic and social times our country has ever faced. I look forward to assisting the TalentBridge project as a way of bringing together public and private sector partners to support the city through these immediate challenges, and to help grow something that can become a lasting entity in the city of San Jose.”

- Jeremy Goldberg

Noelle Galperin LARGE

Noelle Galperin

Noelle A. Galperin is a Senior Strategy & Marketing Consultant with twenty years of operational marketing and general management experience. She has a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, from Wellesley College and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Noelle began her career with the Colgate-Palmolive Company, working for six years in international brand management in New York, Manila and Mexico City. Post-MBA, as the Principal of Galperin & Associates, she has dedicated the past fifteen years to working closely with the CEOs and founders of early-stage companies in a number of operational roles to formulate strategic plans, catalyze business development and create breakthrough marketing communication programs. Deeply committed to international service, Noelle raised $325,000 towards the cause of worldwide polio eradication and led 100 volunteers to the poorest slums of India to vaccinate children for polio. Currently, Noelle is working in Haiti to support the construction of a Trauma Training Hospital in Port-au-Prince.

2012 Fellowship Year

Children Now, Oakland, CA

Building a Movement for Children

Noelle has helped Children Now in Oakland build a diverse coalition of organizations to focus California executives and legislators on the needs of children.  She contributed to the development of the overall Movement strategy and to the long-range growth of the Movement, establishing alliances and engaging elected officials. In 11 months, Noelle doubled the number of California companies who identify as “pro-kid” to 500. She signed up over 4,000 individuals to support the Movement.
“Collaborating with like-minded individuals to create meaningful social change, not just for the sake of change, but change headed toward a relevant and plausible goal, is what matters to me most. I want to be a part of what is next; on the positive, informed and leading edge."

- Noelle Galperin

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Lisa Gans

Lisa Gans is a human rights lawyer and international development specialist. She began her legal career at the firm of Debevoise & Plimpton in New York and went on to work on human rights and development issues around the world with non-governmental organizations including the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights Legal Aid Project, The International Rescue Committee, the International Bar Association, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, Medica Mondiale, and the International Medical Corps. She specializes in legal and constitutional development, civil society development, women’s rights, refugee issues and international health development, and has worked in Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Swaziland and the Democratic Republic of Congo. She holds a B.A. from Harvard in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and a J.D. from Columbia Law School. Lisa is currently a term member of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations and a contributor to the Huffington Post.

2012 Fellowship Year

D.C. Promise Neighborhood Initiative

Uniting Stakeholders to Build a Safe, Healthy, and Educations Life for D.C.’s Children

Lisa's job has been to refocus the strategic approach of the Washington, DC Promise Neighborhoods Initiative (DCPNI), a local coalition which provides youth development support to ensure that children in the Parkside/ Kenilworth neighborhood reach adulthood ready to participate in the economic and civic life of their community. She successfully developed a five year strategic plan that engaged DCPNI’s over 40 partners. Lisa quarterbacked the grant that enabled DCPNI to win a historic $25 28 million investment to increase educational outcomes for our students through the provision of wraparound services and support to families.
“Education in the U.S. is of paramount importance, and the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative has the potential not only to change the lives of children and their families here in Ward 7, but also to serve as a model for the rest of the country of successful collaboration between community, government, and the private sector.”

- Lisa Gans

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Laurel Lichty

Laurel Lichty is an international attorney with specialized experience in regulatory compliance management and comparative law. She has advised on anti-corruption, FCPA compliance and anti-money laundering investigations. She previously served as the Ethics and Compliance Manager of an energy and technology conglomerate with 22,000 employees worldwide, managing a compliance program operating in twelve languages in more than 50 countries. She has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law for the University of London external program in Buenos Aires, Argentina and the International Law Institute in Washington, DC. She has taught US Contract Law, the US Legal System and International Human Rights Law. She has consulted with the World Bank’s International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) and the International Law Institute. She holds a Master of Science degree from the London School of Economics, an LLB from City University and an LLM from George Washington University. She is a member of the American Society of International Law and the ABA International Anti-Corruption Committee.

2013 Fellowship Year

Office of Governor Markell of Delaware

Driving Continuous Improvement of Public Education

Delaware has been at the forefront of education reform in America since adoption of its 2015 agenda and was one of only two states to receive the first Race to the Top grants for innovation. The state has brought together the public and private sectors to share ideas and determine the best course forward. Meeting state targets and sustaining continuous improvement requires the identification and pursuit of opportunities for improvement, while creating and implementing innovative ideas. Laurel worked in Office of Governor Markell of Delaware, where she built the infrastructure to ensure that the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education reached every student in the state. She worked on developing and implementing systems and routines to ensure successful completion of major STEM initiatives. She identified effective STEM practices nationally/internationally for potential replication in Delaware. Laurel promoted partnerships between PK-12 education, higher education and the business community to drive progress on STEM initiatives.
"In a shifting global economy, the future competiveness of the U.S depends on preparing the next generation of innovators, engineers, problem-solvers and strategic thinkers. One of the first two states to receive Race to the Top funding, Delaware is committed to preparing young Americans for future global success. Leadership and investment in private and public sector cooperation, data-driven decision-making, and commitment to science, technology, engineering and math excellence provide the promise that Delaware will be an effective incubator for the future of American education."

- Laurel Lichty

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Paul Thallner

Paul Thallner is non-profit executive, organizational development consultant, and executive coach. Most recently, he was a senior consultant at Teleos Leadership Institue, a firm that leads companies through complex change. He was previously President of School Performance, an education sector non-profit. He oversaw strategic planning, product/service development, fundraising, program quality, and client relationships. His leadership led to innovative solutions to provide student achievement data to teachers quickly, efficiently, and at low cost. He started his career in Washington, DC researching best practices in education and later was appointed by Governor Pete Wilson to lead the development of California's Math and Science standards. He also served in the private sector as a Managing Principal Consultant for BroadVision, Inc's Worldwide Professional Services group, and as a Senior Consultant at K12 Inc. He received a M.S. in Positive Organizational Development and Change from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University where he graduated with distinction. He also holds a M.A. from the College of New Jersey and a B.A. from Gettysburg College.

2013 Fellowship Year

America's Promise Alliance - Washington D.C.

Building a National Network of Business & Education Coalitions to Improve Kids' Lives

Paul worked with the senior leadership team at America's Promise Alliance to define, engage, and mobilize a national network of business and education leaders to improve all phases of children's lives from birth through high school. Paul discovered that more than 400 local and statewide organizations exist to link business capacity with the needs of the education system. He surveyed and analyzed this “market” and conducted an innovation lab with cross-sector leaders to prototype new solutions. Their needs: 1) How to Create Trust Between Business & Education; 2) New Ideas to Support the Interests of both Business and Education, and 3) Opportunities to Connect with Others Doing This Work. Paul secured $100,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to include the business perspective in the national dialog on college & career ready standards. He also created a strategy and execution plan for the nation’s business-education coalitions to collaborate and connect.
"Everyday, too many American kids start their lives way behind the starting line, have no caring adults in their lives, live in unsafe environments, or drop out of school. In fact, a student drops out of school every 26 seconds...every day. And every day, adults let it happen. The most vulnerable citizens of our society need the grown-ups to step-up to ensure that success doesn't involve such a steep climb out of childhood. America's Promise is the one organization with the credibility, clout, and experience to rally the business, civic, and social sectors to play a more active role in improving the lives of kids at all stages of their lives from infancy through high school. I am thrilled and honored to have a chance to lead this strategic priority for such a prestigious organization, and doubly honored to be making a difference for so many kids." 

- Paul Thallner

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Christine Guardia

Christine Guardia joins Fuse Corps with over 16 years of cross-sector collaboration experience, including 13 years as a consultant to federal, state, and local government clients, such as the Library of Congress, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and City of New York.  While earning her Master of Business Administration degree in public & nonprofit management at Boston University, she worked with organizations focused on early childhood education and summer academic programs to reduce the opportunity gap.  Christine also helped launch a website that engages children in causes by forming partnerships with nonprofit, profit-for-purpose, and youth organizations.  In addition, she holds her Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations and policy studies, as well as her Master of Public Administration degree, from Syracuse University. An avid walker and hiker, Christine has participated in numerous fundraising walks.  She coordinated an Avon Walk for Breast Cancer team that raised $10,000, as well as completed three Out of the Darkness Overnight Walks to raise funds for and awareness of suicide prevention.

2013 Fellowship Year

Children Now - Oakland, CA

Inspiring a Movement for Children in California

Building upon the momentum of The Children’s Movement of California, as well as the groundwork of inaugural Fuse Corps Fellow Noelle Galperin, Christine focused on scaling the Movement in a sustainable manner. Christine began the practice of capturing social media metrics monthly and providing a report of the results. She assumed the day-to-day management of the Children Now social media accounts, as well as trained other staff members on using social media tools via webinars, how-to documents, and one-on-one support. Christine created strategies to help track interactions with prospective members, record follow-up, and use conversion metrics to determine which outreach efforts are the most effective. Her work helped reduce the number of touchpoints to recruit an organizational member from 3 - 5 down to 1 - 2 touchpoints. Christine created and analyzed the the first Children Now member survey. Based on this work she suggested fifteen critical organizational next steps, including near-term and long-term projects.
“I am honored to be part of The Children’s Movement of California team to help empower people and organizations that want children’s health and education improved in our state.  For too long, public support for children’s issues has been too diffuse to have the impact it should on the state’s policymaking priorities.  The Movement’s strategic Pro-Kid approach is changing that.”

- Christine Guardia

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Rahul Mewawalla

Rahul Mewawalla has held senior executive leadership roles with Fortune 500 and high growth companies such as Nokia, NBC Universal / General Electric Company and Comcast, Yahoo! and Monitor Group. As Global Vice President and General Manager at Nokia, he worked across $50 billion revenue businesses in connected devices, communications, commerce and services. Previously, he was Vice President at NBC Universal / Comcast and General Electric Company with leading cable networks (CNBC, MSNBC, USA), television (NBC, Telemundo), sports (Olympics, NFL), filmed entertainment and digital businesses. His strategic and operational experiences includes general management, business unit and P&L head, product and operations, innovation, sales and business development, strategy, M&A, and global growth. He has built and managed teams across the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. He has been speaker and judge at institutions such as Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Wharton, Yale, University of California and events such as the Red Herring CEO Conference, Harvard Center for Enterprise and the MIT-Stanford Lab. He has been involved with nonprofit organizations such as the Yale-Goldman Sachs Foundation. Rahul has an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

2013 Fellowship Year

Office of the Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco

San Francisco as the Innovation Capital of the World

Rahul built San Francisco’s entrepreneurship-in-residence program in collaboration with the White House to help address critical national issues such as healthcare, transportation, public safety, education, energy and infrastructure – with the overall goal to lower costs, increase revenue, enhance productivity and help save lives. The program has received national and global support – has been tweeted by people as “Every City in America needs an Entrepreneurship-in-Residence Program” – with interest from several cities and states across the United States in addition to governments as far as Japan, United Kingdom, Italy and Brazil to emulate the program. Mayor Ed Lee was named one of Government Technology’s top 25 public-sector change agents and recognized the EIR program as a key innovative program. Rahul was named one of San Francisco’s top 40 under 40 in 2014 thanks to his work and leadership within the Office of Innovation.
“As the United States looks to the future and to building long-term competitiveness, innovation is the engine of prosperity and success for all people. This is an opportune time for leaders from the private and public sectors to come together to address and solve our most pressing economic and growth challenges. I am honored and humbled to have the opportunity to serve and to help San Francisco as the innovation capital of the world.” 

- Rahul Mewawalla

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Rebecca Center Foster

Rebecca Foster has worked as an investment banker in the Public Sector & Infrastructure group at Goldman Sachs for the past eight years. She has raised capital for city and state governments, universities, non-profits, and utilities working in the New York and San Francisco offices. Rebecca’s experience ranges from managing multi-billion dollar debt offerings to prepare Florida for hurricanes to leading financings for unemployment insurance deficits post-recession for Idaho and Colorado. In 2008, Rebecca served as the chief of staff for her department, managing changes to the business’s structure and strategy around the financial crisis. Prior to Goldman, Rebecca worked in urban development consulting at HR&A Advisors, at the White House Office of Management and Budget, and as a river guide. She received her B.A. with honors from Brown, where she captained the ultimate Frisbee team, and her MBA from Stanford. Rebecca is an active board member of the Mission Preparatory School, a K-8 charter school serving some of San Francisco’s most underserved students, and ARTA, a non-profit whitewater rafting organization. She loves to explore the mountains, rivers, ocean, and San Francisco neighborhoods with her family.

2013 Fellowship Year

Office of the Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco - Fellowship begins September 2013
"I'm passionate about building community. After eight years working as an investment banker to raise capital for city and state governments, I want to get closer to the action on the ground. I want to be part  implementing civic innovation that makes communities stronger. Being a Fuse Corps Fellow gives me the opportunity to roll up my sleeves and impact people's lives in my home city. I can't wait to get started."

- Rebecca Foster

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Thomas Houston

Thomas Houston is a tenured strategic marketer with ten years of advertising, innovation, and team building experience. He has worked as a brand professional for some of the biggest names in marketing: Cadbury Adams, Philip Morris, Sara Lee, and Walmart to name a few. In addition he has worked on branding projects for the District of Columbia and The National Urban League. He has also served as an adjunct Professor of Marketing and Consumer Behavior at the University of the District of Columbia. Whether creating innovation processes or delivering custom marketing programs Thomas has increased bottom lines, employee morale, and better products. In his spare time Thomas passionately works towards bettering at-need communities. After volunteering to teach marketing techniques to local advertising agencies in Ghana, Africa he committed to transition from corporate marketing to social marketing. Thomas holds a BBA in Marketing from Howard University and later went on to receive his MBA from The Pennsylvania State University. Thomas currently is focused on using his education, and experiences, to move progressive community agendas forward.

2013 Fellowship Year

The City of Richmond, VA

Leverage the Power of the Internet for Equal Access

The city of Richmond is on a mission to build an innovative culture in the Department of Social Services. By adopting civic technology and open data Thomas Houston was able to improve service delivery and access to services and information for employees, non-profit partners, and most importantly the city's daily customers…citizens. Thomas developed a regional approach to implementing the Aunt Bertha tool. He created a coalition of neighboring municipalities and non-profits to provide more resources to the citizens of Richmond. More importantly, Richmond’s Department of Social Services was able to extend their level of service to clients without increasing the budget’s expense line. Thomas Surpassed 150% of target goals by executing a regional approach to installing Aunt Bertha. Aunt Bertha was added to the agency’s balance scorecard so that the executive leadership team will be held accountable for continuous use of the tool.
"The digital divide is real. So is poverty. Instead of throwing money at both with no real solutions I see the opportunity to tackle them with a joint solution. Can Richmond be a model for the nation yes but more importantly they will be a model for the next generation of people in the city. And that's the type of product development that motivates me as a trained brand professional."

- Thomas Houston

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Sarah Leddy

Sarah Leddy is a multi-sector professional who has focused her career at the nexus of governance and growth. For international development programs funded by the U.S. government, the William J. Clinton Foundation, and the National Endowment for Democracy, among others, she guides governments to plan and fund their services, often testing or creating innovative models tailored to local challenges. A native Vermonter and longtime expatriate, she understands the importance of community; her work brings current and future beneficiary communities to the fore of policy and strategy development. For municipalities in particular, she is skilled at developing and articulating long-range visions, while implementing for short-term results in economic governance, strategic planning, and consensus building. On behalf of clients, Sarah cultivates investors and wins supporters for government-led transformative projects; she is scrappy, resource-conscious, and cause-driven. Sarah joins Fuse Corps from the consultancy Tetra Tech ARD where she built and managed international teams, designed and wrote winning proposals for local governance projects, and provided technical assistance to projects aimed at institutional reform, revenue generation, and regional planning. She began her career in international business at Skadden Arps in New York and Brussels, analyzing market share for merging companies. Sarah studied literature at McGill University and the University of Paris VI, and international economics at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. She is a native English speaker, fluent in French, and enthusiastically conversant in Italian, Portuguese, and Haitian Creole. Sarah is very pleased to experience California and live in its welcoming capital.

2013 Fellowship Year

Office of Mayor Kevin Johnson, Sacramento, CA - Greenwise Initiative

Championing Sacramento as the "Farm to Fork" Capital of the World

Sarah spent the year of 2013-14 championing the Sacramento region as the "Farm to Fork Capital of America.” Mayor Kevin Johnson recognized that few places rival this region's resources--natural, economic, historical and political--and that their synergies give Sacramento an extraordinary comparative advantage in fulfilling this collective identity.  In recognition of these unparalleled advantages, he designated 2013-14 the Year of Food in the region during his 2013 State of the City address and has made growth in this industry cluster a priority for his second term. Sarah Leddy championed the inaugural Farm to Fork Festival, which was a hugely successful mix of gala and harvest events that has already inspired new jobs and community spirit. Sarah saw the opportunity to capitalize on the farm to fork brand to bring attention to energy recovery of food scraps. She partnered with the region’s private sector innovators to bring the anaerobic digesters up to capacity by recruiting large institutional producers of food scraps (organic waste). Her pilot, dubbed ‘farm to fork to fuel to farm,’ has brought state agencies, city facilities, restaurants, schools, and corporate campuses to see the value in their waste. Renewable natural gas (produced by food scraps) now fuels the city’s truck fleet, as well as several private fleets. Additionally, the nutrient rich digestate is now commercially available for large-scale agriculture production, closing the energy loop. Both agriculture and clean energy production are pillars of the region’s strategy to add 20,000 jobs to the economy, bolster investment, and solidify Sacramento’s reputation as the Emerald Valley.
"A cornerstone of Mayor Kevin Johnson's vision for Sacramento, Greenwise Joint Venture steers and implements a strategic plan that tackles directly the challenges facing cities globally. Its approach is proactive and prescient: Complementary rural and urban agendas; responsible land use planning; economic and social resiliency in a changing climate; behavior change. The strength of the plan and its champions make this fellowship placement an excellent opportunity to create a model for sustainable and equitable development: Greenwise's transformative impact will be visible and important in and beyond the City of Sacramento, the central hub for the six-county region that spans from Lake Tahoe to the East Bay counties. I am especially pleased to join Greenwise during the Year of Food, and have the opportunity to support some of the exciting institutions and businesses already operating in the "farm to fork to fuel to farm" cycle."

- Sarah Leddy

Fuse Web large Karen Holst

Karen Holst

Karen Holst is an education technology executive and innovator in the social sector with 15 years experience.  In 2000, Karen co-founded an Internet company, now MyEdu (acquired by Blackboard Inc. in 2014).  Karen drove the company's growth to serve millions of college students at 1,200 campuses across the U.S.  She has led strategic partnerships, operating large-scale data organizations, marketing, communications, and new business development within multiple verticals in public and private sectors.

A thought leader in social entrepreneurship, Karen serves on multiple nonprofit boards and co-founded Colin's Hope in 2008.  Through Colin's Hope she has organized community events, provided swim lessons to underserved youth and has created a drowning prevention and water safety campaign that reaches over 100,000 Texans each year.  Karen received her B.S. degree in Corporate Communications from the University of Texas at Austin.

2014 Fellowship Year

          California Department of Education

          Bridging the Gap Between Technology and Education

Education in California is undergoing a remarkable transformation, making this moment a fantastic opportunity for the private/social and public sectors to collaborate on social change. As a member of the State Superintendent of California's executive team, Karen will engage educators, education advocates and top tech leaders around the state to develop a strategy for creating model Ed Tech policies and implementing the California Education Technology Blueprint.  Karen will be working in congruence with state superintendent Tom Torlakson and principal advisor Craig Cheslog to pursue better use of technology to transform and improve teaching and learning in California. The primary goal will be re-envisioning Brokers of Expertise to be a sustainable modern online site for educators to share best practices and tools for digital learning. State and national research has shown the beneficial and valuable effects that technology can have on my facets of the education system.  Karen will enthusiastically strive to combat the many obstacles in provisioning a direct connection and cohesion of educators in all regions of the system so that all schools in California, regardless of their performance, can benefit from their collective knowledge about how to successfully transition to Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and raise student achievement.

"Educational technology holds the promise of closing achievement gaps and improving outcomes for K-12 students. To ensure sustainable, scalable impact on these outcomes, educators and entrepreneurs in the public and private sectors must collaborate. After 13 years as an entrepreneur in the Ed Tech, private sector, I am honored to be a Fuse Corps Fellow.  I am excited to dive in to the public sector, energized to work with partners across sectors, and driven to create a positive impact through a design thinking approach to innovation in educational technology." - Karen Holst

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Daniel Correa

Dan Correa is a public policy analyst with experience at the federal, state, and local levels. As an analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a Washington, D.C. think tank, he authored several policy reports on innovation, entrepreneurship, and broadband policy, which have been cited in publications including The Atlantic, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. More recently, he has worked as a consultant at the Science and Technology Policy Institute on federal innovation and science policy issues. Dan has consulted with the Connecticut Technology Council on state entrepreneurship policies and technology-based economic development. He has served on several political campaigns, most recently for President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, where he managed the voter turnout operation in southern Florida, including Miami-Dade County. He is a graduate of Yale Law School, holds an M.A. in Economics from Yale University, and a B.A. from Dartmouth College. At Yale Law School he served as a Kauffman Fellow in Law, Economics and Entrepreneurship.

2014 Fellowship Year

          The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

          Helping to Advance the Administration's Innovation Initiatives

Dan will be based at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where he will work closely with senior officials, agency partners, and in collaboration with leaders from industry and the philanthropic sector on a number of issues related to innovation and entrepreneurship in science and technology. He will focus on helping advance the Administration’s priorities related to inspiring and catalyzing American innovation in science and technology, and will engage the public and private innovation communities to enhance cohesiveness, coordination, and action in these important domains.

"Innovation is the engine of economic growth and prosperity, so this is a tremendous opportunity to work on policies that can have a major impact. I am eager to pitch in on the issues that I care about, especially finding ways to ensure that the core building blocks of American innovation are translated into broad-based economic growth and competitiveness."

- Daniel Correa

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Mark Thomas

Mark Anthony Thomas brings to Fuse Corps 13 years of management and entrepreneurial leadership in the creative and media sector. He served as Deputy Director for the Center for an Urban Future, a leading New York City economic and innovation think tank, and developed the business model to re-launch its magazine, City Limits, as a start-up news media.

As Publisher, he led the expansion of City Limits across digital platforms, founded the Brooklyn Bureau, acquired the Bronx News Network, and launched collaborations with some of New York City’s leading arts and civic institutions. City Limits was honored in 2011 and 2012 by the Society of Professional Journalists for producing the nation’s top local investigative reporting.

Mark has held previous posts with Israel’s Ben-Gurion University of the Negev’s Medical School for International Health leading public relations and the Georgia-Pacific Foundation, managing a portfolio of economic, educational, and CSR initiatives. He has led and supported projects in Atlanta (his hometown), New York, and Boston to strengthen media and entrepreneurial ecosystems and has delivered lectures and performances across the country as a creative artist.

He received his MBA at MIT Sloan School of Management as a 2014 Sloan Fellow in Innovation and Global Leadership, earned an MPA from Columbia University’s School of International & Public Affairs, and his BA from the University of Georgia—which honored him in 2013 as one of its Top 40 alumni under 40.

2014 Fellowship Year

Office of the Chief Administrative Officer, Los Angeles, CA

           Making Los Angeles a More Liveable City

The City of Los Angeles needs innovative and sustainable solutions to create a better, more attractive environment for Angelinos to live, work, and create. Focused on cleaning up and revitalizing Los Angeles Mark Thomas will crowd source ideas of citizens, businesses, and civic leaders to lead and implement city-wide strategic engagement initiatives that make Los Angeles’ neighborhoods stronger and more livable. He will seek opportunities and innovative solutions to create cleaner streets, economically viable neighborhoods, and civically engaged stakeholders. Mark plans to engage millions of people in taking better care of Los Angeles and fostering resident participation in governance and shared community. It will be critical to find innovative ways to change the culture in the city by establishing synergies between businesses, government, residents, and visitors to generate new ideas and engagement opportunities as well as communicate solutions. Building consensus around a plan will require engaging stakeholders at all stages of the process—from concept, through design and during implementation. Utilizing new and traditional community engagement tools and technological innovation are integral for success. Sustainable solutions will depend on forming a community of supporters, community-based organizations, business owners, entrepreneurs, city workers/departments and residents who are all excited about implementing a final game plan. Designing a successful public engagement initiative in a city as large and diverse as Los Angeles is an extraordinary challenge.
"Livability is a key element of a city’s quality of life for its citizens and businesses and its overall economic competitiveness for jobs, tourism, and the entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Los Angeles is poised for an even greater future.  Already one of the world’s most influential cities, I join as many initiatives and ideas that are reshaping how the world will soon see—and know—the city of Angels.
It’s a great honor to spend the next year working with the city’s leadership to engage the public and civic sector to strengthen the neighborhoods and build cleaner, more vibrant communities.  I bring a lifelong passion for cities, ideas, creativity, and public engagement, with a rewarding opportunity before me."
- Mark Thomas

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Gusti Clark

Gusti is a seasoned Workforce Development strategist supported by board service and harnessed
by a technical project management background. Beginning her career in Non Profit, Gusti managed
a Job Training & Education center for Seattle Goodwill Industries. In 2006 she won an award for her
work in Adult Basic Education. After graduation from the University of Washington in 2010, Gusti
relocated to San Francisco working for the online technology company as a Learning &
Development Manager. As a function in HR, she focused on employee development for software
engineering teams.
Transitioning into a technical project management role, Gusti managed software development
projects for a small biotech start up specializing in interactive systems for clinical trial
management. Currently holding an executive position with the Project Management Institution San
Francisco Bay Area chapter (PMI), Gusti serves as Assistant Vice President of Professional
Development. Gusti has served on several executive boards supporting community based
organizations such as Boost! West Oakland, CHAMPS, and the King County Employment Council.
Additionally, Gusti holds a BA in Communications with an emphasis in Media, Culture and

2014 Fellowship Year

       San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

       Opening Doors to Meaningful Employment

Gusti will spend a year working at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. In her year as an Executive Fellow she will be focused on developing comprehensive workforce development programs by leveraging existing models in city agencies and other cities. She will create several programs including; professional development, succession planning and apprenticeship training modeled by similar programs ran by the Department of Public Works. Ultimately, Gusti will utilize her workforce development and project management background in order to develop sustainable programs that provide meaningful employment opportunities and ladders into city jobs.

"Enabling others to succeed is something I have a passion for. Creating job opportunities and access to career growth are not only important to the progression of our economy but the sustaining of our workforce. I am delighted for the opportunity to contribute to the efforts of developing and sustaining the workforce in San Francisco.  Having spent several years developing the workforce in the private sector, I am honored to apply my efforts to the public sector where I can make a greater impact."

–Gusti Clark

Fuse Web Tim Lucas - Large

Tim Lucas

Tim Lucas has spent the past eight years living in Brooklyn and enacting change at AllianceBernstein, a leading investment management firm. In his earliest roles, Tim applied lean six-sigma strategies to discover opportunities for process improvements and eliminating wasteful spending.

More recently, Tim has gained extensive experience in change management and enterprise project management, leading multiple efforts to help solidify the firm's position as a leader in innovative product offerings. He has also been responsible for developing strategy and designing solutions to help the firm meet evolving client needs. While at AB, Tim chaired the firm's Corporate Social Responsibility Group and volunteered with Citizen Schools to teach personal finance techniques to students at a Bronx middle school. Tim is an avid bookworm, loves going on bike rides and camping trips with his wife, and can't wait to begin calling San Francisco home.

2014 Fellowship Year

      San Francisco Public Library

      Utilizing Technology to Increase High School Graduation Rates

Tim Lucas will spend his year at the San Francisco Public Library working on two specific projects. The first will be to develop and implement an online program that helps 19 - 25 year olds attain their high school diploma. Tim will assist in the development, staff training, and implementation of this online program utilizing the library’s resources. He will identify a process for promoting the program and create measures and incentives to ensure students remain on track with curriculum and have follow up support along the way and after completion. The second project Tim will be focused on during his year as an Executive Fellow will be to assist with the strategy and continued development of Free Family Friendly resources in the Library. He will evaluate the efficacy of existing family programs and identify new resources and programmatic opportunities to ensure the Public Library remains a robust and relevant resource for families in the Bay Area. This project will involve surveying the landscape of current family supportive programs and Library services to identify what unmet needs and gaps exist.

"I love being able to dream up new ideas almost as much as I love working with people to implement them, and I can't wait to be able to do this with the city of  San Francisco and the public library system. It's so exciting and humbling to be tasked with such a worthwhile challenge!"

- Tim Lucas

Fuse Web Ben Matranga - Large

Ben Matranga

Ben Matranga comes to FuseCorp with a decade of experience in leading investments and economic development initiatives in emerging markets. His experience spans all stages of the investment process – from idea creation and implementation to analysis and negotiation, portfolio management and corporate governance where he served as Board Director of four portfolio companies. Ben is a hands-on portfolio manager with transaction experience in a diverse range of industries, including: financial services, agriculture, technology, manufacturing, housing/real estate, transportation, and infrastructure.

Previously, he was an Investment Officer with The Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF), a $350 million investment fund founded by George Soros, where he established offices in Monrovia, Liberia and then Nairobi, Kenya. He led transactions that co-invested with the World Bank, sovereign governments, institutional investment funds, and private entrepreneurs. Prior to SEDF, Ben worked as a consultant in Latin America, living in Panama and working on restructuring and strategic planning for microfinance banks.

Ben’s investments have won numerous awards and recognition for both social impact and financial returns, including Private Equity Africa Special Recognition award, World Economic Forum Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and the highest score on the Overseas Private Investment Corporation’s (OPIC) development impact matrix.

Ben previously was appointed and served two terms on the San Francisco Youth Commission. He holds a BA in Economics and Political Science and an MPA in Public Policy and Finance, both from New York University. He is an avid adventurer having backpacked extensively in over 85 countries and recently rode a bicycle solo across the United States.


2014 Fellowship Year

      Office of the Mayor, City & Country of San Francisco, CA


      Reducing traffic fatalities to zero by 2024

Vision Zero is a safe streets initiative to reduce traffic fatalities to zero by 2024 in San Francisco. Ben will spend a year in the Mayor’s Office working to direct, coordinate, and communicate critical, multi-faceted initiatives and ensure successful implementation. The Vision Zero initiative brings together numerous City departments to focus on five critical areas – engineering, education, enforcement, evaluation, and policy – and works towards expanding existing goals to reduce traffic collisions and improve the safety of San Francisco’s streets. Ben will collaborate with community stakeholders, as well as across City departments to develop and implement action plans to achieve Vision Zero.

Executive Fellows

Click on a fellow to learn more:

Erika Dimmler
Erika Dimmler Small
Jeremy Goldberg
Jeremy Goldberg Small
Noelle Galperin
Noelle Galperin Small
Lisa Gans
Fuse Web Lisa Gans Small - Thumbnails (4)
Laurel Lichty
Fuse Web Laurel L - Thumbnails (4)
Paul Thallner
Fuse Web Paul Thallner - Thumbnails (4)
Christine Guardia
Fuse Web Christine Guardia - Thumbnails (4)
Rahul Mewawalla
Fuse Web Rahul Mewawalla - Thumbnails (4)
Rebecca Center Foster
Fuse Web Rebecca Foster- Thumbnails (4)
Thomas Houston
Fuse Web Thomas Houston - Thumbnails (4)
Sarah Leddy
Fuse Web Sarah Leddy - Thumbnails (4)
Karen Holst
Fuse Web Small Karen Holst
Daniel Correa
Fuse Web Small Dan Correa
Mark Thomas
Fuse web Mark Thomas Small
Gusti Clark
Fuse Web Gusti Clark - Small
Tim Lucas
Fuse Web Tim Lucas - small
Ben Matranga
Fuse Web Ben Matranga - Small

Click on the video below to hear Fuse Corps Alumni, Jeremy Goldberg, share more about his Fuse Corps Executive Fellow experience: