was appointed Senior Program Officer for the California Democracy program in 2012. At Irvine, Connie is primarily engaged in voter and civic engagement grantmaking, leading projects such as the foundation’s Voter Outreach and Technology (VOTE) Initiative. She staffs Irvine’s Pay for Success Initiative, a partnership with the Nonprofit Finance Fund exploring a new approach to funding social services that is anticipated to improve outcomes and ultimately reduce costs. Additionally, Connie plays a lead role in the Community Leadership Project, a partnership to serve low-income and diverse communities in three regions with funding from the Hewlett, Irvine, and Packard foundations.
Connie currently serves as a Commissioner for the first-ever California Citizens Redistricting Commission. In 2011, the commission oversaw implementation of Propositions 11 and 20 resulting in Assembly, Senate, Congressional and Board of Equalization districts to guide elections for ten years. Connie’s interviews and articles on redistricting reform have been featured in such outlets as the San Francisco Chronicle, Univision, and KQED’s This Week in Northern California.
Before joining Irvine, Connie served as Senior Director of Programs for Urban Habitat, a nonprofit in Oakland, California. Connie directed Urban Habitat’s environmental justice work and helped develop the landmark Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute model. The institute was launched in 2009 to identify, train, place and support low-income people and people of color for priority public-sector commissions throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to Urban Habitat, Connie led the Regional Sustainability Initiative at Redefining Progress. She started her career at the United Way in Riverside, California, as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia, and as a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development fellow. She earned her master’s degree in city and regional planning from the University of California, Berkeley, and a bachelor’s degree in communications and Spanish from La Sierra University. In 2012, Connie was inducted into the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame for her environmental justice leadership. She previously served on the boards of the California Planning Foundation, American Planning Association’s California Chapter, and was a founding board member of AFAAD: Adopted & Fostered Adults of the African Diaspora.