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Joe's staff alumni

The below are no longer working at Supervisor Simitian's office.   For a list of current staff contacts, please go to this page​.    

County Supervisor (2012 - Present)


  • Hema Mohan served as District Director and in various policy and press capacities for Joe in the Senate and on the Board of Supervisors. Her key policy areas were education and juvenile justice reform. While in the State Senate, she worked on the landmark state legislation to change the kindergarten entry age and create a new grade known as transitional kindergarten in California public schools. Hema's nonprofit experience includes seven years at the Vera Institute of Justice, a New York-based nonprofit policy and research organization. She is currently a board member of the Boys and Girls Club​s of the Peninsula and the Phillips Brooks School. 
  • Alison Still served as Scheduler/Executive Assistant for Joe from May 2014 until September 2014.
  • Mindy Sanchez works in social services for the County of Santa Clara.  She served as Office Manager and then Scheduler for Joe from September 2013 until May 2014
  • Ray Mueller served as Chief of Staff from January 2013 until July 2014.  Ray has served on the Board of Directors for Peninsula Clean Energy and LifeMoves, and is currently Vice President, Government for One Concern.   He is also a City Council Member for the City of Menlo Park. 
  • Elizabeth Cuesta served as Office Manager for Joe throughout Joe's tenure on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors from 1997-2000. She then served as Office Manager for Santa Clara County Supervisor Liz Kniss. Elizabeth joined Joe's office in 2012 and retired in September 2013 after 20+ years of service to Santa Clara County.
  • Ellen Kamei is District Director for Assemblymember Marc Berman, and is also a two-term environmental planning commissioner in Mountain View.  She is a candidate for Mountain View City Council. 
  • Page Sanks serves as a member of the Junior League of Palo Alto-Mid Peninsula, and served as an Aide for Supervisor Simitian from 2014 to 2017. 
  • Sarah Flamm is currently a sales representative for Vector, a technology startup.  She served as a policy aide for Supervisor Simitian in 2017. 

  • Avana Andrade is currently Sustainability Coordinator for the County of San Mateo

​State Senate (2004 - 2012)

  • Terry Adams served as Scheduler during Joe’s first term in the Senate. Currently, Terry produces a variety of programs for KGO Newstalk Radio AM 810 and engineers live and remote broadcasts for its sister station, Hot Talk 560 KSFO Radio. In addition, she serves as a free lance producer and teleprompter operator for live studio webcasts at Stanford University. Terry can be reached at adamstm9@yahoo.com.
  • Hank Brady is the SB 1383 Manager for the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle), where he oversees CalRecycle’s efforts to achieve California’s ambitious organic waste recycling targets. Prior to this role Brady worked as the Chief Legislative Consultant for the department. Before Joining CalRecycle, he served as a legislative aide in the offices of Assemblymember Marc Levine and Senator Simitian.
  • Sabra (Foley) Diridon served as Senior Field Representative for Joe during his tenure in the California State Assembly and in the California State Senate.  She is currently Senior Director of Development for Campaign Priorities at San Jose State University.  She has also served as the Northern California Deputy Finance Director for a presidential campaign.
  • Melissa Figueroa served as Press Secretary for Senator Simitian from 2009-2011 in his Capitol office. During her time in the Legislature, she also staffed the Senator on veterans affairs and human services issues.  Melissa now serves as the Deputy Secretary of Communications and Strategic Planning at the California State Transportation Agency. 
  • Rose Filicetti served as Senior Field Representative in Senator Simitian’s Santa Cruz Office from 2011-12. She continues part-time work as Executive Director of the Santa Clara County School Boards Association and in leadership or governance roles for a variety of community service/fundraising nonprofits, including Leadership Santa Cruz County, the Digital NEST (technology access and workforce development for local youth) and the UCSC Dreamweavers (support for Dream Act undocumented immigrant students). Rose can be reached at rose@sczconnect.org 
  • Lisa Gardiner worked as Joe's press secretary during his last year in the State Senate. She is currently Chief of Staff at the California State Senate. She can be reached at lisargardiner@yahoo.com
  • Taylor Glass served as a Legislative Aide during Joe's tenure in the Senate from 2009-2012.  He is now a self-employed law clerk and legislative/regulatory consultant.  Previously he was Legislative Diurector for State Senator Scott Weiner, and was also Consultant for Assemblymember Raul Bocanegra where he handled natural resources, water, transportation, environmental quality and housing policy.  Taylor holds a J.D. from the University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento
  • Heather (Barbour) Gonzalez served as a Committee Consultant and Legislative Aide for Joe during his first term in the State Senate. She worked primarily on education and privacy issues. She has also worked as a Specialist in Science and Technology Policy at the Congressional Research Service and is currently a policy analyst in the Bay Area. 
  • Alan Gordon is a Clean energy financing consultant with international clientele. Recently retired as Deputy Treasurer for Infrastructure Finance and Legislation with California State Treasurer. Prior positions include 25 years teaching environmental policy at the University of California and more than 20 years on the staff at the California Senate with expertise in water, energy, and timber policy. Primary staff author of Delta Stewardship Act, a rewrite of California water policy.
  • Matt Haney was a Senate Fellow in Joe’s office during the 2005-2006 session.  After his fellowship, Matt was awarded a George J. Mitchell Scholarship, through which he studied international human rights in Ireland.  In 2008, he was a youth and student organizer for a presidential campaign, and he recently co-founded a non-profit.  In 2010 Matt graduated with a JD and MA in Education from Stanford University’s School of Law.  He currently serves as National Policy Director for The Dream Corps. 
  • Stephanie Hineline served as Joe’s Scheduler from 2010-2012. She also served in the Senate Office of Research working as the Liaison between SOR and the Governors Appointments Office in the Senate. 
  • Cory Jasperson served as Principal Consultant and later Chief of Staff at the end of Joe’s tenure in the California State Senate. He also served as a Policy Aide during Joe’s first term on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and as a Legislative Aide during Joe’s time in the California State Assembly. He currently serves as Director of Governmental Affairs for the Judicial Council/Administrative Office of the Courts. Cory can be reached at 916-215-9463 or via email at cory.jasperson@jud.ca.gov.
  • Jaspreet Johl served as Office Aide and Capitol Constituent Liaison for Joe during his tenure in the California State Assembly and in the California State Senate.  She earned a J.D. from University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law and currently serves as a Legislative Aide in the California State Assembly.
  • Nina Kapoor was a Senate Fellow in Joe’s office during the 2006-2007 session.  After her fellowship, Nina worked in the office of Assembly member Felipe Fuentes on energy policy issues.  In early 2010 she joined KP Public Affairs as a lobbyist to work with clients in the energy, transportation and environmental arenas, and later served as VP of Legislative Affairs for the California Forestry Association. She currently serves as Director of State Government Affairs for the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas. 
  • Susan Klein served as Office Manager during Joe's last term in the Senate, 2007-2012.  Susan is currently retired.  
  • Kris Kuzmich served as Principal Consultant to the Senate Select Committee on Privacy during Joe’s second term in the State Senate. She also worked for the Senate’s Budget Committee. 
  • Michele Lew served as District Director during Joe’s tenure in the California State Assembly and the California State Senate. She is currently CEO of the Health Trust in San Jose.  She was previously President and CEO of Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI), the largest community-based organization serving the Asian American community in Santa Clara County.  Michele may be reached at (408) 975-2730.
  • William Leiter was a Senate Fellow and then a Legislative Aide in Joe's office during the 2010-2012 session. He then worked as a digital strategist for Trilogy Interactive, where he managed online campaigns for U.S. senators and the CA Democratic Party, and later served as the deputy digital director for FWD.us, a non-profit advocating for the tech community.  He is currently a Growth Advisor to technology companies.  You can reach him at william.leiter@gmail.com
  • Nancy Lynott served as Scheduler in Joe’s Capitol office during his second State Senate term. She is now retired. Nancy can be reached via email at njlynott@yahoo.com.
  • Maureen McCarty served as a Senior Field Representative during Joe’s tenure in the California State Senate.  She is currently working as an analyst for Santa Cruz County Supervisor Mark Stone. Maureen can be reached at (831) 454-2200 or via email at maureen.mccarty@co.santa-cruz.ca.us.
  • Shannon McKinney served as Legislative Aide for Joe during his tenure in the California State Senate.  She is currently Senior Consultant to the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee.  Shannon may be reached at (916) 319-3965 or via email at shannon.mckinney@asm.ca.gov.
  • Jennifer Moreno served as a Senate Fellow in Joe’s office during the 2009-2010 session.  Jennifer worked as a legislative aide in the office of Assemblymember Betsy Butler, focusing on Education as well as Arts and Entertainment, and now is an Education Programs Consultant for the California Department of Education. 
  • Caroll Mortensen is Director at CalRecycle
  • Ryan Ojakian​ is currently Senior Consultant to the Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife at the California State Assembly. 
  • Rei Onishi served as a Senate Fellow in Joe’s office during the 2004-2005 session, then as a Legislative Aide in 2005-2006.  He spent time studying and working in Japan, Liberia and Washington D.C., and finished oint degree from Harvard Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in 2011.  He clerked for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlant and later became a deputy attorney general in the California Department of Justice. He was appointed to the 2015-2016 class of White House Fellows in 2015.  Rei can be reached via email at ronishi@post.harvard.edu.
  • Priscilla Ouchida served as Chief of Staff during Joe’s tenure in the Assembly, then as Legislative Director during his first term in the Senate.  Having retired from a long career of public service, Priscilla now spends her time traveling, volunteering, taking photographs, and remodeling her house. 
  • Anand Parikh served as a Senate Fellow in Joe’s office during the 2008-2009 session.  He is a graduate of the University of Michigan and NYU Law School, and clerked for Chief Judge Gerald Rosen at the Eastern District of Michigan. He is currently Head of Finance, General Counsel, Head of PeopleOps and Corporate Secreatry of Virta Health in San Francisco. 
  • Annette Porini is a former Chief of Staff to Senator Simitian.  She has worked for the State Senate and Assembly as well as the State Treasurer, Superintendent of Public Instruction and the Governor. Prior to joining the Simitian Staff, she was the Staff Director to the Chair of the Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee.
  • Sarah Rosendahl served as a Senior Field Representative during Joe’s first Senate term.  She has worked as a Legislative Aide for San Mateo County Supervisor Don Horsley, and is currently a Board Memeber at the California CASA Association, focused on the state's foster care system. 
  • Anthony Sanchez served as a Senate Fellow in Joe’s office during the 2007-2008 session.  Since his fellowship, Anthony has worked on a number of political campaigns in the Bay Area, and worked for the Berkeley City Council.  He is currently Head of Operations and Fraud Detection at Checkbook in Sunnyvale.  Anthony can be reached via email at anthonysanchez07@gmail.com.
  • Heather Scott 
  • Kristi Stauffacher served as Joe’s Legislative Director from 2008 to 2011.  She served as Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs at the California Environmental Protection Agency, and also as Appointments Advisor at the office of Governor Brown.   Kristi can be reached at 916-322-7315.
  • Brenda Taussig served as Senior Field Representative in Joe's District Office in Palo Alto during his second term in the Senate. She is now the Government and Community Relations Manager for El Camino Hospital, which has campuses in Mountain View and Los Gatos. She can be reached at brenda.taussig@elcaminohospital.org
  • Michelle Thomas served as Office manager, Scheduler and Legislative Assistant in Joe’s Sacramento office from 2006-2008. She received a Masters in Public Administration with an option in public policy at CSU East Bay. She worked as a district representative for State Senator Ellen Corbett, and the former Legislative Director and current Policy Director for the Alameda County District Attorney's Office.  
  • Renee Wadsworth served as an Office Aide in Joe’s Sacramento office during the 2005-2006 session.  She is currently working at the American Institute of Architects (AIA) in Washington, DC, as Manager of State Relations and plans to pursue a master’s degree in public policy and urban planning.  She may be reached at (202) 626-7384.
  • Marisol Wauters served as Office Manager for Joe during his tenure in the California State Senate.  In June 2009, she graduated with a masters degree in Urban Planning. She is currently Senior Client Services Coordinator for Colliers International. 
  • Carlee Weiss served as Office Manager in the Palo Alto District Office during Joe’s tenure in the California State Assembly and the California State Senate.  She is currently retired, though she keeps busy with interior design work and travel. Carlee can be reached via email at carlee.weiss@comcast.net
  • Brock Winstead was a Field Representative and later District Director during Joe's time in the California State Senate. He can be reached at brock.winstead@gmail.com and on Twitter at @brockwinstead. Brock is currently a writer and audio editor based in Oakland, CA. 
  • Keith Weissglass served as a Field Representative during Joe’s second term in the State Senate. His responsibilities included district media relations, online communication, and constituent outreach. Keith later received an M.B.A. from the UC Davis Graduate School of Management and worked at Gartner Consulting, where he advised state and local government agencies, and later had lead marketing roles at various technology startups. He is currently leading product marketing and communications for Arsenal, an intelligent camera assistant. 
  • Phil Yost served as Press Liaison in the District Office from June 2010 until the end of Joe's second Senate term in December 2012. 
  • Sarah (Mason) Z’berg served as Scheduler, Legislative Aide, and Press Liaison in the Capitol Office during Joe’s first term in the California State Senate.  She currently works for the Senate Business and Professions Committee.  She may be reached at (916) 651-4104 or sarah.mason@sen.ca.gov
State Assembly (2000 - 2004)


  • Karen Brunton served as a Senior Field Representative during Joe’s tenure in the California State Assembly.  After leaving the office in 2004, Karen worked as a Policy Associate for the Steven and Michele Kirsch Foundation, graduated law school at University of Washington in Seattle, and managed an Alaska State House campaign.  Karen is currently Corporate Counsel at Amazon in Seattle.  
  • Megan Swezey Fogarty served as Nonprofits Liaison from 2001-2003, and hosted Joe’s television show, Capitol Focus. She is currently Deputy Executive Director at the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University. Megan may be reached via email at megan.fogarty@stanford.edu or by phone at (650) 725-2870.
  • Judy Kramer served as Nonprofits Liaison during Joe’s tenure on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and during the early part of his tenure in the California State Assembly.  She is currently retired, but remains active as a community volunteer.  Judy may be reached at (650) 494-3222 or via email at jahkramer@aol.com.
  • Jamille Moens served as Policy Aide and later as Press Secretary during Joe’s tenure on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.  She also served as Legislative Aide and Press Secretary during his tenure in the California State Assembly.  She has served as Business Services Manager at the Department of Utilities for the City of Sacramento, and is currently Administrative Services Division manager for the Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality management District. .
  • Lark Park served as Legislative Aide during Joe’s tenure in the California State Assembly.  Lark transferred to the Office of Senator Gloria Romero in 2005, and then worked for the Senate Human Services Committee.  She was a senior policy advisor to Gov. Jerry Brown and worked as his deputy legislative affairs secretary.  She is currently a Regent for the Uiversity of California. 
  • Daryl Savage served as Executive Assistant during Joe’s tenure in the California State Assembly.  She is currently Chair of the City of Palo Alto Human Relations Commission. Daryl can be reached at DarylSavage@gmail.com.
  • Deanna Sessums served as a Senior Field Representative during Joe’s tenure in the California State Assembly.  She is currently Public Affairs Manager for the League of California Cities.  Deanna completed an MPA degree at San Jose State and can be reached via email at dsessums@cacities.org.
  • Andrew Silverman served as an Assembly Fellow in Joe’s office during the 2002-2003 session.  Andrew subsequently graduated from USC’s law school, passed the California State Bar, and was an attorney assigned to the Civil Division of the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.  He is now a partner at Orrick, and a member of the firm's Supreme Court and Appellate Group, based in New York. He can be reached via email at andrew.silverman12@gmail.com
  • Preston Taylor was an Assembly Fellow in Joe’s office during the 2001-2002 session.  He subsequently served as a Legislative Aide and as a Senior Assistant, working in both the Capitol and District Offices.  After leaving the office, Preston earned an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, and worked in China and India.  He worked as a Worldwide Product Marketing Manager for Lenovo in Raleigh, North Carolina, was Director of Product management at Socrata and currently holds that position at Tyler Technologies. 
  • Dena Wilson served as Scheduler and Legislative Aide on aging issues during Joe’s tenure in the California State Assembly. After leaving the office in 2004, Dena worked as an Associate Consultant in the Speaker’s office, then as an Associate Consultant in Senate Majority Leader Gloria Romero’s office.  She later became a Policy Analyst in the Secretary of Education’s office, and is currently an Analyist at the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services. 
Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors (1997 - 2000)

  • John Brazil served as Land Use & Transportation Policy Aide for Joe during his tenure at the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.  He currently manages the City of San Jose’s Bicyclist & Pedestrian Program.  John may be reached at (408) 975-3206.
  • Amy Carta served as Health Policy Aide for Joe during his tenure on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.  She is currently the Assistant Director for the Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System.  Amy may be reached at (408) 885-4551 or via email at Amy.Carta@hhs.sccgov.org
  • Joyce Iwasaki served as Executive Assistant for Joe during his tenure on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.  She is now Director of Community Affairs at Sugimura and Associates Architects.  Joyce can be reached at j.iwasaki@yahoo.com
  • Seth Masket, Ph.D. served as Law and Justice Policy Aide for Joe during his tenure on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.  He is currently an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Denver.  Seth may be reached at (303) 900-8621 or via email at smasket@du.edu
  • Cathryn Ming-Hyde served as Senior Policy Aide for Land Use, Housing, and Transportation for Joe during his tenure on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.  She served as Constituent Services Director for US Representative Michael M. Honda, and is now Advocacy and External Relations Manager for the Community Health Partnership.  Cathy may be reached at (408) 558-8085 
  • Paul Murphy served as Health Policy Aide for Joe during his tenure on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.  Later he became Policy Director for Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez, District Two. Paul also served as a Senior Policy Analyst for Santa Clara County Supervisor Liz Kniss, and President of the Horace Mann School Foundation in San Jose.  Paul previously worked for the Santa Clara Family Health Plan and the Harvey M. Rose Accountancy Corporation.  He is currently the Whistleblower Program manager for the County of Stana Clara. Paul may be reached at (408) 386-9717 or via email at lindenmur@aol.com.
  • Michelle Poche Flaherty served as Joe’s Chief of Staff during his tenure on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. She went on to serve as a Regional Director for the California Trade & Commerce Agency and Special Assistant to U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norm Mineta before returning to local government as Assistant County Manager in Washoe County, Nevada. She previously served as the Organizational Development Manager for the City of Rockville, Maryland, and as the President of City on a Hill Consulting, providing executive coaching to government leaders. Michelle is currently Deputy city manager for the City of Palo Alto. 
  • Samantha Spielman served as Policy Aide for Children, Family and Education during Joe’s first year on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.  She went on to serve as the Political Director for Northern California AIPAC and then as the Director of Project Management for the Creative Department of macys.com. She now is a marketing manager for Challenge Success at Stanford University, and is an active volunteer in her East Bay community and can be reached via email at samspielman@aol.com
  • Susie Thom served as Scheduler for Joe during his tenure on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors.  She was Director of Human Resources at Entech Analytical Labs, Inc. and is currently Administrative Director for the 2009 Senior Games.  She was a member of the City of Palo Alto Library Advisory Commission, and later became President of the library's foundation.  
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Last updated: 11/29/2018 10:51 AM