Racial and Identity Profiling Advisory Board Bios

Photo of Melanie OchoaMelanie Ochoa
Co-Chair
Appointed by Attorney General Xavier Becerra, is a staff attorney for Criminal Justice and Police Practices at the ACLU of Southern California. Her work is focused on the use of gang injunctions, surveillance technology and issues around police discipline. Prior to joining the ACLU, she worked as a clerk on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and in private practice as a litigation associate. Dr. Ochoa obtained her Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Policy from Harvard University and her JD from Harvard Law School.

Photo of Steven RaphaelSteven Raphael
Co-Chair
Appointed by Governor Newsom, is a Professor of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. His most recent research focuses on the social consequences of the large increases in U.S. incarceration rates and racial disparities in criminal justice outcomes. Dr. Raphael also works on immigration policy, research questions pertaining to various aspects of racial inequality, the economics of labor unions, social insurance policies, homelessness, and low-income housing. He is the author (with Michael Stoll) of Why Are so Many Americans in Prison? and The New Scarlet Letter? Negotiating the U.S. Labor Market with a Criminal Record. Dr. Raphael is a research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, the California Policy Lab, the University of Michigan National Poverty Center, the University of Chicago Crime Lab, IZA, Bonn Germany, and the Public Policy Institute of California.

Photo of Dr. William ArmalineDr. William Armaline
William Armaline is the founder of the Human Rights Minor Program, Director of the Human Rights Institute, and an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences [SISS] at San José State University. His formal training and professional experience spans sociology, education, and human rights. Dr. Armaline’s interests, applied work, and scholarly publications address social problems as they relate to political economy, environmental sustainability, human rights, racism and anti-racist action, critical pedagogy, inequality and youth, mass incarceration, and drug policy reform.

Photo of Sheriff Bill AyubSheriff Bill Ayub
Ventura County Sheriff
Bill Ayub is serving as the representative of the California State Sheriff’s Association. He is the 20th elected sheriff of Ventura County. Bill joined the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office in April of 1996, after serving as a police officer for several years in the City of North Las Vegas, Nevada and the City of Port Hueneme. Bill completed his training at the Ventura County Criminal Justice Training Center in 1990, earning top honors in marksmanship, physical fitness, and personal traits.

Bill’s diverse and extensive law enforcement experience ranges from assignments in patrol, custody, SWAT, academy instructor, investigations, and administration. Prior to being elected sheriff, Bill served at every rank from deputy sheriff through assistant sheriff.

Bill has a Master of Science degree in Emergency Services Administration from California State University at Long Beach. He is a graduate of the California POST Command College and the FBI National Executive Institute.

Photo of Ammar-Campa-NajjarAmmar-Campa-Najjar
Ammar is a small business owner, former Obama Administration official, and most recently ran for Congress in California’s 50th Congressional District (2017-2020), where he raised and oversaw a $10 million budget and secured more votes than any Democratic challenger in the conservative region’s history.

The son of Mexican and Arab-American immigrant parents, Ammar served as the Executive Director of Public Affairs for the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), representing the interests of 4 million Hispanic-owned businesses and 200 local chambers, who combined, contribute over $1 trillion to America’s economy every year. In this role, Ammar worked with private sector executives and public officials to promote trade, immigration reform, access to capital for small business, and joined a coalition that successfully advocated for the confirmation of Maria Contreras-Sweet —the first Latina to hold a state cabinet post in California — as SBA Administrator.

Prior to running for office, Ammar returned to government and served at the US Department of Labor. As a Public Affairs Official for the Employment and Training Administration, Ammar promoted President Obama’s national effort to double and diversify Apprenticeship Programs, vocational training for formerly incarcerated individuals seeking reentry, and Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) for those impacted by the forces of globalization and automation.

Born in East County and raised by his working-class mother, Ammar began his career in public service as a community organizer for the Obama-Biden campaign. He graduated with dual Bachelor's Degrees in Psychology and Philosophy from San Diego State University. Today, through his small business, ACN Strategies, Ammar continues to support nonprofits and small businesses by helping them secure procurement opportunities, provide community outreach, and remain competitive against their larger counterparts.

Photo of Andrea GuerreroAndrea Guerrero
Appointed by the Senate Pro Tempore, was born in Mexico City and came to the US in time to start kindergarten. She has worked in San Diego as an attorney and policy advocate, focusing on the issues of immigrant rights and educational equity for the past 10 years. She is currently the Executive Director of the Equality Alliance of San Diego County, a non-profit organization pursuing strategic policy reforms at the local, state, and national level to improve the condition of immigrants, low-income communities, and communities of color.

Photo of LaWanda HawkinsLawanda Hawkins
Appointed by former Governor Brown, is the founder of Justice for Murdered Children (JMC). The organization’s mission is to reduce the number of homicides and urge law enforcement to aggressively pursue justice for families in unsolved cases. JMC provides a support system and voice for victims of homicide. Ms. Hawkins founded the nonprofit with other grieving parents in 1996, soon after her only child was murdered. JMC has been successful in policy advocacy, including the Victims’ Bill of Rights Act of 2008. Ms. Hawkins is a board member of Justice for Homicide Victims and Crime Victims United.

Photo of Pastor Brian Eric KennedyPastor Brian Eric Kennedy
Pastor Brian Eric Kennedy has been the Senior Pastor at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Ontario, California since 1998. Prior to Mt. Zion, Pastor Kennedy was on the Pastor Brian Eric Kennedy has been the Senior Pastor at Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Ontario, California since 1998. Prior to Mt. Zion, Pastor Kennedy was on the management team of Prison Fellowship as the Los Angeles Area Director for eleven years. Pastor Kennedy also served as a Youth Pastor for 15 years in two local churches in Los Angeles (South Los Angeles Baptist Church, and Evening Star Missionary Baptist Church) before serving at Mt. Zion, and has thoroughly enjoyed full-time ministry since 1986.

Pastor Brian Kennedy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from San Diego State University, a Master of Divinity Degree from Talbot School of Theology, and a Doctor of Ministry from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. He attributes his foundation commitments to Christ and hard work which he received in childhood from his father and mother, and his church family in Sacramento, Calif. (St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church). In June of 2020 Pastor Kennedy participated in an online community meeting (“Demand Justice, Deliver Change”) hosted by the Office of Representative Norma J. Torres where he spoke of his collaborations with local law enforcement agencies in developing strategies and leading trainings for officers.

Photo of Lily KhadjaviLily Khadjavi
Appointed by Attorney General Becerra, is a Professor of Mathematics at Loyola Marymount University. Dr. Khadjavi's focus lies in the intersections of mathematics and social justice and in broadening participation in the mathematical sciences. She has co-chaired the Infinite Possibilities Conference, a national research and mentoring conference aimed at supporting women of color in the mathematical sciences. She is the Principal Investigator for the Association for Women in Math’s National Science Foundation-funded travel and mentoring grant program. Dr. Khadjavi is co-editor of the book Mathematics for Social Justice: Resources for the College Classroom as well as the forthcoming volume Mathematics for Social Justice: Focusing on Quantitative Reasoning and Statistics. She serves on the boards of Building Diversity in Science and Spectra, an association to support LGBTQ+ mathematicians.

Photo of Manjusha (Manju) P. Kulkarni, ESQ.Manjusha (Manju) P. Kulkarni, ESQ.
Manjusha (Manju) P. Kulkarni is Executive Director of the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON), a coalition of more than forty community-based organizations that serves and represents the 1.5 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Los Angeles County. She co-founded Stop AAPI Hate, the nation’s leading aggregator of COVID-19-related hate incidents against AAPIs. Additionally, Manju is a Lecturer in the Asian American Studies Department at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Manju’s work has been featured in the New York Times, and on CBS News and CNN, as well as in numerous ethnic media outlets. In 2014, she received the White House Champions of Change award from President Barack Obama for her dedication to improving health care access for Asians American communities. Recently, she testified before Congress at the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, on the issue of anti-Asian hate.

Manju holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University and a Juris Doctor degree from Boston University School of Law.

Photo of Abdul PridgenAbdul Pridgen
Abdul Pridgen is the Past President of the California Police Chiefs Association and represents them on the Board. He was appointed Chief of the San Leandro Police Department in 2021 after serving as Police Chief in Seaside for three and a half years. His career began with the Fort Worth Police Department, where he promoted through the ranks to become their first Black Assistant Chief. He is known for his effectiveness at employing evidence to drive organizational change and his principled approach, promoting ethical policing and fostering a culture of answerability.

Abdul is renowned for his authentic leadership and unwavering commitment to community engagement and trust-building. He is passionate about volunteering to improve community outcomes at the national, state, and local level. He is a Senior Advisor for Measures for Justice, a member of the Executive Committee for Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, on the Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Club of Monterey County, and President of the Institute for Transparent and Accountable Policing.

Chief Pridgen holds a Master of Arts in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. He is a graduate of the Southern Police Institute, FBI National Academy, FBI National Executive Institute, and Harvard Kennedy School, Senior Executives in State and Local Government—he went on to receive an Executive Certificate in Public Leadership from Harvard.

Photo of Amanda L. RayAmanda L. Ray
Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol (CHP). Prior to her appointment to Commissioner, she served as the Deputy Commissioner and was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the CHP. Commissioner Ray is a 30-year veteran of the CHP. She has earned numerous awards and commendations in her personal life, during her professional career with the Department, and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. Commissioner Ray has been a pioneer for women in law enforcement as the first female in the CHP’s 91- year history to hold the position of Commissioner for the nation’s largest state police agency. Her vast field experience has allowed her to effectively serve as incident commander during high-profile events. As a leader in law enforcement, Commissioner Ray holds firm to the values set forth by the CHP’s Public Trust Initiative to serve and safeguard our communities with compassion and understanding. Throughout her career, Commissioner Ray has actively engaged with the communities she serves, seeking every opportunity to participate in outreach events and active involvement in departmental programs to provide the highest level of safety, service, and security to the people of California.

Photo of Rich RandolphRich Randolph
Rich Randolph is serving as the representative of the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC). Rich has worked in many capacities in law enforcement; as a cadet, dispatcher, Field Training Officer, and Academy Instructor. He served for ten years with the Santa Paula Police Department and for 16 years with the Colton Police Department, where he currently serves and was recently promoted to police corporal. He is currently assigned to Youth Services as a School Resource Officer. Rich is passionate about the peace officer profession, its image, and creating programs such as Cops And Jocks and the CART Academy, a regional academy serving as a diversion program for students who have been placed at risk. Rich is currently the President of the PORAC Inland Chapter and the San Bernardino/Riverside County School Resource Officers Association, which he founded in 2019. Rich has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Management through Union Institute and University, is a member of FBI LEEDA, and also serves as a PORAC State Board Member and Co-Chair of PORAC's United for Positive Reform Initiative.

Photo of Tamani TaylorTamani Taylor
Serving as the representative of the California Public Defenders Association (CPDA). She has 15 years working with and in public defender offices. Currently, she serves as Chief Deputy Public Defender in Solano County and has been a lawyer in the Solano County Public Defender’s Office since 2007. She has represented clients in juvenile, misdemeanor, felony, and death penalty cases. She is an experienced trial lawyer and has tried murder cases, sex cases, and other serious and violent felony cases. Ms. Taylor has presented on topics related to criminal defense both nationwide and statewide. She is a CPDA board member and she is on the California Lawyers Association’s Executive Committee on Criminal Law.

Photo of Cha  VangCha Vang
Deputy Director, AAPIs For Civic Empowerment – Education Fund (AAPIFORCE – EF) & AAPIs For Civic Empowerment (AAPIFORCE)
Cha Vang has been a community organizer working tirelessly to improve outcomes for children and families for more than a decade. She has worked on issues ranging from education to food justice to civic engagement. She works to ensure communities get the resources they deserve to thrive and that they are at decision making tables. Currently, she is the Deputy Director of AAPIs For Civic Empowerment Education Fund & AAPIs For Civic Empowerment. A statewide organization which advances policies, campaigns and issues that support working-class AAPIs through voter mobilization and base building. She is a co-founder of Hmong Innovating Politics (HIP) and previously served as their founding executive director. Cha was born in the refugee camps of Thailand and raised in South Sacramento. She serves as a board member on the Sacramento Metropolitan Lions Club and a member of the California State Fair’s Cultural Advisory Council.

Photo of Ronaldo VilledaRonaldo Villeda
Appointed by Attorney General Beccera, is an Advocacy and Community Organizing Fellow for the Anti-Recidivism Coalition (ARC). Ronnie is also the Executive Director of Hoops4Justice (H4J), co-founder of Underground GRIT (UG) and is currently pursuing his B.A in Business Administration at Chapman University. At 23, he is the youngest amongst his board members, and brings the perspective of a formerly incarcerated young man. Ronnie has been advocating for his peers and himself since 2015, changing the narrative for what it means to be a formerly incarcerated young man. His passion for uplifting other’s voices and creating opportunities for his peers is at the forefront of what he does. Ronnie continues to create innovative ways to engage others through fashion and art, facilitating the Renowned.LA x Angela Davis collaboration to raise money to help support grassroot organizations.