UEP Academic Program

Staff Directory

Amanda Shaffer

Robert Gottlieb
Bob is Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Director of the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute. He is the author and co-author of twelve books and numerous other publications, including Food Justice with Anupama Joshi (MIT Press, 2010), Reinventing Los Angeles: Nature and Community in the Global City (MIT Press, 2007), The Next Los Angeles: The Struggle for a Livable City with Mark Vallianatos, Regina Freer and Peter Dreier (UC Press 2006); Forcing the Spring: The Transformation of the American Environmental Movement (Island Press, 1993); A Life of its Own: The Politics and Power of Water (HBJ 1989), and Environmentalism Unbound: Exploring New Pathways for Change (MIT Press, 2001). He is also the editor of two MIT Press series, "Urban and Industrial Environments" and "Food, Health, and Environment." A long time environmental and social justice activist, Bob Gottlieb has been engaged in researching and participating in social movements for more than 50 years.

Mark Vallianatos
Policy Director

Elizabeth Medrano

Zoe Phillips
Farm to Preschool Project Director
Zoe helped jump-start UEPI's Farm to Preschool program in early 2009.  What started as a pilot program is now a leader in a growing national movement.  Please visit the program page as well as the website, www.farmtopreschool.org, designed as a clearinghouse of resources for Farm to Preschool programs around the country.  Zoe has a B.S. in Biology from Cornell University, an M.S. in Biology from New York University, and an MPH from the University of Southern California.  She is also a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES).

Jessica Gudmundson
Grants Manager and Urban Nature Coordinator

Heng Lam Foong
Program Director
Heng Lam Foong joined UEPI as Program Director in 2009. She’s supported various UEPI projects including Food & Transportation and the Healthy School Food Coalition, and is currently managing the Luce China Environment and Community Health Engagement. Prior to her time at UEPI, Heng Lam worked at various community non-profits which focus on prevention and health care access including Healthy Eating Active Communities (HEAC) South Los Angeles; Healthy Parks, Healthy Communities at the Trust for Public Land; and PALS for Health/ALAS para tu Salud. She loves the diversity of the city and when she is not on campus, you can probably find her eating at mom & pop owned restaurants, working in the garden or running through the neighborhoods of Los Angeles.

Megan Bomba
Healthy School Food Coalition Coordinator
Megan Bomba works on the Healthy School Food Coalition project, working with local school districts and community members to improve school food and awareness of nutrition issues.  She has a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Oberlin College and an M.S. in International Agricultural Development from U.C. Davis.

Yelena Zeltser
Program Manager

Rosa Romero

Sharon Cech
Regional Food Systems Program Manager
Sharon Cech is the Regional Food Systems Program Manager at UEPI. She works on several distribution-based strategies to increase economic opportunities for small and midsized farmers while improving access to quality affordable foods in underserved communities. Sharon has a BA in Environmental Studies from Bard College and an MA in Urban Planning from UCLA.

Victor Hernandez

Martha Matsuoka

Peter Dreier

Office Locations
2106 Colorado Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90041 Mailing Address: 1600 Campus Road, MS-M1 Los Angeles, CA 90041