2024 JACKSON LEADERSHIP FELLOWS
Jessica Brown is the Environmental Program Manager at the Port of Seattle responsible for integrating sustainability and equity into maritime and economic development capital projects and operations. In this role, she works to increase transparency around how sustainability and equity investment decisions are made, collaborating with many stakeholders, balancing competing priorities, and using data to make thoughtful recommendations that improve environmental and societal outcomes. Dedicated to lifelong learning, Jessica recently earned her Master of Sustainable Transportation degree from the University of Washington and achieved Student of the Year in 2022. Prior to her tenure at the Port, Jessica worked on complex transportation projects at Sound Transit and as a hydrogeologist at a local consulting firm. She has over 15 years of experience focused on environmental stewardship, and she is passionate about addressing regional sustainability and equity challenges through education, planning, program development, and policy improvements. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys playing board games with her family, trail running, and exploring nature with her dog Cokie, and partner Jonathan.
Jonathan Chen is the Climate Justice Advisor for Washington’s Environmental Justice Council. As Washington State advances towards building a fossil-free economy, he is working to ensure that the urgency of this promising future does not come at the expense of marginalized and underserved communities and that they also benefit from this transition. Originally from San Francisco, CA, he left a life of familiarity to attend Oberlin College in Ohio. He then spent six years managing community agriculture programs that provided greater food access and food sovereignty to low-income immigrants, refugees, youth, and elders. He went on to study food systems in a Master of Science degree program at the University of Washington School of Environmental and Forest Sciences. In his current role, he combines his passion for community organizing with his pursuit of systems-level solutions. Outside of work, he likes to celebrate the small joys in life by dancing Lindy Hop, growing edible forest gardens, and making tasty meals from the odds and ends of the week’s groceries.
Stasha Espinosa, a policy executive and career public servant, is rooted in her belief that government systems should echo the unique needs of their communities. Her achievements span from passing several health and employment laws in Washington to creating communication strategies for hard-to-reach populations. Beyond breaking barriers as one of the few women of color who served within both U.S. Congressional Chambers, she also served as the Director of Legislative & External Affairs for the City of Seattle. Stasha is finishing her Master of Communications at the University of Washington. The title that she is proud of the most is mama to two girls under four.
Hannah Sabio-Howell is the Communications Director at Working Washington, a statewide political and legal advocacy nonprofit that supports low-wage workers in the fight for better pay and labor standards. Prior to this role, she was a communications consultant with the firm Team Soapbox, managing the communications efforts of institutions that provide housing access, healthcare, and public transit. Hannah entered consulting after years as staff at the Washington state legislature where she served elected officials from every corner of the state. While at the legislature, Hannah was especially proud and honored to write for the Senate Members of Color Caucus, co-lead a professional development program for staff from historically marginalized communities, and organize for staff collective bargaining rights. Outside of work, Hannah is on The Urbanist’s Elections Committee and sits on the Pro-Choice Washington PAC board, helping endorse candidates for office who promise progressive, accountable leadership. She is the proud daughter and granddaughter of Filipino immigrants and Eastern Washington wheat farmers. For fun, Hannah is a photographer, cyclist, and foodie whose ideal day includes all three: biking to food, emphasis on the food, and taking photos of our beautiful PNW along the way.
Michael Machala grew up in Idaho and is now proud to call Washington home. He has worked both domestically and internationally on energy and sustainability for over 15 years and is excited to turn his focus to local issues in the Puget Sound. Being married to a public-school teacher and fostering a high school student has motivated him toward deeper community engagement. As a research scientist in energy systems at the Toyota Research Institute’s carbon neutral strategy team, his work interrogates systems-level mobility topics that encompass technology, economics, policy, the environment, and society. His technical experience in sustainability spans fundamental research at the atomic level for energy conversion to life cycle assessment of conventional and circular supply chains, industrial decarbonization strategy, and applied engineering in solar, battery, fuel cell, and agricultural technologies. He has lived in the US, Europe, and South/Southeast Asia working in both R&D and on electrification, renewable energy integration, and livelihood improvement in society. He was a Henry Luce Scholar and NCAA All-American and completed a PhD in materials science and engineering and Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Precourt Institute for Energy, both at Stanford University. Michael prefers to spend as much time as possible in the Seattle area’s many bodies of water, but frequently ends up spending more time than anticipated on land for family, friends, and watching his garden grow.
Chelsea Moore is the Smart Justice Policy Program Director at the ACLU of Washington and a lecturer in Law, Societies, & Justice at the University of Washington. She is the founding co-director of Look2Justice, a nonprofit that provides civic education to incarcerated people and their families. Chelsea holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Washington with a focus on the criminal legal system. Her dissertation, “In Pursuit of the Pervert: Sexual Dangerousness and the Creep of the Carceral State,” examines the relationship between fears of sexual dangerousness and the expansion of mass incarceration. Chelsea sits on the Korematsu Race in Criminal Justice Task Force and the Board of Judicial Administration Alternatives to Incarceration Task Force. She is a published researcher, an award-winning instructor, a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, and an American Association of University Women Dissertation fellow.
Charlotte Shannon is currently a Senior Policy Analyst at the University of Washington, where she leads the University’s fiscal analysis, and development of state budget requests, in addition to providing legislative and budget analysis, and supporting internal University budget development. Prior to coming to the UW, Charlotte previously worked as a fellow in the U.S. House of Representatives, as a committee clerk for the Washington State House of Representatives, and in policy roles for the Clean Energy Council in Melbourne, the Washington State Association for Justice, and the King County Office of Law Enforcement Oversight. Despite growing up in Seattle, she has lived and worked all over the country and overseas including 5 years in Melbourne, Australia. She holds a dual Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Environmental Policy from Santa Clara University, and a Master’s in International Development from the University of Melbourne in Australia. In her free time, she enjoys summer travel and hiking adventures, crafting with friends, spending time in the mountains and on the sound, participating in her book club, and trying to keep up with her overactive dog Zuzu.
Rathi Sudhakara serves as an Assistant Director on the Policy and Planning team at the Washington Student Achievement Council, a cabinet level agency dedicated to increasing postsecondary attainment for Washingtonians. Rathi focuses on increasing postsecondary enrollment for students across Washington by collaborating and engaging with stakeholders including the K-12 sector, community-based organizations, higher education institutions and the legislature. Prior to this, she has held a variety of roles in engineering, advertising and even worked for a bit as a pre-kindergarten teacher. She has a Master’s in Education Policy from the University of Washington and a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from India. Rathi has lived in Redmond for 10 years and in her free time loves to cook, dance, play board games, watch movies, and go on hikes with her two sons and her husband.
Jillian Youngblood is the executive director of Civic Genius, a national nonpartisan organization working to revitalize civic life. She has nearly 20 years of experience in politics, government, and strategic communications with a focus on deliberative democracy and solutions-oriented public engagement. On Capitol Hill, she was a lead staffer for the 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, and worked on issues related to health care, urban planning, and appropriations. Previously, she managed New York City’s federal and state legislative portfolios on public health under the Bloomberg Administration and was a consultant to numerous nonprofit and corporate clients across a range of public policy issues. Jillian is a frequent speaker and trainer on transformative civic engagement.