Leadership Council

The purpose of the Leadership Council is to provide strategic guidance and direction for the COI and its key stakeholders in support of implementation of the COI Action Plan, strategic plan, evaluation, and domain workplans. In addition, the Leadership Council provides guidance and oversight for COI operations including review and approval of core funding applications and policy positions.

The roles and responsibilities of the Leadership Council members are to serve as advocates and vocal champions of the COI, identify how the activities of partner organizations align with COI goals, track and inform progress on COI activities using agreed-upon indicators and domain workplans, identify opportunities for new partnerships and cross-domain collaboration, and to attend COI trategic planning retreats.

Michael Bardin

Anahid Brakke
Hunger Advocacy Partner

San Diego Hunger Coalition, Executive Director

Juanita Garcia

Juanita Garcia
First 5 San Diego, Projects Coordinator

Noe Crespo
SDSU, Associate Professor

Joangrace Espiritu
Media Domain Champion

YMCA Community Support Services, Area Marketing Director

Mary Beth Moran
Healthcare Domain Champion

Rady Children’s Hospital Center for Healthier Communities, Director

Deirdre Kleske
Schools & After-school Domain Champion

County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency, Program Specialist, Healthy Works

Stacey Kurz
Government Domain Champion

City of Chula Vista, Senior Project Coordinator

Debbie Macdonald
Private Sector Co-Chair


Kate McDevitt
Schools & After-school Domain Champion

San Diego Unified School District, Wellness Program Supervisor

Kim McDougal
Early Childhood Domain Champion

YMCA Childcare Resource Service, Executive Director

Blanca Melendrez

Blanca Melendrez
Community Domain Champion

UCSD Center for Community Health, Executive Director

Kathleen Merchant
Early Childhood Domain Champion

San Diego State University Research Foundation, Research & Continuous Quality Improvement Manager

Paige Metz
Schools & After-school Domain Champion

San Diego County Office of Education, Coordinator, Health and Physical Education Curriculum and Instruction Network for Public Charter Schools

Laura Niksch

Laura Niksch
Early Childhood Domain Champion

Neighborhood House Association, Head Start Nutrition Coordinator

Kay Rhee, MD, MSc, MA
UCSD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Olivia Arizmendi
Office of Binational Border Health, Program Coordinator, Border and Binational Programs

Shaila Serpas, MD
Private Sector Co-Chair

Scripps Family Medicine Residency Program, Assistant Program Director

Wilma Wooten

Wilma Wooten
Public Sector Co-Chair

County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency, Health Officer and Director of Public Health Services

Lisa Mann-Mattson
Tribal Liaison Seat

San Diego American Indian Health Center, Community Wellness Director

Naomi Billups
County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency, Public Health Nutrition Manager

Dr. Douglas Ziedonis, MD, MPH
UCSD School of Medicine, Associate Vice Chancellor

Promotoras Seat