Alumni

Our alumni follow many different career paths to make a positive change upon our current political climate
Durazo
Maria Elena Durazo, '75
California State Senator

Maria Elena Durazo, 1975, is a member of the California State Senate. In 2003, Durazo became the National Director of the Immigrant Workers' Freedom Ride. She is currently the General Vice President for Immigration, Diversity and Civil Rights at Unite Here, She is also  Executive Vice President of the governing Executive Council of the national AFL-CIO and a Vice Chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Supervisor Catherine Stefani in front of capital building
Supervisor Catherine Stefani ’91
San Francisco Supervisor

San Francisco Supervisor Catherine Stefani, District 2, is a City Hall veteran, anti-gun activist, and former prosecutor. Her district includes the Presidio, Marina, Cow Hollow, Pacific Heights, Presidio Heights, Anza Vista, Laurel Heights, Jordan Park, the Lake Street corridor, Sea Cliff, and parts of Russian Hill. Stefani is vice chair of the Budget and Finance Committee and vice chair of the Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee. She serves on the Mental Health Board, the Family Violence Council, and the Department of Emergency Management Disaster Council. She is an alternate member of the Bay Conservation and Development Commission.

Stefani served as San Francisco’s County Clerk from 2016 to 2018. From 2007 to 2016, she worked for San Francisco Supervisors Michela Alioto-Pier and Mark Farrell. Previously, she worked for San Jose Vice Mayor Cindy Chavez, the California Department of Justice, and Speaker Herb Wesson of the California State Assembly. She was also a deputy district attorney in Contra Costa County, where she argued 25 jury trials. 

Stefani has long been an active volunteer. She was a leader of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which aims to reform gun laws. She was on the board of directors of the Homeless Prenatal Program. She has raised over $50,000 to fight leukemia by competing in triathlons. Stefani is active in Emerge California and Ignite National, organizations that train women in politics. She won an Ignite Honors award in 2016 for “consistently putting her beliefs into action, engaging and mentoring other women, and transforming her community.” She also developed, hosted, and produced For the Record, a television show about legal issues. 

Stefani graduated from Saint Mary’s College and earned a JD and an LLM from McGeorge School of Law. She is married, has two children, and has lived in Cow Hollow for 18 years.

Woman wearing black blazer and orange shirt
Evelyn Minaise ’16
Juris Doctor

Since graduating from Saint Mary’s, Evelyn Minaise earned a Juris Doctor degree from Santa Clara University School of Law in May 2019. During her time at Santa Clara, she served as communications chair of Women & Law for two years, and was involved in the Middle Eastern Law Student association, serving as 1L representative for one year, communications chair another year, and vice president her last year. Over the past year, she has been volunteering at a free law clinic through the Alameda County Bar Association. Outside of law school, Minaise serves on her church's Parish Council and is very involved in her church's Maronite Young Adults organization. She currently works at a boutique estate planning law firm.

Read Evelyn's valedictorian address.

Man in jacket that says "The Halo"
Michael Montafi ’11
Global NGO Program Officer

After graduating from Saint Mary’s College in 2011, Michael Montafi served with the Peace Corps in Azerbaijan, teaching English in a small village near the Armenian border. He was with the last group of Peace Corps volunteers to serve there before the program closed in 2014. After leaving the Peace Corps, Montafi stayed another year in Azerbaijan and worked for a local NGO, helping to rehabilitate land mine survivors and reintegrate communities displaced by the war in Nagorno-Karabakh. Since then, he has completed a master’s degree in International Affairs from the Graduate Institute in Geneva (2016–2018) and is now back in the South Caucasus, where he works as a program officer with the HALO Trust, the world’s largest humanitarian de-mining organization. As an international development and human security practitioner, Montafi sees his time as a Politics major at Saint Mary’s College as integral to his journey post-graduation, instilling values of humanitarian service and a deep interest in global affairs.

 

Mike Cioffi
Mike Cioffi '05
Digital Media Director for Jimmy Kimmel Live

Mike Cioffi is the Digital Media Director for Jimmy Kimmel Live. He has been overseeing social media initiatives for the show since 2009. He has helped the show establish itself on multiple platforms including the Jimmy Kimmel Live YouTube channel which has over four billion views and seven million subscribers.
He is also the Co-Founder and CTO of the The Adam Carolla Show, verified as the most downloaded podcast in the world by Guinness World Records.

Dan Whithurst
Dan Whithurst '69
Chair/President of California Issues Forum

Dan served as the Mayor of Fresno, California from 1977-85. From 1999 to the present he has been a member of the Board of Directors for AAA for Northern California, Nevada, and Utah. Dan is currently the Chair/President of the California Issues Forum, a nonprofit think tank on public policy issues in California, as well as a member of the Leadership Council of California Forward. He is the CEO of the Carillon Corporation, a consultant and property management firm, and the Chair of the Dean's Advisory Board for the School of Liberal Arts at Saint Mary's College.
 

Megan Crain
Megan Crain '18
Development Operations Coordinator for Coral Reef Alliance

Megan is the Development Operations Coordinator for the Coral Reef Alliance. She previously served as District Representative and Grants Coordinator for 11th Congressional District Representative Mark DeSaulnier, and as After School Program Assistant for Contra Costa Interfaith Housing.

Megan Collins
Megan Collins '17
Assistant Manager for Global PR at Allbirds

Megan is the Assistant Manager for Global PR at Allbirds in San Francisco. Previously she was an Account Manager and then Associate Account Executive at Mighty in San Francisco, where she specialized in strategic communication and planning, media relations, and social media management.

Jana McCord
Jana McCord '17
Intern at LawinSport in London, United Kingdom

Jan is currently a JD Candidate at University of Notre Dame Law School and an intern at LawinSport in London, United Kingdom.

Crystal Riggins
Crystal Riggins '05
GIVE TV General Counsel

Crystal received her JD degree from Santa Clara Law School in 2009. Crystal currently serves as GIVE TV's General Counsel, handling all of GIVE TV's corporate, legal, and business matters. GIVE TV is best known for its Daytime Emmy award winning television show GIVE, which promotes the impact of small charities. From 2017-19, she was a member of the Business Litigation, Intellectual Property, and Litigation and Dispute Resolution division at Hoge, Fenton, Jones & Appel’s Silicon Valley office.

Sean Sullivan
Sean Sullivan '03
Senior VP, CAO and General Counsel of Duckhorn Portfolio

Sean graduated from Columbia Law School in 2006. He is currently the Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel of the Duckhorn Portfolio, based in Saint Helena, California. Sean previously practiced law at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

Jacob Turnrose
Jacob Turnrose '18
Development Officer for Foundations and Major Gifts at Independent Institute

Jacob is the Development Officer for Foundations and Major Gifts at the Independent Institute in Oakland, CA.

Leora Mosman
Leora Mosman '18
Protection Counselor for UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Leora is a Protection Counselor for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Washington, DC.

James Thompson
James Thompson '99
Associate Professor and Director of the James A. Garfield Center for Public Leadership at Hiram College

James received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame in 2008. He is currently Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the James A. Garfield Center for Public Leadership at Hiram College in Ohio. His primary area of research is International relations, with a focus on regional integration projects. He is the author of Making North America: Trade, Security, and Integration published by the University of Toronto Press.

Michael Cullin
Michael Cullin '09
Associate Attorney with Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo

Michael received his JD degree from Northeastern University Law School in 2014. From 2016-19 he served as an Associate Attorney with Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo, where he advised local education agencies on all aspects of student services, including the Americans with Disabilities Act. He has also served as campaign manager/political director for several candidates for national office.

Peter Tappeiner
Peter Tappeiner '03
Professional Labor and Political Organizer

Peter Tappeiner is a professional labor and political organizer. Since 2012, he has been the Lead Organizer for UNITE HERE! In New Orleans, LA, seeking to improve the lives of gaming and hotel workers.

Anne Northrup
Anne Northrup '70
Republican Politician and Educator from Kentucky

Anne Northup is a Republican politician and educator from Kentucky. She was elected to the Kentucky General Assembly in 1987 where she served until 1996. From 1997 to 2007, she represented the 3rd congressional district of Kentucky in the House of Representatives, where she served on the House Appropriations Committee. Since leaving Congress in 2006 no other women have served in Congress from Kentucky. President Barack Obama nominated Ms. Northrup to a seat on the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and she was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2009.

Fatima Silva
Fatima Silva '05
Trial Attorney at Silva Law/Co-Host of Investigation Discovery Network's true crime show "Reasonable Doubt"

Fatima Silva is the Co-Host of Investigation Discovery Network's true crime show "Reasonable Doubt". She received her JD degree with honors from Pace University School of Law in New York in 2008. From 2012-18 she was an attorney in the Law Offices of James V. McGrail, specializing in criminal defense, immigration, and personal injury cases. She is now a trial attorney at Silva Law.

Nick Hardeman
Nick Hardeman '03
Chief of Staff California State Assembly

After graduating from Saint Mary's, Nick Hardeman was awarded a fellowship at the California State Senate. He then served as a consultant to the State Senate for three years. In 2015 he became Chief of Staff of the California State Assembly.

Steve Martinez
Steve Martinez '80
Executive Assistant Director FBI

In 1986, Steven Marinez received a master’s degree in political science from the University of California at Berkeley. He served as the FBI’s on-scene commander in Baghdad during the staging and commencement of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2003, he became the special assistant to the deputy director of the FBI. He was then promoted to deputy assistant director of the Cyber Division in September 2004. Mr. Marinez was appointed assistant director in charge of the Los Angeles Division in 2009, and was awarded the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service as a U.S. Government Senior Executive. In March 2012, Mr. Martinez was designated as the Director of National Intelligence representative for the southwestern region of the United States.

Peter Detwiler
Peter Detwiler, '71
Career in California State and local Government

Peter Detwiler received an MA in Public Policy & Administration at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He enjoyed a 40-year career in state and local government, including 30 years as staff director of the State Senate’s Committee on Local Government. For over 25 years he taught in Sacramento State’s graduate program in Public Policy & Administration.

Leader
Meghan Birmingham Leader '87
Executive VP and Head of Treasury Solutions for Corporate and Commercial Banking at Bank of the West

Meghan Birmingham Leader, 1987, holds an M.B.A. from Saint Mary’s College. She is the Executive Vice President and Head of Treasury Solutions for Corporate and Commercial Banking at Bank of the West. From 2013-15 she was Chair of the Board of Trustees at Saint Mary’s College.

Mirikian
Vahe Mirikian '16
Peacebuilding Policy Officer with Peace Direct in Washington, DC

Vahe Mirikian, 2016, holds an M.A. in International Relations and Affairs from the American University of Paris. He is a Peacebuilding Policy Officer with Peace Direct in Washington, DC.

Loya
Brittany Loya
Senior Trade Advisor of United Kingdom Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Brittany Loya holds an M.A. in International Business, Trade, and Commerce from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. She is the Senior Trade Advisor at the United Kingdom’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Los Angeles.

Bjerke
Brandon Bjerke '13
Legislative Director at the California State Assembly

Brandon Bjerke, 2013, earned a J.D. degree at McGeorge School of Law. He is the Legislative Director at the California State Assembly in Sacramento.

Caulfield
Chelsea Caulfield '11
Senior Consultant for Government and Industry Relations at Allstate Insurance

Chelsea Caulfield, 2011, is a Senior Consultant for Government and Industry Relations at Allstate Insurance in Washington, DC. 

Townsend
Vincent Townsend '12
Aviation & Aerospace Finance Associate at K&L Gates

Vincent Townsend, 2012, holds an M.B.A. and J.D. from the University of San Francisco. He is currently Aviation & Aerospace Finance Associate at K&L Gates, a global law firm in San Francisco.

Johnson
Charise Johnson '12
Director of State Government Affairs at The National Association of Professional Employer Organizations in Washington D.C

Charise Johnson, 2012, holds an M.A. in Political Management from George Washington University. She is the Director of State Government Affairs at the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations in Washington D.C. 

Booker
William T. Booker '99
President of the Beth Eden Senior Housing Development

William T. Booker 1999, is the President of the Beth Eden Senior Housing Development, Berkeley, CA. 

Verutti
Tony Verutti
Head of Global Partnerships and Strategy at Parlay for the Oceans in New York

Tony Verutti, earned an M.B.A. and S.D.A. at Bocconi School of Management. He is the Head of Global Partnerships and
Strategy at Parlay for the Oceans in New York.

Reid
Karen Reid '07
Program Manager for UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital

Karen Reid, 2007, earned an M.A. in Public Administration from the University of Southern California. She is Program Manager for Accreditation and Regulatory Compliance at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland.

Silva
Evonne Silva '04
Senior Program Director for Code for America

Evonne Silva, 2004, holds a J.D. degree from the UCLA School of Law. She is the Senior Program Director for Criminal Justice and Workforce Development at Code for America, San Francisco.

Luros
Mary Luros '04
Senior Attorney at Hudson & Luros, LLP, in Napa

Mary Luros, 2004, earned her J.D. at Golden Gate School of Law. She serves on the Napa City Council and is a Partner/Senior Attorney at Hudson & Luros, LLP, in Napa.

Davidson
Mariko Mura Davidson '04
Head of Mobility Engagement, West Coast, at Ford Mobility, LLC

Mariko Mura Davidson, 2004, holds an M.A. in City Planning from MIT.

She is the Head of Mobility Engagement, West Coast, at Ford Mobility, LLC.

Williams
Drew Williams '11
Associate at McNamara, Ney, Beatty, Slattery, Borges, & Ambacher LLP in Walnut Creek

Drew Williams, 2011, holds a J.D. from U.C. Hastings School of Law. He is an Associate at McNamara, Ney, Beatty, Slattery, Borges, & Ambacher LLP in Walnut Creek.

Ketema
Martha Ketema '11
Human Relations Disability Case Manager for Kaiser Permanente in Oakland

Martha Ketema, 2011, holds an M.A. in Public Administration from Notre Dame de Namur University. She is a Human Relations Disability Case Manager for Kaiser Permanente in Oakland.

Mino
Carlos Mino '02
Senior Corporate Counsel at 8x8 Information Technology Services

Carlos Mino, 2002, earned a J.D. degree at Santa Clara School of Law. He is the Senior Corporate Counsel at 8x8 Information Technology Services in Fremont, California.

Bailey
Jessi Bailey '15
Senior Neighborhood Revitalization Program Coordinator at Habitat for Humanity

Jessi Bailey, 2015, holds an M.A. in Nonprofit Administration from the University of San Francisco.  She is the Senior Neighborhood Revitalization Program Coordinator at Habitat for Humanity, Greater San Francisco.

Haman
Peter Haman '08
Senior Relationship Manager at Bridge Bank

Peter Haman, 2008, is the Senior Relationship Manager at Bridge Bank, San Francisco. 

Anselj
Tony Ancelj '04
Deputy General Counsel at EVERFI, Washington, DC

Tony Ancelj, 2004, earned an M.S. in International Relations at the London School of Economics, and a J.D. degree from the Catholic University of America. He is Deputy General Counsel at EVERFI, Washington, DC.

Boltz
Natalie Boltz '06
Director of Operations for Italics Winegrowers

Natalie Boltz, 2006, is the Director of Operations for Italics Winegrowers in Napa, CA.

Jaime Raul Zepeda
Jaime Raul Zepeda '08
Regional Manager at Talent Solutions

MBA from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business. Regional Manager at Talent Solutions, San Francisco. Candidate for California State Senate District 10.