December 7, 2018
In Fall 2018, the SDSU School of Public Affairs celebrated its 50th anniversary by honoring 50 distinguished alumni. In Part II of our series, we look to SDSU Public Affairs alumni who have pursued careers in corporations, nonprofit organizations or who are entrepreneurs.
Ben G. Clay, PA 1968
Principal, Carpi & Clay (Retired)
Ben Clay is a retired principal with Carpi & Clay, a San Diego-based government relations firm with additional offices in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., Ben specialized in legislative and administrative advocacy in the state of California. Prior to establishing Carpi & Clay, Ben served as the director of the Intergovernmental Affairs Office, was the vice president of a development company, and a Captain in the U.S. Army Medical Service Corps. Ben is Chair of the USS MIDWAY Foundation and the San Diego River Conservancy. He is a past president and current member of the Rotary Club of San Diego and the San Diego Symphony. Ben is a board member of the SDSU Alumni Association and School of Public Affairs Task Force. Ben and his wife, Nikki, co-chaired the University’s Centennial Celebration in 1997, and were honored as SDSU’s 1998 Alumni of the Year. Ben and Nikki also fund an internship scholarship for public administration students.
Greg Smith, MPA 1973
Vice President of Operations, Pacifica San Diego Management
Greg Smith is the VP of Operations for Pacifica Companies’ multi-family division, Pacifica SD Management. In this role, Greg oversees day-to-day business functions of the division including optimizing asset performance of a portfolio of 55 locations. Greg also manages a team of more than 300. He brings over 30 years of experience in real estate and property management to the Pacifica team, and leads a robust department housing over 10,000 residents. Prior to joining Pacifica Companies in 2017, Greg served as the County of San Diego Assessor/Recorder/Clerk for 25 years. Greg taught at SDSU in the School of Public Affairs for 24 years and specialized in public finance. He remains active with his alma mater as a member of the School of Public Affairs Task Force and funds a scholarship for MPA students who are pursuing careers in local government management.
Gary London, MCP 1974
Senior Principal, London Moeder Advisors
Gary London is Senior Principal and founding partner of London Moeder Advisors, providing feasibility analysis, market research, strategic advice, and capital packaging for investors, lenders and developers. His work has resulted in the creation of numerous master planned communities and mixed use projects. He has served as a lecturer at UCSD, SDSU, Arizona State University, and the University of San Diego. Gary is featured in the San Diego Union Tribune’s weekly EconoMeter, and has appeared on CBS Evening News “Eye On America”. Gary has also testified before the House of Representatives Committee on Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs. In 1995, Gary was featured in the San Diego Business Journal’s “Who’s Who In San Diego”; and was honored as the San Diego Land Economics Society “Member of the Year” in 1996. In 2016, he was honored as one of the 100 Most Influential persons in San Diego by the San Diego Daily Transcript. Gary serves on the School of Public Affairs Task Force.
Kathy Patoff, MPA 1994
Chief Operating Officer, MUFG Union Bank Foundation
Kathy Patoff’s career at the intersection of public, private, and nonprofit sectors has focused on serving vulnerable, low-income, and multicultural populations. As Chief Operating Officer of the MUFG Union Bank Foundation, Kathy is charged with philanthropic strategy, systems transformation, collaborations leveraging the bank’s human capital, and measuring, monitoring and communicating results. Kathy joined MUFG Union Bank in 2004 following leadership positions in the nonprofit sector including Director of Government and Community Affairs for the Workforce Partnership and Community Affairs Director for the Children’s Initiative, an influential organization that advocates for the needs of low-income and underserved children. Kathy has also served as a Policy Director for the City of San Diego’s Mayor’s Office.
Mark Nelson, PA, ___
Regional VP, Sempra
Mark Nelson’s public and community service career in San Diego spans over four decades. For more than 25 years, he has held executive positions at SDG&E and Sempra where he currently serves as the Regional Vice-President, Director of Issues Management for Sempra LNG. Mark also served as the Executive Director of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association.
Mark’s service to the community includes being a member of the Government Affairs Committee of the San Diego Zoological Society; Board Member of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association; Board Member of the UCSD Economic Leadership Council, and the former President of the American Lung Association of San Diego and Imperial Counties. He has served on a variety of commissions and advisory boards for the City of San Diego including the Charter Review Commission.
Kim Rivero Frink, MPA 1994
Program Manager, County of San Diego (Ret’d)
Founder and President, SunCoast Market Co-op
Kim Rivero Frink served at the County of San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency for 17 years, and led program planning, community engagement, data analysis, and quality assurance for programs including Child Welfare Services, First 5 San Diego and Public Health.
In 2015, she became the Founder and President of SunCoast Market Co-op, a grassroots effort started by residents frustrated by the lack of neighborhood grocery stores offering quality, fresh, local and organic food, and an over-abundance of liquor stores and fast food restaurants. SunCoast, which will be the second food cooperative market in the county, will have over 1,000 members when it opens. Kim will use SunCoast as a model for other under-served communities to create community-owned healthy food ventures. Kim also launched the 21st Century Leaders Scholarship Program for college-bound high school seniors interested in careers in public service.
Lily Pandeya, MPA 2008
Director, Ministry of Railways, India
Lily Pandeya currently serves as the Ministry of Railways for the Government of India where she oversees 10 railway services and 17,200 employees. She has worked for various divisions of Indian Railways for 18 years. Lily is viewed among industry leaders as an expert in her field and has led seminars and training programs in Signapore, Malaysia, and China. Lily was a member of the Core Communications team for Rail Vikas Shivir, an exercise in crowd sourcing of ideas from within the organization to bring about a transformation of Indian Railways. Lily has been a regular guest speaker on various aspects of Indian society and culture for the Inter-Cultural Communications program at SDSU, and at training programs organized by National Board for Workers’ Education, Railway Zonal Training Centres, and the National Academy of Indian Railways. Lily co-authored a coffee table book titled Art and Railways, A Bangalore Saga, published in 2014.
Sadad Ali, PA 2008
Founder/Executive Director, African Coalition Workforce
Sadad Ali, who came from Somalia at age 9, founded the nonprofit organization African Coalition Workforce in 2000. His organization provides African refugees and immigrants in San Diego with workplace skills and employment related services to foster economic growth and self-sufficiency. Under Sadad’s leadership, the African Coalition Workforce has earned statewide recognition and attainment of funding from organizations including the California Endowment. Sadad has been active in many community organizations that serve under-represented populations including Mid-City CAN. Sadad was a Health Equity Fellow for the Greenlining Institute where he focused on developing pathway opportunities for disconnected youth and young men of color.
The content within this article has been edited by Lizbeth Persons.News List