Staff

Janelle Orsi - Executive Director & SELC Co-FounderJanelle Orsi, Attorney at Law, SELC Co-Founder

Janelle is SELC's head Eagle, continually developing ideas, visions, and strategies for stronger, more resilient economies. She provides guidance and support to each program circle, and leads the Legal Profession in the New Economy program. She is also the Cartoonist-in-Chief, and her works can be found all over the SELC website, our Youtube Channel, and in highly coveted copies of her book, Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy (ABA Books 2012).  

SELC Program Areas

  • Lead: Legal Profession in the New Economy
  • Lead: Grassroots Finance
  • Support: Food
  • Support: Cooperatives
  • Support: Resilient Communities Legal Cafe
  • Support: Housing
  • Support: City Policies
  • Support: Community Currencies Program

 

 

SELC Operations Areas:                                    

  • Support: Grants 
  • Support: Administrative
  • Support: Internal Resilience 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More about Janelle: theselc.org/janelle_orsi


Neil Thapar - Food and Farm Attorney

Neil Thapar, Staff Attorney

Neil leads SELC’s Farmland and Food Programs. He is passionate about building collective power to recreate a healthy, just, and resilient food system. Neil’s definition of happiness is watching the sun rise over the city from a surfboard in the Pacific Ocean.

SELC Program Areas:                                           

  • Lead: Farmland
  • Lead: Food
  • Support: Water
 

 

SELC Operations Areas:

  • Support: Administrative
  • Support: Internal Resilience 

 

 

 

 

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Contact Neil at neil@theselc.org

More about Neil: theselc.org/neil_thapar 


Christina Oatfield - Policy Director  

Christina Oatfield, Policy Director, Legal Apprentice

Christina is a leader of SELC’s Food Program and she supports the Grassroots Finance Program. She also leads California state legislative campaigns in a variety of issue areas. While she is not yet licensed to practice law, her areas of expertise include food safety laws, agricultural laws, securities laws, and cooperative and nonprofit corporations.

SELC Program Areas:

  • Co-Lead: Food
  • Support: Grassroots Finance
  • Support: Farmland
 

 

 

 

Contact Christina at Christina@theSELC.org 

More about Christina: theselc.org/christina_oatfield

 


Cameron Rhudy - Staff Attorney

Meet our newest member! Rhudy! Rhudy! Rhudy! CAMERON RHUDY!Cameron leads SELC’s Fellowship Program, which supports lawyers building resilient local economies. She also provides legal support to the Grassroots Finance Program and the Resilient Communities Legal Cafe Program.

SELC Program Areas: 

  • Lead: Fellowship Program
  • Support: Grassroots Finance                         
  • Support: Legal Cafe
 

 

SELC Operations Areas:

  • Support: Nonprofit Administration

 

 

 

 

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Contact Cameron at cameron@theselc.org 

More about Cameron: theselc.org/cameron_rhudy


Yassi Eskandari-Qajar, Legal Apprentice, City Policies Director, Community Currencies Program DirectorYassi Eskandari-Qajar - Policy Director

Yassi leads SELC’s city and regional policy work, identifying municipal-level barriers to our vision and producing policy solutions that cultivate community resilience and economic empowerment. Yassi's primary areas of interest at SELC are cooperatives, energy, transportation, housing, and food. 

SELC Program Areas: 

  • Lead: Policy
  • Support: Community Renewable Energy         
  • Support: Housing
  • Support: Food
  • Support: Legal Profession
  • Support: Cooperatives
  • Support: Water

 

 

  SELC Operations Areas:

  • Support: Organizational Abundance

 

 

 

 

Contact Yassi at  yassi@theselc.org 

More about Yassi: theselc.org/yassi_eskandari 


Ricardo Samir Nuñez - Director of Economic Democracy

Ricardo Samir Nuñez, Cooperatives Program Director, Legal Apprentice

Ricardo coordinates SELC’s education, research, advocacy, and advice for equitable, democratic enterprises as SELC's Cooperatives Program Director. Programs and projects include the Worker Coop Academy, Co-opLaw.org, policy advocacy at the regional and state level, building a cooperative support ecosystem, and much more! Previously, Ricardo worked for the Peace Corps in Zambia and then with Our Place Housing Solutions coordinating homeless rehousing and eviction prevention services in southern Los Angeles county. Ricardo enjoys bodyboarding, cycling, traveling, and the ocean breeze. He is deeply committed to family, friends, and community.

SELC Program Areas: 

  • Lead: Cooperatives
  • Support: Resilient Communities Legal Cafe
  • Support: Legal Profession in the New Economy
 

 

SELC Operations Areas:

  • Support: Communications
  • Support: Organizational Abundance
  • Support: Internal Resilience

 

 

 

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Contact Ricardo at ricardo@theselc.org

More about Ricardo: theselc.org/ricardo_nunez 


coop_chris.jpg

Chris Tittle - Director of Organizational Resilience

Chris co-leads SELC’s Housing, Commons Governance, and Money & Finance Programs, and coordinates SELC’s grant writing, grassroots fundraising, and internal governance. He is particularly focused on participatory and polycentric governance structures for more just and resilient economies. He practices Aikido, is committed to racial justice, and once traveled from Japan to West Africa by land and sea.

SELC Program Areas: 

  • Co-Lead: Housing
  • Co-Lead: Commons Governance                            
  • Co-Lead: Money & Finance
  • Support: Farmland
  • Support: Water
  • Support: Incubator Circle

SELC Operations Areas:

  • Lead: Internal Resilience
  • Lead: Grants
  • Support: Grassroots Fundraising
  • Support: Financial Accountability
  • Support: Communications 

Contact Chris at chris@theselc.org

More about Chris: theselc.org/chris_tittle 


Eunice Kwon - Chief Operations Officer

Eunice Kwon - Director of Community Engagement

Eunice leads the internal operations of SELC and coordinates the Resilient Communities Legal Cafe. She also leads the Communications circle and is working to communicate SELC’s work effectively to a broad audience. She loves a good tomato. 

SELC Program Areas: 

  • Lead: Resilient Communities Legal Cafe                 
  • Support: City Policies

 

  

SELC Operations Areas:

  • Lead: Communications
  • Lead: Financial Accountability
  • Lead: Organizational Abundance
  • Lead: Administration

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Contact Eunice at eunice@theselc.org

More about Eunice at: theSELC.org/eunice


Sara Stephens, Staff Attorney

Sara Stephens - Housing and Cooperatives Attorney

Sara leads SELC’s Housing Program and contributes legal support to the Cooperatives and City Policies programs. She is committed to supporting community-led solutions to housing and economic inequity. She also likes running and gluten-free baking.

SELC Program Areas: 

  • Lead: Housing
  • Support: Cooperatives                                        
  • Support: City Policies

SELC Operations Areas:

  • Support: Financial Accountability
  • Support: Grants
  • Support: Administration

 


Contact Sara at sara@theselc.org

More about Sara at: theselc.org/sara_stephens


Subin Varghese - Community Renewable Energy Director

Subin Varghese bio or profile picture.jpgSubin leads the Community Renewable Energy Program, working to ensure that it is primarily communities, nonprofits, cooperatives, and households -- not large utilities -- that will own and control energy infrastructure as society transitions to renewable energy.

SELC Program Areas: 

  • Lead: Community Renewable Energy                   
  • Support: Grassroots Finance

 

SELC Operations Areas:

  • Support: Communications

   


Contact Subin at subin@theselc.org 

More about Subin at: theselc.org/Subin_Varghese

 


Elizabeth Burnett - Staff Attorney

Elizabeth Burnett, Funding Development Consultant

Elizabeth focuses on funding development and strategic partnership outreach for SELC in order to expand the breadth and types of community support for SELC as it grows and expands programs for community resilience and grassroots economic empowerment. Elizabeth also provides legal support to the Resilient Communities Legal Cafe Program.

SELC Program Areas: 

  • Support: Legal Cafe                                          

 

SELC Operations Areas:

  • Support: Grants 
  • Support: Abundance Circle

 


Contact Elizabeth at elizabeth@theselc.org

More about Elizabeth: theselc.org/elizabeth_burnett

 


Elizabeth Diamond - Legal FellowDIAMOND_ELIZABETH_1L.jpg

Elizabeth is a legal fellow at SELC with a focus on Rethinking the Legal Profession. She supports research that aims to identify needs and strategies for reorganizing the legal profession in ways that benefit both workers in the legal field and their broader communities. Elizabeth is particularly interested in making legal resources more accessible. In the coming year she also plans to support the Rethinking Home program and the City Policies program.

SELC Program Areas: 

  • Support: Rethinking the Legal Profession
  • Support: Housing          

 

 

Contact Elizabeth at ediamond@theselc.org

More about Elizabeth: theselc.org/elizabeth_diamond


2016 Summer Institute Interns

Jenna Shelton - Food Justice Intern

Jenna Shelton SELC Intern

Jenna is a Summer 2016 SELC intern. She is a rising senior at UC Berkeley studying conservation and resource studies and public policy. She is also passionate about finding policy solutions that support and empower resilient communities. Her primary interests at SELC involve community advocacy and empowerment, sustainable food systems, and decentralized energy systems. In her spare time, she enjoys kayaking, being in nature, and relaxing in the sun.

Contact Jenna at jshelton@theselc.org 

Adrien Salazar - Community Renewable Energy Intern

Adrien Salazar SELC InternAdrien Salazar is an environmental advocate, political ecologist, and poet receiving his Masters in Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Adrien is committed to supporting communities in shaping policy and managing their resources to achieve community resilience, empowerment, and self-determination. His work focuses on land and resource rights, and engagement of frontline and marginalized communities in resource management and policy. He has supported campaigns in the San Francisco Bay Area with the Filipino American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity and the Sierra Club Loma Prieta Chapter. He has also supported conservation of traditional agricultural practices among indigenous farmers in the Philippines.

As an intern for SELC, he is excited to work with the organization's community-owned energy and seed saving projects. He hails from San Jose, California and Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines. He enjoys running, yoga, mindfulness meditation, and growing heirloom vegetables.

Contact Adrien at asalazar@theselc.org

Ryan Gladych - Economic Justice & Community Development Intern

Ryan Gladych SELC intern

Ryan is a rising 2L at University of Wisconsin Law School where he plans to study housing and community economic development law as well as food and agricultural law. He is a California native, health and wellness enthusiast, novice urban gardener, and armchair philosopher. His passion for social and economic justice work began when he first volunteered at the Catholic Worker in Santa Ana, CA, where he realized that he felt most satisfied when being in service to others. After law school, Ryan intends to use his economic and legal training to support and advise mission driven businesses and entrepreneurs.

Ryan has come to SELC as a summer intern interested in learning how to use transactional law practice to promote social and economic justice work. He is inspired by SELC’s commitment to finding pragmatic solution within the law while providing a space for the transformation of current socioeconomic and political systems into systems which advance equity and justice for all.

Contact Ryan at rgladych@theselc.org

Jorge Tena - Economic Democracy Intern

Jorge_Tena SELC Inter

Jorge is a Summer 2016 SELC Intern and a rising 2L at Santa Clara University School of Law. He is interested in the relationship between law and capitalism and the emancipatory power of worker cooperatives. Jorge ran a food truck after college, bartended, and worked a series of other sales positions. He is passionate about worker’s rights and creating a future where everyone’s potential can be realized. At SELC, Jorge will assist clients as they form or restructure as worker cooperatives. In his free time he enjoys reading, eating great food, and spending time with his family. He was born in Cd. Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico and grew up in El Paso, TX.

Contact Jorge at jtena@theselc.org

Geoffrey Gilbert - Grassroots Finance Intern

Geoff Gilbert SELC Intern

Geoff is a Summer 2016 SELC Intern and a rising 2L at Georgetown University Law Center. He is passionate about economic democracy and community and individual empowerment. He believes that cooperation, not competition, is the way. Geoff has published reporting and analysis on US social movements and cooperative economics with Waging Nonviolence, In These Times and Truth-Out, among other publications. At SELC, Geoff’s primary interests include developing grassroots finance mechanisms, worker cooperatives, and democratic and decentralized renewable energy systems. In his free time, Geoff likes to walk around cities, read all kinds of books, and be surrounded by large trees, preferably on large mountains. He was born in Philadelphia, PA and grew up in Miami, FL.

 Contact Geoff at ggilbert@theselc.org


 

 

Find out who is on SELC's Board of Directors here

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Discover the amazing group of individuals on SELC's Advisors Board here