PPIC Research Affiliate

Kathleen Morris

Resident Scholar

Professor Kathleen Morris is the founder of California Public Counsel, a private law firm specializing in representing public entities. She taught for over a decade at Golden Gate University Law School, where she was a tenured professor, and has also taught at Yale, U.C. Berkeley, U.C. Davis, and Rutgers law schools. In 2006, she co-founded (with Dean Heather Gerken) Yale Law School’s “San Francisco Affirmative Litigation Project,” which flourishes today.

Professor Morris is a proud graduate of U.C. Berkeley Law School (J.D....

Sarah Bohn

PPIC Research Affiliate
Public Policy Institute of California

Sarah Bohn is vice president and John and Louise Bryson chair in policy research and senior fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California. She is also a member of the PPIC Higher Education Center. As vice president and chair in policy research, she works with PPIC staff to bring high-quality, nonpartisan research to important policy issues in California. Her own research focuses on the role of social safety net policy and education policy in alleviating poverty and enhancing economic mobility. Her other areas of expertise include immigration policy, the workforce skills gap, and...

Patricia Malagon

PPIC Research Affiliate

Patricia Malagon is a research associate at the Public Policy Institute of California, where she focuses on social safety net programs. Before joining PPIC, she worked as a research assistant at the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, where she analyzed racial disparities in program access and employment outcomes for CalWORKs participants. She holds a BA in political economy from the University of California, Berkeley.

Heather Harris

PPIC Research Affiliate
Public Policy Institute of California

Heather Harris is a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, where she examines criminal justice programs, practices, and policies. She has published research on the impact of cellmate relationships on reoffending and on the effects of domestic violence arrests on mortality in Criminology and the Journal of Experimental Criminology, respectively. Prior to joining PPIC, she was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, where her work focused on young men undergoing the transition to adulthood after prison. She and David J. Harding coauthored a...

Gokce Sencan

PPIC Research Affiliate

Gokce Sencan is a research associate at the PPIC Water Policy Center. Her research interests include water markets and climate-water policy interactions. Prior to joining PPIC, she worked on several projects, including water purchasing opportunities for environmental flows from retiring coal-fired power plants and the financial benefits of reducing carbon dioxide emissions through land-use interventions in California. She previously worked as an intergovernmental affairs intern at the United Nations Environment Programme in New York and as a climate change research intern at Istanbul...

Darriya Starr

PPIC Research Affiliate

Darriya Starr is a research associate at the PPIC Higher Education Center, where she researches K–12 education policy. Her work focuses on the challenges and achievements of California’s education system, as well as opportunities for improving the future for Californians. Prior to joining PPIC, she was a research assistant at the Harvard University Kennedy School Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Foundation, the Harvard University Economics Department, and the Harvard University Institute of Politics. Her past research has focused on students’ access to...

Tess Thorman

PPIC Research Affiliate

Tess Thorman is a research associate at the Public Policy Institute of California, where she studies poverty, inequality, and the social safety net. Recent projects have also focused on California’s stake in the 2020 Census. Before joining PPIC, she worked as a consultant with the Center for Migration Studies of New York, where she researched capacity for implementing a large-scale legalization program for undocumented immigrants. She holds an MPP from the University of Southern California and a BA with majors in English and musical studies from Oberlin College.

Julien Lafortune

PPIC Research Affiliate

Julien Lafortune is a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, where he specializes in K–12 education. His primary areas of focus include education finance, school capital funding policy, and educational tracking and stratification. He has published research on the impacts of school finance reforms on student achievement in the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

Daniel Payares-Montoya

PPIC Research Affiliate

Daniel Payares-Montoya is a research associate at the PPIC Higher Education Center. His research focuses on the impact of COVID-19 on California’s community colleges, English as a second language, and the relation between labor markets and higher education in California. Before joining PPIC, he worked as a consultant for the World Bank, concentrating on green growth and green finance in developing countries, and as a researcher at the Center for Latin American Studies, University of California Berkeley, focusing on the socio-economic and political impact of globalization and...

Caitlin Peterson

PPIC Research Affiliate
Public Policy Institute of California

Caitlin Peterson is associate director and research fellow at the PPIC Water Policy Center. She is an agroecologist whose research spans climate-smart agriculture, soil health, diversified cropping systems, agroecosystem resilience, and multi-benefit agricultural landscapes. In her previous work, she explored irrigation and soil ecosystem functions in California almond and tomato systems, crop-livestock integration in Brazilian soybean-beef systems, and small farmer adaptation to climate change in Colombia, Tanzania, and Ghana. As a consulting agroecologist, she led programs linking...