Patty Debenham wearing a blue dress

Patty Debenham


Patty Debenham joins Berkeley Haas having most recently served as Interim Executive Director at the Center for Psychedelics.

“Over the last year, I have helped stand up the Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics—a basic research and public education effort started by Michael Pollan and five other faculty. Before that, I led the strategic plan for Nobel Prize winner and Berkeley faculty Jennifer Doudna’s Innovative Genomics Institute. I am hooked on the power of the world’s top public university to challenge the status quo.

But, in many respects coming back to Haas is coming home. The Center for Social Sector Leadership and the Center for Responsible Business were my very first clients when I started as an independent consultant 12 years ago. I am thrilled to be back “home” at Haas. I can’t wait to meet the students and connect them to my social impact network. We all need their optimism and talents to add rocket fuel to the power of business to scale good.”

Eric Cortez

Administrative Assistant (2021-2022)

Eric is one of the Center for Social Sector Leadership’s newest team members, but he joins the Berkeley Haas community with years of experience in the field of advocacy work and civic engagement. Since 2014, Eric served on the City of Fairfield Youth Commission; for many of those years, he also served as the Chairman for the Commission. Beyond the Youth Commission, Eric has worked with nonprofit organizations, such as the Solano Children’s Network, to ensure that the voices of youth in the community are amplified. As a Fairfield, California native, Eric has used his own experience in civic engagement to take his representative roles a step further through the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District (F.S.U.S.D.). He was appointed as the 2020-2021 Student Governing Board member, where he represented all students in the school district. From this position on the governing board, to other advisory bodies within the school district, to representing Assemblymember Tim Grayson in the field, Eric has used his leadership positions to ensure that the voices of his fellow community members are just as heard as his own.

Eric is a second-year student at UC Berkeley, on-track to graduate with Bachelor’s degrees in French and Political Science by Spring 2023.

Joyce Chiang

Administrative Assistant (2021-2022)

Joyce is a first-year intending to major in Business Administration. She joined CSSL as her values of social impact align with the center. Joyce manges digital designs, marketing strategies, and external outreach. Prior to joining Berkeley, Joyce attended an international school in Taiwan, where she was exposed to diverse cultures and backgrounds. Joyce hopes to overcome cultural barriers while maximizing social welfare.

Michelle Son

Administrative Assistant (2021-2022)

Michelle is a third-year undergraduate studying Economics with a minor in Data Science. Her experiences span start-up and nonprofit industries. Michelle has been and is currently involved in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, along with youth mentoring. She hopes to contribute to CSSL’s efforts of advancing social change.

Sunnie Wu

Administrative Assistant (2021-2022)

Sunnie is a third-year undergraduate student double majoring in Business Administration and Society & Environment. Passionate about sustainability and social impact work, she worked in various student organizations and has professional experience in waste management, real estate, and informational technology to explore the intersectionality of sustainability and business. At CSSL, Sunnie manages the website and marketing strategies to expand our social impact. With this, she continues to explore the intersection of business and social impact opportunities.

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