Student Advisory Board

CSSL’s Student Advisory Board provides the center with feedback on how to better serve students, help connect CSSL programming to the student body, provide the opportunity to network with our non-student advisors, and when possible, provide help on specific projects that CSSL has underway.
The Advisory Board meets 1-2 times per semester to provide feedback in a relaxed and informal setting.

How to Apply

We accept 6-8 new student advisors from among Haas students and other graduate student programs across the Berkeley campus every academic year.

The application process is simple. Please send your resume and *very brief* (1 paragraph) answers to the following questions:
1. Why are you interested in being a member of the CSSL Student Advisory Board?
2. What would you be most interested in doing if you were to be accepted as one of our student advisors?


The Net Impact graduate student chapter works very closely with the Center for Social Sector Leadership to run our programs, specifically Berkeley Board Fellows. As part of this collaboration, Net Impact has a Vice President-level position that works directly with CSSL.


Prospective Students

If you’re thinking about pursuing a business degree or even if you just want to look around, the Haas Student Ambassadors Program is the place to start. As the student arm of the admissions office, it provides the student perspective to campus visitors. The Student Ambassadors Program’s mission is to ensure that all prospective students’ visits to Haas are informative, positive, well coordinated, and as interactive as possible.

Learn more at

Fall 2019 - Spring 2020 Student Advisory Members

Kyle Ames

Kyle is an Air Force veteran with a background in nonprofit leadership, social work and state public policy.  Most recently, he advised the Governor of Wisconsin on fiscal and social policy pertaining to public healthcare management.  Prior to that, he served as a coordinator for a housing program in Alaska that helped homeless youth find stable housing and develop sustainable careers.  As a CSSL Advisory Board member he is most excited to provide opportunities for UCB students to learn how to create social impact in their community and develop business acumen centered around the social sector.

Contact Kyle via LinkedIn.

Camila Astorga

Camila is a lawyer from Chile, specialized in public-law, highly regulated industries, and public policy design. Prior to the Goldman School, she earned a Masters in Law degree with a specialization in public interest and social justice from UC Berkeley. Before coming to the United States, Camila was a legal advisor for the Legislative Unit of the Ministry of Finance in Chile, where she performed research for policy design over various sectorial matters, drafted bills of law for their enactment, and conducted analysis on their effects. As to her US-based experience, she has been working with the UC Berkeley Labor Center on the City of Oakland Construction Workforce Demographics Project – a research effort to assess Project Labor Agreements as a tool for maximizing the employment of local residents in public works. As Camila joins the CSSL student advisory board this year, she looks forward to identifying opportunities for collaboration and connecting students from different disciplines with private and public organizations to create social impact across sectors.

Contact Camila via LinkedIn.

Kelly Cure

Kelly is a first year MBA student at Haas, relocating back to the USA after the past seven years working abroad as an independent renewable energy and economic development consultant. Kelly started her career as a management consultant, before pivoting into social impact consulting and entrepreneurship. Most recently Kelly worked in Swaziland (Eswatini) where she was the Head of Strategic Initiatives for Montigny Investments, the largest sustainable forestry company in Southern Africa. She also started a community forestry business linking under-served communities with access to export markets. She recently consulted to C&A Foundation in Switzerland on net impact in strategic markets.

Contact Kelly via LinkedIn.

Ellen Kimball

Ellen is passionate about social impact and improving access to high-quality education and career opportunities. Before starting at Haas, Ellen worked for 5 years at Year Up, a workforce development nonprofit, where she most recently oversaw program quality in the Bay Area. Prior to that, she lived in Berlin, Germany, where she taught English and studied Linguistics.

Contact Ellen via LinkedIn.

Laura Mandel

Laura is a Master of Public Affairs (MPA) student at the Goldman School of Public Policy with a decade of experience at the intersection of media, partnerships and social impact. Most recently, she served as Senior Director of Partnerships at News Deeply, a new media company that builds content and community platforms around critical topics. Prior to that, she worked at The New York Times, where she managed syndication and licensing partnerships with publishers around the world. Laura is passionate about human rights and philanthropy and currently serves on the International Board of the Abraham Initiatives and the New Generations Board of the New Israel Fund. As a CSSL student advisor, she is excited about expanding ways for students to meaningfully engage in leadership opportunities with nonprofits, as well as in personal or collective charitable giving.

Contact Laura via LinkedIn.

Ruth Marcus

Ruth has eight years of experience in nonprofit fundraising and management in the Bay Area, as well as international experience as a Fulbright Scholar in Tunisia and a brief stint in Hollywood producing TV documentaries. She came to Haas to broaden her personal and professional impact, and to help nonprofits increase their business acumen. She is excited to work with CSSL in strengthening nonprofits and their genuine connections to the business world.
Contact Ruth via LinkedIn.

Michelle Poon

Michelle is an MBA student at the Haas School of Business and brings over ten years of fundraising and product management experience in the education and technology sector.  Prior to Haas, Michelle worked at education nonprofit organizations strategizing how to leverage cloud-based CRM solutions to increase transparency and create actionable insights for its leadership teams.  Her interest in data and technology eventually led her to product roles at various software companies including Adobe Inc. where she led product strategy, development, and growth capacity initiatives for its global advertising cloud solutions.  A proud “double bear”, Michelle plans to continue to “Challenge the Status Quo” upon completing her MBA and apply her product management experience to help K-12 educators utilize software technology to drive better student outcomes.

Contact Michelle via LinkedIn.

Adolfo Quesada

As a first year MBA student, Adolfo was attracted to Haas mainly because of its commitment and leadership in the social impact scene. Before Haas, Adolfo worked for 5 years in Strategy Consulting at Deloitte, with a focus on the Healthcare/Pharma and Financial Services industries, including impact projects in microfinance in Ecuador and healthcare/wellbeing access in Sweden and Colombia. Passionate about the intersection of finance and non-profit management, Adolfo is enrolled at some Haas flagship programs such as Berkeley Board Fellows, Impact Investing Practicum and IBD (with social focus). As he joins the Student Advisory Board of CSSL this year, he is mostly excited about learning from top social sector leaders about best management practices, bringing the catalog of real-life experience impact courses to students while improving curriculums through their feedback, and communicating the image of Haas as a pioneer and key influencer in social impact.

Contact Adolfo via LinkedIn

Kalie Sacco

Kalie Sacco (MPA ’20) has spent her career supporting education research, development, and policy. She is the Chief of Staff in the Director’s office at the Lawrence Hall of Science (UC Berkeley’s public science center) where she leads and supports projects related to research, communication, business development, and organizational management. Prior to this role, Kalie served in a variety of capacities at the national level to connect, convene, and synthesize research and practice in STEM education at organizations including the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) and Coalition for Science After School. Kalie is active in the museum community and has served in a range of volunteer capacities for numerous professional organizations. Outside of work and school, Kalie works in fashion and personal styling.

Contact Kalie via LinkedIn.

Catherine Start

Prior to Haas, Catherine worked in sales, strategy and operations at growth-stage software companies. Most recently, she was an Innovation Manager at Commonwealth, where she focused on designing and developing products to promote financial inclusion. A Bay-Area native and Cal grad, Catherine returned to Berkeley to further explore the intersection of technology and social impact. She is excited to work with CSSL to identify ways students across all industries and sectors can engage in and promote social impact in their future careers.

Contact Catherine via LinkedIn.

Lale Tekisalp

Lale came to Berkeley Haas with a background in enterprise software and a desire to learn more about how technology can contribute to social impact. Prior to Haas, she spent five years at Microsoft, leading product marketing and marketing communications for the company’s cloud computing platform in the Middle East and Africa. Last summer, she interned at Benetech, a social enterprise that develops software for social good. She is currently working as a part-time consultant for the Partnership on AI, where she is focusing on how AI systems can be beneficial (or harmful) for different social issues. Joining the CSSL Student Advisory Board, Lale is excited to meet with social sector leaders and help develop learning opportunities at Haas about the evolving social impact landscape.

Contact Lale via LinkedIn.

Eileen Ung

Eileen comes to Berkeley Haas with 5+ years of experience in investment banking and corporate strategy within consumer and municipal finance.  As a child of refugees, helping multicultural communities gain access to opportunity has always been Eileen’s passion.  Through her civic endeavors leading the steering committee of Project by Project, a next-gen philanthropy incubator, serving as board fellow with Asian Pacific Community Fund, and mentoring under-resourced youth with the Riordan Programs, Eileen learned firsthand the importance of access, expertise, and capital – and the combination of all three – in building innovative and sustainable solutions. At Haas, Eileen serves as principal of the Haas Sustainable Investment Fund and is a Consortium Fellow advocating for strengthened DEI efforts in the MBA admissions process.  She is also an associate partner with Social Venture Partners Los Angeles, helping shape the curriculum of its systems-change accelerator as well as providing pro-bono advisory to nonprofit participants.

Contact Eileen via Linkedin.

Brett Waikart

Before enrolling at Berkeley Haas Brett spent more than a decade in the financial sector, first as a trader and later as a co-founded and Executive Director of the charity Portfolios with Purpose (PwP). PwP maintains a community of more than 15,000 members who have collectively raised more than $4 million in support of hundreds of global charities. Most recently Brett led the launch of, a public benefit corporation that aims to shape the future of the financial workforce by offering free financial education and professional job skilling to a diverse student population from around the world. Ask me how you can help!!

Contact Brett via LinkedIn.

Claire Wilke

Claire is an MPA student in the Goldman School of Public Policy and comes to Berkeley after working in the public sector in Flint and Detroit, Michigan. Her work mainly consisted of grant implementation focused on low-and moderate-income households, including those experiencing homelessness. Most recently, her work was on the development of permanent supportive housing. She enjoys working with organizations to maximize their potential impact to the community. As a member of the CSSL Advisory Board, Claire hopes to bring a policy lens and a different perspective from her Haas colleagues.

Contact Claire via LinkedIn.

Joseph Zhang

Joseph comes to Haas after 6 years in the social sector as a strategist and fundraiser. Most recently, he helped manage institutional giving at iMentor, a national education nonprofit helping students achieve college success. Before that, he helped a local volunteer center in Colorado expand its services statewide. He is also the founder and president of a startup nonprofit that trains underrepresented communities in media storytelling. As a CSSL Advisory Board Member, Joseph is excited to help shape the strategic direction of CSSL’s programs for countless stakeholders to come.

Contact Joseph via LinkedIn.

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