Joint Powers Authority Board

The JPA Board provides oversight to the general operations and governance of the Center, giving its approval to all major expenditures, appointments and strategic decisions.

The JPA Board may have a total of 23 Directors consisting of: 9 representatives appointed (3 each) by the three JPA Public Agency partners: City of OaklandOakland Unified School District, and East Bay Regional Park District; 2 appointees from the Eastbay Astronomical Society and 1 appointee from the Alameda County Office of Education. One seat on the board is also reserved for a representative of Chabot Space & Science Center Volunteers and the remaining seats are public.

Directors serve for a term of 3 years and there is no limitation to the number of terms a Director may serve.

Officers

Mary Ellen Tong (EBRPD), Chair
Business Consultant

 

Mary Ellen has been on numerous nonprofit boards and taken many community roles. Mary Ellen was a member of the Oakland Zoo Board and served as their president. At the Zoo, Mary Ellen helped initiate and fundraise for the zoo expansion and new veterinary hospital. She then served on their Foundation Board. Mary Ellen has also participated in other Oakland nonprofit boards including: Children’s Fairyland board, Elizabeth House board and as an appointed park commissioner for the City of Oakland.

Mary Ellen is a Certified Public Accountant with expertise in Finance and Management. She began her career working for Ernst and Ernst and Forbes CPA firms. After, she worked for 10 years at Wells Fargo Bank serving as Senior Vice President and divisional Chief Financial Officer for their commercial real estate lending, bank owned property, and leasing divisions and subsidiaries. Mary Ellen then worked in the business consulting industry with Robert Cliff and Associates and worked on numerous corporate projects throughout the bay area.

Mary Ellen lives with her husband Bryant in Oakland. She has two children. Mary Ellen enjoys playing golf with groups in Oakland, Santa Cruz and Berkeley.

Fred Patton, Treasurer
Retired CFO

 

Fred Patton is a retired CFO with a long career of financial management in a variety of technology, software development,  manufacturing, distribution and service companies.

He has worked with companies that are local, national and multinational entities; from development stage to turn-around to mature and profitable, and with operational staffs ranging from 3 to over 125. Fred’s experience has included working with private, venture backed, and non-profit (501.c.3) organizations, some of which have never raised outside capital, as well organizations that have raised significant amounts through equity and/or debt whether from the venture community, lending institutions, and/or grantors.

Fred holds an MBA, an MS and BS from Stanford University. He is an Oakland resident and a long time supporter and volunteer at Chabot.

Committee Chairs

Fred Patton, Finance
Retired CFO

 

Fred Patton is a retired CFO with a long career of financial management in a variety of technology, software development,  manufacturing, distribution and service companies.

He has worked with companies that are local, national and multinational entities; from development stage to turn-around to mature and profitable, and with operational staffs ranging from 3 to over 125. Fred’s experience has included working with private, venture backed, and non-profit (501.c.3) organizations, some of which have never raised outside capital, as well organizations that have raised significant amounts through equity and/or debt whether from the venture community, lending institutions, and/or grantors.

Fred holds an MBA, an MS and BS from Stanford University. He is an Oakland resident and a long time supporter and volunteer at Chabot.

Paul Chapman (EBRPD), Nominating
Executive Director, Inverness Associates

 

Paul Chapman is the executive director of Inverness Associates, an educational consulting group that supports schools in sustainability, global education, strategic planning, and leadership development. He is especially interested in promoting “green” schools that embrace environmental sustainability in their facilities, operations and program. Since 2010 he has served as a visiting scholar at Stanford and UC Berkeley and published two books, Greening America’s Schools and Greening America’s Schools 2.0 (NAIS 2012, 2013). He is the author of Growing Connections: California Private Schools and Informal Environmental Education (2013). He also published Schools as Sorters: Lewis M. Terman, Applied Psychology, and the Intelligence Testing Movement, 1890-1930 (New York: NYU Press, 1988).

Previously, he served as Head of School at the Head-Royce School in Oakland, CA, and before that as Assistant Head at San Francisco University High School and Associate Director of Admissions at Reed College in Portland, OR. Raised near Chicago, he received a B.A. in history from Yale and an M.A. in American history and a Ph.D. in the history of education from Stanford.

He has served on a number of boards and is a frequent speaker on topics ranging from environmental sustainability to strategic planning.  He lives in Berkeley and enjoys reading, fishing, traveling and hiking with his Golden Retriever.

Directors

Hon. Annie Campbell Washington (COO)
Vice Mayor, City of Oakland & Councilmember, District 4

 

Annie is the Vice Mayor for the City of Oakland and Councilmember for District 4. She chairs the Life Enrichment Committee and serves as a member of the Finance & Management Committee and the Community & Economic Development Committee. Before being elected to City Council, Annie was the District 4 School Board Member for the Oakland Unified School District.

During Annie’s 12 year career in Oakland, she held a variety of leadership roles, including Chief of Staff to Mayor Jerry Brown, Chief of Staff to Mayor Jean Quan, Assistant to three City Administrators, Chief of Staff to the Fire Chief, and Budget and Policy Analyst. She served as the Director of Operations & Special Projects at the Stuart Foundation in San Francisco and as Executive Director of the I Have A Dream Foundation in Pittsburgh, PA.

Annie holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Management/Graphic Communications Management from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA.

Annie currently serves on the Board of Directors of Safe Passages and the Alameda County Transportation Commission.

John Currie (EAS)
Retired Information Technology Specialist

 

John Currie is a retired Information Technology specialist. He has 35 years of experience in computer systems management, networking systems, software development, back office server management and co-location facilities management.
Although he is originally from the East coast, John has lived in the Bay Area for more than 25 years. He has been a Chabot member since 2001 and Chabot volunteer since retiring in 2010. As a volunteer at Chabot, John has been trained on and operates all of the observatory deck telescopes. John is an avid amateur astronomer and is an active member of EAS. He participated with Chabot, EAS and Oakland Firefighters at the Random Acts of Science (RAS) events and, with his own telescope, he frequently participates in EAS Outreach events at local schools and organizations.

Michael Levi, Ph.D. (EBRPD)
Senior Lead Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

 

Michael Levi serves on the CSSC JPA board and on the CSSC board Executive Committee as the previous JPA Chair. Michael is a practicing experimental astrophysicist and elementary particle physicist. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1984 and his B.A. from Harvard College in 1977. Currently, he is a Senior Lead Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and a Senior Space Fellow at the University of California Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory. He is the director of the Department of Energy’s Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), a $56M experiment currently in fabrication to study the mystery and nature of dark energy. Michael was awarded Fellow of the American Physical Society for his work on electronic instrumentation for particle physics experiments. Michael has held positions in the past at Stanford University, CERN (the European accelerator laboratory), and the Naval Research Laboratory. For relaxation, Michael is an avid skier, plays tennis, kayaks, and enjoys backpacking in the Sierras. He and his wife (also an astrophysicist) live in Oakland.

Janet Macher (Public)
Retired Public Health Researcher

 

Janet Macher serves on the CSCC board as the Chabot volunteer representative. She retired from the California Department of Public Health in 2015, but continues to conduct research there as a volunteer. Janet has a master ‘s degree from the University of California and doctorate from Harvard University with emphasis on environmental health, public health, and microbiology. Janet is a fellow of the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate. She has studied engineering measures to control airborne infectious and hypersensitivity diseases, evaluated methods to collect and identify airborne particles of biological origin, and participated in epidemiological studies of children’s health in the state of California. Originally from St. Louis, MO, Janet has lived in Oakland for over 30 years.  She was married to David A. Freedman until his death in 2008 and enjoys spending time with his children and grandchildren.

Hon. Dick Spees (Public)
Retired-Councilmember, City of Oakland

 

Hon. Dick Spees was elected six times and served nearly 24 years on Oakland’s City Council, representing the Montclair and Laurel districts, before retiring in January 2003. He earned a reputation as a consummate consensus builder, someone who could be relied upon to broker compromises. In the private sector, Dick was with Kaiser Aluminum for 32 years, retiring as vice president of public affairs. Since then, he has worked as a government relations consultant, representing clients on education, economic, and environmental issues. He is a former chairman of the Alameda County Republican Party. Dick was a driving force in the creation of the new Chabot Space & Science Center and one of its founding board members.

Gerald McKeegan (EAS)
Space Systems Program Manager, Orcon Corporation

 

Gerald McKeegan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from California State University, Hayward, and he holds a Master of Science degree in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota. He has held management positions in the aerospace industry for more than 30 years, and is currently the Space Systems Program Manager for Orcon Corporation. During his career, Gerald has been involved with numerous spacecraft projects, including the Space Shuttle, Cassini, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Solar B, Juno and many others. He was awarded the NASA “Silver Snoopy” award by the Johnson Space Center Astronaut Office for his work in support of the Post-Challenger Space Shuttle Return to Flight program.

Gerald McKeegan is a lifelong resident of the Bay Area. He has been an active Chabot volunteer since the year 2000, and a member of the Eastbay Astronomical Society since 2002. He is one of Chabot’s senior telescope operators, working every weekend to support the public observing program, as well as many Chabot special events.

Gerald also heads Chabot’s Asteroid Search Program, and has made more than a thousand asteroid observations using the 36-inch telescope. In addition, he serves as a Chabot contact for media inquiries, often doing broadcast interviews about space or astronomy events, especially those involving asteroids or meteors.

Hon. Jean Quan

Former Mayor, City of Oakland

 

Jean Quan was the first Asian American woman to be elected to the Oakland City Council and the first female Mayor of Oakland. A champion of preserving and expanding education and after school programs, Jean was also one of the first Asian Americans to be elected to the Oakland Unified School District Board of Education where she served for 12 years and was a past President. She also serves on numerous boards and commissions including the California League of Cities, the Association of Bay Area Government, the Local Government Commission, and the Council of Urban Boards of Education of the National School Board Association. Jean was one of the founding members of Chabot Space & Science Center and currently serves as one of the City’s representatives.

Jean helped found Asian American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and studied Chinese at Yale University in China. She is a National Kellogg Foundation Fellow. She has been married to Dr. Floyd Huen for over 40 years and they have raised their family in Oakland for the last 30 years.

Joaquin Rivera (ACOE)
Trustee, Alameda County Board of Education

 

Joaquin Rivera has a distinguished career of public service having served on the Berkeley School Board, for twelve years before being elected as a trustee to the Alameda County Board of Education in 2010. During his tenure on the Berkeley School Board he served for three terms as President and three as Vice-President of the Board and distinguished himself in the areas of academic quality, student achievement, and fiscal responsibility.

Joaquin has served as President of the Skyline College Academic Senate and as President and Chief Negotiator of the San Mateo Community College Federation of Teachers, AFT 1493, AFL-CIO. He was Vice-President of the California Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO. Joaquin is a graduate of University High School in Puerto Rico. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Sciences in Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez. He earned a Master of Sciences in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley and is currently Chemistry professor at Skyline College, San Bruno.

Joaquin was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Both of his parents, Iris Contreras and Jose Rivera, are retired public school teachers. He has a younger brother, Victor, who lives in Puerto Rico. He lives in Berkeley with his spouse Joel Cohen, the Policy Director for an oral health non-profit organization.

Sara Stone (OUSD),
Network Superintendent

 

Sara Stone grew up in Oakland and attended Oakland Unified Schools. She has dedicated her life to creating a safe place where students can be successful and productive learners, while promoting equitable access to curriculum has been her number one goal as an educator. She has worked as an educator for the past 20 years, having taught in Redwood City, been the Design Team Leader and founding principal at RISE Community School in Oakland, the principal of Redwood Heights Elementary School, Network 1 Deputy Superintendent, and most recently the Network Superintendent for OUSD. She has worked to influence the creation of an environment where students of all socio-economic backgrounds, ethnicities, and ability levels are empowered to make informed decisions, are able to develop their own particular learning style, and are able to meet challenging academic content and performance goals. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons, hiking and enjoying the natural world.

Leo Wong
Payments Compliance, Facebook

 

Leo Wong is a graduate of California State University, East Bay where he obtained a BS in Business Administration, options in Accounting and Finance. He works at Facebook in Menlo Park where he is leading a variety of projects and a team related to Customer Experience, Legal Operations, Process Improvement and Automation. Prior to joining Facebook, Leo worked at Google as a Finance Operations Manager.

Leo has been a volunteer at Chabot since he joined the Galaxy Explorer program in 2006 and while at college he continued to participate in the program during the summer months. In the summer of 2008 he became a Team Leader for the Galaxy Explorer program managing a team of 15 teen interns, facilitating their safe participation in activities that aligned to their interests and abilities.

Leo is currently a resident of San Jose and his interests include: Cycling, Photography, Technology, and Education.