Under the direction of Dr. Zachary Green, a core faculty of academics and professional coaches offers a wealth of expertise in leadership studies and community change to our Urban Leadership Fellows Program at USD. Together and individually, they work closely with the RISE Fellows as they learn and grow under the program’s adaptive change leadership approach.


Grace has been a higher education professional for fourteen years and currently teaches in the Leadership Studies Minor at the University of San Diego. Prior to moving to academic affairs, she worked in student affairs at UC San Diego where she facilitated seminars on communication and leadership skills, and she has also worked in the areas of student activities, governance, and organizations. Grace expanded her work into social media and currently serves as the social media coordinator on the Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education, NASPA Region VI Advisory Board. She has conducted several workshops on the use of social media as a professional communication tool for students and professionals in higher education and has published a chapter on social media and technology for the NASPA monograph, Beginning Your Journey.


Alexis is a Harvard-trained conflict resolution practitioner with a background in Person-Centered Approach (PCA) therapy, the hallmarks of which include living in the present rather than the past or future with organismic trust, naturalistic faith in one’s own thoughts and the accuracy in one’s feelings, and responsible acknowledgment of one’s freedom with a view toward participating fully in our world and contributing to other people’s lives. In addition to his practice, Alexis lectures at San Diego State University and is the founder of Notes to Our Sons and Daughters and My Sister’s Voice.


Diane is the director of the Sixth College Practicum program and a lecturer in leadership and public rhetoric at UC San Diego and a graduate adjunct professor of leadership theory and practice at George Washington University. Her extensive training and consultation experience in the areas of strategic planning, leadership development and coaching, conflict resolution, organizational cultural change, team building, and improved communication includes consulting to the Montgomery County government system, serving as an ombudsperson/consultant at the U.S. Capitol, and working as a senior fellow at the University of Maryland’s James McGregor Burns Academy of Leadership. She is a certified associate and group consultant at the A.K. Rice Institute for the Study of Social Systems and the Washington-Baltimore Center for Group Relations, as well as a consulting associate for the Elson Consulting Group. Before moving to California, she served on the faculty of Trinity University and George Mason University. Diane received her doctorate from Howard University with a specialization in organizational communication and social psychology.


Leah has a diverse background that includes small business development, fundraising, and marketing and communications in the areas of cultural, community, and public relations. Her exemplary career in the arts encompasses everything from public arts management, to visual and performing arts program development and consultation, to the creation and implementation of award-winning, community-based public art, art-in-education, and arts-in-hospital programs. Leah is a published writer and poet who believes that the arts are a universal tool for healing.


Zachary is a professor of Practice in Leadership Studies at the University of San Diego and the lead faculty for the RISE Urban Leadership Fellows Program. Trained as a clinical and community psychologist, he received his doctorate from Boston University and completed advanced clinical training at Cambridge Hospital/Harvard Medical School and organizational consultation through the Wharton Center for Applied Research. As an organizational consultant, Zachary’s clients have included multinational corporations, government agencies, university departments, religious institutions, and nonprofit organizations. He is a leadership coach for the World Bank and a co-founder of IMAGO Global Grassroots, an organization using a participatory, co-creative model to address the generational issues of poverty in international development. His career highlights include serving on the dialogue development team for the President’s Commission on Race, conducting leadership training on five continents, and leading a multi-year process for emerging leaders of Northern Ireland in advance of the Good Friday Accord.


Carlos is a senior clinical psychologist with the County of San Diego’s Juvenile Forensic Services STAT Team. Tasked with creating and providing innovative, community-based services to youth in detention or who are otherwise involved in the juvenile justice system, he has applied his clinical, group-relations, leadership, and community activist experience to educate, advocate for, and be part of the empowerment of these youth. An adherent to the idea of “faith without works is dead,” he brings committed action to the development of peaceful, loving relationships among all of San Diego’s individuals, families, and communities, with specific interests in gang redirection work, violence intervention, and restorative justice issues among youth. Carlos is a co-creator of Group Relations International and director of its Youth Empowerment Services initiative. He received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology and a BA from UC San Diego. He has been providing community consulting and clinical services in San Diego for twenty-five years.