31 Named to Foundation Public Policy Fellow Program

Flinn Foundation

The Arizona Center for Civic Leadership at the Flinn Foundation has selected 31 civic leaders for its Flinn-Brown Fellowship seminar series that will focus on public policy development within the national, state and local political landscape to address Arizona’s pressing socio-economic issues.

Four counties from across Arizona will be represented in the new cohort, with about a third of the Flinn-Brown Fellows from outside the Phoenix metro area, including Flagstaff, Kingman, Tucson, and for the first time, Vail.

The 2020 Flinn-Brown Fellows represent the private and public sectors in a variety of fields—business and industry, government, nonprofits, arts, and education—and hold a diversity of perspectives, experience, and policy interest.

The Fellowship’s 12 full-day seminars are scheduled to start in late August, with topics ranging from the economy, PreK-12 and higher education, public health, environment, criminal justice, communications and media relations and more. The annual Flinn-Brown Convention, scheduled for November, brings together Fellows from each cohort.

Presenters include highly experienced, subject-matter experts, including elected and appointed officials, judges, executives, scholars, and other administrators engaged in decision-making at the highest levels.

The competitive Flinn-Brown Fellowship offers unparalleled, rigorous learning about Arizona policy and politics; connections with top state leaders and policy experts; membership in the prestigious Flinn-Brown Network; and personalized long-term support for civic-leadership development.

Nearly 400 Flinn-Brown Fellows have now been selected since the nonpartisan Arizona Center for Civic Leadership at the Flinn Foundation was launched in 2011.

Shaping the Fellowship is Dawn Wallace, named by the Flinn Foundation in March as the second director of the center. Wallace is a public-policy expert and former state-government executive who has advised Republican and Democratic governors and guided policy development in both houses of the Arizona Legislature.

The center was created nearly a decade ago in large part as a response to the impact of the Great Recession on Arizona, with a vision of strengthening leadership at the state level. Through the Flinn-Brown seminars, Wallace said, the newest Fellows will grapple with the extraordinary confluence of health, economic, and social challenges facing Arizona in 2020.

“These 31 Arizonans ready to embark on the Flinn-Brown Fellowship will emerge with enhanced knowledge, networks, and inspiration to make a greater impact on the future of Arizona as dedicated civic leaders throughout the state at all levels of government,” Wallace said.

The 2020 Flinn-Brown Fellows were selected by a committee of Arizona leaders: Steven G. Seleznow, president and CEO, Arizona Community Foundation; Tom Betlach, partner, Speire Healthcare Strategies and former director of Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System; Maria Harper-Marinick, Ph.D., retired chancellor, Maricopa Community Colleges, Senior Fellow, College Excellence Program, The Aspen Institute; the Honorable Eileen Klein, 35th state treasurer of Arizona, former chief of staff, Gov. Jan Brewer, former president, Arizona Board of Regents; Rep. Daniel Hernandez Jr., Arizona House of Representatives, Jack Jewett Award Winner 2019; Eve Ross, J.D., retired lead health care counsel, medical products division, W.L. Gore & Associates, and community volunteer; Shaun Kirkpatrick, board member, Flinn Foundation and Thomas R. Brown Foundations; and Tammy McLeod, Ph.D., president and CEO, Flinn Foundation.

“The number of accomplished, diverse leaders eager to participate in the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership at the Flinn Foundation and play a more active role in our state made the selection process difficult, but left us with great hope and enthusiasm for the future,” McLeod said.

The Flinn Foundation is a Phoenix-based private, nonprofit, grantmaking organization, founded by Dr. Robert S. Flinn and Irene P. Flinn in 1965 with the mission, “To improve the quality of life in Arizona to benefit future generations.” Along with the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership and its Flinn-Brown Fellowship, the foundation supports the advancement of Arizona’s bioscience sector, the Flinn Scholars Program, and Arizona arts and culture organizations.

The Thomas R. Brown Foundations of Tucson is a partner in the Flinn-Brown program. It supports solutions to community and state issues through grants and educational programs in the areas of research and education, workforce development, civic leadership, and economics education.

2020 Flinn-Brown Fellows

(Listing includes name, position, and city of residence)


  • Daniel Palm: Associate Vice President, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff


  • Trevor Abarzua: Vice President of Business Attraction, Arizona Commerce Authority, Phoenix
  • Christian Baca: Service Design Lead, Maricopa County, Phoenix
  • Alexander Benezra: Assistant City Attorney III, City of Phoenix Public Defender’s Office, Phoenix
  • Carla Berg: Chief Strategy Officer, Arizona Department of Health Services, Phoenix
  • Quintin Boyce: Superintendent, Roosevelt School District, Chandler
  • Brent Burgett: Deputy Chief of Emergency Medical Services, Mesa Fire and Medical Department, Gilbert
  • Adam Deguire: Associate Vice President, Arizona State University, Mesa
  • Nicole Fries: Associate General Counsel, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, Phoenix
  • Katelyn Harris Lange: Search Advisor, Y Scouts, Phoenix
  • Reyna Montoya: CEO and Founder, Aliento, Gilbert
  • Christian Osmeña: Vice President for Enterprise Planning, Arizona State University, Tempe
  • Stephanie Parra: Executive Director, ALL in Education, Phoenix
  • Jill Pernice: Senior Manager of Operations, Arizona Department of Administration, Phoenix
  • Rebecca Perrera: Principal Fiscal Analyst, Joint Legislative Budget Committee, Arizona Legislature, Phoenix
  • Kate Radosevic: Food and Farm Initiatives Manager, Local First Arizona Foundation, Phoenix
  • Melissa Sanderson: President, Mel Sanderson Consulting, Phoenix
  • Jack Schwimmer: Manager of Donor Engagement, Heard Museum, Phoenix
  • Adelaida Severson: President, Bushtex Inc., Gilbert
  • Samuel Shapiro: Director of Strategy and Growth, Vista College Preparatory, Phoenix
  • Richie Taylor: Communications Director, Arizona Department of Education, Phoenix
  • Dajana Zlaticanin: Deputy Director of Communications, Arizona State Senate, Phoenix


  • Heather Patenaude: Director of Financial Aid, Mohave Community College, Kingman


  • Dennis Barger: Principal, Vail Academy and High School, Vail
  • Nicole Barraza: Director of Governance and Outreach, Southern Arizona Leadership Council, Tucson
  • Sean Goslar: Regional Manager of Immigration Services, Chicanos Por La Causa, Tucson
  • Ashley Hullinger: Research Analyst, University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center, Tucson
  • Brendan Lyons: Executive Director, LOOK Save A Life, Tucson
  • Yvette-Marie Margaillan: CEO and Clinical Director, ABA Consulting Group and Autism Pediatrics, Tucson
  • Stefanie Murphy: ATF Advisor, Raytheon Missiles and Defense, Tucson
  • Zachary Yentzer: Executive Director, Tucson Young Professionals, Tucson

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