Meet the Board


Arnold Perkins, Chair

Arnold Perkins retired as director of the Alameda County Public Health Department in Oakland, a position he held since 1994. As director of the Alameda County Health Department, which has a budget of $105 million and more than 600 employees, Perkins provided leadership and management of the department’s administrative, program and policy activities, Perkins led the development of 10 community health teams throughout Alameda County. Through these teams, community health nurses, health educators, nutritionists and other health professionals work in the community offering individual and population service delivery as well as community capacity building. His back ground includes such varied positions as high school teacher, counselor, and principal; non profit organization executive director; family counselor and advocate; foundation program officer; college teacher and administrator; and restaurant owner and operator. He is an experienced speaker and facilitator, especially in the areas of organizational change, team building, creative leadership, community development and group dynamics. He has received many awards and recognitions for his community work from groups including the United Way of the Bay Area, the Center for Independent Living and the San Francisco Foundation.


Maria Casey

Maria Campbell Casey is the Executive Director of Partnership for the Public’s Health and the Director of Healthy Eating, Active Communities (HEAC), a program of the California Endowment in partnership with Kaiser Permanente. Formerly, she was Executive Director of the Program Office for the Partnership for the Public’s Health initiative. Before joining the Public Health Institute in 1999, Ms. Casey was President and CEO of the Oakland based Urban Strategies Council, a research, policy development and advocacy organization focused on reducing persistent poverty. While at the Council, she also directed the National Community Building Support Center. She brings over 35 years of experience working with local community residents and diverse partners in education, government, business, community organizations, public health, the faith arena and philanthropy to build healthy vibrant communities and improve outcomes for our most vulnerable children and families. She is a graduate of Morgan State University, and Harvard University where she received Masters Degrees in French and Education.


Dr. Arnold Chavez

Arnold Chavez, Ed.D. is the Director of the Male Involvement Program (MIP) for the Alameda County Public Health Department where he is a part of a joint effort in addressing a myriad of health and safety issues impacting the diverse communities of Alameda County and ensuring each community’s access to available resources through education, community development and information dissemination.

In his spare time, Dr. Chavez, through different organizations, speaks to parents about developing better parenting and communication skills for a stronger family unit and more confident and successful children. He strongly believes that “The family is the building block for whatever solidarity there is in society.” as aptly stated by Jill Ruckelshaus.


Alona Clifton

Alona has over 35 years of activism and engagement in political, social and economic grassroots efforts. Her activism centers on providing better access, opportunity, and equity to African Americans in particular and to the greater community as a whole. Her desire to be involved and to be an active participant in social justice was shaped in the movements of the 1960’s during her teenage years.

She has spent many years employed in areas that have allowed her activism to continue to flourish. Vanguard Public Foundation employed Alona as the Director of the Grants Program. Prior to that position She was Chief of Staff to Alameda County Supervisor Carson for over seven years. She was a public official as an elected member to the Peralta Community College Board of Trustees. Currently Alona is a consultant to both non-profits and for-profits.


George H. Pressley

George Pressley has over 35 years experience as a senior human resource professional with global compensation design and management experience with significant experience in the management of benefits, HRIS, labor relations, and employee relations programs.

George’s non-profit experience includes volunteer and mentor with The Mentoring Center; volunteer interviewer for the University of California, Berkeley’s Incentive Awards Program, a scholarship program for high-achieving students from limited socio-economic backgrounds; Martin Luther King, Jr. Center – Atlanta, GA – organizational analyses and development of salary structure and ranges; and the Congressional Black Caucus – Washington, D.C. – organizational analyses. Mr. Pressley is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley with a B.S. in Business Administration and received certificates from San Jose State University Professional Development Center – Oracle 8 DBA; and the University of California, Berkeley – Business Intelligence and Data Warehousing.


Dr. Victor Rubin

Dr. Rubin, Vice President of Research at PolicyLink, leads knowledge-building, evaluation, and qualitative and quantitative analysis activities to build a strong research base for PolicyLink. Recently, he has been particularly deeply involved in analyses of equity issues in infrastructure, and in strategies to address health disparities through improvements to the built environment. Rubin previously directed the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of University Partnerships, and served as a director of the University-Oakland Metropolitan Forum, a partnership based at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was also an adjunct associate professor of city and regional planning. Rubin holds a BA in public affairs from the University of Chicago, and an MCP and PhD in city and regional planning from UC Berkeley.