Ingrid Mezquita, Executive Director
As Director of the Office of Early Care and Education (OECE), Ingrid’s aim is to advance policy in San Francisco’s early childhood system by focusing on equity and systems change to remove barriers for children farthest from opportunity. Prior to joining OECE, Ingrid’s work as the Executive Director of First 5 San Francisco included partnering with other county departments to identify strategies and best practices to disrupt racially inequitable early childhood programming and eliminate disparate outcomes.
For over 25 years, Ingrid has contributed to the City’s nonprofit and public sector in various capacities, including strategist, developer, director, adviser, consultant and board member. Ingrid has developed and managed multiple children and family services programs, including implementing Preschool for All, San Francisco’s universal preschool system to ensure children have access to high-quality preschool.
Ingrid is a native of San Francisco’s Mission community and a child of Salvadoran immigrants. Ingrid holds a Master of Business Administration from the Haas School of Business at University of California, Berkeley. In her spare time, she enjoys time with family, especially her young granddaughters.
Maya Castleman, Assistant to the Director
Maya Castleman serves as Assistant to the Director as well as the Citizen’s Advisory Committee Coordinator and Communications Manager at OECE. She has a background in office administration and administrative support roles as well as extensive experience in early childhood and youth music education.
Maya is a born-and-raised San Franciscan and University of San Francisco graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Public Administration.
Susanna Cheng, Fiscal Strategies Analyst
Susanna Cheng is the Fiscal Strategies Analyst at the San Francisco Office of Early Care Education (OECE). She has over 18 years of experience in working with child development programs and child care providers in the San Francisco Bay Area. Prior to joining the OECE, Susanna worked with child care providers directly to provide technical assistance on business capacity building and facility development through her employment at Wu Yee Children’s Services and Low Income Investment Fund.
Susanna is multilingual in English, Cantonese and Mandarin. She holds a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Science in Database Development from Golden Gate University.
Denise Corvino, Deputy Director
Denise Corvino joined OECE as Deputy Director in 2017. Denise first entered the Early Childhood Care and Education field as a volunteer for a family child care program in the Richmond District in 1990. Since then, she has enjoyed a multifaceted career that has included being a preschool teacher and serving as a Child Care Training Specialist, Chief of Child Care Licensing, and Head Start Child Development Manager. Her special areas of interest are early childhood environments and leadership development.
Denise holds a master’s degree in Early Care and Education and a bachelor’s degree in Child Development. She is a San Francisco native.
Graham Dobson, Senior Policy Analyst
Graham has served in his role supporting ECE policy at OECE since 2012. Prior to that he was the Coordinator of the San Francisco Child Care Planning and Advisory Council (CPAC), and served as a teacher, assistant director, program director and finally administrative coordinator at the Tenderloin Child Care Center (now known as Compass Children’s Center). Before relocating permanently to San Francisco in 1990, he worked as a classroom teacher in preschool classrooms and nursery schools in London for 6 years.
Graham completed a Master of Arts in Education at Mills College as part of the Leadership Program in Early Childhood, and holds a Bachelor of Education (Honors) degree.
Nereida Heller, Senior Data & Evaluation Analyst
Nereida joined OECE’s Data and Evaluation team after two years at the Mayor’s Budget Office, where she worked primarily with human services and criminal justice departments. Prior to her work for the City and County of San Francisco, Nereida did data management and analysis for the UC Berkeley Labor Center, the Multnomah County Housing Authority in Oregon, and the United Nations Development Program in Chile. She also spent a year running an after-school program for the Harlem Children’s Zone, taught elementary school in Southern Chile, and worked as a nanny in the New York area for several years.
Nereida earned a master’s degree from UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy.
Jason Holthe, Senior Fiscal Analyst
Jason Holthe is a Senior Fiscal Analyst with the San Francisco Office of Early Care & Education (OECE) and has worked with OECE and the San Francisco Human Services Agency on Early Care & Education policy and planning since 2005. Jason began his career in social welfare working with severely emotionally disturbed (SED) children at Saint Vincent’s School for Boys, a residential youth treatment home.
He received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from San Francisco State University.
Bailey Li Management Assistant to the Deputy Director
Bailey Li joined OECE as the Assistant to the Deputy Director in April 2019. Prior to joining OECE, Bailey served as the Assistant to the Deputy Director of Financial Management and Administration of SF Public Works and the Junior Management Assistant to San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD)’s Family Partnership and Empowerment Office.
Bailey was born and raised in San Francisco where she volunteered with the Community Youth Center (CYC)’s Peer Youth and Empowerment Program (PYEP) throughout high school. Bailey graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from University of California, Santa Cruz, where she interned with the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce to provide resources to the community and promote economic vitality.
Susan Lu, Connections Program Specialist
Susan Lu provides direct outreach and support to San Francisco’s early care and education providers as the Connections Program Specialist at OECE. She previously served as the Management Assistant to the OECE Executive Director and supported OECE’s Citizen’s Advisory Committee. Prior to joining OECE, Susan worked for Head Start programs in Fresno and San Francisco for more than 10 years. During her experience with Head Start, Susan enjoyed working with the children from 0-5 and guiding low-income families in finding affordable housing, jobs, and training programs.
Susan is trilingual in English, Cantonese, and Mandarin. Susan holds a Master of Arts in Leadership of Early Childhood Education and a Bachelor of Science in Child Development. While she was earning her degrees, she worked for different non-profit agencies, including the Jumpstart program and the Grandreader & Books program.
Carlo Manaois, Budget & Contracts Liaison
Carlo Manaois joined OECE as the Budget and Contracts Liaison in 2017. He previously served in the San Francisco Mayor’s Budget Office of Public Policy and Finance as a fiscal and policy analyst. His diverse public service background also includes teaching English for four years in Japanese primary and secondary schools as a participant of the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program and serving as a volunteer teacher aboard the Peace Boat, a Japanese non-governmental organization that raises awareness and builds connections internationally among groups that work for peace, human rights, environmental protection, and sustainable development.
Carlo has a Master of Public Administration from the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington. During his time in graduate school, he worked on environmental and sustainability issues in King County. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri, St. Louis.
Licette Montejano, CPAC Coordinator
Licette Montejano joined the San Francisco Office of Early Care and Education as the Coordinator for the Child Care Planning and Advisory Council (CPAC) in November 2018. She joins the office with extensive early childhood education and nonprofit leadership experience. She has worked with children and families as a direct provider for eight years and has first-hand knowledge of the complexities of operations, management, and delivery of state-subsidized programming for low-income communities, as well as the assessment and evaluations of such programming. Licette has also held other roles within higher education non-profit work in supporting the early education workforce with degree attainment.
Licette holds a Bachelor of Arts in Child and Adolescent Development and a Master of Public Administration, both from San Francisco State University.
Chacy (Shihua) Ou, Data & Evaluation Analyst
Chacy joined OECE as a Data and Evaluation Analyst in 2018, where she manages the Early Learning SF waitlist. Prior to joining OECE, Chacy worked in the Children’s Council of San Francisco’s SF3C department as a data analyst for almost 9 years, working with the previous waitlist in SF3C.
Chacy holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Davis.
Shahde Tavakoli, Policy Analyst
Shahde Tavakoli joined OECE as a Public Policy Analyst in July 2018. Prior to joining OECE, she served as a Legislative Aide in the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Legislative & Government Affairs, where she facilitated efforts to ensure timely introduction and passage of Mayoral sponsored legislation.
Shahde holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and English from the University of California, Davis and a Juris Doctor degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law.
Tony Tyson, Fiscal Strategies Manager
Tony Tyson is the Fiscal Strategies Manager at OECE. Tony began his career facilitating environmental and experiential education programs for low-income urban youth. This experience sparked his passion for improving the lives of children, youth and families and led to a career providing leadership at a variety of non-profit organizations. Prior to joining OECE, Tony provided leadership for all child and youth development programs ages birth-12 years old at Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Center (TEL HI). This included work to improve program quality and increase funding, which allowed the team to serve twice as many low-income children who did not previously have access to high quality early childhood education programs.
Tony holds a bachelor’s degree in Education from Bowling Green State University.
Wei-min Wang, Data, Policy, and Impact Manager
Wei-min joined OECE in 2020. He has worked in early education research, evaluation, and policy for more than 15 years. His background is in education and urban policy and includes experience in federal, state, and local governments and the philanthropic sector. Outside of work, Wei-min can be seen cycling around the city and imploring his two children (in Mandarin) not to fight so much.
Armando Zapote, Fiscal Strategies Analyst
Armando joined the San Francisco Office of Early Care and Education in 2013. He works on the C-WAGES program administration, including legislative and data analysis of early care and education workforce-related issues. Armando also supervises a group of Child Care Specialists that serve families and children at the Human Services Agency Child Care Drop-in Rooms. Previously, Armando worked with the Low Income Investment Fund in San Francisco, gaining experience with child care facilities grants. He also successfully managed the largest child care subsidy-voucher programs for nearly twenty years.
Originally from Mexico City, Armando has an education background in elementary education, human development, and conflict management. He has successfully developed and implemented cultural competence, management best practices, and conflict management programs, and has conducted presentations on these topics at local, state and national conferences.