José Cisneros is the elected Treasurer of the City and County of San Francisco. As Treasurer, José serves as the City’s banker and chief investment officer, and manages tax and revenue collection for San Francisco. He’s a passionate believer that all San Franciscans are responsible for the City’s financial health, but that residents need to be financially empowered to make a difference. He led the effort to create the Office of Financial Empowerment. Learn more about senior Treasury staff supporting work of the Office of Financial Empowerment here.
Sean directs the work of the OFE, working closely with San Francisco Treasurer José Cisneros, the OFE Team and a broad group of thought partners, to design new, and expand existing, financial empowerment programs for poor and low-income people; and leverage this direct work to demonstrate what’s possible and model city government as a laboratory for social innovation. He brings nearly 20 years of experience researching, designing and managing international programs, and building institutions and networks, to deliver financial services, education and social safety net programs. Sean earned his master’s degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science with a concentration in poverty and social policy.
Sarika oversees research and communication at OFE, and leads efforts to help OFE successfully implement its strategy. She drives all research, putting evidence at the heart of the OFE’s work and developing OFE's new economic Mobility lab (mLab). She also helps the OFE harvest learning, and manage and share this knowledge with local and national stakeholders. Sarika brings strong expertise in financial inclusion, with experience in program and product research, design and evaluation. Previously, she served as Director of Ideation at D2D Fund and Research Analyst at ideas42, and most recently as Independent Consultant. Sarika earned her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from New York University and Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.
Community Engagement Manager, Kindergarten to College
Bashir joins OFE as its Kindergarten to College (K2C) Community Engagement Manager. Bashir was previously a School Safety Specialist with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency’s (SFMTA) Crossing Guard Program, handling all traffic related issues around schools throughout the city. Before joining the SFMTA, he was a Public Safety Supervisor and training instructor in the private sector. Bashir grew up in San Francisco, attending its public schools, and received his B.A. in Criminal Justice from San Francisco State University.
Manager, Financial Access & Innovation
Christa works with the San Francisco Treasurer’s Office to ensure every San Franciscan has the opportunity to build and protect wealth. Through the Office of Financial Empowerment, Christa leads financial inclusion initiatives such as Bank On San Francisco and Summer Jobs Connect. Christa also works with the Treasurer’s Financial Justice Project, which is working to assess and reform how fines and fees impact low-income people. Prior to her work with the City, Christa worked for United Way of the Bay Area as the Director of the SparkPoint Initiative, a program that brings together over 80 nonprofits and serves over 6,000 people a year. Christa has served on the FEMA Emergency Food and Shelter boards in Solano and Marin Counties, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of San Francisco, and a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from the Goldman School of Public Policy.
Manager, Policy and Programs
Jacob leads program development and oversight for a range of OFE initiatives focused on access to financial products and services, financial capability, and public-private partnerships. Jacob’s role at OFE includes policy analysis and advocacy on issues including prepaid and bank products, electronic payments, lending, and bank regulation. Prior to joining the OFE Jacob managed housing and economic development programs at the National Urban League; previous work includes program and organization analysis in the philanthropic sector. Jacob received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and an MPP from the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.
Program Manager, Kindergarten to College
Carol Lei joined the Office of Financial Empowerment, June, 2014, as the program manager for its Kindergarten to College (K2C) program. Prior to her focus on K2C, she was a program manager for Parents for Public Schools of San Francisco, personally working with thousands families to enroll and be involved in the San Francisco Unified School District’s public schools. She is a UC Berkeley Business School graduate and was a corporate employee in the high tech industry before running her own consulting business, focusing on management, team development, and diversity in the workplace.
Program Coordinator, Bank On San Francisco
Nehama is working with the Office of Financial Empowerment to revitalize and expand the Bank On program through partnership development, process and policy improvements, and the creation of financial capability tools, Nehama previously worked with a number of non-profits and mission-driven businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area and abroad on sustainable agriculture, ethical sourcing, disaster relief management, and international economic development. She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines where her work with micro-credit groups sparked her interest in financial empowerment as a tool of poverty alleviation. Nehama received her BA from the University of Maryland in Government & Politics and her MS in Development Practice from the University of California, Berkeley.
Program Manager, Financial Capability
Sarah works with the San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment to increase financial capability through integration within City departments and in partnership with local nonprofits across San Francisco's diverse neighborhoods. Sarah also manages Smart Money Coaching, a city-wide financial coaching program that supports participants in opening a bank account, increasing credit, decreasing debt, and increasing savings. Prior to joining the OFE, Sarah worked to support families as a Neighborhood & Economic Development Manager for the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation, overseeing place-based programming to increase housing stability, community safety, health, and financial capability. Sarah received her MPP from the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.
Senior Clerk, Kindergarten to College
Donna leads customer service and account management for the Kindergarten to College Program. Prior to joining OFE, Donna worked as an administrative assistant in San Francisco's public education system.