Kristen Janson, a 3rd year at San Francisco State University, is majoring in Political Science and minoring in both Economics and International Relations. On campus, she is Vice President of the Political Science Students Association as well as the Political Science Honors Society, and she is a member of the liberal advocacy group, Common Cause. She has worked on the Jane Kim for State Senate campaign as well as the Prop W campaign, and is a former policy intern at San Francisco City Hall. Upon graduation, Kristen wishes to attend Law School and focus on Public Policy. Kristen’s passion for politics and immigration rights stems from her mother who immigrated to the US from Mexico as a young child. “Growing up in East LA and witnessing innocent people get ripped away from their families simply because they weren’t born in the US, saddens me but I’m ready to make a change, I’m ready to be the voice they never thought they had. It shouldn’t take anyone over 10 years to become a US citizen, the system is set against immigrants. It’s time deconstruct and reconstruct our immigration system.”
Deputy Campaign Manager
Nicolette Mountain-Lafranchi is the Deputy Campaign Manager for Khojasteh for Congress. She is a 2017 Graduate of the University of San Francisco. She received her BA in Politics and was a member of the San Quentin Alliance for Change as well as Women in Business. Nicolette has been a part of Santa Rosa City Council WG#3 to create solutions for the homeless within the city. She spends her time volunteering for Catholic Charities and the Santa Rosa Violence Prevention Partnership. Her hope is to one day mobilize the people for change. She believes the voices of the people are important and it's necessary that their voices be heard. As a young child she grew up with a single mother, who is a small business owner in Sonoma County. This taught her the importance of hard work and determination, as well as the importance of women's rights and labor rights. Overall, her hope for the world is to have a unified implementation of basic human rights.
Communications Director / Chief Strategist
Jackie Thornhill is the Communications Director for Khojasteh for Congress. She grew up in Chatsworth California, and is a junior at the University of San Francisco where she majors in politics and minors in philosophy. She is grateful to her parents for all of their support, the hard work they put into building each of their small businesses from scratch, and the educational opportunities they have provided her. Jackie was a finance fellow on Supervisor Jane Kim's 2016 campaign for State Senate, and is a former policy fellow for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. She is working on this campaign because she believes our nation is at a crossroads, and we all have an obligation to use this opportunity to build a more just world.
Kara Zarkades is the Field Director for Khojasteh for Congress. She is in her fourth year at San Francisco State University and is graduating in the spring with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science. Kara currently works part-time teaching kids how to swim to help put herself through college. She grew up in a middle-class family with a mother and father who always encouraged political discussions at the dinner table. Kara's father is a former Marine Corps Captain and a current airline pilot who has worked hard his whole life to provide a bright future for his kids. Her mother is a 6th Grade teacher in a low socioeconomic area who fights every day to improve the lives of her students through education. From an early age, Kara gained respect for those like her mom who dedicate their lives to making the world a better place. She has experience as a campaign fellow on the Jane Kim for State Senate campaign and as a policy intern in SF City Hall. She is excited and impassioned to work on a campaign dedicated towards creating a more diverse and inclusive US Congress.
Anoop Chaganty is a graduate from the University of Southern California where he earned his bachelor's degree in International Relations. Beyond his passion for politics and social change, Anoop is also actively involved in storytelling across the film and music mediums. At the age of 19, he successfully launched his first Kickstarter project for a short film he wrote, receiving over 20,000 dollars in funding. In 2016, he released his first music video for which he garnered national recognition, earning him an esteemed award at the LA Music Video Festival. He hopes to use campaign as a way to continue telling real stories about real issues that matter to real people.
Deputy Creative Director
Kennedy Fields is a 3rd year at San Francisco State University, majoring in Cinema. She grew up in Los Angeles and moved to the Bay Area three years ago to pursue an education. At a young age, Kennedy was fascinated with the way you can use a camera to tell a story and invoke emotion. Sharing the human experience through a still image or a moving image is her passion in life. Kennedy is the Vice President of her multicultural business-oriented sorority and works part time teaching children how to swim. She is excited to be a part of this campaign and hopes to inspire young voters to get out there and voice their opinions.
Roya has over 30 years of experience working in Silicon Valley. She has worked for fortune 500 companies as well as building her own startups. A serial entrepreneur. She is currently on her third startup as co-founder of Trendage Inc. In 2000 she co-founded SiliconExpert Technologies and also co-founded Mozaik Multimedia in 2006. The vision and technology behind Mozaik Multimedia stemmed from her highly-acclaimed program, Cultures in a Box, an interactive educational program. She received the “Woman of the Year Program” Award from Senator Elaine Alquist for the tremendous positive impact her program offered to schools and communities. Roya holds a BA from Macalester College in Political Science and International Affairs and received her International Baccalaureate from Aiglon College in Switzerland.
Mahnaz is Ryan’s mom and the campaign treasurer. Since she has managed Ryan’s allowances growing up and his student loans, she felt it was appropriate to help manage the campaign finances too. She came to the United States from Iran over thirty-six years ago to attend college and build a better life. For the past twenty-nine years, she has lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, holding various positions as an electrical engineer. Mahnaz has always had an interest in politics, having volunteered for a few campaigns. She cares deeply about children, education, healthcare, and women’s rights.
Director of the Next Generation
Sydney Brown is the Director of the Next Generation for Khojasteh for Congress. She grew up in San Francisco, having a lawmaker as a father. From a young age, she developed opinions on politics, as it was an extremely common topic in her house. Those opinions shape who Sydney is today. As a 16 year old, she is excited and eager to help young people like herself form political opinions and beliefs, and support the Khojasteh for Congress Campaign. She is very passionate about ocean conservation and preservation, especially in some of the world's most beautiful reefs—like the Great Barrier Reef. We must preserve our environment and respect our earth, it’s our home.
Director of Campus Organizing
Ingrid Pan is a sophomore at Columbia University studying anthropology and computer science. On campus, she is involved in Columbia Pre-Law Society, Undergraduate Committee on Global Thought, and the Bhangra Dance Team. She has assisted the Columbia Global Freedom of Expression Jurisprudence Project in tracking international free speech cases. She has also interned for Congressman Mike Honda, the U.S. Department of State HR Bureau, and Immigration Equality -- an LGBTQ rights nonprofit helping individuals being persecuted in their countries seek asylum in the U.S. This past summer, she was part of an excavation crew in New Mexico researching a Spanish colonial settlement and surveying a Taos Pueblo battle site. A Bay Area native, she then returned home and worked at the Santa Clara County Alternate Public Defender Office as a legal intern assisting attorneys on homicide cases. As a first-generation Chinese American, she is incredibly excited and proud to support a candidate who will stand up for the hardworking individuals who call America home and want to contribute to the betterment of our society.
Meet Our Interns!
Field Organizing Fellow
Stephanie Rodriguez was born and raised in San Francisco. She grew up in the Mission and is currently studying political science at San Francisco State University. She is excited to work with the Khojasteh campaign to give back to the city that raised her.
Field Organizing Fellow
Tina is a 4th year student at San Francisco State University, studying philosophy with a focus in cultural philosophy. She hopes to learn more about public affairs within her community and widen the scope of her political knowledge by working with the Khojasteh for Congress team.
Field Organizing Fellow
Joshua Remo is a fourth year at San Francisco State University majoring in Political Science. He is excited to work on the Khojasteh Campaign is exciting because it has the potential to enact meaningful change in America.
Field Organizing Fellow
Vinh Duong is a graduate from the University of California, Riverside where he earned his bachelor's degree in Public Policy. While in college, he volunteered at the City Clerk's Office for the City of Rialto as their Public Health Intern. He grew up in San Francisco and hopes to one day run for office and make a difference in his community.
Field Organizing Fellow
Sam is from Calabasas, CA and currently a student at San Francisco State University. In the past, he has interned for Late Night with Seth Meyers and CONAN. He's excited to be a part of this campaign because he believes it represents the progressive direction in which the Democratic party should be moving.