PainterGary Painter

Gary Painter is a Professor in the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. He also serves as the Director of the Sol Price Center for Social Innovation. He has published numerous articles in top journals such as the Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Urban Economics, Urban Studies, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Real Estate Economics, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, and Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Professor Painter’s research interests focuses on social innovation, housing, urban economics, and education policy. He is among the world’s foremost experts on how changing demographics impact U.S. housing markets. Recent work has focused on how immigrants are integrating into housing markets across the U.S. and the role of the economic cycle on household formation. Other recent work has studied immigrant integration issues in spatial labor markets and in education. Current research focuses on how to evaluate social innovation.

He has served as a consultant for the National Association of Realtors, Pacific Economics Group, Andrew Davidson Co., Fannie Mae, Grant Thorton LLP, Burr Consulting, and the Research Institute for Housing America.


Caroline Bhalla
Managing Director

Caroline Bhalla is the Managing Director of the USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation, where she will direct all activities and operations of the center while helping to expand the strategic vision and impact of our work.

Caroline previously served in the Price School’s Office of Development and External Relations for five years where she was the Senior Director of Development and Constituent Relations. In this role, she was responsible for designing and implementing high-level policy events, including programs created to increase diversity and inclusivity at USC Price. Caroline was responsible for developing and growing the Athenian Society, the premier philanthropic support organization at USC Price, as well as managing all annual giving and alumni relations programs for the school.

Before returning to California in July 2011, she was the Associate Director of the New York University Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy, where she began as a research assistant in 2002. At NYU’s Furman Center, she was the project lead on the annual State of the City’s Housing and Neighborhoods report. As the Associate Director she was responsible for human relations, finance and fundraising for the Furman Center. Prior to that, she worked as an Assistant Account Executive in a boutique public relations firm in San Francisco, Graham and Associates.

Caroline is as an adjunct professor in USC Price’s Masters in Nonprofit Leadership and Management Program. She also taught in NYU’s Department of Culture and Communication, where she taught courses in Interviewing Strategies and Conflict Resolution.

Caroline earned her B.A. in Mass Communications/ Rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley. Caroline received an M.A. in Culture and Communication from NYU’s Steinhardt School of Education and an M.A. in American Studies from NYU’s Graduate School of Arts and Science.

Megan Goulding
Director of External Relations

Megan Goulding serves as the Director of External Relations for the USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation. In this role, she manages all communications, fundraising, stakeholder engagement, and program development for the Center.

Prior to joining the USC Sol Price Center for Social Innovation, Megan managed fundraising and communication strategies for USC University Relations, where she worked to raise funds and increase visibility for the university’s community outreach programs focused on education and college access, health education and outreach, and economic development. She previously served as the Director of Development and Strategic Communications for the USC Price School of Public Policy. In this role, she developed the school’s first corporate and foundation giving program, and designed multifaceted communication strategies to highlight faculty research, student accomplishments, and policy impact.

Megan holds a Masters of Public Administration degree from the USC Price School of Public Policy and a Bachelors degree in Journalism from California State University, Long Beach. She is currently enrolled in the Price School’s Doctor of Policy, Planning, and Development program.


Stacia Fewox
Events and Administrative Coordinator

Stacia Fewox is the events and administrative coordinator in the Sol Price Center for Social Innovation. Originally from North Carolina, she is now an 13 yr. resident of Los Angeles.  Her interests include partnering with her church and neighborhood efforts to strengthen the community in South LA.  Stacia received her BA in Christian Education from Lee University, Cleveland, Tennessee.



Jung Hyun Choi

Jung Hyun Choi is a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Social Innovation (CSI), USC Price School of Public Policy. She graduated in the summer of 2015. Before coming to the U.S., Jung worked as a research associate at the Korean Educational Development Institute (KEDI). At KEDI, Jung participated in government projects that aimed to share Korea’s experience of rapid economic growth with countries in Southeast Asia and Africa, where many people are still deprived of basic needs. Over the past five years at USC, Jung explored various research topics in housing, urban economics and real estate finance, with a special focus on how the recent housing crisis affected the mobility, unemployment, and inequality of U.S. households. Her dissertation, “Housing Market Crisis and Underwater Homeowners,” investigates how and why the mobility patterns of homeowners, whose mortgage debt exceeds their house value, changed following the crisis. At Price CSI, Jung will continue her research to enhance the quality of life for low-income households through innovative policies.

Luis F. Alvarez León
Postdoctoral Researcher

Luis F. Alvarez León is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Price Center for Social Innovation. He is Political Economic Geographer whose research focuses on exploring how information and new technologies contribute to the spatial reorganization of economic activity. In particular he has examined how geographic information technologies and new spatial media are regulated through Intellectual Property regimes and marketed across various jurisdictions such as the United States and the European Union. His current research maps transnational innovation flows between the United States and Mexico and analyzes the changing Intellectual Property protections in the context of regional trade agreements such as NAFTA and the TPP. In May 2016 he received his Ph.D. in Geography from UCLA, where he was a Fulbright-García Robles and a Dissertation Year Fellow. He can be reached through the site www.lfal.org.

Jovanna Rosen
Postdoctoral Scholar

Jovanna Rosen is a postdoctoral scholar at the Price Center for Social Innovation. She received her Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Development from the University of Southern California in May 2016. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on community and economic development, community investment, and urban sustainability.

Alex Braboy
Research Assistant

Alexandria Braboy is a Master of Public Policy student at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. She graduated from Drew University with a degree in Pan-African Studies and Political Science. Although born and raised in Los Angeles, Alex worked for several social justice nonprofit organizations in New York prior to joining the Price Center for Social Innovation.

Joanna M. Cortez Hernandez
Research Assistant

Joanna M. Cortez Hernandez is a Master of Public Policy student at the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy. She completed her undergraduate career at the University of California, Santa Cruz with a B.A. in Politics and Latin American/Latin@ Studies. Prior to beginning her graduate career at USC and joining Price CSI, Joanna was an AmeriCorps VISTA member for a nonprofit legal services agency in East Palo,CA and intern at the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

Saumya Lathia
Research Assistant

Saumya Mukesh Lathia is a Master’s of Planning student at USC Sol Price School for Public Policy. She received her Bachelor’s in Planning from CEPT Univeristy at Ahmedabad, India in 2016. Her research interests include urban and regional inequities, urban informality and sustainability. Saumya received the Best Gender Thesis Award for her undergrad thesis on ‘Gender and Public Spaces: A Case Study of Sabarmati Riverfront’ in 2017. Prior to joining CSI, she interned at Center for Urban Equity in India.

Shannon Libaw
Research Assistant

Shannon Libaw is currently a Community Health Assessment Intern. She graduated with an MPH in 2017, concentrating in health policy. Prior to that, she graduated from Johns Hopkins University where she also studied public health. Her past experience revolves around project management and healthcare operations. She also has experience with research studies, as she was a research assistant for a study in East Baltimore which aimed to better understand the lifestyle behaviors of low-income residents and subsequently come up with a health program.

Matthew Miller
Research Assistant

Matthew Miller is a research assistant with the Price Center for Social Innovation. He is a PhD student in Urban Planning and Development where he is pursuing interests in spatial justice and community development. Prior to USC, he has done a variety of community engagement and environmental health work with the US EPA, California Center for Public Health Advocacy, City of Stockton, and more. He holds a Master’s in City Planning from MIT and a Bachelor with Honors in Urban Studies from Stanford University.

Neha Sata
Communications & Social Media Intern

Neha Sata is pursuing her Master in Public Administration degree at the Sol Price School of Public Policy. She graduated from the University of California, Irvine in 2011 with a BA in Political Science. Neha has previous experience working in the public sector with the County of Orange and various not-for-profit organizations.

Elly Schoen
Research Assistant

Elly Schoen is a Master’s of Public Policy student at the USC Sol Price School for Public Policy.  She grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana and received a BA in Political Economy and History from Tulane University in 2015. Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Elly worked at Catholic Charities in disaster relief and fundraising as well as a number of other nonprofit organizations around New Orleans.


Jack H. Knott, Co-chair

Jack H. Knott took the reins of the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy in August 2005 as the C. Erwin and Ione L. Piper Dean and Professor. Before joining USC, Dean Knott served from 1997 until 2005 as professor of political science and director of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Chicago. From 1987 to 1997, Dean Knott was a professor in the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University, where he served as departmental chair and director of Michigan State’s Institute for Public Policy and Social Research.

Dean Knott is a leading scholar in the fields of political institutions and public policy, health policy, and public management. He has published three books, including Reforming Bureaucracy: The Politics of Institutional Choice, and numerous journal articles and book chapters. He received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, his M.A. in comparative political economy from the School of Advanced International Studies at The Johns Hopkins University, and his undergraduate degree in history from Calvin College.

Robert Price, Co-chair

Robert Price, born and raised in San Diego, graduated from San Diego High School and Pomona College, where he majored in government. The elder son of Sol Price, he has spent his entire career in retailing: first at the FedMart stores founded by his father, then at The Price Company where he and his father were cofounders of the Price Club membership warehouses, and most recently as founder and Chairman of the Board of PriceSmart, Inc., a warehouse club chain operating in Latin America. He also serves as president of The Price Family Charitable Fund and Price Philanthropies foundations founded by his father. Price and his family live in San Diego.

Scheherazade Sherry Bahrambeygui

Ms. Bahrambeygui joined The Price Group, LLC in October of 2006 and has been a managing member since 2007.  She is currently Vice Chairperson, Executive Vice President and Secretary of Price Charities and Price Family Charitable Fund, each non-profit public benefit corporations.  Ms. Bahrambeygui is also a Director of PriceSmart, Inc., a publicly traded company, and Chief Executive Officer of PS Ivanhoe, LLC, a commercial real estate company. She is also a founding partner of the law firm Hosey & Bahrambeygui, Attorneys at Law, LLP, where she specialized in business litigation, employment, and health law. After undergraduate studies at Columbia University and graduating from the University of California at San Diego, she became a licensed stockbroker and worked for Prudential Securities.  Ms. Bahrambeygui was Notes and Comments Editor of the Law Review at California Western School of Law.  She also received the Westbrook Outstanding Advocacy Award and the Trustee’s Award for the most laudable achievements in law school as well as placing second in the country in a National Trial Advocacy Competition.

Ms. Bahrambeygui is also the recipient of the Philip J. Sharp National Public Service Award by the American Trial Lawyer’s Association and two Outstanding Trial Lawyer’s Awards by the San Diego Consumer Trial Lawyers.  Additionally, she was named as one of San Diego’s “40 Under 40” in 2002, and has been named as one of San Diego’s Super Lawyers consistently since 2008.  Ms. Bahrambeygui co-drafted the Patient Bill of Rights by the Foundation for Consumer and Taxpayer Rights, and she has testified before a US Congressional sub-committee on the impact of fee caps on medical and other tort claims.  Ms. Bahrambeygui has served on several additional non-profit Boards of Directors, including La Jolla Country Day School.

Becky Modesto

Becky Modesto serves as the Director of University Relations for the Price Family Fund and is their primary liaison to the Sol Price Center for Social Innovation.  Becky brings extensive experience in linking colleges and universities to community based programs.  Prior to joining the Price Family Foundation, she served as Director of Community Ministries at Point Loma Nazarene University where she developed an academic immersion program in City Heights, established an emphasis on Community Service Learning, and supervised community engagement programs  averaging more than 300 student volunteers in the field each week.  Additionally, Becky served as Coordinator of Compensatory Education at Wake Technical Community College, Raleigh, NC where she helped establish a variety of community based programs aimed at educating people living on the margins of society.   Becky has worked with community-based efforts in San Diego, Raleigh, NC and Los Angeles.  She has been a City Heights resident for the past 10 years.  Becky has an MA in Intercultural Studies from Nazarene Theological Seminary.