Martha Dina Argüello, Executive Director | bio | contact
Denise Duffield, Associate Director| bio | contact
Angela Johnson Meszaros, General Counsel | bio | contact
Ana Mascareñas, Policy and Communications Director| bio | contact
Monika Shankar, Health and Environment Associate | bio | contact
Rebecca Bravo, Program Associate | bio | contact
Martha Dina Argüello, Executive Director
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For the past 32 years, Martha has served in the non-profit sector as an advocate, community organizer, and coalition builder. She joined PSR-LA in 1998 to launch the environmental health programs, and became Executive Director in November 2007. She is committed to making the credible voice of physicians a powerful instrument for transforming California and our planet into a more peaceful and healthy place.
Martha grew up in the Pico-Union area of Los Angeles. At the young age of 14, she made a lifelong commitment to effect social change after seeing her friend killed by a school security guard. While working as a health educator in the 1990s, Martha had an epiphany — she realized that although early detection can prevent death from breast cancer, it does not prevent breast cancer, which has been increasingly linked to the exposure of environmental toxicants. Since that realization, Martha has dedicated her career to the environmental justice movement, and has lectured nationwide on the use of precautionary principle policies.
As a coalition builder, Martha has emphasized the need for local grassroots advocacy working in partnership with statewide policy actions. She is an active board member of numerous organizations, including Californians for Pesticide Reform, the California Environmental Rights Alliance, and Californians for a Healthy and Green Economy. She also co-founded the Los Angeles County Asthma Coalition and the Coalition for Environmental Health and Justice, and was appointed to Cal/EPA’s Environmental Justice Committee and the California Air Resources Board’s Global Warming Environmental Justice Advisory Committee.
Denise Duffield, Associate Director
Contact Denise: firstname.lastname@example.org
Denise Duffield, Associate Director, has over 15 years of development and non-profit administration experience as well as many years of social justice and peace activism. Denise directs PSR-LA’s peace and security program, which works to protect public health from the threat of nuclear weapons. She developed and coordinates PSR-LA’s physician peace and security ambassador program, which provides nuclear policy issue education and advocacy skills to physicians and health care professionals.
Denise holds a BA in psychology from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree in theatre arts from California State University Los Angeles.
Angela Johnson Meszaros, General Counsel
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Angela Johnson Meszaros is General Counsel at Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles where she works to ensure that public health professionals are engaged in environmental public health policy and supporting community-based efforts to protect public health.
Angela has nearly 20 years of experience working with communities and organizations on environmental justice issues in the Los Angeles region. During this time, Angela has used a range of tools to enhance the health, safety, and quality of life of low-income communities of color negatively impacted by environmental hazards including: litigation in federal and state court; filing regulatory challenges; educating state legislators and their staffs about the impact of state legislation; providing community legal education; providing community technical assistance in campaign development, strategic planning, fundraising, document analysis, and regulatory agency operations; testifying before relevant committees, boards and commissions; serving on agency policy workgroups; engaging in media advocacy; and mediating negotiations with a wide range of stakeholders. Angela’s efforts have been focused on policy development, implementation, and enforcement in a variety of environmental issues including: the impacts climate change policy on communities of color, enforcement of the provisions of the Clean Air Act, enhanced public participation in environmental decision-making, reducing childhood lead poisoning, defending against destructive freeway siting, stopping inappropriate siting of sources of air pollution, understanding land use policies and their impact on community health, reducing health impacts of air toxics from mobile and stationary sources, and air permit development and compliance.
Angela is currently co-chair of the Environmental Justice Advisory Committee on the Implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32); the Chair of the Board of the Economic Roundtable, a non-profit organization that conducts research and implements programs that contribute to the economic self-sufficiency of individuals and communities; a member of the Board of Directors of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technology, a non-profit that designs and fights for policies that promote global warming solutions and increased reliance on clean, renewable energy sources for California and the West; and a member of the California State Bar. She holds both a degree in philosophy and a law degree from the University of Southern California.
Ana Mascareñas, Policy and Communications Director
Ana Mascareñas joined PSR-LA in 2008. She directs training opportunities to share emerging science and policy data with members, as well as trainings to develop effective advocacy skills and engage in PSR-LA’s policy change work.
After earning a B.A. in Human Biology and a B.A. in Sociology at Brown University in 2006, Ana worked in Washington DC as a fellow with Representative Rep. Xavier Becerra (CA-31) and subsequently served in the Los Angeles District Office as a caseworker. Ana is a resident of City Terrace, a neighborhood in unincorporated East Los Angeles. She is a board member with the East Los Angeles Residents Association (ELARA), a community organization leading the Cityhood for East LA effort. She is also a local advisory board member of New Leaders Council-Los Angeles, which provides training, skills building, and support to young progressives.
Ana’s commitment to policy advocacy within the progressive movement began in her hometown, Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2004 — she worked with the Albuquerque City Council to pass a set of development impact fee ordinances that promote responsible urban development and sustainable growth. Since then, she has worked on local, state, and federal issues as an advocate for environmental health, peace, and social and economic justice.
Monika Shankar, Health and Environment Associate
Contact Monika: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monika Shankar is the Health & Environment Associate at PSR-LA where she directs programs focusing on climate change and healthy land use by mobilizing and engaging health professionals, community groups and advocates in policy advocacy.
Prior to joining PSR-LA, Monika worked with a team of community planners and environmental justice activists at the Ironbound Community Corporation, whose goal was to create a safe, healthy, thriving and sustainable neighborhood in a primarily immigrant section of Newark, NJ. Through collaborations with community members, local organizations, city officials and environmental experts, the team addressed both at the local and policy level ways to resolve a multitude of issues including the remediation of one of the di
rtiest rivers in the US; the Passaic River.
Rebecca Bravo, Program Associate
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Rebecca Bravo is a Program Associate at PSR-LA. Rebecca works on expanding PSR-LA audience through social media tools including Facebook and Twitter. She collaborates on the production of the online and print versions of the PSR-LA newsletter as well as bi weekly membership updates. She provides key staff support in organizing PSR special events including CME courses, webinars, meetings and PSR’s annual gala dinner.
Prior to joining PSR-LA Rebecca volunteered as the primary Communications Associate at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles handling the website, social media accounts, media requests and assisting in the planning and implementation of major press releases, press conferences, and media strategic plans. Applying her video production skills she wrote a PSA script, winning a contest and awarding LAFLA with the production of the commercial. Rebecca also has previous experience as a television reporter and host.
Rebecca received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications with an emphasis in Broadcast Journalism from the University of La Verne.