Staff

Martha Dina Argüello

Executive Director marguello@psr-la.org

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 dduffield@psr-la.org

Denise Duffield joined PSR-LA in 2004. She serves as PSR-LA’s administrator and directs its nuclear threats program, which advocates for health protective policies related to nuclear weapons, nuclear energy, and radiation regulations. Denise developed PSR-LA’s Peace and Security Ambassador program and coordinates public awareness events, physician and health professional training, legislative advocacy, and media placement related to nuclear issues. She works to develop joint strategies and initiatives with allied national and state nuclear watchdog, peace, environmental, public health, and justice organizations.

Denise also works on environmental health and justice issues, particularity on addressing the needs of local communities who are impacted by toxic contamination and the failure of regulatory agencies to protect them. Denise leads PSR-LA’s efforts to ensure a proper cleanup of the Santa Susana Field Laboratory, a former nuclear and rocket testing facility that is highly polluted with radiological and chemical contamination. She also participates in the Peoples Senate, a statewide collaborative that combines grassroots organizing in highly impacted communities with strategic policy advocacy.

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.

 

Maro Kakoussian

Air & Climate Justice Associate mkakoussian@psr-la.org

Maro Kakoussian is the Air & Climate Justice Associate at Physicians for Social Responsibility – Los Angeles. In this role, she supports STAND-L.A.’s coalition building and campaign efforts. She was activated as an undergrad when she began volunteering for the Proposition 37 ballot measure which would’ve required the labelling of genetically engineered food. Since then, she’s served as the primary outreach coordinator for the statewide Proposition 67 campaign – the Plastic Bag Ban Referendum, and as primary outreach coordinator for Senate Bill 424 – the Environmental Literacy and Science Education Act.

Maro served on the Green Campus Action Plan Committee at UC Riverside and as Co-President of UCR’s Chapter of the Life You Can Save. She is a member of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity and currently serves as the VP of Legislation and Issues for the Democrats of Pasadena Foothills. Maro studied Spanish at Universidad Internacional in Cuernavaca, Mexico, and is fluent in Armenian. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of California, Riverside.

 

Eric Romann

STAND-LA Coalition Coordinator eromann@psr-la.org

Eric Romann joined PSR-LA in 2017 as the Coordinator for STAND-LA (Standing Together Against Neighborhood Drilling), an LA-based coalition of which PSR-LA is co-founder and co-chair. He helps manage all aspects of STAND’s work, from policy advocacy with the City of Los Angeles to research, analysis, coalition-building and grassroots organizing.

He brings to PSR-LA and STAND a deep commitment to and nearly 20 years of experience in movements and organizations working for racial, economic, environmental, gender and immigrant justice. For seven years, he helped lead grassroots campaigns and form coalitions addressing public transportation policy at the intersection of civil rights, public health, climate and environmental justice with the LA-based Labor/Community Strategy Center and Bus Riders Union. He has also organized parents and educators with United Teachers Los Angeles, LA’s largest teachers’ union. He has a history of working on international campaigns for human rights and corporate accountability.

Eric is a graduate of the Strategy Center’s National School for Strategic Organizing and holds a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College. Eric is bilingual in English and Spanish. He is a member of an urban sustainability-focused non-profit housing cooperative in LA’s Koreatown neighborhood, where he lives with his partner and son.

 

Jazmine Johnson

Land Use and Health Program Associate jjohnson@psr-la.org

Jazmine Johnson joined PSR-LA in March 2017 as a Land Use and Health Program Associate, where she serves as the 500 Feet Project Coordinator. In this role, she coordinates workshops involving health professionals, field experts, and community members and conducts research surrounding issues of industrial land use and health in the South and Southeast Los Angeles communities. She comes to PSR-LA from Chicago, where she worked for the City of Chicago and organized in the Southside community. In this capacity, she was instrumental in engaging with residents and community based organizations to gauge community needs and their civic engagement. She has also implemented research projects in the Dominican Republic on health, nutrition, and environmental issues and was involved in social justice campaigns and efforts through organizations on campus. Her expertise is in community engagement and organizing, health research, and public policy.

Jazmine holds a Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences with a Specialization in Neuroscience from the University of Chicago and aspires to be a physician.