Our Staff



Christopher Cabaldon is President of the Linked Learning Alliance. Mr. Cabaldon’s experience includes service as chief consultant to the state legislature’s higher education committee and then chief of staff to the appropriations committee chair; vice chancellor of the California Community Colleges, with executive responsibility for policy, strategic initiatives, planning, technology, data systems, governmental advocacy and intersegmental relations, and public affairs; and president and chief executive officer of EdVoice.  An appointee in the administrations of four California governors from both political parties, Mr. Cabaldon serves as California’s commissioner on the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education.

First elected as Mayor of West Sacramento in 1998, Mr. Cabaldon is currently serving his tenth term. He is chair of the Standing Committee on Jobs, Education, and Workforce for the U.S. Conference of Mayors.  He is also a senior member of the board of advisors for the School of Education at the University of California, Davis.


Executive Vice President

HilaryMcLeanHilary McLean serves as Executive Vice President of the Linked Learning Alliance. Ms. McLean has more than two decades of experience working on policy and communications issues from a statewide perspective, including five years as chief deputy press secretary for Governor Gray Davis and seven years in a lead communications role at the California Department of Education. As former chair of the Alliance’s Building Awareness working group, Ms. McLean is knowledgeable about the Linked Learning approach and has developed close working relationships with partners throughout the Alliance.

Vice President

PaulSherfeyPaul Sherfey serves as a Vice President of the Linked Learning Alliance. In this capacity, Mr. Sherfey provides technical assistance on the development and implementation of local, state and federal policy. Passionate about supporting community capacity to drive policy reform, Mr. Sherfey facilitates the engagement of community, government and business entities to ensure students are well prepared to meet local civic and workforce needs, and promotes the development of comprehensive infrastructure to support student engagement and learning. Prior to joining the Linked Learning team, Mr. Sherfey served as a consultant and cultural researcher regarding stakeholder engagement for an urban regeneration project in Helsingborg, Sweden while completing his Master of Applied Cultural Analysis at Lund University, Sweden.

Vice President

Alex T LLA Picture 2Alex Taghavian serves as a Vice President of the Linked Learning Alliance. Dr. Taghavian’s experience includes higher education, economic development, and educational research. He has previously served in academic management roles for public and private universities and is currently an adjunct professor at Sacramento State teaching scholarly writing and research methodologies. He earned a bachelor degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, a master’s degree from Sacramento State, and  doctor of education degree from Drexel University.

Along with his duties at the Linked Learning Alliance, Alex participates in several volunteer leadership capacities in the Sacramento region. He serves on the board of directors of the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce and NextEd, the Chamber’s workforce/education affiliate. Alex is also presently chair of Cap to Cap, the largest federal advocacy program of its kind in the nation. Additionally, he was selected as a winner in the Sacramento Business Journal 40 Under 40 award for 2013, and received the Leadership and Service Award from the School of Education at Drexel University in 2013.

Senior Advisor

JaySchenirerJay Schenirer is a senior advisor to the Linked Learning Alliance staff and members. In addition to working with the Irvine Foundation for numerous years on Linked Learning, Mr. Schenirer’s current position on the Sacramento City Council, and past experience leading an eight-year school reform effort as president and board member of Sacramento City Unified School District, as an assistant secretary of education for planning and development for the state, and eight years as an education policy advisor and facilitator, provide the Alliance with on-the-ground school district experience and a long history of helping collaborations work together towards a set of common goals.

Policy Analyst

Anna LLA Picture 2Anna Fontus serves as the Research, Data, and Policy analyst for the Linked Learning Alliance. Anna is responsible for collecting and managing data sets related to Linked Learning students, practice, and progress. Her responsibilities include conducting research, tracking and monitoring legislation, analyzing policy proposals, and producing resources such as briefs, fact sheets and articles for a wide range of audiences. Prior to working for the Linked Learning Alliance, Anna developed a passion for education policy through her internship at the California State Assembly while completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Politics from Saint Mary’s College of California.