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 Meet the 2018 - 2019 Management Assistants

Julian Cernuda


Julian Cernuda is a current 2018-2019 Management Assistant, rotating through the Police Department, Financial Management, and City Manager’s Office.

Julian earned his Master of Public Administration degree and a Certificate in City and County Management from the University of Southern California, Price School of Public Policy. At Price, Julian was selected as a City and County Management Fellow, which motivated him to serve as a board member for the ICMA Chapter at the University. Julian also served as Co-Chair for the USC Price Latino Student Association, where he prioritized connecting students and alumni through opportunities for meaningful relationships.

While at Price, Julian interned for the City of Santa Monica’s Office of Performance Management. In this role, Julian served as an internal consultant and helped the City’s strategic goals teams, departments, and divisions to develop strategic plans, refine metrics, and create dashboards. Julian also led presentations and workshops on performance reporting, and managed internal communications for Santa Monica’s performance management program.

Julian received his A.B. degrees in Political Science and Spanish from Wabash College. He previously worked with nonprofits and for-profit organizations and collaborated with elected officials and various government agencies to implement the Affordable Care Act in Charlotte, NC.

Julian lives in Long Beach and enjoys getting to know the City through its amazing food and events.

Alvin Teng


Alvin Teng is a current 2018-2019 Management Assistant, rotating through the City Manager’s Office, Financial Management, Development Services, and Human Resources.

Prior to his current role, Alvin earned his Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. His focus of study centered on the intersection between racial and socio-economic inequality, particularly on criminal justice reform, housing affordability, and equitable community development. While at UCLA, he was a Researcher with the Million Dollar Hoods project, conducting data analysis on County Jail and Police Department booking data to map the financial investment in policing and incarceration in different neighborhoods throughout Southern California. He co-authored a report for the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Reentry, mapping the demographics and geography of the reentry population, exploring barriers to successful reentry, and providing program recommendations. He also worked as a Summer Research Intern with Public Policy Institute of California, contributing to a report on Child Poverty in California by researching the impact of tax credits on poverty levels among low-income renters.

Prior to his graduate study, Alvin worked for a year in India with International Justice Mission, a global NGO focused on combatting human trafficking, as a Government and Community Relations Intern. He also served as an Area Director with the Los Angeles Urban Program, a faith-based summer program connecting college students with community-based organizations throughout Los Angeles. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from UCLA in 2011, where he studied Geography and Global Studies. After growing up in Delaware, Massachusetts, and Central California, Alvin settled in the Los Angeles area, and currently lives in Long Beach.

Estefania Zavala


Estefania Zavala is a current 2018-2019 Management Assistant, rotating through Financial Management, City Manager’s Office, Parks, Rec, & Marine, and the Fire Department.

Prior to the MA year, Estefania earned a Master of Public Policy (MPP) degree from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. She focused on local government management, engaging immigrant communities, housing affordability, and economic development. While at UCLA, she interned for the City of Santa Monica’s City Manager’s Office, led a diversity, equity, and inclusion effort called D3, and completed a research fellowship with the nonprofit organization Leadership for Urban Renewal (LURN) which focused on economic resiliency.

Prior to graduate school, Estefania worked in labor relations, negotiating collective bargaining agreements in the union construction industry. She graduated from UC Riverside with a degree in English Literature and Public Policy. She is originally from the San Gabriel Valley and is always happy to exchange boba shop recommendations. She currently lives in Long Beach.

Ryan Kurtzman


Ryan Kurtzman is a current 2018-2019 Management Assistant, rotating through Technology & Innovation, Development Services, City Manager’s Office, and Financial Management.

Ryan graduated from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs with a Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) degree. He is interested in land use policy and planning, economic development, adaptive reuse, inclusive open space design, and bringing arts and technology into the planning profession.

Prior to serving as a Management Assistant, Ryan worked as a Policy Fellow for the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. While there, he provided program support for the Great Streets Initiative, developed strategies to advance equitable access to City recreation programs in preparation for the 2028 Olympic Games, and created a need-based criteria to prioritize capital improvements to the City’s parks. Ryan also served as a Researcher for the UCLA Institute of Transportation Studies. He contributed to the Institute’s report that examined the causes of public transit ridership decline in Southern California.

Prior to enrolling at UCLA, Ryan earned his B.S. in Environmental Health Science from UNC Chapel Hill. He then worked in his native Washington, DC for four years – first at the US EPA and then at an energy efficiency start-up, all while moonlighting as a barista and volunteering for a local smart growth advocacy group. It was this engagement with community members that inspired Ryan to pursue a graduate degree in planning. Ryan currently lives in Long Beach and enjoys hiking, jogging, and reading science fiction.