Kristina Loquist, Chief of Staff
Housing/Homelessness, Land Use
Kristina Loquist has staffed Supervisor Simitian on land use, parks and open space, and housing and homelessness since his return to the Board of Supervisors in January 2013. Prior to that she worked on his staff in a variety of roles both when he served as a County Supervisor and as a member of the State Legislature. Kristina has a Master's in Urban Planning and a BA in Economics with a concentration in Latin American Studies both from UCLA.
Kris Zanardi, Policy Director
Budget, Finance, Education, Transportation, Registrar of Voters
Kris Zanardi works on budget, transportation, intergovernmental relations, education, and matters within the jurisdiction of the Finance and Government Operations Committee. Previously she worked at the City of San Jose, focused on the City’s budget, and for over twenty years at the state level working on public policy and budget matters in various capacities for the California State Legislature. Kris has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Immigration, Education, Domestic Violence, Housing Outreach
Katherine works on the press and outreach team, and also staffs Supervisor Simitian on policy areas including immigration, education, and domestic violence. Born and raised in North County, she previously worked in immigration law and has experience teaching and working with students of varying ages on subjects ranging from Literature to English as a Second Language. She holds an MA in Political Science from the University of British Columbia and a BA in Political Science with a minor in Spanish from Clark University in Worcester, MA.
Julie Del Fava
Julie Del Fava is the office manager for County Supervisor Simitian. After being a full-time mother for 15 years, she received her BA in Liberal Arts from San Jose State and was hired to be Supervisor Simitian’s Office Manager. Having grown up in Los Altos, Julie enjoys offering constituent care and connecting with the District 5 community.
Peter Estaniel works on outreach and communications, and staffs Supervisor Simitian on policy areas including business/tech, seniors, social services, and veterans. Previously, he worked in sales and marketing in the local craft beer industry. Prior to that, he worked as a graphic designer and email marketer for an international IT company. Raised in San Jose, Peter has a BA in Graphic Design from San Jose State University.
Sustainability, Women's Issues, LGBTQ+, The Arts
Candace Joy is a long-time Simitian staffer who has been with Supervisor Simitian since his days in the California State Legislature. She works on a wide array of subjects including women’s issues, LGTBQ+ affairs, the arts, and environmental sustainability and conservation (including water, trees, animals, and waste management). Candace’s passion for sustainability began in college where she led the policy team on the Zero Emission Model (ZEM) tiny-house project at San Jose State University. She is devoted to good governance and previously worked with the California Ethics and Democracy Project as a consultant.
Kelsey Martinez Combellick
Communications, Press/Media and Outreach
Kelsey Martinez Combellick staffs Supervisor Simitian on communications, media relations, and outreach. Prior experience includes leading integrated marketing and communications strategy for health and hospitals, serving as PIO and brand manager for a regional trauma center in Orange County and more than 10 years in corporate communications in the television industry. Born and raised in the Bay Area, she earned a Master in Public Administration from California State University Long Beach, graduating summa cum laude.
Public Safety/Justice, Technology, Privacy
Brian Pascal is Supervisor Simitian’s policy advisor on public safety, criminal justice, surveillance, data privacy and security, and science and technology. He has worked in a variety of fields at the intersection of technology, law, and policy as an academic, a consultant, and an attorney. Brian received his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School, his undergraduate degree in physics from Duke University, and in between he studied science writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is also a non-residential fellow at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society.
Meeting Requests, Parks, Press/Communications, Interns
Christine Prior serves as Supervisor Simitian’s scheduler and executive assistant. She also works on federal affairs, education, and parks, and manages the office’s intern program. Christine received a degree in political science and public policy from the University of California, Berkeley.
Health & Hospitals, Labor
Matt Savage works on Health Care Policy. Before joining the office, he was the Transportation and Environmental Policy Analyst for San Jose City Councilmember Sylvia Arenas. He has a graduate degree in Public Administration and Healthcare Administration from Cal State East Bay and a B.A. from Lewis & Clark College. Before grad school, Matt was the political coordinator for UFCW in Santa Clara County. During grad school, he worked in the nonprofit industry in North County and previously spent a decade working on political campaigns. He grew up in North County and lives with his wife and one-year old daughter in West San Jose. Matt had hobbies before she was born.
Press/Media, Outreach, Children & Youth, Education, Faith Communities
Khalida Sarwari is a member of the communications and outreach team. In addition to being a press aide, she staffs Supervisor Simitian on policy areas including child and youth welfare and education, and serves as a liaison to the faith community. Raised in the East Bay, she spent the first 11 years of her career working as a journalist for several outlets in the Bay Area, including The Mercury News, reporting on a range of subjects, including business, education, and local and state politics, before making a transition to public relations in Boston, Massachusetts. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from Saint Mary’s College of California.
Press/Media, Social Media, Outreach, Nonprofits
Jennifer Thrift is a member of the communications and outreach team with a focus on press and social media. In addition to serving as Supervisor Simitian's press aide, she is the nonprofit lead. Prior to this role, Jennifer spent 12 years working in healthcare communications and media relations. She has a bachelor's degree from Northern Arizona University.