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The Staff of SPI

The Social Policy Institute (SPI) has a strong commitment to cross-system collaboration between health and human service systems and the individuals and families they serve throughout California and the nation. Our work is centered on improving access to care, quality of life, and community wellness. We bring innovation to the field through policy building, program coordination and research and evaluation.
Co-Directors Steve Hornberger and Lori Clarke are fully committed to an ecology of wellness, hope and recovery. Steve Hornberger, an NASW Pioneer and past Director of Behavioral Health for the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA), brings vision and perspective for transformation from his many years of experience with individual, family, and community well-being. Lori Clarke, lead designer for California’s Evidence-based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC) and part of the national faculty for Child Welfare Services Redesign brings a focus on adaptive leadership and change management.

Together with our staff, students, and associates, we are a team of passionate individuals who are certified, experienced facilitators providing technical assistance on local, statewide, and national issues. SPI is invested in engaging, educating, and mobilizing high performance partnerships. Our core values include leadership, excellence and quality of life and will continue to collaborate and work with other stakeholders, community leaders, and subject matter experts to achieve our mission of being a catalyst for improving the communities we serve.

Steve Hornberger

Steve Hornberger has been the Co-Director of the Social Policy Institute (SPI) since 2014 administering a number of statewide contracts and local projects…

Lori Clarke

As Chief Program Officer, Lori brings innovation and excellence to design/development and facilitation of transformational insight …

Brenda Bothel-Hammond

Brenda Bothel-Hammond is the SPI Aging Specialist who has dedicated the past 20 years to supporting older adults’…

Angelica Oberleithner

Angelica joined SPI in 2016 and since then has provided program leadership across various initiatives, such as the statewide IHSS Training Academy…

Clorinda Merino

Clorinda joined SPI in 2022 as Implementation Specialist, supporting multiple projects across the Social Policy Institute. Clorinda brings extensive experience…

Leda M Albright

Leda has worked in the strengthening families field for the past 25 years and was Executive Director for a family resource center in Orange County…

Yvonne Epps

Yvonne is a former Protective Services Worker who possesses valuable knowledge and insight into the child welfare system. Having recently graduated with a Master’s in macro practice Social Work from Boston University…

Jakob Schmall

After volunteering with SPI during his fourth year as undergraduate student at SDSU studying Biology with minors in Interdisciplinary Studies and Cognitive & Behavioral Neuroscience…

Michelle Matter

Michelle Matter is Director of Aging for the Center for Excellence in Aging and Longevity (CEAL). She brings more than 20 years of experience working in state government, higher education,

Fernando Reyes

Fernando Reyes is the Peer Support Specialist for the Center for Excellence in Aging & Longevity (CEAL). His experience includes working for the State of California for 18 years.

Stories of Success

What Our Partners Say

Elizabeth Estes

“The Social Policy Institute’s Director, Steve Hornberger, has been an integral part of Breaking Barriers development and implementation.”

Elizabeth Estes

Robin Jenkins

“San Diego State University’s Social Policy Institute has been a highly valued partner for the State of California and an array of organizations seeking to effectively translate evidence-supported science into well-designed public policies for broad social benefits.”

Robin Jenkins

Dr. Rachelle Benson

“The entire team at the Social Policy Institute brought subject matter expertise and cultural humility to the revision and redesign of our Faith-based and Behavioral Health Training Academy!”

Dr. Rachelle Benson

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