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Jenny Kao, Nathan Brostrom and Epiphanie Gillette will share their equity journeys

The Office of Workplace Inclusion & Belonging, in partnership with Internal Communications, is pleased to present the last in the 2023 series of unscripted conversations with UCOP leaders on equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), and our efforts toward becoming an anti-racist organization.

The Leading Toward Equity series has a central premise: Becoming an anti-racist organization is a journey that will take time and continual effort. There is not a single group or office within UCOP that is solely responsible for that journey or for advancing a culture of EDI at UCOP.

During these conversations, our leaders will share unvarnished truths about their personal experiences with EDI, their journeys of learning in this space and how they are leading efforts to further EDI and anti-racism efforts at UCOP. This is a unique opportunity for staff to hear from our leaders, while reflecting on our own experiences of discrimination, bias and privilege based on race, economic class or other dimensions. We encourage staff to attend with the mindset of engaging with colleagues to think through how we can commit to shared accountability, move toward becoming an anti-racist organization and strengthen a culture of EDI at UCOP.

This Leading Toward Equity session will feature Jenny Kao, chief of staff to President Drake, President’s Executive Office, and Nathan Brostrom, executive vice president and chief financial officer for the University of California. Epiphanie Gillette, executive advisor, UC Legal, will moderate.

During this virtual event, staff will be able to participate through the Zoom chat feature and by asking questions during the second half of the session.

Join us

About our panelists

Jenny Kao rides a Vespa while on vacation in Rome.

Jenny Kao is chief of staff to University of California President Michael V. Drake, M.D. She serves as President Drake’s top executive advisor and confidant on a wide range of issues, helps develop and execute the university’s policy and strategy agenda, manages crises and issues, mediates disputes and resolves problems, and advances the president’s vision for UC’s role as an engine of social mobility and opportunity in California. She also served as chief of staff for former UC President Janet Napolitano, and has worked directly for five UC presidents.

An immigrant and a product of California public education, Jenny has worked in the public sector and in public higher education for more than 25 years. Before her current role, she served as UC’s chief policy advisor, where she worked to eliminate standardized testing in UC admissions and managed UCOP’s efforts around Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Her previous UC positions have included serving as chief of staff for UCOP Public Affairs; as the founding executive director for Issues Management, Policy Analysis and Coordination at UCOP; and co-leader of the university’s State Governmental Relations office in Sacramento.

Jenny earned her bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley and a master’s degree in public affairs from Princeton University. Jenny serves on the Strategic Advisory Council for UC Berkeley’s Asian American and Asian Diaspora Studies. A non-native English speaker, she also speaks Mandarin and French.

Nathan Brostrom and his wife, Caitlin, enjoy a boat ride outside of Stockholm.

Nathan Brostrom is executive vice president and chief financial officer for the University of California, a position he has held since 2014. In this role he oversees all aspects of financial management for the UC system, which has an annual operating budget of more than $47 billion and managed assets of $168 billion. Nathan’s areas of responsibility include asset management, debt management, the systemwide operating budget, capital finance and planning, risk services, procurement and financial accounting.

During the 2019-2020 academic year, Nathan also served as the interim chancellor for UC Merced. Under his leadership, UC Merced was recognized as the top university in the U.S. for exceeding projected graduation rates. He was also instrumental in delivering the Merced 2020 Project — a $1.3 billion public-private partnership to double the size of the campus.

Prior to his role as UC CFO, Nathan worked at UC Berkeley, where he served as executive vice president for business operations, after spending four years as vice chancellor for administration. Before UC, he spent 10 years as a managing director and manager at JPMorgan.

Nathan graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University and holds a master’s degree in public and international affairs from Princeton University. He serves on boards for the Keck Telescope, the California Academy of Sciences and Futures Without Violence, an international organization that works to reduce domestic abuse and violence against women and children.

Epiphanie Gillette hikes near her hometown of El Paso, Texas

Epiphanie Gillette is the executive advisor for the general counsel and senior vice president of Legal Affairs and the deputy general counsel of Legal Policy and Operations. She joined UC Legal – Office of the General Counsel — in 2019. She provides strategic thought partnership and support across a range of responsibilities, including human resources; UC Legal’s equity, diversity and inclusion initiatives; internal communications; and other administrative and strategic projects.

Prior to joining UC Legal, Epiphanie served as a conflict of interest officer for the University of Arizona, where she was responsible for building and maintaining a coordinated compliance program. Epiphanie also worked as a practicing attorney in large and small law firms in Arizona and Texas.

Epiphanie has a bachelor’s degree from Amherst College in Massachusetts and a juris doctorate from the University of Texas School of Law.

Previous Leading Toward Equity events

Sept. 15, 2023: September recording | September summary
— Charlie Robinson, general counsel and senior vice president, Legal Affairs
— Marie Hairston, associate vice president of Systemwide HR Strategy and Staff EDIB
— Günter Waibel, associate vice provost and executive director at the California Digital Library (moderator)

May 10, 2023: May recording | May summary
— Rachael Nava, executive vice president and chief operating officer
— Paul Williams, associate vice president and chief procurement officer
— Shirley Bittlingmeier, executive director, IT Client Services, Information Technology Services (moderator)

Feb. 15, 2023: February recording | February summary
— Pamela Brown, vice president, Institutional Research and Academic Planning
— Van Williams, vice president, Information Technology Services, and chief information officer, UC
— Andenet Emiru, director of external partnerships and projects at the Center for Data-driven Insights and Innovation (moderator)

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