Leadership and Staff

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Martín Sánchez-Jankowski
sanjan [at] berkeley.edu

Martín Sánchez-JankowskiMartín Sánchez-Jankowski is Director of the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues and Professor of Sociology. He also leads ISSI's Center for Ethnographic Research and co-leads the Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues. He received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in political science and economics. His research focuses on inequality in advanced and developing societies and has been directed toward understanding the social arrangements and behavior of people living in poverty. He has studied urban gangs within U.S. low-income neighborhoods, resulting in the book Islands in the Street: Gangs and American Urban Society (1991). Subsequent studies have been directed at education, some of the results being reported in a book co-authored with five other Berkeley faculty entitled Inequality By Design: Cracking the Bell Curve Myth (1996); and the social order of neighborhoods, with those results being published in Cracks in the Pavement: Social Change and Resilience in Poor Neighborhoods (2008). His most recent book is Burning Dislike: Ethnic Violence in High Schools (2016). He is currently engaged in comparative field research on poverty among indigenous groups within the U.S. and Fiji.



Associate Director

Deborah Freedman Lustig
dlustig [at] berkeley.edu

Deborah Freedman LustigDeborah Freedman Lustig is a cultural anthropologist whose research has focused on gender and education in the United States and Kenya, where she was a Fulbright Senior Scholar in 2004-5. Lustig earned her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Michigan. Her articles about teenage mothers have been published in the journals Anthropology and Education Quarterly and Childhood and in the edited volume Childhood, Youth, and Social Work in Transformation:  Implications for Policy and Practice (Columbia University Press, 2009). Her recent research on risk and violence among young adults coming of age in Oakland, California has been published in Children and Youth Services Review and in the edited volume Education and the Risk Society: Theories, Discourse, and Risk Identities in Education Contexts (Sense Publishers 2012) and is available here. From 2006-2011 Lustig coordinated the research and training activities of the Center on Culture, Immigration, and Youth Violence Prevention, a project of the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues. In addition to helping direct the overall research mission of the Institute, she is the Academic Coordinator for the ISSI research centers, as well one of the Co-Directors of the Graduate Fellows Program.  To read more about Dr. Lustig click here.


Administrative Manager

Maxwell Vanderwarker
maxwellvan [at] berkeley.edu

Photo of Maxwell VanderwarkerMaxwell Vanderwarker is the Administrative Manager for ISSI. He received his BA in English from UC Berkeley, where he was involved in LGBT+ leadership with Oscar Wilde House as Network Manager and Social Coordinator.  After graduation, he moved into Human Resources and worked with different small tech startups in the Bay Area. He most recently was an HR Generalist for Berkeley Regional Services and College of Natural Resources. He is the Technical Coordinator for LavenderCal, the LGBT staff and faculty organization, and lives with his husband and cat in Oakland. 






Graduate Fellows Program Co-Director

David Minkus
minkus [at] berkeley.edu

David MinkusDavid Minkus has been a Research Associate and Co-Director of the Graduate Fellows Program at the Institute for more than three decades. He is currently engaged in preliminary research on access to employment and training within the informal economies of Latino ethnic enclaves.  Over the past fifteen years he has worked in research, training and consultant positions involved in design and evaluation of programs targeting at-risk youth and their families in school, after school, and community settings. He completed a one-year study of “Best Practices among Youth Serving Programs in Berkeley (2003-04),” for the City of Berkeley.  David is also the principal author (with Michael Omi) of an Evaluation of the Young Entrepreneurs at Haas School of Business’ (YEAH) Program for Bay Area high school students. David has also engaged in extensive research on travel behavior and social impacts of transportation systems within the Bay Area.  He was principal author of a variety of studies of travel behavior patterns and barriers to use of public transportation.  These include studies of the impacts of BART on Bay Area lifestyles and social institutions; the Golden Gate Park Users Transportation Surveys; and the San Francisco Downtown Shoppers Survey.  He was also principal author of the market feasibility study for the MUNI Market Street Historic Railcars.

Computer Specialist

Charles Brown  
captcb [at] berkeley.edu

Student Assistants

Amy Vuong, Events Assistant

Tiffany Wong, Communications Assistant

Karla Zamora

Advisory Board

Jane Mauldon (Chair), Associate Professor of Public Policy, Goldman School of Public Policy, UC Berkeley

Neil Fligstein, Class of 1939 Chancellor's Professor of Sociology

Amani M. Allen (formerly Nuru-Jeter), Associate Professor of Epidemiology, Community Health Sciences

Michael Omi, Associate Professor of Comparative Ethnic Studies


Photos of Deborah Lustig and David Minkus by Keegan Houser

Institute for the Study of Societal Issues
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