Meet The Team

Chief of Staff

Alice Lee, BS

Lee brings over 30 years of experience in public service, including a 13-year tenure at Hawes Hill & Associates, LLP, a firm that specializes in special purpose districts, Executive Director for the Southwest Management District, Chief of Staff to both Council Member Martha Wong and Council Member Chris Bell, and Administrative Coordinator for Mayor Pro-Tem Gordon Quan and Mayor Pro-Tem Carol Alvarado. Lee has also served as President of the Chinese Professional Club Scholarship Fund, Inc. and President of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance Houston Lodge. Lee is married to Mark Lee, a native Houstonian, and they have two children, Eric and Katherine.

Deputy Chief of Staff

Jamaal Smith, BS

Smith brings 22 years of experience in public service, most recently as Director of Government and Community Affairs for Harris County Precinct One. Prior to this, Smith dedicated eight years to the Texas Army National Guard as a staff officer, Deputy Director of Government Relations for the City of Houston, as well as several roles supporting elected officials as executive director, legislative director, community liaison, and campaign manager.

Chief Compliance Officer

Miryea Ayala, JD

A Houston attorney with experience in both affirmative and defensive civil litigation. Ayala most recently served as judge of Harris County Civil Court at Law No. 4. Prior to this, Ayala served as an Attorney for the Harris County Attorney's Office. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Duke University in 2014 and law degree from the University of Texas School of Law in 2017. Drawn to public service, she worked with the UT School of Law’s Domestic Violence Clinic while still in law school. Ayala lives in Houston with her husband and their two Great Pyrenees rescue dogs.

Chief Talent Officer

Blake Ellis, Ph.D

Dr. Ellis brings over 15 years of experience in higher education, the nonprofit sector, and local government. He has previously served in various roles in higher education, including Professor, Associate Vice President, Vice President, and Chief Engagement Officer. Dr. Ellis earned his Ph.D. in 20th-century political history from Rice University and holds master's degrees from Baylor University and Rice University. He is a two-time recipient of National Endowment for the Humanities awards, winner of Rice University’s Stockbridge Vaughan prize, and a recipient of the Robert McGehee Equality Award. He lives in Houston with his husband, two young sons, and their Great Dane Astro.

Director of Talent

Daniel Rodriguez, JD

Rodriguez is a native Houstonian with over 17 years of leadership experience serving in the military, as well as the sales and energy industries. Rodriguez served five years as a Marine Officer and deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Most recently, he served as East US VP of Operations, Surface Production Systems for Schlumberger. At Schlumberger he learned firsthand the importance of recruiting, developing, and retaining top talent. Rodriguez earned his Bachelor’s in Philosophy from Oral Roberts University, Master of Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas, and Juris Doctorate from the University of Houston Law Center. He is an Officer for the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston (HisBA) and an active volunteer for Consejos Legales which provides free legal advice in Spanish. He lives in Houston with his high school sweetheart and their daughter.

Chief Infrastructure, Engineering, and Planning Officer

Reynaldo Guerra, Ph.D, ENV SP

Dr. Guerra previously served as Deputy Director of Operations & Facility Infrastructure for the Harris County Toll Road Authority (HCTRA) and prior to that as Planning and Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Division Manager for Harris County Precinct 2. Guerra’s led the rehabilitation of the Washburn Tunnel and Lynchburg Ferry Systems, spearheaded the development of HCTRA’s first system-wide asset management system, has led various transportation and urban community plans across Precinct 2, and led the design and construction of James Driver Park, a regional all-inclusive park for children and adults of all ages and abilities.

Chief Community Engagement and Government Affairs Officer

Erin Mincberg Spiegel, BA

Mincberg Spiegel brings 15 years of experience in government and community advocacy. Most recently, she spent five years working with Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher, including two years as her District Director. Immediately prior, she helped lead the successful elections of Congresswoman Fletcher, Congresswoman Katie Porter, and then-Senator Kamala Harris. Before that, Mincberg Spiegel served as a Senior Advisor under Attorney General Kamala Harris, acting as her political liaison. She began her career in Houston in the areas of non-profit development and government public relations. She and her husband Scotty live in Houston with their two Weimaraner’s.

Director of Government Affairs

Freddy Guerra, MA

Guerra has over a decade of experience in local government and public service. He has previously served as an educator, a city administrator, and as an executive director for an economic development corporation. His public service includes two-terms as mayor of Roma, TX in the Rio Grande Valley. Guerra earned a BA in Political Science from The University of Texas-Pan American and holds a master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas-Austin. He lives in Houston, with his wife, Lena Silva, and their two pups.

Director of Community Engagement

Seth Cohen, BA

Cohen has spent the last decade in community advocacy and engagement across the country. He is excited to return to Houston after working with the Texas House Democratic Campaign Committee in 2020. Prior to moving to Houston, he oversaw voter engagement programs for both Congressman Tom O’Halleran and Congresswoman Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. He began his career in Charlotte, North Carolina with then Mayor Anthony Foxx.

Chief Financial Officer/Chief Operating Officer

Aaron Moore, MS

Moore served as Chief Financial Officer for the Baltimore City Department of Public Works. Immediately prior, Aaron served as Deputy Director for the Mayor's Office of Recovery Programs. Prior to supporting the establishment of the Recovery Office, he served as Assistant Budget Director in the Department of Finance conducting centralized financial oversight of the City’s $3.8 billion budget and administering the City’s financial response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Prior to joining the City of Baltimore, Aaron served as a Manager for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Baltimore. He has also held positions at the Greater Baltimore Committee, Democratic National Committee, Office of Representative Elijah E. Cummings, and various political consulting firms.

Chief Communications Officer

Leah Shah, BA

Shah brings over 15 years of experience as a Journalist and Communications Executive in the public and non-profit sectors. Most recently she served as Director of Communications and Voter Outreach for Harris County Election Administration. Immediately prior, she served as Director of Public Relations for Houston First Corporation, the official Destination Management Organization (DMO) for Houston, Public Information Officer for the City of Austin, and as Managing Editor for two newspapers in Williamson County, Texas. Shah lives in Houston with her husband and two small children.

Director of Administration

Alma Rincon

Alma Rincon brings 25 years of experience in city and county government. Most recently she served as Executive Administrative Manager for Sheriff Ed Gonzalez and Sheriff Adrian Garcia. She also has served under the leadership of Commissioner Sylvia R. Garcia and the City of Houston Mayor’s Office. She resides with her two son’s and her faithful poodle Coco.

Chief Policy and Innovation Officer

Anne Sung, MA MPP

Sung is an experienced nonprofit and public sector leader who previously held leadership positions at Project GRAD Houston, Houston ISD, and the Houston Food Bank, where she built innovative programs and policies to expand community opportunities. A passionate community advocate, Sung co-founded the Harvard-MIT Math Tournament and Community Voices for Public Education and was a founding board member of New Leaders Council - Houston. Sung and her husband live in Houston with their wonderful daughter.