We are a team of creative, fierce, and diverse problem solvers.

Maia Sciupac

CoFounder, Instructor 

As the daughter of South American, Jewish, immigrant parents, Maia has dedicated her life and career to social justice and human rights issues. After learning that a close friend had been sold for sex as a child, she focused the first ten years of her career to the field of anti-human trafficking.

 

Despite graduating at the height of the 2008 recession, she pursued her passion for social entrepreneurship by working at a San Francisco startup by day, and on anti-trafficking initiatives by night. Some of these initiatives included: starting a modern-day slavery radio show; writing and publishing policy memos for the California Research Bureau on the sexual exploitation of homeless youth; interning for a nonprofit that deterred child sex trafficking in Thailand by raising money for scholarships; and working as a 2010 Client Services Fellow for Polaris (a national anti-trafficking organization).

 

Eventually, she found a $300,000 grant to fund a position for herself and launch the Human Exploitation and Trafficking (HEAT) Watch Program at the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. In less than five years, she took their prosecution unit and turned it into an award-winning Statewide Initiative. Some of the work she did there was a successful billboard campaign to change the minds of the community around child sex trafficking, a graphic novel series on trafficking risk factors for high school youth, and a web-app that engaged the community and businesses on a Statewide human trafficking law. Eventually, she was asked by the USDOJ to teach the HEAT Watch model to communities across the Nation.

 

After working for the District Attorney's Office, Maia pivoted to tech, and helped launch digital products for Thorn, like Spotlight, a machine-learning tool to find victims of trafficking online; and a redesign of their website and marketing strategy. She also worked as a Product Manager for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, where she helped improve the user experience of their internal Amber Alert program, and ran a design sprint for their search missing kids tool. 

 

Currently, Maia works on the Innovation Delivery Team at Booz Allen Hamilton, where she gets to be a polymath and explore her interests in human-centered design, instructional design, & blockchain technology.

Maia received an AA from DeAnza Community College, a BA (summa cum laude) from UC Berkeley, and an MBA from Johns Hopkins University. 

 

Gabe Arteaga

CoFounder and CEO

Gabe has dedicated his career to being a proponent for hard-working, low-income families. Most recently, he led the strategic vision and implementation for a coalition of over 230 community colleges in 23 states as the National Manager for The Democracy Commitment, with the goal to engage students in civic engagement to prepare them for democratic life and action upon graduation.

 

Prior to that, Gabe worked for various members of Congress, both in California and Washington D.C., including California Senator Barbara Boxer, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo, and Congressman Eric Swalwell. His primary areas of focus included immigration, healthcare, and Latino issues.

 

Gabe also has experience working with the Progressive Era Project, a group of donors promoting progressive policies, identifying emerging leaders, and advocating for underrepresented communities, particularly communities of color, in Southern California.

 

Finally, Gabe is a proud Board Member of La Familia Counseling Service, an inclusive Latino community-based multicultural non-profit organization committed to strengthening the emotional wellness of individuals and the preservation of families. 

Gabe has an AA from the College of San Mateo, where he served as a Student Senator, and representative of the American Student Association of Community Colleges. He also received his BA from the University of California, Riverside, and is pursuing his MBA from American University.

Meet Our Dynamic Advisors, Interns and Partnering Consultants

Ashley Albert

Advisor

Ashley Albert is a communications professional at LinkedIn where she currently specializes in internal communications for the global sales team. Prior to LinkedIn, she served as a District Representative for the U.S. House of Representatives in CA-15, where she addressed issues like Education, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, and Financial Services.

 

She also worked as an Assistant Account Executive at FleishmanHillard; a Change Management-Communications Specialist at Cisco; and a Senior Account Executive at Edelman.

 

An advocate for education and economic development, Ashley spends time out of the office dedicated to advancing economic opportunities for underrepresented communities.

Andres Marquez-Lara

Advisor

Andres is the Founder and Passion Catalyst at Promethean Community LLC, a social enterprise that supports leaders by increasing their capacity to drive social innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

 

Andres is Faculty at the Executive Master in Policy Leadership at the Georgetown University McCourt School of Public Policy, a Guest Lecturer on leadership at Georgetown University Institute for Transformative Leadership, and a Senior Fellow at the George Washington University Center for Excellence in Public Leadership. 

 

In 2014, he was named one of the emerging social innovators of the year in North America by Ashoka and American Express.

Craig Guiliano

Advisor

Craig is a former security consultant and U.S. Intelligence Officer with 15 years of professional experience in cybersecurity consulting and professional services. For over 10 years, Craig served as a U.S. Intelligence Officer with four tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, Europe and Africa; and was selected to brief the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and other senior policymakers.

 

Currently, Craig works at Aon Benfield to focus on the Cyber Practice Group. Craig graduated from the Virginia Military Institute with Distinction, and will graduate from Johns Hopkins University with a MBA in Finance.

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Sura Al-Naimi

HCD Facilitator

Sura is a creative problem solver & design thinking provocateur. Since 2002, she has facilitated human-centered innovation solutions through a variety of lenses – at Disney, with Fortune 500 challenger innovation brand consultancies, consulting for brands such as Unilever, GSK, P&G, Levis and Gap, while also firing up start-ups. 

 

With her wealth of expertise both on macro and mirco levels, playing an integral part of the in-house innovation team at Disney, she's helped companies introduce new lines of business, establish award-winning national campaigns, blue sky thinking and reimagine old sales and marketing processes, among other functions. 

 

She now blends this entrepreneurial drive-your-own-bus spirit with navigating big organization dynamics, and partners with like-minded collaborators.

In her spare time, Sura is obsessed with experiencing different cultures, having moved 11 times by the time she was 11, all things mind related as an NLP practitioner and coming together around food. 

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Tara Pokras

HCD Fellow

Tara Pokras is interested in using design thinking and creative problem solving to uncover new solutions to social impact issues. She is a global health professional with over 8 years of experience in project management, development and implementation in the nonprofit, public sector and social enterprise spaces. She has dedicated much of her life to cultivating leaders, managing interdisciplinary teams, and developing organizations across a wide variety of issue areas.

 

She recently graduated with a Masters of Public Health at The George Washington University's Milken School of Public Health with focus on the intersection of women’s health, business, and innovation. Prior to graduate school she managed thousands of volunteers at over 300 partner hospitals at the non-profit organization Project Sunshine.

 

During her tenure she designed, prototyped, and scaled two new hospital programs. In addition, Tara is the founder of Period Portraits a project grounded in design thinking theories, breaking down the stigma of menstruation through vulnerable storytelling and empowering photographed portraits.

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Join our team

We're always looking to work with great talent. Check out the opportunities below, and if you don't see what you're looking for, email us your cover letter, resume, a portfolio (if applicable) and a compelling reason why you'd be a great fit for Create&. ​

Note that we often work with contractors who specialize in website and visual design, UX design, copywriting, and full-stack developers.