Board of Director Biographies



Yu Ming Charter School is both a 501c3 not-for-profit corporation as well as a public school.  It is governed by a Board of Directors of up to 11 members, and supported by several Committees.  We are actively seeking individuals with relevant experience and expertise to serve on Board Committees and on our Board.


The Board is responsible for establishing broad policies and overseeing high-level decisions that affect the School, including:

  • Defining or refining the organization’s mission, values, vision and strategy;
  • Adopting policies to ensure that the school is run effectively, legally, and ethically;
  • Hiring, overseeing, evaluating, and supporting the school Principal;
  • Monitoring the operational budget and finances for long-term viability;
  • Setting policies and approving documents as required by state or federal law; and
  • Seeing that adequate funds are secured for the operating and capital needs of the school.

Note:  Board members can be collectively reached at



Eric Peterson (

Chair.  Parent-elected Board member.  Parent of 2 Yu Ming students. 

Eric is Director of Special Education for West Contra Costa Unified School District in Richmond, CA. In this position, he helps supervise a program that has over 400 staff and which serves over 4,100 students with exceptional needs. Eric previously was the Principal of Dover Elementary School, the largest elementary school in the district with over 800 students in preschool through sixth grade. Dover also has a bilingual program in Spanish. While he was Principal at Dover, Eric oversaw the completion of an over $20 million reconstruction of the school.  In addition, his school increased student achievement even while managing significant budget cuts during the recession. Eric is also an accomplished educator and was honored in a White House ceremony in 2011 as a National Board Certified Teacher. He has experience teaching at all grade levels and has taught in Virginia, California, and in Alaska Native villages. He has a Master’s degree in Education from the College of William and Mary and holds a PhD in Educational Leadership from Concordia University. Eric is active in several professional organizations, including the Association of California School Administrators and the California Association for Bilingual Education.  Eric developed Spanish proficiency through study in Mexico and Guatemala, and he also studied Mandarin in college.


Brianna Swartz (

Vice Chair.  Chair of Board Development Committee.

Brianna leads operations and technology systems at Education Pioneers, a nonprofit organization working to bring thousands of exceptional leaders and managers into the Education sector, to advance the critical work of hundreds of education organizations, and to impact the education of millions of students nationwide. Prior to joining Education Pioneers, Brianna administered the membership programs and operations of the California Charter Schools Association. She also served as a leader of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network San Francisco Bay Area (YNPNsfba), an active voice for thousands of young professionals that provides support for young nonprofit professionals through professional and leadership development, networking events, and social opportunities.

Brianna graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a degree in political science, and received a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Southern California.


Jessica Norman (

Treasurer and Chair of Finance

Jessica is Senior Advisor at ExED where she prepares budgets and financial feasibility studies for start-up charter schools and provides other technical assistance prior to school openings. Previously as VP of School Finance for ExED, she functioned as the CFO for several charter schools in Los Angeles. Jessica is also a consultant for Pacific Charter School Development where she conducts financial feasibility and risk analysis of charter school facility projects. Previously, Jessica worked for the Urban Education Partnership as Associate Director of Research and Evaluation. She has also worked at LAUSD in the Program Evaluation and Research Branch, analyzing data on charter schools, and at Mathematica Policy Research in Washington DC as a research assistant. Jessica holds a master’s degree in public policy from UCLA and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Pleasanton with her husband and two young sons.


Thompson Paine (


Thompson is General Manager of Quizlet, an education software company based in San Francisco that builds digital learning tools for millions of students and teachers globally. Thompson speaks Mandarin Chinese and has a decade of experience in China-related work and study. He taught English in Northeast China’s Liaoning Province after college and served for two years as a political analyst at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. In graduate school Thompson worked on China-focused projects at Apple, the law firm of Morrison Foerster, and the White House’s U.S. Trade Representative’s Office. Thompson is very passionate about education, and foreign language education in particular. His mother is a retired high school French teacher, and in his free time he has volunteered as an ESL and civics teacher at the International Institute of the Bay Area and taught basic legal rights to incarcerated youth through StreetLaw. Thompson has a B.A. in Political Science and Asian Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was a Morehead-Cain Scholar, and a J.D./M.B.A from Stanford University. He is a member of the State Bar of California and a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.


Julie Mikuta (

Chair of Education Committee.

Julie is Senior Director of Education at the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation. Prior to joining Schusterman, Julie was a Managing Director at NewSchools Venture Fund, focused on teacher preparation. Previously, she led trainings for school board and superintendent-teams of large urban districts at the Center for Reform of School Systems. Julie served as an elected member of the D.C. Board of Education from 2001 until 2004. During her time on the School Board, Julie was Vice President of Alumni Affairs for Teach For America. Julie began her career in education teaching high school science in New Orleans through Teach For America. She graduated from Georgetown University, where she was captain of the women’s basketball team and did a doctorate at Oxford University, as a Rhodes Scholar. Julie is on the boards of Stand for Children, Urban Teacher Center, New Teacher Center and Relay Graduate School of Education, and on the Advisory Board of Teaching Works at the University of Michigan.

Julie lives in Oakland with her eleven year old daughter who attends a Mandarin immersion charter school.


Joy Lee (

Joy is an International Market Research and Insights Manager at Fitbit where she works with teams to understand consumers across countries and guide development of culturally relevant marketing communication. Her past experience includes serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in China where she taught English at Panzhihua University and an internship with Education Pioneers where she worked at a foundation to analyze their portfolio of education investments and help streamline their grants management system. She has experience tutoring for various organizations including Building Skills Partnership and Literacy Volunteers. Her additional professional experience includes serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Bolivia and roles at Clorox in consumer insights and UBS in operations. She graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a BS in Business Administration and minor in Engineering and holds an MBA from the University of Michigan.



Ron Lewis(

Diversity and Enrollment Committee

Ron is the Regional Manager for New Partnerships at eSpark Learning, an organization with the mission to re-imagine learning so it is student-centered, enabling students to succeed in school and life. In this role, he oversees the partnership development across 25 states in eSpark’s western region. Prior to eSpark, Ron worked as a District Partnership Manager at Chalk Schools, Chief of Staff at African Leadership Academy, and a Consultant at Bain & Company. Ron’s deep passion for helping all student get access to high-quality educational experiences developed during his time as a board member of USC’s Norman Topping Student Aid Fund and as a 7th-grade summer school math teacher at Oakland Unified’s Roots International Academy. Ron is a proud Oakland native who received his BA in business administration from the University of Southern California and his MBA from Stanford University.



Lucia Hwang (

Chair of Facilities Committee.  Parent-Elected Board Member.  Parent of 2nd grade student.

Lucia Hwang is a Yu Ming founding family parent, former cochair of the school’s Family Support Organization (FSO), and former head of the FSO communications committee. In her professional life, Lucia is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of investigative reporting and writing experience, and has worked at California Lawyer, the San Francisco Examiner, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and Newsday. She is also coauthor of the book Every Nonprofit’s Guide to Publishing. Lucia currently edits the magazine of National Nurses United, the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in the United States, and works as a key member of the organization’s communications team. Though Lucia was born in a Mandarin-speaking country, she gained her current fluency and literacy skills through her college studies and commitment to ongoing personal learning. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in English and minor in education, and also holds a master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.