As chief of staff, Julie Sinai advised Mayor Tom Bates on youth and education, drawing upon her background in education policy. Sinai returned to those roots Monday when she officially became UC Berkeley’s new director of local government and community relations.
Sinai announced her decision to leave city hall for the campus position in November and is replacing former director Caleb Dardick, who left the post earlier last year.
According to Sinai, she and a graduate student collaborate within the Office of Community and Government Relations on finding ways to establish relationships between the campus and the immediate and extended communities in the Bay Area. This includes fostering partnerships with K-12 schools, California State University campuses and state community colleges, Sinai said.
“Personally and professionally, I was feeling ready for a change,” Sinai said. “With all of education really under attack right now, especially in California’s unraveling system of public education … I wanted to return to my background and help fight for education.”
During her nine years in the mayor’s office, Sinai also assisted in projects with workforce and homelessness efforts, and was involved in developing the East Bay Green Corridor — a collaboration between UC Berkeley and various East Bay cities and educational institutions that promotes the expansion of clean technology in the area.
“We’re really looking at what teams we can set up on campus working in various efforts,” Sinai said. “How do you garner the expertise which sits on this campus — which is huge — and use it to help?”
Adelyn Baxter is the lead city government reporter.