PTBi's New Associate Director, Solaire Spellen

The UCSF California Preterm Birth Initiative is thrilled to announce that we have appointed our new Associate Director, Ms. Solaire Spellen, MPH. Solaire was most recently the Associate Director for PTBi's Collective Impact partner Expecting Justice.

In addition to her experience working with PTBi through Expecting Justice, Solaire also carried out her graduate student research with PTBi’s SOLARS Study. She holds a strong background in Black maternal health research, community engagement as well as program and grants management. Solaire has a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from New York University and earned an MPH, with a focus on Maternal and Child Health, at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health. Her research explored the relationship between racism and discrimination-related stress and adverse birth outcomes among Black women. Solaire also engaged in race equity and social justice work in the Bay Area through the Participatory Budgeting Project.

Solaire with Expecting Justice team at #BacktoBlackSolaire with the Expecting Justice team at last year's #BlacktoSF event

Solaire is taking up the role previously held by PTBi Executive Director Alexis Cobbins and will start on Sept. 1. In close collaboration with Alexis, she will be responsible for developing and implementing project management protocols and procedures for all aspects of the PTBi’s work. This includes overseeing many of the financial aspects of the initiative, such as granting mechanisms, procurement, compliance, workforce development and sustainability. Solaire will also be developing relationships with various community, governmental and other nonprofit organizations to raise funds and awareness and to build resources.

Solaire brings an impressive combination of skills, energy, innovative thinking, and authentic positivity to the table. We are so excited to have Solaire join our executive leadership team as we continue in our commitment to furthering birth research while addressing and dismantling structural and interpersonal racism.