Our Team

Our team is comprised of individuals with strong academic and practical credentials who have worked on political campaigns, served as aides to elected officials, worked in respected nonprofit organizations, and have considerable experience in the public relations field.

Lisbet Sunshine

President

Lisbet Sunshine has over twenty years of political, business and management experience in the Bay Area. Prior to joining Barbary Coast, she served as chief advocate for San Francisco State University, where she led local, state and federal civic engagement and government affairs for the university. Her passion for creating opportunities for student engagement in politics and policymaking resulted in the creation of the Willie Brown Leadership Center at SF State and a nationally recognized voter registration and education effort.

A proven strategist and coalition builder, Lisbet started her career at the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, served under three mayors, and worked for several city departments, including the Department of Parking and Traffic (now the SFMTA) and San Francisco International Airport.

Lisbet received her B.A. from Yale University. A dedicated marathon runner, she is active in environmental and health-based non-profits in Marin County and serves on the Larkspur Recreation and Parks Commission.

 

 

Alexis Smith

Partner

Since joining Barbary Coast in 2006, Alexis has worked on a variety of projects spanning the public, nonprofit, and private sectors. Alexis’ background in public policy has made her an invaluable resource to clients such as the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, San Francisco Police Department, Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, and Contra Costa Transportation Authority.

Alexis led Barbary Coast’s public relations efforts for California Culinary Academy and the Court of Master Sommeliers and she currently leads Barbary Coast’s work for Bank of San Francisco. In addition to her public relations and public sector clients, Alexis led community outreach for Urban Realty’s 250,000 sq/ft CityPlace project in San Francisco’s Mid-Market neighborhood as well as stakeholder engagement and government relations strategy for two large-scale retail projects in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, respectively.

Recently, Alexis assisted KB Home with its approvals for a transit-oriented development planned for Lafayette, California. Alexis’ varied work experience includes working for a U.S. Senator, coordinating large grants for nonprofits and universities, leading public relations and marketing efforts for a technology start-up, and consulting for the administration of former Mexican President Vicente Fox on government transparency issues. Alexis has a Master’s of Public Policy from the University of Chicago, where she was named a McCormick Tribune Urban Leadership Fellow. She also has an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Amber Shipley

Vice President

Amber Shipley joins Barbary Coast Consulting after more than a decade developing her policy and communications skills in Washington, D.C. and with nonprofit organizations across the country. She brings a keen understanding of how to advance our clients’ public policy and communications goals, and excels at designing and implementing strategic initiatives across a diverse array of issue areas.

In Washington, D.C., Amber worked with Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), the first out lesbian elected to the U.S. Senate, and Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim-American elected to Congress. During that time, Amber worked on landmark legislation related to LGBT rights, voting rights, and health care. She has also worked for nonprofits in New York, Minneapolis and Seattle.

Amber holds a BA in Politics from Whitman College, a MA from Rutgers University in Women’s and Gender Studies, and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. In addition to her love for politics, Amber is an avid gardener and loves brewing and drinking beer. On sunny days, you’ll find her running on trails in the Presidio or riding her scooter around San Francisco.

 

 

 

Alia Al-Sharif

Vice President

As a child of the world, Alia has spent her life living and working on both U.S. coasts, the Middle East, and parts of Europe. Whether it’s hitting the streets in Ireland and educating folks about Fair Trade for Amnesty International or creating opportunities for women and people with disabilities in Saudi Arabia—Alia is led by her strong moral center, and is consistently thinking of how she can do better.

Born in the Bay Area, San Francisco pulled Alia back for college, and the city’s landmarks and community activism have kept her here. Having studied psychology and performing arts as an undergraduate at the University of San Francisco, Alia’s background in human behavior has equipped her with a keen sense of how people think and move.

Before joining Barbary Coast Consulting, Alia studied Public Affairs and Practical Politics as a graduate student at the University of San Francisco where she learned what is at stake in this city from some of San Francisco’s most well respected politicos. As quickly as she dove into politics, Alia is a mover and shaker that understands the value of community leadership and building consensus to enact progress.

Alia likes to spend her free time volunteering with local organizations, attending theater and dance performances, urban hiking with friends, and keeping up with local politics by watching SFGOV TV with an [insert vegan dessert here] in hand.

 

 

Peter Lauterborn

Director

Peter Lauterborn comes to Barbary Coast driven by a passion for the Bay Area and interest in meaningful public policy.

With a knack for Bay Area politics and communications, Peter’s professional experiences and diverse engagement locally allows him to provide a unique perspective to his clients. For years, Peter advocated for issues ranging from public transit to youth empowerment. Through this, he developed a keen interest in policy and communications that authentically promotes civic engagement.

Prior to joining Barbary Coast Consulting, Peter served as a Legislative Aide with the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, focusing on transportation, environmental, educational, and other policy areas. His work included concrete improvements to public transit, livability, and neighborhood commercial corridors. He also spent five years directing the YouthVote Civic Engagement program with the Department of Children, Youth, and their Families.

Peter is a graduate of San Francisco State University where he majored in History. He lives with his wife Sarah in the Inner Richmond District of San Francisco where they enjoy walking through Golden Gate Park, biking around the City, and perusing the businesses of Clement Street and all their vibrant neighborhood has to offer.

Paisley Strellis

Senior Project Manager

Paisley Strellis joined Barbary Coast with more than a decade of communications and outreach experience, working in both the public and private sector. She is an East Bay native with deep roots in and strong affections for the region.

Paisley honed her writing skills covering city politics for a community newspaper. She is an expert at making complex municipal and regional issues accessible to community members and translating the language of planners into that of laypeople. Paisley was also an early employee at market research firm Kelton Global, and has considerable experience in both qualitative and quantitative data research and analysis as well as field research. She has also assisted in community outreach for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission. Event production is another interest Paisley has pursued and she has assisted in the production of conferences and public events.

Since joining Barbary Coast, Paisley has worked for the Contra Costa Transportation Authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission on a number of outreach efforts, as well as CCTA’s annual Redefining Mobility Summit.

Paisley holds two BAs from U.C. Berkeley, one in Psychology and one in English Literature.

Annie Dulka

Senior Project Manager

A seventh generation Bay Area native, Annie comes to Barbary Coast with strong roots in and a deep passion for Bay Area politics. Her interest in civic engagement took flight during her tenure at the YMCA, where she worked on grassroots efforts to strengthen the local community.

Relational by nature, Annie next put her skills to use in Senator Barbara Boxer’s Constituent Services Office, where she researched complex civic issues and provided direct assistance to Senator Boxer’s constituents. Annie’s strong analytical skills, combined with her passion for political strategy were an asset to her work on U.S. Representative Eric Swalwell’s 2012 campaign. In the months leading up to the election, she experienced firsthand the intense world of campaign strategy and developed a strong understanding of the important relationship between grassroots organizing and systematic change.

Annie earned her B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, with a major in Political Science and a focus on the intersection of race and politics. After a semester studying in the Czech Republic, she developed a fascination with Cold War Politics and an insatiable desire to travel the world. Annie is an NPR enthusiast, a fierce card game competitor, and a lover of bagel shops and bookstores.