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CODA’s prioritized refocusing includes the alignment of skilled individuals with areas of great need. Mayor Jenny Wilson’s planned approach includes expanding the board of diverse CODA community-based advisors and partnering with specialized county staff to head up major efforts.

Council on Diversity Affairs (CODA)

Ze Min Xiao - Mayor’s Office for New Americans Director

Mayor’s Office of Diversity & Inclusion

  • Law Enforcement/Criminal Justice Subcommittee
    • Jojo Liu – Director, Criminal Justice Advisory Council
    • Sgt. Nick Renfo – Unified Police Department 
  • Housing Subcommittee
    • Mike Gallegos – Director, Housing & Community Development
  • Economic Opportunity Subcommittee
    • Wisam Khudhair – Business and Economic Development Coordinator, Office of Regional Development
  • Health Initiatives Subcommittee
    • Dr. Siosaia Hafoka – Salt Lake County Health Department
    • Jorge Mendez - COVID Response
  • Rising Young Leaders Subcommittee
    • Gabe Moreno – Salt Lake County Health Department
  • Human Resources Subcommittee
    • Pashion Whales – EEO/ER Manager
    • Emma E. Houston - IDEA and Anti-Bias Training
  • Metrics Subcommittee
    • Javaid Lal – Director of Data & Innovation

If you would like to receive the minutes from a subcommittee's meeting for a particular month, contact

Subcommittee Member Bios

Mike Gallegos - Housing Subcommittee

Michael Gallegos has an extensive career and background in the area of community and economic development. Have worked in the areas of workforce development, economic development, community revitalization, affordable housing initiatives, and homelessness services. Serves as the division director for Salt Lake County Division of Housing and Community Development and has served on many non-profit boards and commissions.

Dr. Siosaia Hafoka - Health Initiatives Subcommittee

Dr. Hafoka works at the Salt Lake County Health Department as a Health Program Analyst since 2017. Got his Ph. D in Public Health from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He created health data maps to visually identify disparate areas within Salt Lake County, evaluates county community health programs and provide data drive recommendations and provide analytics of key function of Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Program.

Emma E. Houston - Human Resources Subcommittee

Emma E. Houston works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems within the social sector to increase awareness around diversity, inclusion and equity. Her work is designed to create inclusive spaces that celebrate, acknowledge, embrace and understands the overachieving umbrella of diversity, inclusion and equity. Helping organizations to define, implement, and advance Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion internally while advocating for it in their work externally thus creating a social impact across the community.

Emma has been employed with SLCo for 18 years and is a longtime community volunteer who serves on several boards and commissions. Emma was also appointed by Governor Herbert as the chair of the Utah MLK Jr. Human Rights Commission and serves on the state’s COVID-19 Task Force.

Emma was appointed in 2016 as Diversity & Inclusion Director by Mayor Ben McAdams and recently worked with the leadership of Mayor Jenny Wilson and trained 700+ staff on diversity, inclusion and high performance. Emma currently works in Human Resources as the Training & Development Facilitator for Salt Lake County and is the team lead for the development, implementation, and training of the 7,000+ employees on the county’s I.D.E.A. initiative.

Emma holds a BS in Business Management and an MBA in Business Administration and is the owner and CEO of Brighter Day Productions, LLC. In 2019, Emma was named one of the 30 Women to Watch for her work with diversity and inclusion by Utah Business Magazine and received acknowledgment for her diversity and inclusion work from Living Color Utah.

Emma is originally from Texas and has called Utah home since 1986.

Wisam Khudhair - Economic Opportunity Subcommittee

Wisam Khudhair is a Business and Economic Development Coordinator , Regional Development Office of Salt Lake County, where Wisam is leading day-to-day administration of Environmental Protection Agency loan and grant programs including coordinating program board meetings, generating quarterly reports, managing program budget, and coordinating with contractors, funding agencies, state agencies, and other stakeholders to ensure compliance with funding requirement. Additionally, Wisam is assisting Economic Development leadership to manage innovative programs to improve economic development and business resources and opportunities throughout the County.

Before starting work with Salt Lake County, Wisam has worked as a Job Developer with Catholic Community Services Immigration and Refugee Resettlement Office. During this role, Wisam helped a lot of immigrants and refugees with employment.

Wisam loves camping, hiking and watching sports. If you have any question for Wisam please send him an email

Javaid Lal - Data & Innovation Subcommittee

Javaid Lal is the Director of Office of Data & Innovation at Salt Lake County. Office of Data & Innovation is responsible for providing data and performance solutions to Salt Lake County agencies. Javaid has been with Salt Lake County since 2006. Prior to his current role as the Director of Data & Innovation, Javaid has worked at the Clark Planetarium, County Auditor, County Library, Unified Police Department, Office of Regional Development and Department of Administrative Services in various capacities. He received his Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Utah in 2013.

Jojo Liu - Law Enforcement/Criminal Justice Subcommittee

Jojo Liu is the Director of the Salt Lake County Office of Criminal Justice Initiatives and Director of the Salt Lake County Criminal Justice Advisory Council since January 2020. She is a lawyer by training and focused her legal career on defending young people charged in the juvenile justice system. Jojo was a clinical law professor for over a decade, focusing on juvenile justice and criminal justice issues. From 2017-2019, she was the Assistant Director of the Utah Indigent Defense Commission where she worked on ensuring that all court involved youth in Utah are provided effective legal representation in court.

Jorge Mendez - Health Initiatives Subcommittee

Jorge is a Research Associate at The University of Utah since 2011. He is an interdisciplinary research scientist and data analyst with background in physics. Jorge counts with research experience in neuroscience, physiology, laser physics, nonlinear dynamics, modeling, microscopy, and electronics. Quantitative and programming skills, and experimental techniques.

Gabriel Moreno - Rising Young Leaders Subcommittee

Gabe Moreno is a Marketing and Outreach Manager at the Salt Lake County Health Department. Before joining the Health Department, he worked at the Salt Lake County Mayor’s Office as a Communications Specialist where he led social media and other communication efforts for both Salt Lake County and Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson. He also interned at the National Park Service in Washington D.C. as a Communication Specialist where he edited digital content and implemented growth strategies for the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program.

Prior to that, he worked at the Sorenson Impact Center as a Communications & Marketing Senior Associate Impact Fellow where he created and managed content for the Center's digital channels. Gabe also worked at the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals as a Digital Channels intern where he assisted in the development and implementation of new social media strategies.

Gabe graduated from the University of Utah with his Bachelor of Science in Strategic Communication. He is fascinated by comms, social enterprises, creative design, storytelling, innovation and government.

Nick Renfro - Law Enforcement/Criminal Justice Subcommittee

Salt Lake Valley Law Enforcement Association. 

Pashion Whales - Human Resources Subcommittee

Pashion comes to us with extensive experience, a strong leadership background, and excellent people skills! She recently worked as a Human Resources Business Partner at Goodwill where she was responsible for a multitude of HR duties including counseling and advising teams on policy and procedures, legal matters and investigations in both Employee Relations and EEO.

She also served as an Employee Relations Manager at Bloomingdales. Her 15+ years of experience in Human Resources includes supervising, coaching and mentoring, training, HR Policy, and HR Laws.

Pashion has a certificate of Human Resources Management, a Bachelor’s degree in Family Studies & Human Development, a Minor in Business Administration, and a Master’s degree in Human Resources.

Ze Min Xiao - Mayor's Office for New Americans 

As the director for the Mayor’s Office for New Americans, Ze’s role is to ensure the economic, social, and civic potentials of residents with immigrant and refugee background is maximized. By partnering with residents, service providers, and policymakers, the Office for New Americans focuses on developing the systems and mechanisms that promote the development of growth for successful immigration integration.

Ze is the co-chair of the Multicultural Subcommittee of the State of Utah’s Covid-19 Taskforce, a member of the Governor’s Multicultural Commission and the State’s Refugee Advisory Board. She is on the board of the Children’s Center and Welcoming International. She is a fellow with the W.K. Kellogg’s Foundation Community Leadership Network.