Norma P. Garcia

Norma P. Garcia is a Senior Attorney and Director of the Financial Services Program for Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports magazine. In 2000, Norma was a National Trial Lawyer of the Year Finalist by the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice for her contribution to the public interest while serving as co-counsel on the litigation team which successfully defended Consumers Union in a multi-million dollar lawsuit brought by Isuzu Motors Ltd.

Since joining Consumers Union’s staff in 1992, Garcia has become a recognized national and international expert in mortgage lending, credit, finance and insurance regulatory law and policy. Her expertise has been cited in national and local media, appearing on ABC’s WZZM13, St. Louis Post Dispatch and the Washington Post.

Previously, Garcia served as expert advisor and witness on technical matters for legislators and legislative staff and has negotiated and successfully lobbied for the passage of significant consumer protection legislation. She also served as co-counsel on the Consumers Union litigation team which in 2007 successfully defended landmark anti-discrimination insurance regulations which will save California consumers billions in automobile insurance premiums.


Senior Attorney and Director of the Financial Services Program for Consumers Union

Areas of Expertise: Mortgage Lending, Credit, Finance and Insurance, Regulatory Law and Policy

Location: San Francisco, CA

Contact Info:

 Phone: (415) 431-6747 ext 107


Graciela Aponte


Graciela Aponte is the Communications and Policy Analyst for the Center for Responsible Lending’s (CRL) California office. Prior to her current position, she was a Senior Legislative Analyst for the Wealth-Building Policy Project at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR).

While at NCLR, Aponte testified before the U.S. House Committee on Financial Servicesregarding mortgage market reform, predatory lending and FHA reform. In 2011, she was a fellow with The Opportunity Agenda. Aponte was a bilingual housing counselor at Housing Initiative Partnership in Prince George’s County, Maryland, and prior to that she was the Director of Grants and Appropriations to Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez of New York, and Community Liaison to Congressman Albert Wynn of Maryland.

Aponte’s work and expertise has appeared on NBC LatinoRadiobilingue and Hispanic Link News Service. She received her bachelor’s degree in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland.


Communications and Policy Analyst for Center for Responsible Lending

Areas of Expertise: Access to Homeownership, Foreclosures, Racial Wealth Gap, Payday Lending, Housing Counseling, Consumer Protections

Location: Oakland, CA

Contact Information:

Phone: (301) 351-7715


Twitter: @CRLCalifornia

Heard testifying at the American Mortgage System Review, airing on C-SPAN 

Amir Sufi

Amir Sufi is a professor of finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). He won the Brattle Prize for Distinguished Paper from the Journal of Finance and the inaugural Young Researcher Prize from the Review of Financial Studies, and was awarded an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship for economics in 2011.

Sufi’s research has been cited in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Economist, and he has been a frequent guest on Planet Money. In 2014 he launched the blog House of Debt with fellow economist Atif Mian.

Sufi has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service and a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Areas of Expertise: Finance, Macroeconomics, Corporate Finance, Investments,  Household Finance, Subprime Mortgages, Syndicated Loans, Corporate Liquidity and Investment

Location: Chicago, IL

Contact Info:

Phone: (773) 702-6148


Twitter: @profsufi

Sufi discusses the U.S. economy for Chicago Booth’s Capital Ideas series:


Hyepin Im

In an interview with CA Forward Thinkers, Hyepin Im (HAY-pihn ihm) says, “From the beginning, we knew that it made sense to work with churches, because 75% of the Korean community here is connected to their church.  At KCCD, we work through churches to provide access to services for newly arrived and not-so-newly arrived immigrants. Immigrants often see their church as a haven that supports them in so many ways.”

Im is the founder, president and CEO of Korean Churches for Community Development (KCCD), a nonprofit that works nationally to connect local Korean and Asian-American immigrant community with the private and public institutions that affect their lives politically and economically. KCCD’s programs and services include homeownership and foreclosure prevention counseling and small business development training. A new chapter will be opening in DC in the upcoming future.

The Center for Community Economic Development reports that Im partnered with the FDIC and Freddie Mac to develop a Korean curriculum in financial literacy and homeownership, and she implemented a $5 million U.S. Department of Labor workforce development program.

Hyepin Im

President and CEO of Korean Churches for Community Development (

Areas of Expertise: Homeownership, Affordable Housing, Foreclosure, Financial Education, Savings & Investment, Workforce, Economic Development, Economics, Asian Americans, Immigration, Mental Health, Marriage Education, Domestic Violence, Digital Literacy

Location: Los Angeles, CA


Contact Info:

Phone: (213) 216-3676
Im speaks on California Forward Thinkers: California’s Everyday Leaders

Added January 2013
Last Verified September 2015