The California City Management Foundation (CCMF) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2021 Wes McClure Scholarship:

  • Cynthia Alba – University of Southern California
  • Katerina (Kate) Polezhaev – California State University, Fullerton
  • Jennifer Lopez – University of Southern California
  • Augusto Gonzalez – University of California, Los Angeles
  • Mohideen (Deen) Faisal Buharie – California State University, Long Beach

Wes McClure, for whom our annual scholarship was named, served as City Manager of San Leandro for 28 years. He passed away at the age of 94 on December 20, 2009. Wes had many outstanding attributes, including an unparalleled ability to listen. His patience and skill in this regard contributed enormously to his successful career working with city councils and impacted CCMF directly during the formation of the foundation, in which Wes played an integral part.

This award was created in honor of Wes’s outstanding and significant contributions to the City Manager’s Department, League of California Cities, the State of California and the City Management profession.

“Our five 2021 winners were selected from a competitive pool of exceptionally qualified applicants,” said Fran Mancia, Chair of the CCMF Scholarship Committee. “The scholarship committee was very impressed with the overall caliber of all the applicants, their experiences and especially their commitment to public service. CCMF is proud to support excellence in city management by investing in the education of these future local government leaders.”

About Our 2021 Winners

Cynthia Alba is completing her Master of Public Administration at the University of Southern California. The Wes McClure Scholarship funding will help her build a strong foundation as she enters the city management field with the goal of increasing resident sense of belonging and political efficacy throughout California.

“I am eager to grow with the city management field and hopefully get to meet CCMF members along the way.”


Katerina Polezhaev is a student at California State University, Fullerton’s Master of Public Administration program. Her goal is work for a Public Works Department providing important technical service and assistance for residents.

“This program is helping me to build a stronger foundation for public service that advances social equity and equality.”


Jennifer Lopez is a first-year Master of Public Administration student at the University of Southern California. She will use the Wes McClure Scholarship funding to further her career goals of becoming a local government official.

“I am passionate about public service, and hope to improve the quality of life for the community that I serve.”


Augusto Gonzalez will begin the first year of his Master of Public Policy program at the University of California, Los Angeles in the fall of 2021.

Photo of Augusto Gonzalez

“The Wes McClure Scholarship will give me the time and resources to focus on my studies while continuing to develop myself professionally in the field of local government.”


Mohideen (Deen) Faisal Buharie is a first-year MPA student at California State University Long Beach. He currently serves as an engineer for the City of Arcadia, Public Works. He has an Engineering, Business Management, and Information Systems background and looks forward to expanding his skills to move into senior management in local government.

“It is a great acknowledgment and sincere honor to receive the 2021 Wes McClure Scholarship. CCMF’s generosity reinforces my determination to strengthen government institutions, create effective and pragmatic solutions and plan for a better future for our communities.”