Aly Tamboura

Aly Tamboura

Technical Program Manager, Justice & Opportunity Team

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

San Diego, CA USA

We have so many ways to recycle a plastic bottle, but we think of people as disposable. We have to shift the narrative...people are redeemable.


By Roadtrip Nation

Aly Tamboura

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My road in life has taken me all over.
Got married at a young age, dropped out of college, and decided to pursue my dream of entrepreneurship and start my own geotechnical company.
While my professional life was excelling, my personal life was headed for disaster—in 2005, I was convicted of assault and spent the next 12 years in state prison.
Early in my sentence, I got involved with the “lifer” community in prison and was so inspired by their optimism and self-awareness that I began taking classes and self-enrichment workshops.
I eventually applied and was accepted to a college program through San Quentin State Prison—I attended Patten University and graduated with my associate’s degree.
I helped relaunch the San Quentin News, an inmate-run newspaper that advocates for criminal justice reform and is distributed to every prison in California.
Took part in an intense coding program for inmates, which led to me working at the software development workshop within San Quentin—my work caught the attention of Mark Zuckerberg.
After being released from prison, I began working as a full-stack software developer and attended a coding bootcamp to bolster my skills.
I'm now a technical program manager for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and serves on the board for the Prison University Project, the same program that I had participated in at San Quentin.
Keep following my journey


High School
Associate's Degree
Computer Software Engineering
Patten University


Technical Program Manager, Justice & Opportunity Team

I am a full-stack software engineer working to reform the criminal justice system using technology.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
Upholding a Cause and Belief

Day to Day

At the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative as the program manager, I work within our criminal justice reform department. My daily work is dedicated to helping transform the practice of prosecution so that key decisions that are made quickly in the justice system, yet have long-lasting consequences, are enriched with insights from data analysis and are tied to outcomes like community health and safety. A lot of this is done through building relationships and allies in this fight.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

My experiences within the criminal justice system have given me a perspective that many people will hopefully never have. In order to work effectively within this space, you need to have compassion and empathy. My foundations in math, journalism, technology, and philanthropy have all impacted my career in different ways. Work on understanding yourself deeply and what motivates you.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Prepare yourself and take advantage of every opportunity. Study hard and dive deep into yourself in order to find your true passion.


Challenges I Overcame

Formerly Incarcerated
Gangs / Violence
Mental Health Issues