The Sacramento Bee, Modesto Bee, Merced Sun-Star, Fresno Bee and San Luis Obispo Tribune are launching a discussion about important issues facing the state of California. For a second consecutive year, we've brought together 101 influential Californians from a variety of industries and perspectives who will offer their views through year's end. Our hope is this extended conversation leads to substantive change. Meet our Influencers here:
Kevin de Leon
Senate President pro Tempore Emeritus
Kevin de León is President pro Tempore Emeritus of the California State Senate. The son of a single immigrant mother with a third grade education, he rose from the San Diego barrio of Logan Heights to lead the California State Senate, the first Latino to do so in more than a century.
As leader of the California State Senate, he led the nation to establish landmark gun-safety legislation, clean-energy mandates, climate and environmental protections, and immigration reforms. He is the author of Senate Bill 54, the California Values Act, also known as the Sanctuary State Bill. Senator de León established the largest expansion of retirement security since the Social Security Act with the newly created CalSavers program. Most recently, Senator de León authored and passed Senate Bill 100 which legally mandates California, the fifth largest economy in the world, to achieve 100 percent clean-energy by the year 2045.
Before entering into politics, Senator de León served the public as a community organizer, taught U.S.citizenship courses and English as a second language, and advocated for public schools. He graduated with honors from Pitzer College at the Claremont Colleges. Senator de León is a Rodel Fellow at The Aspen Institute and has served as a lecturer at UC Berkeley, UCLA, Stanford, and USC before joining UCLA in February 2019 as a visiting professor. He has one daughter and a dog, whose name is Popeye.
President, Personal Insurance Federation of California
Rex Frazier serves as President of the Personal Insurance Federation of California. He represents PIFC’s member companies before the California State government and provides advice on legislative, regulatory, litigation and political matters. He previously held the position of Vice President & General Counsel of PIFC.
Prior to joining PIFC, Mr. Frazier was an attorney in Los Angeles with the law firm of Pillsbury Madison & Sutro, focusing on insurance and banking issues. Mr. Frazier previously served as Deputy Insurance Commissioner with the California Department of Insurance as well as legislative staff in the California State Assembly. Mr. Frazier has additionally served in various California political campaigns, including as campaign manager of a successful statewide ballot measure, Proposition 213, in 1996.
Mr. Frazier graduated as valedictorian from McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific. In addition, Mr. Frazier received graduate and undergraduate degrees in public policy from the University of Chicago. Mr. Frazier lives in Sacramento and has been married to his wife, April, for 22 years. They have two sons.
Mr. Frazier was an adjunct professor at McGeorge Law for seven years and developed two courses related to legislative advocacy, including a nationally-recognized clinic where students developed and staffed original legislation, with fourteen bills signed by Governor Brown.
President, Association of California Water Agencies
Brent Hastey is the current president of the Association of California Water Agencies, chairman of the board for Yuba Water Agency and a former member of the Yuba County Board of Supervisors. He also has served on the boards of Reclamation District 784, Yuba County LAFCO, Regional Council of Rural Counties and the Sacramento Area Council of Governments. In addition to his service in the water management arena, Hastey has worked in higher education both locally and on a statewide level. In 2010, he was elected to the Yuba Community College District, which serves eight counties and spans nearly 4,200 square miles of rural Northern California. He is a member of the California Community College Trustee Board, which represents the state’s 72 community college districts. Hastey also serves as a director of Bank of Feather River, a community bank in Yuba City, and he will be the 2020-2021 district governor for Rotary District 5180, which covers the Sacramento region.
President, Resources Legacy Fund
Michael Mantell is President of Resources Legacy Fund, which he founded to help design and administer initiatives for philanthropic foundations and individuals that result in significant conservation achievements. He also helped create the independent Resources Law Group and is president of the independent, affiliated Fund for a Better Future. Since the late 1990s, he has designed and participated in programs and projects that broadened the leadership and constituency for natural resources protection and achieved extensive conservation outcomes for land, water, and ocean resources and on renewable energy. Mr. Mantell helped lead the 2010 campaign that prevented a rollback of California’s landmark climate change legislation. In the past decade, he has chaired campaigns resulting in voters approving over $8 billion of investments in water, land, and ocean conservation. Previously, as Undersecretary for Resources for the State of California, he oversaw the $2.8 billion budget of the Resources Agency. Prior to that, he was General Counsel for the World Wildlife Fund and a Deputy City Attorney in Los Angeles. Mr. Mantell is author and co-author of several books and articles, the recipient of several national conservation awards, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Monterey Bay Aquarium and on the Governing Council of The Wilderness Society.
Danielle Osborn Mills
Director, American Wind Energy Association of California; Principal, Renewable Energy Strategies
Danielle Osborn Mills has fifteen years of experience working on complex California energy and environmental challenges. As Principal of Renewable Energy Strategies and Director of the American Wind Energy Association of California, she works with global leaders in renewable energy development to advocate for the development of utility-scale wind energy as a critical component of a clean, affordable, and reliable electricity system for California. Ms. Osborn Mills’ previous experience includes consulting and advocacy for a suite of clean energy technologies and collaboration with environmental groups to combat climate change and minimize environmental conflicts associated with energy development. Danielle has a B.S. in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan and her M.P.A. from the University of Washington, where she focused on Climate Policy. She enjoys exploring the trails of the Sierra foothills with her family.
California State Assemblymember (R-Yuba City)
Elected to the California State Assembly in 2014, Assemblyman James Gallagher is honored to represent the residents of the 3rd Assembly District. The district includes Butte, Tehama, Yuba, Sutter, Glenn, and Colusa Counties.
James has an extensive resume of public service prior to his election to the State Assembly. For six years, he proudly served his community as a member of the Sutter County Board of Supervisors. His leadership and outside-the-box thinking helped in implementing public pension reform, streamlining public services and fees, and heading the effort to improve our levees and protect citizens from devastating floods.
James is especially proud of his successful effort to stop a plan to build the Cherokee Canal bypass, which would have taken thousands of acres of productive agricultural land out of production. He also led the fight to reform federal floodplain regulations that impose burdensome insurance premiums and building restrictions on Sacramento Valley businesses and family homes.
James earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree at UC Berkeley, where he was Editor-in-Chief of The Patriot, a nationally recognized conservative news magazine, and was elected to the student senate. Upon graduation, he served in the prestigious Assembly Fellowship Program in Sacramento. During the program he gained experience in state government, and worked on issues ranging from increasing timber harvest to improving our community college system. Upon completion of the fellowship, he obtained his law degree from UC Davis, graduating at the top of his class. Gallagher is a partner in his family’s farming business as well as a practicing attorney, focusing on agricultural law.
James is married to his high school sweetheart Janna, and together they have five young children. He is the sixth generation of an Irish immigrant farming family that first settled in Sutter County in the late 1800s. James and Janna make their home in Sutter County where they are raising the seventh generation of Gallagher’s.
Founder and President, Stutzman Public Affairs
Mr. Stutzman is founder and president of Stutzman Public Affairs, a Sacramento based firm specializing in campaigns, communications, crisis management and award winning political advertising. Mr. Stutzman’s current and past clients include Fortune 500 companies, trade associations and private firms spanning a multitude of industries including entertainment, technology, agriculture, manufacturing and consumer products.
Mr. Stutzman was deputy chief of staff for communications to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In this capacity, he oversaw press, speechwriting and public appearances for California’s populist celebrity governor. He also served as co-communications director in the historic California Recall of 2003 that placed Schwarzenegger in office.
Previously, Mr. Stutzman had logged a career working in state and national political campaigns and for elected officials. Notably, he served as communications director for the California Department of Justice and Attorney General’s Office for Dan Lungren Mr. Stutzman is a third generation Californian. He is a frequent
speaker on California politics and public policy and regularly appears on television news shows as a political commentator. His opinion articles have been published in most major California newspapers. A graduate of Point Loma College in San Diego (BA, philosophy, 1990), Mr. Stutzman resides in Elk Grove, California.
Executive Vice President, Western Growers Association
Dave Puglia is Executive Vice President of Western Growers. Since joining the organization in 2005, he has focused on leading public policy initiatives affecting the agriculture industry in California and other western states. Puglia has been at the forefront of major legislative and regulatory issues involving water supply, water quality, energy, air quality and labor. His work has included negotiating statewide water bond provisions to enhance storage capacity, advocating for a comprehensive safe drinking water solution in partnership with environmental justice leaders, and negotiating the nation’s first state regulatory standard for prevention of heat illness in agricultural settings. Before joining Western Growers, Puglia served for seven years in the California Attorney General’s Office, first as Press Secretary and then as Director of Public Affairs and Communications. He has also worked as a public affairs consultant to numerous corporations and industry groups in addition to serving in senior roles the several statewide political campaigns. Puglia is currently Vice Chair of the Public Policy Institute of California’s Water Policy Center Advisory Council. He is also a member of the board of directors of SWIIM System, Ltd., a Denver-based farm water accounting company. Puglia earned a bachelor’s degree in Government-Journalism from Sacramento State University and resides with his wife Lezlie in Orange County.
President, Western States Petroleum Association
Catherine Reheis-Boyd has served as the President of the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) since January 1, 2010. She oversees the trade organization’s operations and advocacy in five Western states – California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, and Oregon. Over her 29 year career at WSPA, Ms. Reheis-Boyd has held a variety of leadership roles, including a 2003 appointment as Chief of Staff and subsequent promotions to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. As part of her 36 years of experience in the oil industry, Ms. Reheis-Boyd worked for an environmental consulting firm on various projects before joining Getty Oil and Texaco, working on environmental compliance at the Kern River Field in Bakersfield, California. She currently manages a broad range of Association activities, including legislative and regulatory issues associated with transportation fuels policy, air and water quality, climate change, renewable fuels and alternative energy issues, crude oil and natural gas production and many other issues in WSPA’s five states, and beyond those borders into Canada and abroad. In 2004, Ms. Reheis-Boyd was appointed by the California Resource Secretary to the California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Blue Ribbon Task Force to an eight-year term. The MLPA is charged with protecting ocean resources off the California coastline from Oregon to Mexico. In addition, Ms. Reheis-Boyd was appointed to the National Marine Protected Areas Center’s Federal Advisory Committee which recommends strategies to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the United States Department of Interior on how to strengthen and protect the nation’s systems of Marine Protected Areas. Ms. Reheis-Boyd is a member of, or advisor to, a number of climate change policy panels and regulatory agencies in all five WSPA states. In 2016, Ms. Reheis-Boyd was named Distinguished Woman and Petroleum Advocate of the Year by the California Latino Leadership Institute.
Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA) is a non-profit trade association representing the companies that safely and reliably explore for, produce, refine, transport and market the petroleum and energy products that fuel the five western states of Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. We represent 150,000 women and men who have proudly been powering the western states since 1907. Ms. Reheis-Boyd received her Bachelors of Science degree in Natural Resource Management from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and pursued postgraduate studies in environmental engineering at the University of Southern California. The Western States Petroleum Association represents major integrated petroleum companies, independent refiners and oil and natural gas producers that explore for, produce, transport, refine and market petroleum, petroleum products, and natural gas as well as advanced alternative and renewable transportation fuels in the West. On behalf of the industry, WSPA works to encourage public policies that promote socially and environmentally responsible economic growth and prosperity.
Supervisor (1st District), Stanislaus County
Kristin Olsen is a Stanislaus County Supervisor and a Partner at California Strategies, LLC, the state’s largest public affairs consulting firm. Prior to joining California Strategies, Olsen founded Red Suit, LLC, after terming out of the California State Legislature in 2016. Olsen helps others effectively work within the government sphere and political landscape. The relationships she has developed and experience she has gained over the past 20 years as both a Capitol staffer and an elected official at the local and state levels, including as Minority Leader of the State Assembly, along with her experience as a trade association executive and higher education administrator, make her uniquely suited to help clients navigate the key players, policies, politics, and processes of state and local government. While serving as one of the top four leaders in the Legislature, Olsen developed a statewide reputation as a dynamic, forward-thinking leader – “the sort of person the Republicans need” (LA Daily News) and whom Democratic Governor Jerry Brown described as “pragmatic and effective.” She was often cited by both Republican and Democratic peers, as well as by reporters in the media, as one of the most effective legislators, known for building solid bipartisan relationships. Olsen served as Assembly Republican Leader from 2014 through early 2016. In this capacity, she was the Caucus’ lead negotiator on major policy and fiscal issues, led its political and campaign efforts, and was its principal spokesperson. In her San Joaquin Valley district, Olsen earned high marks as a bipartisan consensus builder whose “party affiliation was of less importance than her Valley affiliation” (Modesto Bee). During her legislative tenure, she served on the Water, Insurance, Agriculture, Health, Privacy, Education, and Higher Education Committees. In addition to now serving on the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors, Olsen is a founding board member of New Way California and serves on the Board of Directors for CA Women Lead that recruits and trains women to pursue appointed and elected office. She is one of just 300 Aspen- Rodel Fellows across the United States and the California State Director for the National Foundation for Women Legislators. In 2018, Olsen was named one of 60 California Influencers – a role in which she provided commentary on policy matters and election issues for McClatchy newspapers across California. She is a frequent speaker on California politics and the importance of multi-partisanship and civility in the public square. Prior to being elected to the Assembly, Olsen served five years on the Modesto City Council (2005- 10) and two years on the Modesto Planning Commission (2004-05). Professionally, she served as the Assistant Vice President for Communications and Public Affairs at CSU Stanislaus (2006-2010), and as the Senior Communications Manager for the California Restaurant Association (1999-2004). Her first job out of college was as a California Senate Fellow (’96-’97) and then a legislative aide and press secretary in the State Senate. Olsen graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. from Westmont College and is a strong voice for a well- rounded, liberal arts education. She lives in Riverbank, CA, with her three children, and loves music and soccer.
California State Senator (D-Santa Monica)
California State Senator Ben Allen was elected in 2014 to represent the 26th Senate District, covering the Westside, Hollywood and coastal South Bay communities of Los Angeles County. Ben serves as chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee and the legislature's Joint Committee on the Arts. He is a member of the Senate Committees on Natural Resources and Water, the Judiciary and Government Organizations. He chairs the Legislative Jewish Caucus and co-chairs the Environmental Caucus. He served as chair of the Education Committee from 2017-2019 and as chair of the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee from 2015-2016. Ben has authored several measures that have become law, including the groundbreaking bill to boost vaccination rates among schoolchildren, a first in the nation public lands protection bill, and a bill to assist cities with financing transportation and affordable housing development. He authored laws that protect veterans from pension scams; improve the diagnosis, treatment and care for persons with Alzheimer’s disease; strengthen the regulation of underground gas wells; and enable HIV-positive persons to donate life-saving organs to other HIV-positive persons. While serving as chair of the Senate Elections and Constitutional Amendments Committee in 2015-16, he championed campaign reform and transparency issues. He authored a new law that will increase voter turnout and civic engagement by transforming how elections are conducted. This reform, which was praised by the Los Angeles Times editorial page, will allow people to vote in the 10 days preceding an election at conveniently-located vote centers. As chair of the Joint Committee on the Arts, Ben authored successful legislation that reinstated teaching credentials for Theatre and Dance educators. He is fighting for increased access to the arts in schools, especially in disadvantaged communities, and is working to keep entertainment industry jobs in California. Ben coauthored the Senate’s historic climate change legislation, which requires 50% of the state’s energy to come from renewable sources, and doubles energy efficiency in buildings, by 2030. He authored bills to expand the state’s efforts to combat climate change even further, including establishing the first standard to increase the use of renewable gas, and reducing toxic motor oil waste. He successfully lead the effort to end the use of harmful drift gillnets in commercial fishing off the coast that injure and kill endangered sea turtles and other marine life.
Ben received the Freshman Legislator of the Year award from the California School Boards Association, and was named Legislator of the Year by the County Superintendents’ Educational Services Association, the Alzheimer’s Association and Technet, an association of technology companies that includes Apple, Google and Microsoft. Ben grew up in the 26 th District. He is a former board member, and board President, of the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District, where he was a leader on issues of environmental sustainability, financial accountability, and community engagement. He helped pass a $385 million bond measure which upgraded district facilities using environmental best practices and created good local jobs. During his tenure, the district enacted policies to provide all students with high-quality educational opportunities regardless of their background or means. He helped start the Los Angeles Spark Program, a nonprofit organization that connects at-risk middle school students with apprenticeships. While in law school, Ben served as a voting member of the University of California Board of Regents, and was a judicial clerk with the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. As an attorney, he worked for the law firm of Richardson & Patel LLP, and previously was a litigator with Bryan Cave LLP. Prior to his law career, Ben worked for the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, and then as communications director for Congressman Jose Serrano (D-NY). He is a senior fellow with the international human rights organization Humanity in Action, an Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellow, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a graduate of the Jewish Federation's New Leaders Project. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University, where he graduated magna cum laude in History; a Master of Philosophy degree from the University of Cambridge, and a Juris Doctor degree from UC Berkeley. He is fluent in Spanish. For three years prior to his election to the Senate, he was a lecturer at UCLA’s Law School, where he taught education law and policy. He is married to Melanie Luthern, an attorney. They have one child.
Lea Ann Tratten
Partner, TrattenPrice Consulting
Lea Ann has spent her career navigating the complex waters of California policy and politics. She has provided strategic advice and counsel to decision-makers at all levels of government and has extensive experience in every phase of political work – including lobbying on complicated and controversial issues. This has given her unparalleled access to the inner workings of government, providing a connection to the influencers and legislators who form California’s political landscape.
Ms. Tratten has worked on issues ranging from healthcare to the environment, from employee rights to insurance, and from civil justice to consumer rights. Her political resumé includes relationship and coalition building, designing and executing grassroots campaigns, coordinating activity in state elections, fundraising, and managing large political action committees. Having successfully fought in multiple initiative battles, Ms. Tratten most recently ran a legislative campaign which resulted in having a harmful initiative being pulled from the ballot.
Ms. Tratten currently serves as Assistant Treasurer to the Consumer Attorneys of California PAC, Treasurer of the California Alliance, and sits on the board of FundHer. Her connections and background in fighting – and winning – high-impact political battles has made her one of the most highly sought-after consultants in Sacramento. Ms. Tratten is an attorney, has two grown children, and is the proud owner of TrattenPrice’s office mascot – Scout, a lovable and energetic Am Staff pup.
Director, Governor's Office of Planning and Research
Kate Gordon is a nationally recognized expert on the intersection of climate change, energy, and economic development. Gordon was appointed Director of the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research by Governor Gavin Newsom on January 7, 2019. Prior to being appointed Director, Gordon was a Senior Advisor at the Paulson Institute, where she oversaw the “Risky Business Project,” focused on quantifying the economic impacts of climate change to the U.S. economy, and also provided strategic support to the Institute’s U.S.- China CEO Council for Sustainable Urbanization. She was also a nonresident Fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University, and an advisor to Duke University’s Center for Energy, Development, and the Global Environment.
Earlier in her career Gordon served as Vice President for Climate and Energy at the Center for the Next Generation, Vice President of Energy and Environment at the Washington D.C.-based Center for American Progress, and Co-Executive Director at the national Apollo Alliance (now part of the Blue Green Alliance).
Gordon earned a law degree and a master’s degree in city planning from the University of California-Berkeley, and an undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University.
California State Senator (D-Los Angeles)
Senate Majority Leader Robert Hertzberg was first elected to the California State Assembly in 1996. He then served as the 64 th Speaker of the California State Assembly, unanimously elected by both parties in 2000 and 2002. After his tenure as Speaker, Hertzberg set out to the private sector as a clean energy entrepreneur and in 2014, he returned to state government when he was again elected to represent nearly 1 million people in the San Fernando Valley in the California State Senate. This made Hertzberg one of only six lawmakers in California history to serve as Assembly Speaker and subsequently win a seat in the Senate, where he now serves as Majority Leader. Hertzberg is known for taking on the biggest and most challenging issues facing California, and for brokering some of the toughest negotiations. In the words of one veteran Sacramento columnist, he is “an intense bundle of energy, an all-night negotiator.” The Los Angeles Daily News has said he, “has relentless dedication and indefatigable energy…he has a reputation for integrity and perseverance.” The Los Angeles Times said this about Hertzberg: “He is a high velocity wonk; he loves big ideas and will flesh out every one of them if you give him a chance.” As an Assembly member, Hertzberg negotiated a compromise that allowed the Legislature to break a decade-long logjam regarding building and repairing schools resulting in the voters supporting the largest school construction program in US History in 1998, 2000 and 2002. He also helped shape and pass legislation that hammered nearly seven decades of California/Colorado River water disputes, and in 2000 co-authored the bill that expanded the state's existing Cal-Grant program and, for the first time, guaranteed funding for every qualified student who applies. Among his many other legislative efforts during his time in the Assembly with lasting impacts to this day, Hertzberg authored the Women's Contraceptive Equity Act, which required health care service plan contracts to cover prescription contraceptive methods, and the Hertzberg-Leslie Witness Protection Act, which established a Witness Protection Program in California. A champion for the Valley, he launched Metro’s Orange Line, construction of the California State University Northridge Valley Performing Arts Center, helped fund the construction and modernization of 38 new Valley schools, and construction of more than 200 million dollars of sound walls throughout the Valley. After he termed out of the Assembly in 2002, Hertzberg became a global clean-energy entrepreneur. He helped create one of the first solar manufacturing companies in Los Angeles, and co-launched a company that produced inexpensive, lightweight solar panels for use around the world. In recognition of his clean energy efforts in Rwanda, he received the “World Bank Award for Lighting Africa,” and the United Kingdom-based Guardian Magazine named him one of the “50 People Who Could Save the Planet.” During this time, he maintained his passion for problem solving and he continued his public policy activism through participation in bipartisan groups like The Think Long Committee. The
Committee’s work included reform of the California budget process, rethinking the initiative system, term limits, and redistricting – to name a few. Both Hertzberg’s environmental expertise and his penchant for problem solving have played a key role in the accomplishments of his first term in the Senate. As Chair of the Committee on Natural Resources & Water, Hertzberg has advanced environmental protection laws, championed clean water access, and passed legislation to prepare for future droughts by making water efficiency a way of life for Californians. Hertzberg’s areas of public policy interest know no limit. He is characterized as a legislator who fears nothing and takes on everything. From criminal justice (his California Money Bail Reform Act eliminated the unfair and unjust cash bail system in California) to technology related issues (in 2018 he negotiated and passed the California Consumer Privacy Act, enacting the strongest data privacy protections in the nation), Hertzberg approaches every problem through a lens of governing for the next generation, not the next election. As such, he has taken many other tough issues. For years he has been a vocal critic of California’s volatile tax structure, introducing proposals each year with innovative ideas to broaden the state’s tax base and ease the burden on working Californians. He has also been a warrior for “paying common sense”, whether it be making traffic fines and fees more fair, or eliminating the practice of school lunch shaming with his Child Hunger Prevention and Fair Treatment Act of 2017. Named “One of the Most Influential People in Southern California” by the Los Angeles Times, Hertzberg remains active in civic life throughout the community. He is deeply committed to delivering results for the San Fernando Valley, including his fight in recent years to secure funding for the East San Fernando Valley Transit Corridor and CSU Northridge; build additional sound walls in Sherman Oaks; and raise funds for the Skirball Cultural Center. He also serves on the boards of the USC Price School of Public Policy, the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy, and the Pepperdine School of Public Policy, among dozens of other civic and public policy boards. In addition to being former Chair of the Committee on Natural Resources and Water, Hertzberg serves on the Senate Committees on Governance and Finance; Elections and Constitutional Amendments; and Energy, Utilities and Communications; along with the Joint Legislative Audit Committee and Joint Legislative Rules Committee. In 1979, Hertzberg earned his law degree from University of California, Hastings College of the Law and became a member of the California Bar. The Los Angeles Business Journal named him one of the top ten lawyers in Los Angeles, and The Daily Journal has repeatedly named him one of the top 100 lawyers in California. Hertzberg has two grown sons. David is a classical music composer and a Juilliard graduate, and Daniel graduated from Goucher College and, like his father, loves politics and public policy.
V. John White
Co-founder and executive director, Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies
V. John White has been a writer, commentator, advocate, and leader of the green energy movement in California for almost 40 years. He is co-founder and executive director of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies (CEERT) in Sacramento, and principal of the environmental and energy lobbying practice, V. John White Associates, representing public interest environmental and local government organizations, and new energy technology companies White's career has been devoted to air quality improvement and clean energy development. As chief consultant to the California Assembly Subcommittee on Air Quality from 1974-77, he became the leading legislative expert on air quality technology and regulation, helping to draft the Lewis-Presley Act creating the South Coast AQMD, and the California Clean Air Act. White also served on the board of Governors of the California Independent System Operator from 1998 to 2001. He also played a central role in the passage of the Pavley Clean Car bill, AB 32, and many of California’s renewable energy incentive and regulatory programs. John is a graduate of U.C. Riverside – Political Science
Editor in Chief, Blueprint magazine, UCLA
Jim Newton is a veteran journalist, author and teacher. In 25 years at the Los Angeles Times, Newton worked as a reporter, editor, bureau chief, columnist and, from 2007 through 2010, editor of the editorial pages. He is the recipient of numerous national and local awards in journalism and participated in two staff efforts, coverage of the 1992 riots and the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, that were awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Before coming to The Times, he was a reporter at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and he began his career as the 1985-86 clerk to New York Times columnist James Reston. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College. Newton is a respected author of three important works of history. His first, Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made, was a critically acclaimed best-selling biography of the former chief justice and California governor, published in 2006 and described as “the definitive biography of Earl Warren for this generation.” His second was entitled Eisenhower: The White House Years. Publishers Weekly called it “clear, brisk, and insightful, a timely study of a master of consensus politics with lessons for today's polarized Washington." Book List described it as “a well-done presentation that helps correct enduring perceptions about an effective but misunderstood presidency." And Bob Woodward, the Washington Post’s great investigative reporter and author, called Eisenhower “a truly great book.” Buoyed by those and other glowing reviews, Eisenhower was a national best-seller in 2011. Newton’s latest book, released in 2014, was a collaboration with Leon Panetta, former CIA director and secretary of defense (among other things). Entitled Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace, Panetta’s autobiography, written with Newton’s help, was widely praised – the Washington Post described as an example of “this genre at its best” – and much-debated. It, too, was a national best-seller and one of the most talked about books of the year. Presently, Newton is the editor-in-chief of Blueprint magazine, a UCLA publication addressing the policy and political challenges facing California. Newton founded Blueprint the spring of 2015 and has presided over its steady expansion. At the university, he also teaches journalistic ethics, writing and public policy. He is at work on a history of modern California, told through the story of its longest-serving governor, Jerry Brown. It is scheduled to be published in 2020 by Little, Brown.
Founder and President, Skelton Strategies
Skelton is the Founder and President of California based Skelton Strategies. For over 30 years, she has worked with private and public sector clients in complex litigation, regulatory and policy matters to achieve favorable economic outcomes. Skelton’s work often requires a combination of political, legal, and communications skills to achieve success over a broad range of subjects, including energy, economic equality, new technologies and transportation. Recently, Skelton served as Governor Jerry Brown’s Director of Partnerships at the September 2018 Global Climate Action Summit, where she drove high-level corporate commitments and projects involving partners such as Starbucks, National Geographic, and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra in collaboration with some of the nation’s leading law firms. Skelton has been engaged on statewide initiatives involving Consumer Privacy, worked closely with PUC Commissioners Cliff Rechtenschaffen and Martha Guzman-Aceves, and after 14 years of counsel to Bloom Energy (NYSE-BE), she participated in its successful May, 2018 IPO. For almost a decade, Skelton was CEO and managing editor of The Shriver Reports, a nonprofit media initiative of Maria Shriver’s examining seismic societal shifts affecting American women and families today. In that role, Skelton was the coordinating producer of the Emmy nominated and Television Academy honored HBO documentary “Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life and Times of Katrina Gilbert.” The Shriver Report was part of the team winning a 2015 Emmy for All In with Chris Hayes for news discussion and analysis. Skelton has managed some of the most complex and entrepreneurial projects in the nation for Presidents, Vice Presidents, Governors, CEOs, and Foundations. She spent about a decade in Washington DC working in the Clinton/Gore Administration: at the White House she served as political director to both Vice President Al Gore and President Bill Clinton and staffed the impeachment trial of the President; at the United States Departments of Justice, Skelton prosecuted crimes and environmental enforcement actions; and Skelton served as the Chief Counsel of the Federal Highway Administration. Skelton spent another decade managing a national public affairs firm, building it from scratch with a DC-based partner into a multi- million-dollar business. Skelton received a BA in English from UCLA, a Masters from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and a J.D. from U.C. Berkeley Law School.
Senior Manager of Community Engagement, Southern California Edison
Tammy Tran has over 15 years of experience working in government, media, and nonprofit organizations. Currently, Tammy serves as Senior Manager of Community Engagement in Local Public Affairs at Southern California Edison (SCE) where she is responsible for leading a team of public affairs managers engaged in building and maintaining working relationships with community and grassroots stakeholders. Tammy first joined SCE in 2013 as a Senior Community Liaison. She had responsibility for developing, maintaining, and enhancing strategic engagement and partnerships with community stakeholders across SCE’s service territory. In this role, she also served as a strategist to inform SCE’s senior management about important matters that impact diverse communities including the Asian Pacific Islander (API) communities. Tammy also currently serves as the President of Ascend, SCE’s Asian Pacific Islander Employee Resource Group, established in 2016 to promote workforce diversity, employee engagement, and leadership development for API employees. Prior to coming to SCE, she served as Deputy Chief of Staff and District Director for former California State Senator Lou Correa in Orange County. She has also served as a campaign manager, executive director for a nonprofit combating human trafficking, policy advisor to a member of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, and field representative for a California State Assembly Member. Tammy has also worked as a co-host for a weekly bilingual television program aimed at bringing government closer to the people. Tammy is a strong supporter of youth leadership development and civic participation. She regularly volunteers to help local high schools and nonprofits with career coaching, mentoring, and internship placements. She is an active board member of Orange County Youth, Vietnamese Alliance to Combat Human Trafficking, and the Center for Asian Americans United for Self- Empowerment. A proud product of Orange County public schools, Tammy earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with a minor in Health Communications and Masters in Public Administration. Both degrees are from the University of Southern California. Tammy and her
husband, Bao Mai, live in Little Saigon and are the proud parents of two active, bilingual toddlers, Annalise-Quynh & Viet-Zander.
Director, Sierra Club California
Kathryn Phillips is director of Sierra Club California, the state legislative and regulatory arm of the Sierra Club, the largest and oldest grassroots environmental organization in the country. Since 2011, she has managed Sierra Club’s advocacy at the California State Capitol and at key state agencies. She previously worked on environmental policy in California for Environmental Defense Fund and the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technologies. She has been based in Sacramento since 2001. A former journalist, she is the author of two books about environmental issues.
Bernadette Del Chiaro
Executive Director, California Solar and Storage Association (CALSSA)
Bernadette Del Chiaro heads up California’s oldest and largest clean energy business group, the California Solar & Storage Association (CALSSA), which advocates for the continued growth of local solar energy and energy storage technologies throughout California. As executive director, Del Chiaro has built CALSSA into a 500-member organization and is a leading voice on clean energy issues. Prior to CALSSA, Bernadette spent over a decade as the Director of Clean Energy and Global Warming Programs at Environment California, a citizen-funded environmental advocacy group. During her career with Environment California, Ms. Del Chiaro worked on several successful campaigns including the Million Solar Roofs Initiative (SB 1) and the Solar Water Heating Initiative (AB 1470). She's authored several clean energy reports and has been quoted widely in the media including MSNBC, NPR, BBC, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and dozens of local and trade outlets. Bernadette is a California native, a graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, and an alum of Green Corps, the field school for environmental organizing. She lives in Sacramento with her husband and two young children.
President, California Business Roundtable
Rob Lapsley was named President of the California Business Roundtable in 2011. As President, Rob leads an organization comprised of senior executive leadership of major California employers representing all sectors of California’s economy and with a combined workforce of more than 600,000 employees. The Business Roundtable’s mission is to strengthen California’s economy and grow jobs while ensuring an educated workforce prepared for the next generation of jobs. Major policy priorities include efforts to address California’s housing crisis, rising energy costs and the regulatory environment’s impact on the ability of California businesses to compete both nationally and internationally. In 2012, the California Business Roundtable successfully launched the nonpartisan California Center for Jobs and the Economy, which compiles federal and state economic and jobs data into state, county, region, congressional, senate and assembly district profiles. The Center for Jobs’ mission is to provide state and local policy makers with the latest trends and analysis impacting jobs and wages by all economic sectors. With new energy policies continuing to transform the California economy, Rob is also Chair of Californians for Affordable and Reliable Energy (CARE), a statewide coalition that has played a major role in some of the most high-profile debates regarding the implementation and extension of the state’s landmark greenhouse gas emissions law and other issues such as cap and trade, the renewable portfolio standard and implementation of electric vehicles. Beyond leading the Roundtable’s legislative and regulatory agenda, Rob has led or held senior positions on campaigns for several high-profile statewide ballot initiatives, including opposing efforts to repeal the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act, split roll property tax, Taxpayer Protection and others. Previously Rob was the vice president and state political director for CalChamber, serving as executive director of JobsPAC, a broad, employer-based, bipartisan committee that helped elect over twenty pro-business Republicans and Democrats in the Senate and Assembly. Rob also previously served as president of RCL Consultants, and vice president for Arnel Development, one of the largest private real estate companies in Southern California. As an appointee of President George W. Bush, Rob served in the U.S. State Department as special assistant to the U.S. Ambassador to Spain during the Iraq war. In addition to his diplomatic duties, Rob was responsible for working with private sector firms and the U.S.
Department of Commerce in the Spanish-American and European Union business sectors on trade and investment strategies. He was a long-time Chief of Staff to former Secretary of State Bill Jones, serving as Undersecretary of State from 1995 to 2001 and managed both of Jones’s successful campaigns for that constitutional office. Rob also served as a senior executive appointee to Cal-EPA in the administration of Governor Pete Wilson and held senior staff positions in the California Legislature for over six years. Rob is a graduate fellow of the Coro Foundation and is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He holds a B.S. in biology and political science from Illinois State University.
Board Chair, Emerge America
In 2019, Amanda was named the Chair of Emerge America, a national organization that has trained more than 4,000 democratic women to run for office. Currently, more than 650 Emerge alumnae are serving in elected office across the country.
Amanda has had a unique and diverse career starting out in the financial industry, moving to education as a teacher in her small hometown community, and finally spending the majority (18 years) of her career in public service. She has served as the Chief of Operations at the California Department of Justice overseeing 1,000 public servants and an $850M budget, National Political Director for Secretary Clinton managing the political and outreach strategy for the 2016 Presidential Campaign, and as a Chief of Staff in the United States Senate during one of the most productive periods in our country’s history. She was named one of the most influential staffers by Roll Call and received a number of awards as the first Latina chief of staff in the history of the U.S. Senate. In addition to her policy work, she has also run for congressional and statewide offices. She has degrees from Stanford University and Harvard Business School and is a mom of two young kids.
President and CEO, California Building Industry Association
Dan Dunmoyer serves as the President and CEO of the California Building Industry Association. A proven and dedicated leader, Dunmoyer brings a wealth of experience in both the public and private sector. As the President and CEO of CBIA, Dunmoyer oversees and manages all aspects of the association. A respected and recognized leader, he is strongly committed to ensuring that the organization continues to be the leading voice of housing in California and efforts to ensure the American Dream of homeownership is attainable for all Californians. The son of a small home builder from Southern California and a veteran of California public policy issues, Dunmoyer has been closely involved in California’s unique political culture for years. Dunmoyer’s background includes legislative caucus staff leadership and policy committee roles in the California State Assembly, starting as a Fellow in the Jesse Unruh Fellowship program. He served as President and CEO of the Personal Insurance Federation of California from 1996-2005. He served as Deputy Chief of Staff and Cabinet Secretary for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger from 2006-2008 overseeing all state agencies for the Governor. Most recently he served as Senior Vice President and Head of Government Affairs for Zurich and Farmers Insurance companies. Dunmoyer serves on the Board of Overseers of the RAND Institute for Civil Justice, Chair of the Advisory Committee of the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, Member of the PPIC Advisory Board on Water Policy and a former Board Member for CalPERS. He is an honors graduate of USC with a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration.
President, Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association
Jon Coupal is the President of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association (HJTA). HJTA, with offices in both Los Angeles and Sacramento, is the largest taxpayers association in California with a membership of over 200,000. Founded by the late Howard Jarvis, the author of Proposition 13, HJTA’s name is synonymous with tax relief and the uncompromising defense of the California homeowner. HJTA maintains offices in both Los Angeles and Sacramento, California’s capital. From 1991 to 1998, Coupal served as Director of Legal Affairs for HJTA, overseeing the organization’s litigation and lobbying efforts. He is a recognized expert in California fiscal affairs and has argued numerous tax cases before the courts. Coupal also successfully defended Proposition 140, the state's term limit initiative, before the California Supreme Court. In 1995, he won a major ruling before the Supreme Court when it upheld the validity of Proposition 62, an HJTA sponsored initiative guaranteeing the right to vote on local taxes. He is also the principal drafter of Proposition 218, the Right to Vote on Taxes Act, a measure passed by the voters in November 1996. He has served as chairman of several initiative campaigns representing the interests of taxpayers including the campaign against Proposition 88, the statewide parcel tax initiative and the successful defeat of Proposition 1A, defeated by the voters in 2009. In 2003, he served as a member of Governor Schwarzenegger’s Transition Team. Coupal is also Chairman of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Foundation which provides funding for taxpayer rights litigation and educational studies. He writes a weekly column and is a frequent guest on both television and radio programs discussing fiscal policy and political issues. Coupal is a graduate of the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College
of William and Mary where he received his J.D. After law school, he was an attorney with Pacific Legal Foundation for nine years, specializing in tax and political law.
President and CEO, Silicon Valley Leadership Group
Carl Guardino, one of Silicon Valley’s most distinguished business and community leaders, is the President and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a public policy trade association that represents more than 375 of Silicon Valley’s most respected employers. In 2007, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed Guardino to a four-year term on the California Transportation Commission. He was reappointed twice by Governor Jerry Brown, and in 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom appointed him to his fourth consecutive four-year term. Known throughout the region as a consensus builder, Guardino has championed a number of successful ballot measures, especially in the areas of transportation and housing. Guardino was born and raised in San Jose and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from San Jose State University, where he is a Distinguished Alumnus. Carl is married to Leslee Guardino. In their spare time, they compete in marathons, triathlons and duathlons.
Executive Director, League of California Cities
Carolyn Coleman brings 25 years of experience as a leader and an advocate in the public and private sectors to her role as executive director of the League of California Cities. Under her leadership, the League advances policies to expand and protect local control for cities through education and advocacy to enhance the quality of life for all Californians. She joined the League of California Cities in December 2016 after a decade with the National League of Cities (NLC) in Washington, D.C. as senior executive and director of federal advocacy. During her tenure at NLC, she oversaw the organization’s advocacy efforts and worked closely with city leaders from across the country and the 49 state municipal leagues to advance federal policies that expand local control and provide funding for local programs related to housing, transportation, public safety and infrastructure with Congress and the Administration. Prior to working with NLC, Coleman served as deputy mayor for the city of Indianapolis where she focused on affordable housing, economic development, infrastructure and community engagement. She previously practiced law and held marketing leadership positions in the private sector. In addition to her professional endeavors, Coleman serves on the board of trustees of the University of Indianapolis and on the dean’s cabinet at the McGeorge School of Law.
Supervisor (2nd District), San Bernardino County
Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford had led efforts to create economic opportunities and focus County resources on priority projects since being elected to the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors in 2010. She was re-elected in 2014 and 2018. From 2000 to 2010, Janice worked with her colleagues on the Fontana City Council to provide amenities to improve residents’ quality of life, including new parks, community centers, and a 93,000-square-foot regional library. She was also instrumental in the creation of the Fontana Community Assistance Program, which continues to help residents connect to local resource agencies. In addition to her duties as a member of the Board of Supervisors, Janice serves on the boards of the South Coast Air Quality Management District, San Bernardino County Transportation Authority, Inland Empire Economic Partnership, Arrowhead Regional Medical Center Joint Conference Committee, Omnitrans, and the Sam & Alfreda Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts. She also serves as Chair of the San Bernardino County Employees’ Retirement Association Board of Retirement. As a member of the South Coast Air Quality Management District Governing Board since 2015, Janice has championed efforts to balance regulations with the economic realities of the region. The Board oversees stationary source pollution in a District that encompasses more than 16.8 million people and about 11,000 square miles in Southern California. She currently serves on the Board’s Stationary Source and Legislative committees and the Local Government and Small Business Advisory Group. Janice served as Chief of Staff to State Assemblyman and Senator Bill Leonard, as well as representing him as a taxpayer advocate when he served on the state Board of Equalization. Janice and her husband,
Steve Lim, are the proud parents of two boys, Ethan and Noah— which means she spends her free time playing with Legos and Nerf guns. Janice holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from U.C. Riverside and a master’s degree in American Politics from Claremont Graduate University. At Claremont she did doctoral coursework in economics and public policy. San Bernardino County’s Second District includes the cities of Rancho Cucamonga, Fontana, and Upland north of Foothill Boulevard, as well as the unincorporated communities of Mt. Baldy, San Antonio Heights, Lytle Creek, Devore, and the Rim of the World mountain communities.
Legislative and Political Director, State Building and Construction Trades Council of California
Cesar Diaz has served as Legislative & Political Director for the State Building & Construction Trades Council (SBCTC) since 2010 and had previously served as Deputy Legislative Director. The SBCTC is a statewide labor organization that represents approximately 400,000 construction workers who are members of 180 individual local trade unions. Cesar manages the council's legislative and political agenda to ensure its priorities are advanced and is responsible for monitoring statewide regulatory agencies that may impact SBCTC members and their families. As political director, he works closely with the council's affiliated unions and its 22 regional Building Trades Councils on legislative and constitutional office races, statewide political initiatives and local campaigns. Cesar serves on the State Allocation Board as the Governor's appointee. He is a co-editor of the California Target Book, which provides up-to-date information on congressional and state legislative election campaigns in California. Cesar also serves on the California Conservation Corps Foundation Board of Directors and is an active executive board member of the California Democratic Party and a co-chair of the party and#39;s Resolutions Committee. Previously, Cesar was a Policy Consultant and Senior Advisor for Community Relations to former Lt. Governor Bustamante. Prior to working in and around the Capitol, Cesar worked as a program associate for the California Academy of Family Physicians in San Francisco.
California State Senator (D-San Fransisco)
Elected in November 2016, Senator Scott Wiener represents District 11 in the California State Senate. District 11 includes all of San Francisco, Broadmoor, Colma, and Daly City, as well as portions of South San Francisco. In the Senate, Senator Wiener works to make housing more affordable, invest in our transportation systems, increase access to healthcare, support working families, meaningfully address climate change and the impacts of drought, reform our criminal justice system, reduce gun violence, reduce California’s alarmingly high poverty rate, and safeguard and expand the rights of all communities, including immigrants and the LGBT community. During his term in the Senate to date, Senator Wiener has passed 26 bills that were signed into law. Among those bills are SB 35, a landmark bill to streamline housing approvals in cities not meeting their housing goals; SB 822, which enacts the strongest net neutrality protections in the nation; SB 1045, which expands and strengthens California’s conservatorship laws to help individuals who are living on our streets with severe mental health and substance use disorders; SB 700, which significantly expands access to renewable energy; and SB 923, which modernizes California’s eyewitness identification standards to ensure innocent people are not sent to prison. Senator Wiener was named Legislator of the Year by the California Sexual Assault Investigators Association and California Attorneys for Criminal Justice, for his work reforming California’s criminal justice system, and by the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition and California Building Industry Association for his work addressing California’s housing shortage. He was also named Legislator of the Year by the California Solar & Storage Association for his work to expand on site solar storage throughout the state. Larkin Street Youth Services honored Senator Wiener with the Anne B. Stanton Award for his work to combat youth homelessness throughout California. Senator Wiener serves as Chair of the Senate Housing Committee, where he is working to tackle California’s severe housing crisis. He also serves on the Energy, Utilities, and Communications Committee; the Human Services Committee; the Public Safety Committee; the Governmental Organization Committee, the Governance and Finance Committee; and the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. He is also the Assistant Majority Whip, and serves as the Chair of the Legislative LGBT Caucus. Before his election to the Senate, Senator Wiener served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, representing the district previously represented by Supervisor Harvey Milk. During his time on the Board of Supervisors, Senator Wiener authored a number of first-in-the-nation laws, including mandating fully paid parental leave for all working parents, requiring water recycling and solar power in new developments, and banning public spending in states with LGBT hate laws. He focused extensively on housing and public transportation, authoring laws to streamline approvals of affordable housing, to allow new in-law units, and to tie public transportation funding to population growth. Before his election to the Board of Supervisors, Senator Wiener spent 15 years practicing law: as a Deputy City Attorney in the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, in private practice at Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe, and as a law clerk for Justice Alan Handler on the New Jersey Supreme Court. Senator Wiener co-chaired the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club, BALIF (the Bay Area’s LGBT bar association), and the San Francisco LGBT Community Center, as well as serving on the national board of directors of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights organization. Senator Wiener grew up in New Jersey, the son of small business owners, and attended public school. He received a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a law degree from Harvard Law School. He spent a year in Chile on a Fulbright Scholarship doing historical research. He has lived in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood for over 21 years.
President and CEO, Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce
Maria S. Salinas is President & Chief Executive Officer of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the largest business association in Los Angeles County representing more than 1,600 member companies and serving the interests of more than 235,000 businesses across the Los Angeles region.
An accomplished business woman, entrepreneur and a stalwart community leader, Salinas’ business acumen and financial expertise has led her to the boardrooms of community organizations, higher education institutions and community banks. She has extensive experience in finance and accounting, corporate governance, audit and regulatory matters.
Salinas founded Salinas Consulting, a finance and accounting consultancy firm. For more than 10 years, Salinas Consulting has worked with major corporations providing collaborative financial expertise to specific engagements. In 2010, Salinas Consulting was awarded the Professional Services Award from the National Latina Business Women’s Association of Los Angeles.
Previously, Salinas held financial leadership roles with The Walt Disney Company, where she led a team responsible for global financial reporting controls and compliance. There, she led the creation of the division’s Accounting Shared Services organization and implementation of Sarbanes-Oxley rules. She also served on numerous finance executive steering committees for company‐wide technology initiatives. Prior to her work at the division, Salinas was a member of the management team at the Corporate Controllership level, responsible for technical accounting and financial reporting projects.
As a result of her work with SEC clients as a CPA with both Ernst & Young and Kenneth Leventhal & Company, Salinas possesses strong financial and public accounting expertise, specifically in the real estate industry. At Ernst & Young, Salinas served as a loaned executive to Rebuild LA, an economic development effort in Los Angeles.
Salinas is former Chairwoman of ProAmérica Bank, a community bank in Los Angeles. She was a Founding Organizer and Director serving on the Board since the bank’s inception in 2006 until its sale in 2016. Over that period, she served on several committees including Audit (Chair), Loan, Nominating & Governance and several ad hoc committees. Salinas led the merger transaction with Pacific Commerce Bancorp, successfully closing in May 2016. Salinas joined the Board of Directors of Pacific Commerce Bancorp and served on Audit, Information Technology and Compliance committees.
Salinas has considerable non‐profit board experience with esteemed organizations: Loyola Marymount University Board of Trustees, Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine Board of Directors, UnidosUS Board of Directors and current Chair, and an appointed Commissioner at the California Student Aid Commission.
Salinas’ history of community engagement is well known with previous service on numerous non‐profit boards: Los Angeles Universal Preschool, San Gabriel Valley American Red Cross, and the Los Angeles Girl Scout Council. She is a former Steering Committee Co-Chair of the California Economic Summit, a statewide economic empowerment effort and former Coordinator of Comité de la Mujer, a women’s empowerment initiative founded at the Mexican Consulate in Los Angeles.
Salinas is a Founder of HOPE (Hispanas Organized for Political Equality), a leading statewide organization promoting the advancement of Latinas, founded in 1989.
Education & Professional Affiliations
Salinas is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and earned her CPA (Certified Public Accountant) license in 1989. She has completed Corporate Director training from the California Bankers Association Director’s College Certification programs, and the Director’s College Program from Stanford University’s Rock Center for Corporate Governance.
She is a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners, Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce, National Latina Business Women’s Association, Women’s Corporate Directors and the Latino Corporate Directors Association.
Over the years, Salinas has been recognized for her leadership and community service by many distinguished organizations and civic institutions including the State of California, and the County and City of Los Angeles.
Salinas lives in Pasadena, California, with her husband Raul, a Los Angeles attorney and community leader, and their four sons.
Legislative Advocate, California Association of Realtors
Jennifer is one of eight registered lobbyists representing the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS. Since 2009 she has represented C.A.R. primarily on homeownership and investment housing issues. Jennifer staffed the association’s Affordable Workforce Housing Task Force from August 2014 to until September 2016. She currently staffs the association’s Home Ownership Housing Committee. Jennifer works on a wide range of issues, specifically focusing on policies seeking to increase our state’s rental and ownership housing supply along with expanding homeownership opportunities for the states working families. Most recently she has worked on legislation seeking to improve the planning nexus between transportation and housing, as well as, efforts to streamline the accessory dwelling unit approval and permitting process. She also specializes in transaction management issues for properties located within common interest developments.
Jennifer has worked for C.A.R. for over 15 years. Jennifer is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento. She lives in Yuba County with her fiancé, who serves as a Sergeant in the Unites States Army National Guard, and his three children. Jennifer and her fiancé had their first child together last July.
President, Pringle and Associates
Curt Pringle served two terms as the directly-elected Mayor of Anaheim from 2002 until 2010. Having served in the California State Assembly from 1988-1990 and again from 1992-98, the independent California Journal rated Assemblyman Pringle as the “Best Problem Solver” and as the “Most Influential Leader” of the California State Assembly. In January 1996, in what was hailed by the Associated Press as “a victory for stability over chaos,” Assemblyman Pringle was elected Speaker of the California State Assembly where he presided until November 1996. During his tenure in the State Assembly, Assemblyman Pringle served as the Republican Leader, Republican Caucus Chair, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, chairman of the Rules Committee, and vice chairman of the Budget Committee. He also served on the Insurance, Governmental Organization, Banking, Local Government, and Joint Legislative Budget Review Committees. Additionally, he served as a budget conferee in 1995, where he authored the 1995-1996 California State Budget. Assemblyman Pringle was a key architect of California’s historic, bipartisan welfare reform plan in 1997, and in 1996 he authored successful legislation to provide California businesses with a five-percent tax cut. He is a graduate of California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s in Public Administration. As alumni, Mayor Pringle was highlighted in CSULB’s first Notable Alumni Brochure. A 46-year resident of the Anaheim/Garden Grove area, Pringle and his wife, Alexis, have two adult children and three grandchildren.
Executive Director, Housing California
Lisa Hershey serves as Executive Director for Housing California. Since 1988, Housing CA has worked to prevent and end homelessness and increase the variety and supply of safe, stable, accessible and permanently affordable homes in vibrant, inclusive, and prosperous communities. Housing CA achieves its goals through advocacy and education in the State Capitol; advancing the field with strategic communications and the largest affordable housing conference in the country; marshaling the power of wide and growing multisector coalitions to connect housing to jobs, transportation, health, and education; and building leadership among and organizing residents and staff of affordable housing through our Residents United Network to include their powerful voices in the fight for a California for all. During Lisa's tenure as Executive Director, Housing CA has accomplished unprecedented success, including helping to secure billions of dollars for affordable and supportive housing funding through the legislature and state ballot initiatives. Lisa has more than three decades of experience leading successful teams and managing complex multi- sector initiatives to achieve statewide policy change. Prior to joining Housing CA in 2014, Lisa served as the Public Health Institute (PHI) Program Director for California Convergence, a network of resident leaders and partners creating healthy, safe, and equitable communities. During her 21 years in state and local public sector roles, Lisa managed department-wide equity and place-based initiatives. She also served as an advisor to the Director for the CA Department of Health Services and then the CA Department Public Health (CDPH), which included informing SB 375 and AB 32 initial implementation and development of the Strategic Growth Council. She represented CDPH as a liaison for the department’s executive team with other state departments, agencies, and diverse external partners. Lisa currently serves on the Governor-appointed California Complete Count Committee and the executive committees of the Schools and Communities First Act campaign and ClimatePlan. Lisa received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from San Diego State University and a Master’s in Public Health from Loma Linda University School of Public Health. She is a yoga teacher and certified peace ambassador and lives in Sacramento with her husband Robin and two children.
Executive Director, Institute for Media and Public Trust at Fresno State
Jim Boren is an award-winning journalist who worked in the news business for more than four decades. He retired as Executive Editor of The Fresno Bee in 2018 and created the Institute for Media and Public Trust at Fresno State. As Executive Director, he leads the Institute’s efforts to improve media literacy, develop strategies to identify fake news and find solutions to bridge the trust gap between media and news consumers. Jim is often sought out to speak on news industry challenges in the digital age, and is often quoted in publications on issues surrounding fake news and media trust. He is a member of the American Society of News Editors, and served as a Pulitzer Prize juror in 2016 and 2017. In 2018, Jim was honored with the Ethical Leadership Award given by the Better Business Bureau, the Fresno State Ethics Center and the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Later in the year, he was awarded the Key to the City of Fresno for his long career in journalism and public service. During his career, he has been The Bee’s chief political writer, covering politics at all levels. He covered six national political conventions and traveled on the road in the presidential campaigns in 1980, 1984, 1988 and 1992. He is a strong supporter of education initiatives, and was a leader in The Bee’s involvement with Kirk Elementary School, located near the newspaper office in downtown Fresno. He participated in its homework and after-school programs, and read to students in their classrooms.
Director of Transportation and Climate, Natural Resources Defense Council
Amanda Eaken is Director of Transportation and Climate in the Healthy People, Thriving Communities Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), where her work focuses on decarbonizing transportation in the United States. She was recently named Director of Transportation for the Bloomberg American Cities Climate Challenge, a $70M, 2-year, 25-city initiative designed to accelerate and deepen city climate action across the US, and serves on the Board of Directors of The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. As part of the Climate Challenge she is currently working to support cities to develop new transit choices, adopt policies to incentivize transit-oriented development, improve street safety for walking and cycling and adopt congestion pricing and low-emissions zone programs. In 2015, she conceptualized and launched the Live.Ride.Share conference to examine the new mobility movement transforming the national conversation on transportation. Previously, she successfully advocated for the removal of Level of Service from the California Environmental Quality Act, finally removing a key barrier to infill and sustainable transportation projects. She was part of a small team that led the campaign to pass California’s landmark Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act (SB 375), the nation’s first law to link greenhouse gas emissions with transportation and land use planning. She has been named one of San Francisco Business Times’ top 40 under 40 Emerging Leaders, and was honored with the inaugural President’s Award for Sustainability Leadership by the Southern California Association of Governments. She shared her vision for mobility as a featured speaker at the TEDx World Cities Day in Santa Monica in 2013. She is a founding member of ClimatePlan, a statewide coalition of environmental, social equity, and health groups. She holds a Master’s Degree in City Planning from U.C. Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design, and a B.A. in Ecology from Dartmouth College.
Managing Director of Development for Los Angeles County, Greystar
Perry Pound is a Los Angeles real estate developer with a passion for revitalizing cities and creating communities. Perry is focused on sustainable, mixed-use, transit-oriented, affordable infill housing development. While beginning his career in politics and government, Perry developed his affinity for smart growth as a way to preserve open space, reduce pollution, and create a better quality of life for residents. Perry has to-date, developed more than 5,000 homes in 25 communities, and created more than 5,000 jobs in the greater Los Angeles area.
Perry currently serves as Greystar Managing Director of Development for Los Angeles County and is responsible for more than $1 billion of multifamily development at Greystar. Prior to joining Greystar in 2011, Mr. Pound previously led the Southern California acquisition and development efforts for Alliance Residential, JPI, BRE Properties, and The Olson Company, for a total investment of an additional $1 billion.
Mr. Pound received a Masters in International Finance from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and completed his second year in Real Estate Finance and Development at Harvard Business School. He received his B.A., cum laude, from Pepperdine University, where he was Student Body President. Mr. Pound currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine Business School, a mentor for real estate technology accelerator Moderne Ventures, and a member of the Urban Land Institute, the National Multi Housing Council, and the Los Angeles World Affairs Council.
California State Senator (R-Bakersfield)
Senator Shannon Grove was born and raised in Kern County and is thankful for the sacrifices her single mother made to ensure she grew up in a loving environment. After graduating from high school, Senator Grove served in the United States Army. While stationed in Frankfurt, Germany she witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Following her service to our nation, she established a staffing company with her sister-in-law called Continental Labor and Staffing Resources. Senator Grove currently serves as the CEO. Prior to her election to the State Senate, Senator Grove was the first woman veteran elected to the California Legislature as she served the 34th Assembly District from 2010 to 2016. Senator Grove was elected to represent the 16th Senate District in November 2018 and Leader of the Senate Republican Caucus in January 2019. She is the first female veteran and third female to serve in the top leadership post of the Senate Republican Caucus. Senator Grove currently lives in Kern County with her husband, Rick. They are the proud parents of five children and six grandchildren.
California State Assemblymember (D-Santa Monica)
Richard Bloom was first elected to the 50th District of the California State Assembly in 2012 where he proudly represents the communities of Agoura Hills, Bel Air, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Hollywood, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Santa Monica, Topanga, West Hollywood, and West Los Angeles. Shortly after his election, Assemblymember Richard Bloom was appointed to the Chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Resources and Transportation where he quickly established himself as a leader on one of the biggest issues facing this generation - climate change. As Chair, Assemblymember Bloom has pushed for increasing renewable energy development and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and promoting smart and sustainable planning that expands affordable housing and reduces traffic congestion and commute times. Through his leadership, Assemblymember Bloom has made reducing our carbon footprint and enhancing the quality of life now and for future generations a core mission of the committee. As a steward of the environment, Assemblymember Bloom also helped establish the most stringent protections in the country against the dangers of hydraulic fracking and pushed for improved rail safety and oil spill response preparedness in light of the exponential growth of oil imports by rail. Assemblymember Bloom also introduced the strongest protections in the country against the use of rodenticides which are harming wildlife at alarming levels and against the use of plastic microbeads in personal care products that are contaminating our rivers, streams, and oceans. In just his first few years, Assemblymember Bloom has also been involved in legislative efforts to combat the prescription drug overdose epidemic, address homelessness, improve services for our veterans, expand and protect the rights of the LGBT community, foster local redevelopment and create jobs. Overall, Assemblymember Bloom considers climate change, environmental protection, congestion relief with a focus on public transit, bike, and pedestrian investment, and sub-regional connectivity job creation with a particular focus on the green economy, affordable housing, and homelessness his top priorities. In addition to serving as Chair of the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Resources and Transportation, Assemblymember Bloom serves on the Assembly Committees on Appropriations, Budget, Business and Professions, Higher Education, and Transportation. For the last three years, Assemblymember Bloom also served on the Legislative Budget Conference Committee which is a small, select group of legislators tasked with negotiating the state budget with the Governor. Prior to being elected to the California State Assembly in 2012, Assemblymember Bloom served on the Santa Monica City Council for 13 years where he served as Mayor three times and Mayor Pro Tempore twice. He also served as Chair of the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission, Chair of the Westside Cities Council, and as a special California State Senate appointment to the California Coastal Commission. Born in Philadelphia, Assemblymember Bloom grew up in Altadena and West Los Angeles. He attended Fairfax High School, the University of California (Los Angeles and Berkeley) and Loyola School of Law and holds a B.A. in Communication and Public Policy as well as a Juris Doctor degree. After law school, he practiced family law for nearly 30 years and worked as the executive director for a non-profit that assisted low-income and homeless clients. He also served as a volunteer Judge Pro Tem and mediator for the Los Angeles Superior Courts and on the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Family Law Section.
Assemblymember Bloom lives in Santa Monica with his wife of 33 years, Robbie Black, a healthcare professional and administrator at Cedars-Sinai Health Center in Los Angeles. The Bloom family includes two adult children, Zac and Emmett, two chickens and one dog.
President and CEO, Central Valley Community Foundation
For the last twenty years, Ashley Swearengin has been a champion for improving the economy of California’s Central Valley. Throughout her career, Swearengin has built a reputation for taking on stubborn and entrenched community challenges such as 50-year old land use policies that led to the highest concentration of poverty of any other large city in the nation; the most severe groundwater over-drafting in the state; chronic, double-digit unemployment; persistent homelessness; and low educational attainment. She is known for her strong voice on behalf of the Central Valley and for her relentless pursuit of common sense and effective solutions for Fresno and the region. Despite having never served in elected office, Swearengin was elected Mayor of Fresno in 2008 among a crowded field of 10 experienced and well-known candidates. As mayor, she inherited a city on the brink of financial disaster just as the nation was plunging into the Great Recession. In August of 2013, Time Magazine declared that Fresno was the next major city in the U.S. most likely to go bankrupt. While other similar cities in California did, in fact, declare insolvency, Fresno did not. Ashley and her team navigated the recession by implementing difficult budget cuts, establishing strong community partnerships that reduced costs and improved service levels, and adopting careful cash management strategies and new fiscal policies to ensure Fresno was never again in the same position. Within eight years of arriving at City Hall, Swearengin’s determination for financial stability resulted in the City avoiding bankruptcy as well as a $20 m cash reserve, the largest in the City’s history. In Fresno, a city of more than 500,000 people, Mayor Swearengin dug in to some of Fresno’s biggest challenges implementing substantial changes to improve the delivery of city services, revitalize the downtown and urban core, promote business and job growth, and address chronic homelessness. During her time as Mayor, Swearengin built a significant record of achievements including: Reconstructing downtown Fresno’s historic main street through a $20 million infrastructure project that had been debated for nearly fifty years. The project included the restoration of one of the largest public art collections on the West Coast and resulted in over $100 million of private investment; Adopting the City’s long-range land use plan that reduces greenhouse gases by 40% and focuses strategic economic investment on the interior of the city; Overhauling 60-year old development regulations that inhibited investment in the inner city and proliferated sprawling land use patterns that have contributed to the city’s footprint growing 8 times its size to over 110 square miles over the last 60 years; Constructing the City’s first high frequency transit system that had been planned for over 20 years but failed to move forward due to lack of local leadership;
Funding and constructing the $429 million water infrastructure needed to “drought proof” the City of Fresno for the next 50 years by replenishing its aquifer and utilizing surface water supplies; and Spearheading a comprehensive community effort to create services and housing resources needed to address chronic homelessness. Fresno has seen the largest and most sustained decrease in its chronically homeless population of any other major city on the West Coast with a 44% reduction over the last decade. After receiving over 75% of the vote in her re-election, Swearengin concluded two highly successful terms as Mayor before being termed out. Since leaving office in January 2017, she has applied those same deliberate and effective strategies to transforming the six-county Central Valley region. Over the next ten years, the Central Valley Community Foundation, under Swearengin’s leadership, is well positioned to play a vital role in strengthening the economy of the Central Valley. With nearly 60% of the population under the age of 35, the Central Valley is the fastest growing region in California and is, quite literally, the future of the state. Swearengin and her team have developed an ambitious plan to dramatically increase investment from local donors, state and national philanthropic funders, private for-profit investors, and state and local agencies behind a coordinated and aggressive investment plan for the region focused on: Economic vibrancy; Education and workforce development; Revitalizing distressed neighborhoods; and Improving the quality of the region’s natural environment. The Central Valley Community Foundation has adopted the bold challenge of increasing investment in the region by $1 billion over the next decade focused on comprehensive efforts such as doubling bachelor degree production, expanding early childhood and preschool resources, building a successful ecosystem for business creation and expansion, and doubling parks, trails, and open space in the Greater Fresno Region. With a career focused on community and economic development, Swearengin has served in various capacities including: CEO of the California Partnership for the Central Valley created by Governor Schwarzenegger; Co-Founder of the Regional Jobs Initiative (RJI), an industry-focused effort aimed at helping reduce unemployment in Fresno County; Executive Director of the Office of Community and Economic Development at California State University; and Serving as the first CEO of the Central Valley Business Incubator.
As a leader in the Central Valley, Swearengin holds prominent national, statewide, and local board positions, including serving on the boards of New America, the College Futures Foundation, FUSE Corps, California Forward serving as the 2019 co-chair of the California Economic Summit, and Fresno First Steps Home. She serves on the advisory committees for the S.D. Bechtel, Jr Foundation and the Public Policy Institute of California’s Statewide Leadership Council and most recently as an advisory member of Governor Newsom’s transition team. Swearengin holds an MBA and Bachelor of Science degree in Business from California State University, Fresno. She resides in Fresno with her husband Paul and their two children – Sydney, who is studying the performing arts at Pepperdine University and Sam, who is in 8 th grade in Fresno. The Central Valley Community Foundation is a charitable foundation founded in in 1966 with the vision of pooling and deploying philanthropic resources in a strategic way to improve the six counties of the Central Valley. Over the last decade, CVCF has provided over $100 million in grant funding to over 650 community benefit organizations.
Tia Boatman Patterson
Senior Housing Advisor, Newsom Adminstration
Tia Boatman Patterson is the Executive Director of the California Housing Finance Agency, the State’s affordable housing lender. Prior to her appointment, Ms. Patterson served on the CalHFA Board of Directors and General Counsel for the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency. In 2019, Ms. Boatman Patterson was appointed as Senior Housing Advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom. Ms. Patterson’s leadership of CalHFA focuses on the organization’s mission to create and finance progressive housing solutions so more Californians have a place to call home. She engages mortgage lenders, affordable housing developers, federal, state and local housing agencies, advocacy organizations, public officials and private financing markets to accomplish that mission. Since her arrival, CalHFA has begun innovative efforts to create new loan products and maximize public funding through collaboration and partnerships that will continue to support the needs of Californians. Under her direction, CalHFA has increased its single family lending from essentially zero to nearly $2 billion per year, and closed multifamily loans, including Mental Health Services Act and Conduit Issuance, worth more than $1 billion. Ms. Patterson has served on the Board of Directors for the National Council of State Housing Agencies since September 2015, and was elected Chair of the Board in October 2018. She served on the Federal National Mortgage Association Affordable Housing Advisory Council from 2015 through 2018, chairing the Council from 2016-17, and has been on the BBVA Compass Bank Community Advisory Board since August 2015. Ms. Patterson’s legal management of SHRA covered the legal department’s services to SHRA- administered nonprofit corporations; the City and County Community Development Block Grant funds, HOME funds, Housing Trust Funds; and housing bond programs. Her responsibilities also included legal oversight of SHRA’s public housing tenants and housing units, as well as Housing Choice Vouchers. Prior to serving as the General Counsel Ms. Patterson was a special assistant to the Speaker of the California State Assembly, where she provided policy expertise and advice on subject matters falling within the purview of the Assembly Committees on Housing and Community Development, and Jobs and Economic Development. Additionally, Ms. Patterson was a senior associate with Best Best & Krieger LLP in the Municipal and Redevelopment Practice group of the Sacramento office. Ms. Boatman Patterson received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from San Diego State University, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. While in law school, she received highest honors in Trial Preparation and Advocacy and graduated as a member of the National Order of Barristers.
Speaker, California State Assembly
Anthony Rendon is speaker of the California State Assembly, a position he has held since March 2016.
Since 2012, Rendon has represented the 63rd Assembly District, which includes nine cities in Southeast Los Angeles County. In his three years as speaker, Rendon has led some of the most progressive and productive legislative sessions in memory. Among the Assembly’s accomplishments are restoration of funding for early childhood education, a landmark $52 billion transportation funding plan, extension of California’s climate change reduction and clean air goals, and the nation’s first $15 minimum wage. Prior to becoming speaker, Rendon authored Proposition 1, the $7.5 billion state water bond that voters overwhelmingly passed in 2014, and legislation that spurred much-needed revitalization of the lower portion of the Los Angeles River. Before serving in the Assembly, Rendon was an educator, non-profit executive director, and environmental activist. He attended Cerritos Community College and California State University, Fullerton and earned a Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside. Rendon resides in Lakewood with his wife Annie.
CEO, California Medical Association
Dustin Corcoran is Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the California Medical Association (CMA), a non-profit professional organization of over 44,000 physicians dedicated to protecting public health and promoting the science and art of medicine. As CEO, Mr. Corcoran has the responsibility for the overall supervision, direction and control of the business and staff of CMA Mr. Corcoran has advocated tirelessly for California physicians and the patients that they serve since 1998. He started at CMA as the membership coordinator for the association’s political action committee. Within a year, Mr. Corcoran moved to CMA’s Center for Government Relations, where he worked under the guidance of the legendary Steve Thompson as a staff lobbyist. When Mr. Thompson passed away in 2004, Dustin succeeded him as Vice President of Government Relations, where he managed CMA’s overall legislative program, representing physicians’ interests before the State Legislature and the Governor. In 2009, Mr. Corcoran was promoted to Senior Vice President, where he oversaw the day-to-day operations of CMA, as well as the Center for Government Relations, and ultimately became CEO in February of 2010. Dustin’s career has been marked by years of leadership, service and entrepreneurship. • Since 2009, Mr. Corcoran has been listed annually on Capitol Weekly’s top 100 power brokers in California – most recently, in 2018, listed at number 21. • In 2012, Mr. Corcoran’s work as CMA’s chief executive officer was recognized when he was named to the Sacramento Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” list of top business and civic leaders.
National President, AARP (retired)
Jeannine English, recently completed a one-year fellowship at Stanford University’s Distinguished Career Institute. Prior she served as the national president of AARP and on the AARP Board of Directors, during which time she was the spokesperson for the Association, testifying before Congress and promoting policy changes throughout the country. She chaired the AARP National Policy Council, which developed policy positions for the 38-million-member organization. Prior to her work at AARP, she was the founding partner of a legislative advocacy firm in California and the Executive Director of the Commission on State Government Organization and Economy (the Little Hoover Commission). From 2006-2012, she served as a public member of the Board of Governors of the State Bar of California. Jeannine served as the President of the Initiative Campaign Committee that successfully spearheaded the passage of the Voters First Act (Proposition 11, 2008), placing the power to draw electoral boundaries in a Citizens Redistricting Commission. She also was a leader in the California Open Primary Initiative (Proposition 14, 2010), resulting in a single primary for all candidates with the top two moving forward in the general election. She currently serves as a member of the University of Southern California (USC) Board of Councilors for the Davis School of Gerontology, is an advisor to Pride Industries, one of the nation’s largest employers of people with disabilities and a Board Member of 10X Health, a technology and intelligence start up company aimed at identifying and eliminating poor healthcare and thereby significantly reducing the healthcare cost curve. In her free time, she is an avid cyclist and traveler. To celebrate her 60 th birthday she and her husband, Howard Dickstein traveled to Antarctica and South Georgia Island to follow Sir Ernest Shackelton’s incredible journey.
President and CEO, The SCAN Foundation
Bruce Allen Chernof, MD, FACP, currently serves as the President & Chief Executive Officer of The SCAN Foundation, whose mission is to advance a coordinated and easily navigated system of high-quality services for older adults that preserve dignity and independence. The SCAN Foundation is one of the largest foundations in the United States focused entirely on improving the quality of health and life for seniors. Previously, Dr. Chernof served as the Director and Chief Medical Officer for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. Dr. Chernof has also served as a Regional Medical Director for Medicaid and SCHIP programs at Health Net, a network model HMO. In 2013, Dr. Chernof served as the Chair of the federal Commission on Long-Term Care, which produced a bipartisan report to Congress recommending reforms for our nation’s long-term care financing, delivery system, and workforce needs. Dr. Chernof completed his residency and chief residency in Internal Medicine as well as a Fellowship in Medical Education at UCLA. He earned his medical degree from UCLA and completed his undergraduate work at Harvard University, and previously served as an Adjunct Professor of Medicine at UCLA. Currently he serves as a Senior Fellow at the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at the University of Southern California.
President and CEO, California Hospital Association
Carmela Coyle began her tenure as President & CEO of the California Hospital Association, the statewide leader representing the interests of more than 400 hospitals and health systems in California, in October 2017. Previously, Coyle led the Maryland Hospital Association for nine years, where she played a leading role in reframing the hospital payment system in Maryland and moving to a value-based methodology. Maryland is now considered a national leader in health care policy and innovation. Prior to 2008, Coyle spent 20 years in senior policy positions with the American Hospital Association (AHA), including 11 years as the senior vice president of policy, where she served as a national media spokesperson and led AHA’s policy development and strategy planning activities. Earlier in her career, she worked for the Congressional Budget Office in Washington, D.C., advising members of Congress and their staff on the economic and budgetary implications of legislative policy.
Director, Mercury Public Affairs
Jodi Hicks is a co-chair of Mercury, based in its Sacramento office. A longtime lobbyist, Hicks helps lead the government relations team in California, using her decades of experience to advise clients on complex issues.
Prior to joining Mercury, Hicks was a partner in the lobby firm DiMare, Brown, Hicks & Kessler, LLC, specializing in health care, energy and social justice issues. Before joining that firm, Hicks was the Vice President of Government Relations at the California Medical Association, a non-profit organization representing more than 35,000 members in all modes of practice and specialties.
Before her tenure at CMA, Hicks served as the Legislative Director at the California chapter of the National Organization for Women. There, she lobbied on behalf of women and girls in the state, ensuring their continued protection on issues ranging from fair pay to reproductive health. There, she helped to defeat Proposition 85 in 2006 and increased CA NOW’s presence at the Capitol.
In 2014, Hicks was named to CalNewsroom’s list of the Capitol’s100 Best & Brightest, an annual ranking of the most powerful players in California politics. She made an appearance on Capitol Weekly’s “Top 100” List several times, with her most recently ranking at #19. Hicks also served on the Board of Directors for Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, the Legislative Committee for Women Empowered Against Violence (WEAVE), and participates in fundraising for a various charitable organizations in her community.
President and CEO, Perry Communications Group
Kassy has been at the forefront of major initiatives undertaken by the healthcare, energy, environmental and public health communities for more than 20 years. Her expertise includes helping clients define and manage issues of social significance, preparing clients to adeptly manage charged communications where companies face an even greater demand to act ethically and swiftly with transparency. Kassy is a former television and radio news reporter, producer and anchor. Following her work as a broadcast journalist, Kassy served as a communications advisor to three California Governors and a state legislator, as well as a principal consultant to a legislative policy committee. Perry Communications Group is the largest woman-owned public affairs firm in Sacramento. The firm represents a range of corporate and non-profit clients providing public affairs, media relations, coalition building and digital advocacy services. Probably best known for convincing former Katie Couric to televise her own colonoscopy on the Today Show, Kassy created the National Colorectal Research Alliance on behalf of Couric and the Entertainment Industry Foundation. Recognized by the Sacramento Public Relations Association with a Lifetime Achievement Award and more than 75 industry awards for her work, Kassy has been named to Capitol Weekly's Top 100 "Most Powerful Political Players in California” list four times in the past 6 years. Kassy has also received Recognition from the California State Senate and Assembly for her work. Kassy is a member of the Board of Directors of Legacy Health Endowment, a San Joaquin Valley health care foundation using philanthropy as venture capital to invest in people, strategies and ideas to create long term, sustainable healthcare change. She serves on the board of Capitol Weekly, California’s leading political and public policy publication, as well as the board of Jack Russell Rescue of California, an all-volunteer rescue placing at risk Russell Terriers in foster and forever homes. Kassy is a graduate of the University of California, Davis. She describes her two grown daughters as her best friends and greatest achievements and spends most of her free time on the back of a horse.
Executive Director, Health Access California
Anthony E. Wright has served as Executive Director for Health Access, the statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition since 2002. Health Access has led state and national efforts to win consumer protections, fight budget cuts and invest in our safety-net, encourage prevention, and advance coverage expansions and comprehensive health reform. Wright led California’s coalition effort to help pass the Affordable Care Act and state laws to implement and improve it, and campaigns to successfully pass first-in-the-nation laws to ensure timely access to care, and to stop hospital overcharging of the uninsured.
As a consumer advocate and community organizer, Wright has been widely quoted in state and national media. He has also worked for New Jersey Citizen Action, the Center for Media Education, The Nation magazine, and in Vice President Gore’s office in the White House.
Born and raised in the Bronx, Wright graduated from Amherst College magna cum laude in both English and Sociology. He lives in Davis with his wife Jessica, and his son Jefferson.
President and CEO, The California Endowment
Robert K. Ross, M.D., is president and chief executive officer for The California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation established in 1996 to address the health needs of Californians. Prior to his appointment in September 2000, Dr. Ross served as director of the Health and Human Services Agency for the County of San Diego from 1993 to 2000. Dr. Ross has an extensive background in health philanthropy, as a public health administrator, and as a clinician. His service includes: Commissioner, Philadelphia Department of Public Health; medical director for LINK School-Based Clinic Program, Camden, New Jersey; instructor of clinical medicine, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and faculty member at San Diego State University’s School of Public Health. Dr. Ross has been actively involved in community and professional activities at both the local and national level. He is a member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans, Co-Chair, Diversity in Philanthropy Coalition, and has served as a member of the California Health Benefit Exchange Board, the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors Board, National Vaccine Advisory Committee, and on the boards of Grantmakers in Health, the National Marrow Donor Program, San Diego United Way and Jackie Robinson YMCA. He is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Pediatrics, served on the President’s Summit for America’s Future and as chairman of the national Boost for Kids Initiative, and was honored by the Council on Foundations as the Distinguished Grantmaker of the Year for 2008. Dr. Ross received his undergraduate, masters in Public Administration and medical degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. The California Endowment makes grants to organizations and institutions that directly benefit the health and well-being of the people of California. For more information, visit our Web site www.calendow.org.
California State Assemblymember (D-Marina Del Rey)
First elected in 2014, Autumn R. Burke represents the 62nd District in the California State Assembly. Her economically and ethnically diverse district is home to some of the world’s most successful technology and aerospace companies, several of the region’s most popular beaches, Los Angeles International Airport, and the Forum. A Los Angeles native, Assemblywoman Burke is an entrepreneur and small business owner with a proven record of business development and community outreach. She’s worked to help provide pathways to green technology and energy efficiency for neighborhoods big and small. She’s taken that same passion for innovation to Sacramento with a focus on policy to expand access to health care, education and solid jobs for all. While in Sacramento, she has achieved legislative successes to positively impact the lives of all Californians, including; extending California’s Cap & Trade market system which has become a model for the rest of the country and the world to mitigate the harmful effects of climate change while transitioning to a clean energy economy, increasing electric vehicle charging stations around the state, and convening The Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force with the goal of reducing child poverty across the state. Throughout her career, Burke has maintained a passion for serving the community. She is a member of Count Me In for Women, an organization that promotes the growth of women-owned businesses. She’s also a board member of the Yvonne Burke Foundation, which provides scholarships for young people in Los Angeles County to attend colleges and universities as well as career training programs. A longtime supporter of the Compton Jr. Posse, Burke helps give at-risk youth alternatives to street life through creative programs that foster a greater sense of belonging. Burke is the daughter of former Los Angeles County Supervisor, Assemblywoman and U.S. Congresswoman, Yvonne Burke. Autumn Burke’s election to the legislature marks the first time in California history that a mother and daughter have both served in the State Assembly. Assemblywoman Burke is the Chair of the Assembly Committee on Revenue and Taxation. She also serves as the Chair of the Assembly Select Committee on Career Technical Education and Building a 21 Century Workforce, and a member of the Assembly Committees on Accountability and Administrative Review, Health, Housing and Community Development, Utilities and Commerce. She represents the cities of Inglewood, Hawthorne, Lawndale, El Segundo, and Gardena, the Los Angeles neighborhoods of Westchester, Playa del Rey, Playa Vista, Venice, and Del Rey, and communities of Del Aire, West Athens, Lennox, Westmont, and Marina del Rey.
Supervisor (2nd District), Santa Cruz County
Zach Friend is an author, public policy and communications expert who has worked for Barack Obama and John Kerry’s presidential campaigns, the White House Council of Economic Advisers, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). For nearly a decade, Zach was the Press Information Officer and a Crime Analyst for the Santa Cruz, California Police Department, acting as the department's spokesman and analyzing crime statistics to help design more effective prevention and enforcement strategies. With Obama for America ’08, Zach was a battleground state press secretary and spokesman handling planning, writing and media relations. For appearances and interviews, he staffed and briefed Barack Obama, Joe Biden and other campaign principals and surrogates. He is a regular political commentator on network and cable television and has written for the Huffington Post and Business Insider and been quoted by CNN, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, Fox News, MSNBC, National Public Radio, the LA Times, the New York Times, Politico and others. His book On Message: How a Compelling Narrative Will Make Your Organization Succeed, was published by Turner Publishing. On Message became an Amazon.com best seller in the Marketing category and won a prestigious Axiom Business Book Award in the Networking/Communication Skills category. Zach was elected to the Santa Cruz County (California) Board of Supervisors, representing the Second District, in 2012 and was reelected in 2016. The beautiful and diverse Second District, which is bordered by the Monterey Bay, the Pajaro River and the Santa Cruz Mountains, includes coastal communities and some of the most productive agricultural land in the country. In 2017, Zach was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the California Film Commission and currently serves on that commission. Zach has a Masters degree in Public Policy from Georgetown University and a BA with Honors in History from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Zach lives in Santa Cruz County with his wife and son.
Executive Director, National Nurses United
Bonnie Castillo, RN, is Executive Director of National Nurses United (NNU), California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee (CNA/ NNOC), an all-RN professional organization and union with a membership of more than 150,000 throughout California and nationwide. Before being named as executive director, she was the director of the Registered Nurse Response Network (RNRN), a disaster relief program run by NNU that places registered
nurse volunteers where they are needed after man-made and natural catastro- phes. She has coordinated RN volunteers to help in the aftermath of the Haiti
earthquake, super typhoon Haiyan, hurricanes Katrina, Harvey (Texas) and Maria (Puerto Rico), and elsewhere. Bonnie also held the positions of CNA/NNOC Director of Government Relations and NNU Director of Health and Safety. She has been with CNA/NNOC for almost two decades in a number of important capacities, working her way up into the leadership of the organization from her early days as a registered nurse member who helped to unionize her facility, to staff and then lead organizer, to a director, and now to her current position as Executive Director. NNU is the country’s largest union and professional organization of registered nurses, with more than 150,000 members nationwide. CNA/NNOC is the nation’s largest, state-based union of direct-care RNs, with more than 100,000 members in all 50 states.
Robin Swanson is a strategist and communications expert with more than 20 years of political experience under her belt, working inside the Capitol buildings in both Washington, D.C. and Sacramento, California.
Swanson specializes in strategic communications and media relations, regularly providing on-air commentary for both local and national news programs. She has been a political analyst on CNN and CNN International, as well as Sacramento’s NBC station, KCRA-3, and is quoted frequently in California newspapers and national media. She works with issue-specific and political reporters on a daily basis advocating on behalf of her clients, and has worked on a number of high-profile health care advocacy campaigns.
Featured in Capitol Weekly’s 2018 Top 100 List of California political influencers as a “high-powered public relations executive,” Swanson was also one of only ten Democrats nationally to be named a “Rising Star of Politics” in 2007 by Campaigns and Elections magazine.
Swanson has worked on a diverse array of ballot initiative and issue campaigns, legislative and statewide races, and has served as the Communications Director for the Speaker of the California State Assembly. She also worked for two Members of Congress during her time in Washington, D.C.
Swanson received a Bachelor’s degree in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia and a Master’s degree in Government from Johns Hopkins University.
Le Ondra Clark Harvey
Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs, California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies
Dr. Clark Harvey is the Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs for CBHA. Dr. Clark Harvey has previously served as Chief Consultant to the California State Assembly Committee on Business and Professions, Principal Consultant to the Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development, and a health policy consultant to the office of former Senator Curren D. Price, Jr. Dr. Clark Harvey completed her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She completed her pre-doctoral fellowship at the University of Southern California Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, and a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles Mattel Children’s Hospital. She was also a social justice fellow at the Center for Policy Analysis in San Francisco. Dr. Clark Harvey has maintained an impressive record of leadership. She has served on national and local boards such as the American Psychological Association (APA), Association of Black Psychologists, Sacramento County Public Health Advisory Board, Sacramento County Children’s Coalition, and the Los Angeles View Park Section of the National Council of Negro Women. She is a member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women Sacramento Chapter and is a fellow of the American Leadership Forum and the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program. Dr. Clark Harvey has received numerous awards including: a 2016 APA Presidential Citation, the APA's Emerging Contributions to Service Award, Henry Tomes Award for the Advancement of Ethnic Minority Psychology, the University of Wisconsin's Outstanding Woman of Color Award, the 2014 Sacramento Business Journal's 40 Under 40 award, and the 2015 Diversity MBA's Top 100 Under 50 Executive Leaders award.
California State Assemblywoman (R-Escondido)
Elected to the California State Assembly in 2012, Marie Waldron serves as Assembly Republican Leader, the highest ranking Assembly Republican. She is known as a strong advocate for patient access to health care, opioid/substance use and mental health treatment. She is a member of the Mental Health caucus, the Prevention Support Team of Mental Health Systems-North Inland Community Prevention Program, and has served on the Assembly Health Committee, the Select Committee on Health Care Delivery & Universal Coverage, and the Select Committee on Infectious Disease in High Risk Communities. She is currently serving on the Stanford 5 Year Initiative on Neuroscience, a working group to foster communication between policymakers and researchers regarding mental health, addiction and opioid drugs. Marie is a former member of the San Diego County Opioid Task Force, and has been honored as "Legislator of the Year" from both the CA Life Sciences Association and the California Chronic Care Coalition. Over the past 30 years, Marie Waldron has been actively involved in her North San Diego County region. As a local business owner for 25 years, she understands the economic impacts of burdensome government regulation and spending on taxpayers and small businesses. Prior to her election to the Assembly, Waldron served for 14 years on the Escondido City Council fighting for public safety, budget stability and neighborhood revitalization. Waldron served as Escondido’s Deputy Mayor, on the Board of Directors for the North County Transit District, the city’s representative to the League of California Cities, the Regional Solid Waste Association Board, and Escondido’s Investment subcommittee. Her commitment to her city was recognized by the Escondido Rotary Club when she was presented their Outstanding Community Service Award in 1990. Marie and her husband Steve have own and operate Waldron Enterprises, Top End Tees Screen- printing and Apparel in Escondido for over 25 years. Waldron has also been a member of the Escondido Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Business Association and many other groups. She served 4 years as Honorary Chairman of the California Business Advisory Council which advocated on behalf of California’s small businesses to Congress. Active in the San Diego region, Waldron is a founding member of the San Diego chapter of CWLA (California Women’s Leadership Association), and is a member of the American Legion Auxiliary. Previously, Marie worked her way up to Operations Manager for NBC Sports in New York, handled commercial operations for Times Mirror Cable TV in San Diego and worked with New York Mets Promotions department. The Waldron’s have a 17-year old son and Steve is the founder of the successful “Cruisin’ Grand” hotrod event held every year in downtown Escondido since 1999. Marie has a B.S. degree from St. John’s University and has done graduate work at UCSD and SDSU.
California State Senator (D-Sacramento)
Dr. Richard Pan is a pediatrician, former UC Davis educator, and State Senator proudly representing Sacramento, West Sacramento, Elk Grove and unincorporated areas of Sacramento County. Dr. Pan chairs the Senate Committee on Health, the Budget and Fiscal Review Subcommittee on Health and Human Services and the Committee on Public Employment and Retirement. He also chairs the Senate Select Committees on Children with Special Needs, Asian Pacific Islander Affairs and the 2020 United States Census. He serves on the Senate Committees on Agriculture; Business, Professions and Economic Development; and Education. Dr. Pan continues to practice pediatrics at WellSpace Health in Oak Park. First elected to the State Assembly in 2010, Dr. Pan was later elected to the State Senate in 2014 and 2018. He strives to keep our communities safe and healthy. When local governments planned to close fire stations during the recession, Dr. Pan authored legislation to bring over $100 million in federal funds for fire departments including $6 million for the Sacramento region. He partnered with law enforcement and local businesses to establish a statewide database to catch thieves attempting to sell stolen property to pawnshops, and he authored a law to allow campus police to use body cameras. TIME magazine called Dr. Pan a “hero” when he authored landmark legislation to abolish non-medical exemptions to legally required vaccines for school students, thereby restoring community immunity from preventable contagions. Dr. Pan also authored one of the most expansive state laws regulating health plans eliminating denials for pre- existing conditions and prohibited discrimination by health status and medical history. He demands transparency and accountability in state health programs; holding hearings on reducing fraud, investigating poor access to dental care, and ensuring children with cancer and other serious conditions have access to pediatric specialty care. Dr. Pan provided leadership in enrolling families for health coverage, resulting in halving the number of uninsured in California, and he sponsored numerous health fairs providing resources including free glasses, dental screenings, and vaccines. Dr. Pan has devoted his career to solving problems and helping everyone in the community. Prior to serving in the legislature, Dr. Pan was a UC Davis faculty member and Director of the Pediatric Residency Program where he created a nationally recognized service learning curriculum, Communities and Health Professionals Together to build partnerships between health professions students and neighborhoods to build healthier communities. Dr. Pan co-founded and served as chair of Healthy Kids Healthy Future, where he helped secure health, dental and vision coverage for over 65,000 children in the Sacramento area. He helped create the Sacramento Health Improvement Project, bringing together
doctors, hospitals, clinics and community leaders to ensure that all Sacramento County residents have access to primary health care. Dr. Pan also serves on the United Way California Capitol Region Board and served on the BloodSource board and the Sacramento First Five Commission. For his leadership in education and community development, Dr. Pan has been recognized with the Campus Compact's Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service-Learning and the Physician Humanitarian Award from the Medical Board of California. Dr. Pan and his wife are raising two young sons and run a dental practice where they balance expenses, meet a payroll and understand the challenges of running a small business. The son of immigrants, Dr. Pan attended public schools and earned his Bachelor of Arts in Biophysics from Johns Hopkins University, a Medical Doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh and a Masters of Public Health from Harvard University.
David and Diane Steffy Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Lanhee J. Chen, Ph.D. is the David and Diane Steffy Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution and Director of Domestic Policy Studies and Lecturer in the Public Policy Program at Stanford University. He is also a Senior Counselor at the Brunswick Group, a global business advisory firm, and an Operating Partner at New Road Capital Partners, a private equity firm, where he helps to direct healthcare investments for the firm’s latest fund. A veteran of several high-profile political campaigns, Chen has worked in politics, government, the private sector, and academia. He has advised numerous major campaigns, including four presidential efforts. In 2012, he was policy director of the Romney-Ryan campaign, and served as Governor Mitt Romney’s chief policy adviser. a senior strategist on the campaign, and the person responsible for developing the campaign’s domestic and foreign policy. Chen also advised Senator Marco Rubio's 2016 presidential bid, served as Domestic Policy Director of Romney's 2008 campaign, and was a health policy adviser to the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign in 2004. During the 2014 and 2018 campaign cycles, Chen served as a Senior Adviser on Policy to the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). From 2014 to 2018, Chen served as a presidentially-appointed and Senate- confirmed member of the Social Security Advisory Board—an independent, bipartisan panel that advises the president, Congress, and the Commissioner of Social Security on matters related to the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income programs. He is currently a Senior Adviser to and member of the Aspen Economic Strategy Group, an Aspen Institute program, co-chaired by Hank Paulson and Erskine Bowles, that draws together a diverse range of distinguished leaders and thinkers to address significant structural challenges in the U.S. economy. Chen was honored in 2015 as one of the POLITICO 50, a list of the “thinkers, doers, and visionaries transforming American politics.” He earned a similar honor in 2012 when he was named one of POLITICO’s “50 Politicos to Watch.” Chen’s writings have appeared in a variety of outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and Bloomberg View. He has been a CNN Political Commentator and provided political analysis and commentary on nearly every other major television network. Chen is also a member of the Editorial Board of the Salem Media Group. In the Bush administration, Chen was a senior official at the US Department of Health and Human Services. His private-sector experience includes having been an associate attorney with the international law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher
LLP, where he practiced business litigation. Chen was also the Winnie Neubauer Visiting Fellow in Health Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation and worked as a health policy advocate for a major business group in Washington, DC. In 2017, Chen was the William E. Simon Visiting Professor in the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University. At Stanford, he also serves on the Faculty Steering Committee of the Haas Center for Public Service, is an affiliate of the Freeman-Spogli Institute for International Studies, and was Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School. An eight-time winner of Harvard University’s Certificate of Distinction in Teaching, Chen’s scholarship has appeared or been cited in several of the nation’s top political science journals. Chen serves in a variety of leadership roles in nonprofits and community-based organizations. He is Chair of the Board of Directors of El Camino Hospital in the Silicon Valley, a member of the National Advisory Committee of the Democracy Fund, a Director of the Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity (FREOPP), a member of the Advisory Board of the Partnership for the Future of Medicare, and a member of the Council of Scholars for the Better Medicare Alliance. He is also a member of the Committee of 100, an organization of prominent Chinese Americans. Chen earned his Ph.D. and A.M. in political science from Harvard University, his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School, and his A.B. magna cum laude in government from Harvard College. He is a member of the State Bar of California. A native of Rowland Heights, California, he currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and children.
Lloyd H. Dean
CEO, CommonSpirit Health
Lloyd H. Dean is dedicated to preserving and expanding health care access for all. A health care visionary, Mr. Dean leads with compassion and is guided by the belief that the healing power of humanity can bring communities together to support a healthy future for everyone.
During his tenure as President/CEO at Dignity Health, Mr. Dean transformed the health system from a holding company to a dynamic health enterprise with 41 hospitals and over 400 care centers, including neighborhood hospitals, urgent care facilities, surgery and imaging centers, home health, and primary care clinics. He also led Dignity Health’s broad, innovative partnerships that helped create more positive patient experiences, more efcient care and services, and healthy communities. Mr. Dean is a member of the Health Affairs Council on Health Care Spending and Value and the American Heart Association CEO Roundtable.
Mr. Dean has dedicated his career to eliminating the social disparities of health that are the root problems behind so many health issues.
Secretary, California Health and Human Services Agency
Dr. Mark Ghaly was appointed Secretary of the California Health and Human Services by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2019. In this role, Dr. Ghaly will oversee California’s largest Agency which includes many key departments that are integral to supporting the implementation of the Governor’s vision to expand health coverage and access to all Californians. Dr. Ghaly will work across State government, along with County, City, and private sector partners, to ensure the most vulnerable Californians have access to the resources and services they need to lead healthy, happy, and productive lives. Before joining Governor Newsom’s team, Dr. Ghaly worked for 15 years in County health leadership roles in San Francisco and Los Angeles. In San Francisco, he was Medical Director of the Southeast Health Center, a public health clinic located in the Bayview Hunters Point community. In addition to having a large primary care pediatrics practice, Dr. Ghaly led the clinic’s transition to the patient-centered medical home model of care, expanded specialty care and diagnostics services, and addressed issues such as teen health, youth violence, food security, and environmental health issues. In 2011, Dr. Ghaly became the Deputy Director for Community Health and Integrated Programs for the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services. In this role, Dr. Ghaly directed clinical operations in the Los Angeles County Juvenile Detention system and led the transition of jail health services from the Los Angeles County Sheriff and the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health into one integrated system of care. Dr. Ghaly also led a County team to expand health and behavioral health services on the Martin Luther King, Jr., health campus in South Los Angeles, which included the opening of the public-private Martin Luther King, Jr., Community Hospital. Additionally, Dr. Ghaly was the architect of the Los Angeles County Whole Person Care Pilot program, oversaw the launch of the Drug Medi-Cal Organized Delivery System in Los Angeles County, and established the County’s Office of Diversion and Reentry which has diverted over 3,000 individuals out of County jail and into community-based treatment and permanent supportive housing. Among Dr. Ghaly’s most important accomplishments was the creation and continued development of the County’s Housing for Health program. Since 2012, Housing for Health has supported over 6,500 chronically ill individuals facing homelessness, many of whom are stuck in acute care facilities, to gain permanent supportive housing through federal subsidies and LA County’s Flexible Housing Subsidy Pool.
Dr. Ghaly continues to see patients in the Los Angeles safety net system, currently working at Olive View UCLA Medical Center. Mark’s prior clinical work within Los Angeles County also included seeing patients at the Los Angeles County Juvenile Detention System and the Martin Luther King Jr. Outpatient Center Medical Hub that serves children and youth in the Los Angeles Child Welfare System. Dr. Ghaly looks forward to continuing his clinical practice while serving as the State’s Secretary for Health and Human Services. Dr. Ghaly was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He earned duel B.A. degrees in biology and biomedical ethics from Brown University, his M.D. degree from Harvard Medical School, and his M.P.H. from the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Ghaly completed his residency training in Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Ghaly is married to Christina Ghaly and has four young children. Dr. Ghaly is honored to serve Governor Gavin Newsom and looks forward to forging partnerships and relationships across California to make the Governor’s vision a reality for the benefit of all Californians.
President and CEO, Sierra Health Foundation
Chet P. Hewitt is President and CEO of Sierra Health Foundation and its nonprofit intermediary partner, The Center at Sierra Health Foundation. Over the past decade, Chet has led a bold collective impact strategy focused on promoting health, equity and social justice in underserved communities to improve the well-being of children, youth and families. Recognized for his strategic thinking and willingness to take thoughtful risk, Chet has received national attention for his emphasis on making the Foundation’s and The Center’s partnerships with local communities and public and private funders the centerpiece of both organizations’ strategy for change. Efforts launched by the Foundation and The Center include California Funders for Boys and Men of Color, Positive Youth Justice Initiative, Black Child Legacy Campaign, Build.Black. Coalition and San Joaquin Valley Health Fund. Prior to joining Sierra Health Foundation, Chet served as Director of Alameda County’s Social Services Agency, Associate Director for the Rockefeller Foundation in New York, and Director of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice in San Francisco. He has received numerous awards for his service to children and families, including the 2017 Terrance Keenan Leadership in Health Philanthropy Award. Chet is an Annie E. Casey Children and Families Leadership Fellow, and serves on the boards of the Roberts Enterprise Development Fund, Public Policy Institute of California, Advance Peace and CalNonprofits.
Vice President, Government Affairs and Senior Medical; Director, Employer Strategy — City of Hope
Joseph Alvarnas, M.D., earns praise from his patients for his bedside manner, even as he speaks out on “big picture” issues like healthy living and preventive care as key weapons against cancer.
At City of Hope since 2008, Dr. Alvarnas serves as vice president of Government Affairs and senior medical director for Employer Strategy. Previously, he served as director of value based analytics and director of clinical quality for the Alpha Clinic for Cell Therapy and Innovation. He earned his medical degree at University of California, San Francisco, and did fellowships in hematology and bone marrow transplantation at Stanford University Medical Center.
An articulate spokesman on topics ranging from hematology to health policy, Dr. Alvarnas is also editor-in-chief of the publication, Evidence-Based Oncology and the Chair of the American Society of Hematology Committee on Practice.
President and CEO, California Charter Schools Association
As the leader of CCSA, Myrna manages the membership organization representing California’s public charter schools, since January 2019. Prior to assuming the role of President and CEO, she served for nearly three years as the Founding Executive Director of Great Public Schools Now, an organization created in winter 2015. As the Executive Director, Myrna led Great Public Schools Now's strategy in transforming education in Los Angeles by expanding high-quality public schools of diverse governance models in the areas most in need of support. Prior to Great Public Schools Now Myrna worked at the California Charter Schools Association (CCSA) in various key leadership roles since its founding in late 2003, most recently as the Acting Chief Executive Officer and prior to that heading the government affairs, local advocacy, quality, school development, and research and evaluation portfolios at various times. Her work with CCSA was preceded by a decade in school reform efforts in Texas and Los Angeles. In the late 1990s-early 2000s, Myrna served as a consultant to the state-funded Urban Education Partnership/LAUSD where she helped to develop eight innovative early education service centers in the most high-need areas of Los Angeles; she served as VP of School and Family Networks for the Los Angeles Alliance for Student Achievement and the director for family engagement for the Los Angeles Annenberg Metropolitan Project. In Texas, Myrna spearheaded parent and community engagement efforts at the El Paso Collaborative for Academic Excellence, a K-16 systemic reform initiative and piloted a model for pre-service teachers to work organically with parents and community during their clinical assignments, which was adopted as a program requirement for all teachers at the University of Texas at El Paso. She served for nearly a decade as a key education leader, supporting organizing strategies for the Southwest Industrial Areas Foundation and its statewide Alliance Schools Initiative to develop parent, teacher and community capacity to transform low-performing schools into high achieving centers for community-wide change. An experienced trainer and public speaker, Myrna receives frequent invitations to lead professional development seminars, deliver keynote presentations and make media appearances, particularly on matters of Latino student achievement and effective parent and civic engagement in transforming public education. She served as Vice President and then a term as President of the National Board of Parents for Public Schools, a network of twenty-four local organizations that support public education reform across the United States. In these positions, Myrna saw parents’ deep desire to give their children real high-quality education opportunities when faced with so few choices. Her passion for this critical work
comes from her background as a mother and an immigrant, and what she has seen is possible when commitment, opportunity and urgency meet to help families carve out better futures. In 2013, Myrna was named ‘Education Reformer to Watch’ by the Walton Family Foundation. She is also a fellow of the Aspen Pahara Education Fellowship's eighth class and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, and serves on the Board of Visitors for Loyola Marymount University’s School of Education.
California State Senator (D-Chino)
Reelected to represent the 20th State Senate District in 2018, Senator Connie M. Leyva is serving her second term in the California State Senate. The district includes the cities and communities of Bloomington, Chino, Colton, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Montclair, Muscoy, Ontario, Pomona, Rialto and San Bernardino. As our State Senator, Senator Leyva is committed to improving California’s schools, environment and communities, as well as creating quality jobs throughout the 20th State Senate District and California. She firmly believes that California families benefit most when we invest in and help strengthen small businesses and other job drivers that create good paying jobs in our local communities. During her first term in office, Senator Leyva authored important legislation signed into law: Public Safety Eliminate the statute of limitations on rape (SB 813) Criminalize sextortion and protect minors and young women (SB 500) Protect human trafficking victims (SB 597) Help crime victims receive compensation (SB 651) Increase efforts to prevent and respond to inmate suicide (SB 960) Labor Permanently extend overtime for domestic workers (SB 1015) Ban secret settlements in sexual harassment, assault and discrimination cases (SB 820) Education Improve career technical education at California community colleges (SB 66) Extend career technical education course options for high school students (SB 1123) Expand educational services for homeless students (SB 1068) Ensure stronger student voices on school boards (SB 532) Enable student board members to make informed decisions (SB 468) Health and Human Services Allow blood transport vehicles to use high occupancy vehicle lanes (SB 406) Ensure continued health care coverage for Californians (SB 1245) Permit adults with developmental disabilities to live in a family setting (SB 1107)
Environment Require review of environmental justice impacts on local communities (SB 1000) Maximize climate investments in low-income communities (SB 1072) Protect communities from lead pipe dangers (SB 1398) Remove lead water service lines in local communities (SB 427) Improve awareness of childhood lead exposure risks (SB 1041) Recover and reuse food waste as clean energy and fuels (SB 970) Housing Strengthen available tools to protect local economic development investments (SB 1145) Help mobile home park residents stay in their homes (SB 136) Increase access to affordable housing programs for mobile home residents (SB 329) Protect mobile home sellers upon sale of their home (SB 542) Enable state to inspect mobile home parks for health and safety violations (SB 46) Help keep senior and disabled residents in their homes (SB 1130) Consumer Protection Protect financial security of seniors and their families (SB 426) Ensure free access to medical records for low income residents applying to aid programs (SB 575) Senator Leyva serves as Chair of the Senate Education Committee, California Legislative Women’s Caucus and the Senate Democratic Caucus, as well as on the Budget and Fiscal Review, Business, Professions and Economic Development, Elections and Constitutional Amendments and Health committees and the Budget Subcommittee #1 on Education. She also currently serves on the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls and the Senate Select Committees on California-Mexico Cooperation, Manufactured Home Communities, Ports & Goods Movement and Women and Inequality: Strategies to Promote Opportunity. A lifelong activist standing up for working people and families, Senator Leyva started working at her local Alpha Beta market as a senior in high school. She served as both Union Representative and President of the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1428, helping grocery workers gain a stronger voice for fair wages and benefits. Following in that tradition of community service and action to improve the lives of others, she was elected in 2004 as the first woman President of the California Labor Federation, representing more than 2.1 million workers throughout the state. Raised in Chino, Senator Leyva has lived in the Inland Empire since she was a small child. She attended local schools and graduated from the University of Redlands with a bachelor’s degree in communicative disorders. Senator Leyva and her husband Al, live in Chino and are the proud parents of adult twin daughters, Allie and Jessie.
Principal, Grassroots Lab
For over twenty years, Mike Madrid has been changing the outcomes of political campaigns throughout the country. His active involvement in local, state, and federal races has helped him to develop a keen insight into the successful characteristics of winning campaigns. Madrid is a nationally recognized expert on Latino voting trends. He graduated from the Edmund G. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in 1997, where he wrote his senior thesis on Latino politics and the perspective that politicization of emerging Latino voter groups in Southwestern states was unique in American history. The completion of his thesis at Georgetown University in Washington DC on Latino voters became the basis for his pioneering work on Latino communications and outreach strategies in California, Texas, Florida and nationwide. He has served as the press secretary for the California Assembly Republican leader and as the political director for the California Republican Party. In these roles, Madrid played a key role in pioneering Latino outreach and communications strategies. In 2001 Madrid was named as one of America’s “Most Influential Hispanics” by Hispanic Business Magazine. He is a fellow at the Unruh Institute for Politics at USC and is a co-director of the Los Angeles / USC Times Poll and in 2013, was appointed to the Board of Directors of the American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC). Currently, Mike serves as adjunct lecturer on Race, Class and Partisanship at the University of Southern California.
Chair of the Board, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality
For almost two decades, Rosie has dedicated her career to the educational and civic empowerment of underserved communities. Since joining the California Community Foundation (CCF) in 2007, Rosie has spearheaded a number of multisector, civic engagement initiatives to advance systems change policies. At CCF, Rosie oversees the foundation’s Immigrant Integration portfolio which seeks to empower immigrants to thrive civically, economically and socially by promoting just and inclusive policies in Los Angeles County. This includes overseeing the Los Angeles Justice Fund (LAJF), a $7.9M public-private partnership between the City of Los Angeles, the County of Los Angeles, the Weingart Foundation and CCF to expand legal representation for immigrants in removal proceedings. In addition to her work in immigration, Rosie played a leadership role in the development of a regional, multi-sector coalition known as the Early Childhood Alliance that seeks to ignite and lead a movement to advance the issue of early care and education (ECE) in L.A. County. With the support of her leadership, the Coalition has established an influential collaborative table for the ECE field in LA County that helps to identify, advance and amplify local advocacy efforts that raise awareness and urgency among policymakers, parents, voters and the general public. Rosie began her career by working at LAUSD under the School Readiness Language Development Program (SRLDP) and then went on to work for the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund where she helped to lead an unprecedented and historic national citizenship campaign titled Ya es hora ¡Ciudadanía! As a key leader of the campaign, Rosie played a lead role in organizing more than 400 organizations nationwide to inform, educate and motivate over 1 million legal permanent residents to apply for U.S. citizenship. Rosie is Board Chair of Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE), a nonprofit organization that builds the Latina leadership pipeline and champions policies that advance Latinas in California and nationally. She is a member of the American Bar Foundation’s Network for Justice Advisory Committee and is a fellow of the 2018 Latina Global Executive Leadership Program. Between 2014-2017 she served as Co-Chair for the California Immigrant Integration Initiative, a statewide funder table supported by Grantmakers Concerned for Immigrants and Refugees (GCIR), working to advance the civic and economic integration of immigrants by strengthening the immigrant integration infrastructure in communities across the state. Rosie is a proud graduate from the California State University of Los Angeles. Widely considered a coalition builder, a change agent and effective communicator – Rosie is an emerging voice and leader in California and the philanthropic sector.
President, Children Now
President of Children Now Ted Lempert is the President of Children Now, a research and policy organization based in Oakland that is focused on transforming children’s advocacy. Children Now coordinates The Children’s Movement of California. Mr. Lempert is also a Lecturer in the Political Science Department at UC Berkeley. Previously, he was the founding CEO of EdVoice, a California education reform organization. Mr. Lempert was a California State Assemblymember representing Silicon Valley from 1996 to 2000 and 1988 to 1992. He served as chair of the Assembly Higher Education Committee and co-chair of the Joint Committee to Develop a Master Plan for Education. He had more than 75 bills signed by Governors Deukmejian, Wilson and Davis, including major laws in the areas of education, health care, children and families, tax policy and the environment. Mr. Lempert also served on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, where he was President of the Board in 1995. Prior to holding public office, Mr. Lempert was special counsel and an associate for the law firm of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter and Hampton in San Francisco. Mr. Lempert received the “Al Rodda Lifetime Service Award” from the California School Boards Association; was named “Legislator of the Year” by numerous leading education groups, including the National Association of Educational Service Agencies, the California Association of School Administrators, California Community College Faculty and the UC and CSU Students Associations; and was recognized five times with the “High- Tech Legislator of the Year” award from the American Electronics Association. Mr. Lempert graduated from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and earned his law degree from Stanford University. He and his wife Nicole have three daughters.
Ling Ling Chang
California State Senator (R-Diamond Bar)
Senator Ling Ling Chang was elected to the California State Senate in June of 2018. She grew up in the district she represents and is a product of the local public schools. She is currently the only Asian-American female legislator in the California Legislature.
Senator Chang serves on five committees for the 2019-20 legislative session:
Banking and Financial Institutions (Vice Chair) Business, Professions and Economic Development (Vice Chair) Education Energy, Utilities and Communications Governmental Organization Senator Chang joins the California State Senate after serving in the Legislature for one term as an Assemblywoman. Prior to the Legislature, Senator Chang served as the President of the Walnut Valley Water District Board of Directors, Councilmember and Mayor of Diamond Bar, and President of the Youth Science Center, a non-profit promoting STEM education.
In her time serving, Ling Ling Chang promoted the importance of STEM education in addition to using technology to improve state government. Chang authored and passed the nation’s first law allowing state employees to use sharing-economy services to save taxpayer dollars. For her work Chang was named California’s inaugural STEMx Policy Fellow – part of a multi-state effort to put an emphasis on STEM education – as well as a “Tech Champion” by the Computing Technology Industry Association.
Senator Chang currently resides in the City of Diamond Bar with her husband, Andrew Wong, and their two dogs, Buster and Pepper.
President, The Campaign for College Opportunity
Michele Siqueiros was the first in her family to graduate from college thanks to many mentors, caring faculty, and critical federal, state and college financial aid. She is passionate about the power of college to change lives, and the ability of policy making to expand college opportunity for others. As the President for The Campaign for College Opportunity, Michele is an advocate who works to expand college access and success for California students by raising public attention to the critical challenges facing students in our community colleges and universities, mobilizing a broad coalition of supporters, and influencing policymakers. The Campaign’s mission to increase college going and completion rates is driven by a strong belief that California’s future economic success depends on our ability to produce the best educated workforce in the nation and that our diverse population of young adults deserve the same opportunity provided to previous generations – regardless of race or socio-economic status. Under her leadership in 2010, the Campaign led the effort for historic transfer reform that makes it easier for students to transfer from any California Community College to the California State University system through the Associate Degree for Transfer. Over 149,000 California students have earned the degree and in 2018 the University of California announced a formal MOU with the California Community College system to provide a UC guarantee for Associate Degree for Transfer earners. Michele has advocated for millions of additional state dollars to expand student enrollment and student success funding at our community colleges, CSU and UC’s. She also advanced legislative efforts to increase access to Pell Grants, protect Cal Grant funding, support undocumented and DACAmented students, promote college readiness, prioritize community college student success efforts and reform remedial education. Across all these priorities she shines a bright light to the persistent inequities by race/ethnicity/income and calls on our college leaders and policy makers to address them. In her 15 years at the Campaign for College Opportunity (11 as President), she has built a strong, independent, and influential organization by raising over $21 million dollars, assembling a team of experts and leaders in the field, championing major budget appropriations, securing historic higher education legislation and establishing a broad and influential network of over 12,000 coalition supporters. Under her direction the Campaign has released powerful higher education research including prominent reports on college access and success rates, the lack of diversity amongst college leaders and faculty, the powerful return on investment for spending by the state in our colleges and universities, and the need for major improvements to close racial/ethnic gaps, fix transfer and reform remedial education at our colleges. Every day she is motivated by the many students who are working hard to reach their college dreams. Michele has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Studies with Honors in Chicano/a Studies from Pitzer College and a Master of Arts in Urban Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She serves on the Boards of the Alliance for a Better Community, the
Alliance for College-Ready Public Schools, Pitzer College Alumni, PPIC Strategic Leadership Council and in 2019 was appointed by Senate Pro Tem Leader Toni Atkins to the Student Centered Funding Formula Oversight Committee. She previously served on the California Student Aid Commission.
President and CEO, College Futures Foundation
Monica Lozano, President and CEO of College Futures Foundation, works in partnership with organizations and leaders around the state to ensure education pathways are aligned seamlessly for college attainment. She is committed to the vision that California’s low-income students and students of color should have equitable access to bachelor’s degrees and a better life. Before coming to College Futures in December 2017, Monica spent 30 years in media as editor and publisher of La Opinión, the largest Spanish-language newspaper in the country, and then as chairman and CEO of the parent company, ImpreMedia. Monica has been very active in education, especially at the institutional governance level. She served as chair of the California State Board of Education and the Board of Regents of the University of California, spent more than 20 years as a trustee of the University of Southern California, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education. She is on the PPIC Advisory Council of the Higher Education Center. Monica has also been active in philanthropy and the non-profit sector, including as chair of the Weingart Foundation Board of Trustees, a former member the board of the Rockefeller Foundation, and co-founder of the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program.
Vernon M. Billy
CEO and Executive Director, California School Boards Association
Vernon M. Billy serves as the Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director for the California School Boards Association. Billy provides executive leadership for the association, which represents and serves the elected and appointed members of the governing boards of more than 1,000 school districts and county offices of education in California. He is responsible for planning, organizing and leading the staff, programs and activities of CSBA. Billy has been involved in the business, legislative and political process for nearly three decades. Having worked for CSBA in the early 1990s as a senior legislative advocate, he linked his experience and knowledge of education policy with his business interest and served as an owner and partner of several successful policy and advocacy firms. Billy is the former vice president of a multi-million dollar education services company, which he played a key role in building. His experience as a business owner, policy expert and political strategist provides him with a unique insight into the relationship between business and politics. Billy also has served as the governmental relations director for the San Francisco Unified School District, the chief contract lobbyist and governmental affairs director for California's largest district, the Los Angeles Unified School District, as well as represented numerous schools districts, education companies and nonprofit organizations. In each of these positions, he worked closely with superintendents, boards and district senior staff to advance their education policy goals, manage public relations crises, and develop strategies to support students. Billy is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and a graduate of California State University, Sacramento, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in governmental/international relations.
President, University of California
Janet Napolitano is the 20 th President of the University of California, and the first woman to serve in this role. She leads a university system of 10 campuses, five medical centers, three affiliated national laboratories, and a statewide agriculture and natural resources program. The UC system has more than 273,000 students, 223,000 faculty and staff, an operating budget of $36.5 billion, and two million living alumni. A distinguished public servant, Napolitano served as the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security from 2009 to 2013, as Governor of Arizona from 2003 to 2009, as Attorney General of Arizona from 1998 to 2003, and as U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona from 1993 to 1997. Since she became UC president in September 2013, Napolitano has been a steadfast advocate for California students, working to stabilize in-state tuition and to enroll historic numbers of California undergraduates. She has aimed to increase the number of qualified community college students who transfer to UC and expanded efforts to support California high school students from all backgrounds in their pursuit of a higher education. Napolitano has launched an initiative to accelerate the translation of UC research into new businesses and inventions that benefit the public good, and she has implemented reforms to UC’s approach to preventing and responding to sexual harassment and sexual assault. She also created several programs to encourage UC students to pursue work in the public interest, including founding a first-of-its kind systemwide public service fellowship program. In 2017, under Napolitano’s leadership, the University of California was the first university in the country to file a lawsuit to stop the federal government’s rescission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Injunctions granted in the case have allowed more than 117,000 DACA recipients—including members of the UC community—to renew their authorizations to live and work in the United States. Napolitano has upheld the university’s legacy of leadership on global climate action, putting UC on a path to 100 percent reliance on clean electricity across all campuses and medical centers by 2025, the same year the university aims to achieve systemwide carbon neutrality. In 2017, she also spearheaded the formation of the University Climate Change Coalition, or UC3. This group of 18 leading North American research universities and systems are working to help local communities achieve their climate goals and accelerate the transition to a low-carbon future. Napolitano earned a B.S. degree (summa cum laude in Political Science) in 1979 from Santa Clara University, where she was Phi Beta Kappa, a Truman Scholar, and the university’s first female valedictorian. She received her law degree in 1983 from the University of Virginia School of Law. In 2010, she was awarded the prestigious Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal (Law), the University of Virginia’s highest external honor. In 2014, she was appointed a tenured faculty member of UC Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy. In 2015, she was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and in 2017, she was inducted into the American
Last updated: January 2019 Philosophical Association. She serves on the Council of the American Law Institute and is a board member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
California State Board of Education President (Newsom Administration)
Linda Darling-Hammond was appointed to the California State Board of Education by Governor Gavin Newsom in February and serves as its President. Darling-Hammond is the Charles E. Ducommun Professor of Education Emeritus at Stanford University and founding president of the Learning Policy Institute, a Palo Alto- based education research organization. At Stanford, she founded the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education and served as faculty sponsor for the Stanford Teacher Education Program, which she helped to redesign. She is past president of the American Educational Research Association and recipient of its awards for Distinguished Contributions to Research, Lifetime Achievement, Research Review, and Research-to-Policy. She is also a member of the American Association of Arts and Sciences and of the National Academy of Education. From 1994–2001, she was executive director of the National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future, whose 1996 report What Matters Most: Teaching for America’s Future was named one of the most influential reports affecting U.S. education in that decade. In 2018, Darling- Hammond was named the second most influential person affecting educational policy. Darling-Hammond began her career as a public school teacher and co-founded both a preschool and a public high school. She served as Director of the RAND Corporation’s education program and as an endowed professor at Columbia University, Teachers College before coming to Stanford. She has consulted widely with federal, state and local officials and educators on strategies for improving education policies and practices and is the recipient of 14 honorary degrees in the U.S. and internationally. Among her more than 600 publications are a number of award-winning books, including The Right to Learn, Teaching as the Learning Profession, Preparing Teachers for a Changing World and The Flat World and Education. She received an Ed.D. from Temple University (with highest distinction) and a B.A. from Yale University (magna cum laude).
Chancellor, California State University
Dr. Timothy P. White is chancellor of the California State University, one of the largest and most diverse systems of higher education in the United States. As chancellor, White leads a university of 23 campuses and a global community of 481,000 students, 53,000 faculty and staff and more than 3.7 million alumni. As the seventh chancellor to lead the CSU, White is a champion of inclusive excellence and student achievement. He is a proponent of bringing individualized education to scale through the expansion of proven best practices. White also leads the CSU as it implements Graduation Initiative 2025, an ambitious systemwide plan to increase graduation rates, decrease time to degree and eliminate achievement gaps for all students by recruiting more faculty, hiring more advisors and student-support staff, providing new tools and adding thousands of classes over the next decade. As the CSU’s signature effort, Graduation Initiative 2025 combines best practices and proven methods in academic advising, course redesign and data-driven analyses from across the university and elsewhere to better assist students along their unique personal, academic and career trajectories. These efforts are already paying dividends to CSU students and to California, with degree completion rates at all-time highs. In conjunction with Graduation Initiative 2025, White has worked to strengthen partnerships throughout California’s diverse educational, social, political and economic landscape. White has worked with community colleges, school districts and municipal governments to establish Promise programs across the state, which build new and stronger pipelines for students to attend and succeed in college. He has also worked with partners in the legislature and community colleges to expand the successful Associate Degrees for Transfer program, which allows more qualified Californians a seamless educational path from K-12 to college, a CSU degree and beyond. Under White’s leadership, the CSU stands as a national leader in environmental sustainability and diversity of leadership. White is a committed advocate for compassionate action on behalf of Dreamers, and for providing those with DACA status a clear path to complete their education and build their future. He spearheaded efforts to ensure and increase awareness of federal Title IX rights, sexual assault and alcohol abuse on campus. White has also worked with CSU partners across the state – including students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends – to ensure increased public investment in the university and its consequential, wide-reaching academic mission. Prior to becoming CSU chancellor in 2013, White served as chancellor and professor of biology and biomedical sciences at the University of California, Riverside. White came to UC Riverside in 2008 after serving as president of the University of Idaho from 2004 to 2008 and as dean, provost, executive vice president and interim president at Oregon State University from 1996 to 2004. White is internationally recognized for his research in muscle plasticity, injury and aging. He previously held positions as professor and chair of the Department of Human Biodynamics at the University of California, Berkeley, as professor and chair of the Department of Movement Science, and research scientist in the Institute of Gerontology at the University of Michigan. White deeply believes in and is a product of California’s Master Plan for Higher Education, having pursued his higher education from Diablo Valley Community College, Fresno State, California State University, East Bay and the University of California, Berkeley. Like many CSU students and alumni, White was the first in his family to attend college and earn a degree.
White was born in Argentina. He and his parents immigrated to Canada and then to California when he was young. He is married to Dr. Karen White and has four sons.
Eloy Ortiz Oakley
Chancellor, California Community Colleges
The California Community Colleges Board of Governors appointed Eloy Ortiz Oakley as chancellor for the California Community Colleges beginning December 19, 2016. Eloy Ortiz Oakley is best known throughout California and the nation for implementing innovative programs and policies that help students succeed in college. Oakley strongly believes that California’s rapidly changing economy demands a diverse workforce with quality credentials and that the state’s 115 community colleges play a pivotal role in moving California forward. Under Oakley’s leadership, the California Community Colleges published the Vision for Success which lays out a focused strategy on increasing the social and economic mobility of all Californians. Since becoming chancellor, Oakley has positioned the California Community Colleges as a critical player nationally in maintaining the global competitiveness of the nation’s workforce. Oakley was appointed as the Superintendent-President of the Long Beach Community College District (LBCCD) in 2007 where he served until the end of 2016. While there he led one of the most diverse community colleges in the nation and provided statewide and national leadership on the issue of improving the education outcomes of historically underrepresented students. During his tenure at LBCCD he co-founded the nationally recognized Long Beach College Promise. For his efforts, the James Irvine Foundation recognized him with their 2014 Leadership Award. Also, in 2014, Gov. Brown appointed Oakley to the University of California Board of Regents. In this role, Oakley is using his experiences to better serve all Californians in higher education. In 2014, he was invited to provide testimony on minority serving institutions to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension (HELP) Committee. In his remarks, Oakley stressed that if America is to remain competitive, it must adopt innovative reforms to ensure its citizens are provided a realistic opportunity to succeed in college, regardless of their socioeconomic, racial or ethnic background. Finally, in November of 2016, President Obama recognized him as a White House Champion of Change for his work promoting and supporting the national college promise movement. Oakley’s trailblazing efforts have been acknowledged through his appointments to the Rework America Taskforce, the California Chamber of Commerce, the University of California Board of Regents, the Fair Shake Commission, the College Futures Foundation and the LA 2028 Advisory Board. He is frequently invited to speak to education, philanthropic and business organizations throughout the nation.
Oakley himself is a community college success story. After serving four years in the U.S. Army, he enrolled at Golden West College. He then transferred to the University of California, Irvine where he received his degrees of Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Analysis and Design and Master of Business Administration.
Executive Director, First 5 LA
In 2012, Kim joined First 5 LA as executive director, furthering the agency’s mission and actions to provide the best start for children from prenatal to age 5 and ensure that all Los Angeles County children enter kindergarten ready to succeed in school and life. She leads the agency’s team of champions for kids to strengthen First 5 LA’s reach, partnerships and outcomes. Together, they are shaping the agency’s future and shifting its focus from programs and services to one that emphasizes policy and systems level change to create brighter futures for all L.A. County children today and for generations to come. Throughout her career in state government, philanthropy, and childhood advocacy, Kim’s constant has been a deep and abiding commitment to public service, with an emphasis on supporting underserved communities and addressing address persistent gaps in social, educational and economic opportunity in California. Her career in public policy has included leadership roles at state, philanthropy and county levels. Past positions have included senior policy advisor of the Public Policy Institute of California, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency in the Administration of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and director of the Department of Health Services and deputy secretary of the Health and Welfare Agency under Governor Pete Wilson. Kim also has served in leadership positions in California philanthropy, including the James Irvine Foundation. She was a founding member of the board of the state’s Health Benefit Exchange, Covered California and the State First 5 Commission. She currently serves on a number of boards, including the Blue Shield of California Foundation, Blue Shield of California, Beacon Health Options, Southern California Grantmakers, and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. Kim holds a master’s degree in public policy from Princeton University and a bachelor’s in government from Harvard College.
President, Intel Foundation (retired)
Rosalind Hudnell served as the Vice President, Human Resources and President of the Intel Foundation. As Intel’s first Chief Diversity Officer, she designed and lead the strategy which propelled the company into visible industry leadership culminating with the $1b Diversity in Technology Initiative. Her global leadership has involved serving on the Internet for All Steering Committee of the World Economic Forum, the Global Business Coalition for Education where she helped launch the Jobs & Skills Commission and chairing the 10k Engineers Project for President Barack Obama’s Jobs Council. Roz served on the Board of Directors for the Center for Talent Innovation and supported a decade of groundbreaking research including co-authoring the Battle for Female Talent in Asia published in the Harvard Business Review. She has been named to numerous lists including Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, Forbes Magazine Women Shaping the World in STEM, Black Enterprise Most Powerful Women in Business, Ebony Power 100. She remains widely known for directing the implementation of the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network a global, award winning program which brought leading edge technology to underserved youth around the world. Roz recently retired from Intel after 22 years yeas and received Intel’s first lifetime achievement award for diversity. In 2015 she received the Triumph Award and last year was the recipient of the Technology Trailblazer Award. She currently serves on the board of trustees for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. A graduate of St. Mary’s College and the accelerator program at Stanford Graduate School of Business, Roz also is a senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum.
Executive Director, San Luis Coastal Education Foundation
Christine Robertson is Executive Director of the San Luis Coastal Education Foundation, a K12 philanthropy that invests in innovative ideas that can be developed into successful programs, the impacts of which can be measured, shared and replicated. Christine started her career as a public high school teacher before going on to serve as a Chief of Staff in the California State Assembly and Senate. In 2013 she co-founded and led the Institute for Advanced Technology & Public Policy at Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, a nonprofit multidisciplinary applied research institute that invested in faculty and student led innovation initiatives. Christine’s husband is a high school special education teacher and together they have two school-aged children.
Principal, RALLY Communications
Cynara Lilly is a Principal at RALLY specializing in communications, message development, political strategy, and public affairs.
Cynara oversees the strategy and leads teams leading on national and statewide issues for a variety of clients including Green Dot Public Schools, Advancing Pretrial Policy & Research, and Stand for Children, among others. Recently, her team created the award-winning Act Now for Washington Students campaign and led the effort to save public charter schools in Washington state, surviving a state Supreme Court challenge. She also directed the Discover Charter Schools, a creative campaign brought to life through high-quality video and digital content. In addition, to managing RALLY’s well-recognized education vertical she also directs teams in the political, criminal justice and environmental space.
Previously at RALLY, Cynara led the team that handled the national launch of XQ: The Super School Project and oversaw the communications strategy for year one of the challenge. She also led the Our Bay on the Brink public awareness campaign, which employed a variety of tactics (including this interactive documentary) to move public support for addressing the flooding threat in the Bay Area region by more than 10 points. Other projects include guiding strategic planning with the Center for American Progress and working with multiple foundations to help launch their communications initiatives.
Cynara has more than a decade of experience developing and implementing strategic plans for a wide range of corporate, nonprofit, and political clients. She brings a public affairs practice to RALLY as well expertise in media relations, strategic positioning, message development, coalition building, and politics. Before joining RALLY, Cynara served as a Director at both WE Worldwide, working in the tech sector, and at Seattle-based Sound View Strategies. She has managed statewide political efforts in Washington, Oregon, California. In 2017, Cynara lead the launch RALLY’s third west coast office her home town of Seattle in 2017 and spends a lot of time between the company’s Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco office. Cynara graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in French and Studio Art and moved to LA five years ago.
President, ALZA Startegies
Roger Salazar, one of the nation’s most respected and experienced communications professionals, is the President of ALZA Strategies. The San Francisco Chronicle called him, “a master of political messaging who also packs a punch.” Politico said of him, “What we know: Salazar is a master of the soundbite.”
A former White House and Gubernatorial communications specialist, Salazar was previously the managing director of Mercury, a national bipartisan high-stakes public strategies firm. Prior to that, he was a partner at Acosta|Salazar LLC, a public affairs and political consulting firm, which was called “One of the More Sought-After Firms in Sacramento” by Capitol Weekly.
Through ALZA Strategies, Salazar serves as political spokesman for the California Latino Legislative Caucus and the California Democratic Party. In 2018, Salazar handled media relations for Xavier Becerra for Attorney General; advised Kevin de León for U.S. Senate; and managed independent expenditure efforts for the California Latino PAC. Previously, Salazar served as principal officer for California Working Families for Jerry Brown 2010; political spokesman for Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez; campaign press secretary for Governor Gray Davis; and has served on the podium press team for the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 Democratic National Conventions.
Salazar’s background includes experience as a media spokesperson, in English and Spanish, for prominent officials such as President Bill Clinton (White House); Vice-President Al Gore (White House/Gore 2000); U.S. Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman; and U.S. Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard. These experiences, along with his work directing national and statewide media advocacy efforts, make him an expert in strategic media communications.
Salazar also has a strong background in education advocacy. He has been a members of the University of Redlands’ Board of Trustees since 2002. Over the past 15 years as a media relations and public affairs consultant, Salazar has represented at various times, the California Education Coalition, the California Teachers’ Association, the California Federation of Teachers, the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges, the Community College League of California, the Association of California School Administrators, and the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association.
Salazar was recognized multiple times by Capitol Weekly as one of the “Top 100 California Political Power Brokers”; is currently part of the Sacramento Bee’s “California Influencers” series; was named one of the “Top 50 California Democratic Influencers” by Campaigns and Elections Magazine in 2010; and one of the “100 Most Influential Hispanics in America” by Hispanic Business Magazine.
Salazar is a member of the American Association of Political Consultants and the Public Relations Society of America. He is a graduate of the University of Redlands. He also received a Master’s degree from the George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management.
California State Assemblymember (D-San Diego)
Assembly Member Shirley Nash Weber was elected in November of 2012 to represent California’s 79th Assembly District, which includes the cities of Bonita, Chula Vista, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City and San Diego. Dr. Weber chairs the Assembly Budget Subcommittee on Public Safety and the California Legislative Black Caucus. She also serves as a member of the Assembly Standing Committees on Education, Higher Education, Elections, Budget, and Banking and Finance. She has focused her legislative efforts on public safety, educational equity, voting rights and food insecurity. Prior to being elected to the Assembly, she served as the mayor’s appointee and Chair on the Citizens’ Equal Opportunity Commission. Dr. Weber has also served on the Board of the NAACP, YWCA, YMCA Scholarship Committee, Battered Women Services, United Way, San Diego Consortium and Private Industry Council, founder of the Black Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (B.W.I.L.D) in San Diego County, and many more. Assembly Member Weber has lived in the 79th Assembly District for over 30 years. Her children attended public school in the district and she was elected to the school board. As a board member, and subsequent board president, she became known for her advocacy for closing the achievement gap and a higher standard of excellence for all children.
Program Officer, Children, Families, and Communities program, The David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Deborah Kong is a Program Officer for the Children, Families, and Communities program. Prior to joining the Foundation, Deb spent more than two decades advocating for and telling the stories of children and families who were often left out of public policy. Deb served as Executive Director of Early Edge California, a statewide policy and advocacy organization, where she led work to improve the quality of early learning for more of California’s young children by securing additional and more stable public funding; advocating for groundbreaking early childhood policies; educating local, state, and federal policymakers; cultivating strong relationships with key stakeholders across the state; and leading persuasive communications campaigns.
Before working at Early Edge, Deb was a journalist for 15 years at media outlets including the Associated Press, San Jose Mercury News, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, and Boston Globe. As a national writer at the Associated Press, she covered the post-September 11, 2001 backlash violence, discrimination, and effects on communities of color, and received the Sikh Coalition’s Excellence in Journalism award for her reporting.
Deb holds a Masters of Public Policy degree from the University of California at Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy, where she researched and co-authored a chapter of Professor David Kirp’s book on early childhood education, “The Sandbox Investment: The Preschool Movement and Kids-First Politics.” She also holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California at Los Angeles, with a specialization in Asian American Studies. Additionally, Deb serves on the California Assembly Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education.
Founder and Managing Partner, The Westly Group
Mr. Westly is the Founder & Managing Partner of The Westly Group. He and his partners have built one of the larger sustainability venture firms in the US with close to $330 million under management. The Westly Group focuses on capital efficient, high growth companies in the sustainability, sharing economy, and the Internet of Things spaces. The firm has blue chip investors including Citibank, Duke Energy, RWE, SK Telecom. The company has invested in 33 portfolio companies, three of which have gone public on NASDAQ, including Tesla Motors. The Net IRR on the investments Mr. Westly has led is 29%.
Prior to founding The Westly Group, Steve Westly served as the Controller and Chief Fiscal Officer of the state of California – the world’s fifth largest economy. As Controller, he chaired the State Lands Commission and served on 63 other boards and commissions, including CalPERS and CalSTRS, the nation’s two largest public pension funds, which together invest more than $350 billion.
In the 2008 election cycle Steve served as a California co-chair of the Obama for America campaign. He also served on the Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board as a representative for the venture capital industry.
Before running for office, Steve helped guide the online auction company eBay through its period of most rapid growth, serving as the Senior Vice President of Marketing, Business Development, M&A and International. Steve helped bring eBay to Europe and Asia and developed the marketing and acquisition strategies that paved the path for the firm’s exponential growth. Steve helped take eBay public in 1998. Steve also served as an executive at a number of other technology firms including Netcom, WhoWhere?, Bridgemere Capital, and SPRINT.
Steve began his career in Washington, D.C., where he worked first on Capitol Hill and later in the Office of Conservation and Solar at the U.S. Department of Energy. Steve returned to California to become special assistant to the President of the California Public Utilities Commission. While there, he published two books on alternative energy and the utilities.
Steve holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, where he served as a lecturer for five years. Steve and his wife, Anita, run the Westly Foundation, which provides education and health care services for children and underserved communities throughout California. They have two children in high school.
Director, USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity; Director, USC Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration - University of Southern California
Dr. Manuel Pastor is Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. He currently directs the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) at USC and USC’s Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII). Pastor holds an economics Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is the inaugural holder of the Turpanjian Chair in Civil Society and Social Change at USC.
Pastor’s research has generally focused on issues of the economic, environmental and social conditions facing low-income urban communities – and the social movements seeking to change those realities. His current research culminates in the release of his forthcoming book, State of Resistance: What California’s Dizzying Descent and Remarkable Resurgence Means for America’s Future, in April 2018.
Pastor’s recent book, Equity, Growth, and Community: What the Nation Can Learn from America’s Metro Areas, co-authored with Chris Benner (UC Press 2015), argues how inequality stunts economic growth and how bringing together equity and growth requires concerted local action. Combining data, case studies, and narratives on multi-sector collaborations in 11 metro regions, the book offers a powerful prescription not just for metros but for our national challenges of slow job growth, rising economic inequality, and sharp political polarization. He also co-edited the book, Unsettled Americans: Metropolitan Context and Civic Leadership for Immigrant Integration with John Mollenkopf (Cornell University Press 2016), which offers a comparative study and detailed analyses of immigrant incorporation efforts across seven different U.S. metro regions.
His previous volumes include: Just Growth: Inclusion and Prosperity in America’s Metropolitan Regions, co-authored with Chris Benner (Routledge 2012), advances the idea that growth and equity can and should be linked, offering a new path for a U.S. economy seeking to recover from economic crisis and distributional distress; Uncommon Common Ground: Race and America’s Future (W.W. Norton 2010; co-authored with Angela Glover Blackwell and Stewart Kwoh), documents the gap between progress in racial attitudes and racial realities and offers a new set of strategies for both talking about race and achieving racial equity; This Could Be the Start of Something Big: How Social Movements for Regional Equity are Transforming Metropolitan America (Cornell University Press 2009; co-authored with Chris Benner and Martha Matsuoka) highlights a promising set of organizing efforts across the U.S.; Staircases or Treadmills: Labor Market Intermediaries and Economic Opportunity in a Changing Economy (Russell Sage 2007, co-authored with Chris Benner and Laura Leete) which offers a critique of current employment strategies and argues for a new “high road” approach to connecting demand and supply in labor markets; and Regions That Work: How Cities and Suburbs Can Grow Together (University of Minnesota Press 2000; co-authored with Peter Dreier, Eugene Grigsby, and Marta Lopez-Garza), a book that has become a standard reference for those seeking to link neighborhoods and regions.
Pastor was the founding director of the Center for Justice, Tolerance, and Community at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He has received fellowships from the Danforth, Guggenheim, and Kellogg foundations, and grants from the Irvine Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the California Environmental Protection Agency, the W.T. Grant Foundation, The California Endowment, the California Air Resources Board, and many others. Pastor speaks frequently on issues of demographic change, economic inequality, and community empowerment and has contributed opinion pieces to such outlets including the Los Angeles Times, the San Jose Mercury News, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Sacramento Bee, the Huffington Post, among many others.
In January 2002, he was awarded a Civic Entrepreneur of the Year award from the California Center for Regional Leadership. He has previously served as a Public Member of the Strategic Growth Council in California, as a member of the Commission on Regions appointed by California’s Speaker of the State Assembly, and as a member of the Regional Targets Advisory Committee for the California Air Resources Board. Pastor received the Liberty Hill Foundation’s Wally Marks Changemaker of the Yearaward for social justice research partnerships in 2012. In 2017, he received the Champion for Equity Award from the Advancement Project for his work with community-based organizations fighting for social change.
Founding Director of the Center for Social Innovation, University of California - Riverside
Karthick Ramakrishnan is professor of public policy and political science at the University of California, Riverside, and founding director of the Center for Social Innovation. He is also a Board Member of The California Endowment and Chair of the California Commission on APIA Affairs. Ramakrishnan directs the National Asian American Survey and is founder of AAPIData.com, which publishes demographic data and policy research on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. He has published many articles and 6 books, including most recently, Framing Immigrants (Russell Sage, 2016) and The New Immigration Federalism (Cambridge, 2015), and has written dozens of opeds and appeared in over 1,000 news stories.
He was recently named to the Frederick Douglass 200 and is currently writing a book on state citizenship in the United States. More information at http://karthick.com.
Founder and President, IVC Media LLC
S. Chad Peace, founder and president of IVC Media LLC, is a nationally recognized leader in election law and voter rights. He is also a partner at the law firm of Peace & Shea LLP and legal strategist for the Independent Voter Project. He is also a Founding Board Member of the National Association of Nonpartisan Reformers. Under Chad’s leadership, IVC Media has grown into a uniquely nonpartisan digital consulting firm for political causes and candidates and has won Golden Pollie and Reed Awards for excellence in a number of digital media campaigns. Chad was recognized by the AAPC as a 40 under 40 industry professional to watch and honored with the 17th annual Anti-corruption award by the New York Independence Clubs in 2017. IVC Media is best known for conducting the voter education effort for California’s nonpartisan, top-two primary initiative and drafting Rand Paul for Senate in 2010. IVC also shattered third- party online fundraising records by raising more than $10 million from 200,000 individuals for Gary Johnson in 2016. As an attorney for the Independent Voter Project, Chad is a nationally recognized expert in election law. Chad earned his law degree from the University of San Diego, where he was President of the International Arbitration Team. Chad was born and raised in San Diego, California where he maintains a home in North Park. He travels regularly to Sacramento and Washington DC.
California State Assemblymember (D-Los Angeles)
Jesse Gabriel was elected to the California State Assembly in June 2018. He represents the 45th Assembly District, which includes the communities of the west San Fernando Valley. Gabriel currently serves on the Appropriations Committee as well as the Committees on Higher Education, Housing and Community Development, Banking and Finance, and Privacy and Consumer Protection. He is also the Chair of the Select Committee on Jobs and Innovation in the San Fernando Valley. Shortly after assuming office, Gabriel was appointed by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon to serve in the Assembly Leadership as Assistant Majority Whip. In this role, Gabriel works with the Speaker and his leadership team to advance the legislative priorities of the Democratic Caucus. He also was elected by his colleagues to serve as Vice Chair of the California Legislative Jewish Caucus. Before joining the Legislature, Gabriel worked as a constitutional rights and general litigation attorney, where he helped resolve complex business disputes and represented clients before the United States Supreme Court. In 2017, Gabriel sued the Trump Administration in two landmark lawsuits to protect young people—known as Dreamers—who were promised protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. As of January 2019, more than 230,000 Dreamers have been able to renew their DACA status as a result of this litigation. Gabriel also assisted Holocaust survivors, victims of domestic abuse, and communities facing hate-motivated violence. Prior to starting his law practice, Gabriel served as Counsel to former United States Senator Evan Bayh, where he worked on numerous legal and policy issues, including hate crimes prevention, gender pay equity, and anti-discrimination legislation. Gabriel also drafted key provisions incorporated into the Iran sanctions legislation that was signed into law by President Obama in 2010. A committed environmentalist and longtime community activist, Gabriel previously served as a Los Angeles County Commissioner and as a board member of the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters and the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. Gabriel also was instrumental in establishing the California Nonprofit Security Grant program, which has provided millions of dollars of security funding to nonprofits at risk of hate-motivated violence. Gabriel lives in the San Fernando Valley with his wife and two sons. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School.
California State Assemblyman (R-Yucca Valley)
Chad Mayes was first elected to the Assembly in November 2014 to represent the 42nd District in the California State Assembly. This Inland Empire district encompasses parts of San Bernardino and Riverside counties. In the Assembly, Mayes quickly developed a solid reputation as a dynamic, hard-working and effective leader and was elected Republican Leader by his peers after only 10 months in office. As a self-described “governing conservative,” he seeks to identify pragmatic policy solutions that will better the lives of Californians and ensure that the state remains a global leader in the 21st Century. As Republican Leader, Mayes negotiated for his caucus with the Governor and legislative Democrats on major policy and fiscal issues, leads its political and campaign efforts, and is its principal spokesperson. While no longer leader, he regularly travels up and down the state meeting with a wide variety of stakeholders, groups and businesses to better understand issues and build consensus for key policies. In his district, Mayes has earned high marks as a consensus builder on issues of regional concern. While he is involved in a myriad of policy issues, Mayes is most passionate about housing, transportation and reducing poverty through education, job creation, and economic expansion. Recognizing that civic engagement cannot begin until the public understands what its government is doing, he advocates for more open government at all levels. Prior to being elected to the Assembly, Mayes was active in local government, serving two terms on the Yucca Valley Town Council and as a board member of both the San Bernardino Associated Governments and the League of California Cities. Professionally, Mayes was a financial planner, small business owner, and Chief of Staff to the Chair of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors. This combination of experience has made him a strong advocate for local control and fiscal responsibility. Mr. Mayes most recent endeavor was to Co Found New Way California along with former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. New Way California is a movement that seeks to put people above political parties to improve the lives of all Californians. New Way’s stated objective is to work collaboratively to advance solutions on issues that are important to all Californians. Mayes is a graduate of Liberty University and is a lifelong resident of Yucca Valley.
Los Angeles Director, Gen Next
Maria Mejia is the Los Angeles Director for Gen Next, a national network of executives and entrepreneurs committed to engaging with critical domestic and foreign policy issues and enhancing opportunity for future generations of Americans.
In this role, Maria is responsible for leveraging private sector leadership, influence and expertise to maximize the impact of the organization’s business, political and philanthropic ventures.
Prior to joining Gen Next, Maria served as Vice President at GrassrootsLab, a political consulting firm with an expertise in data, technology, and California state and local government.
She holds a B.A. in English and Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley and a M.A in Public Administration from the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy, and is active across the state.
Co-Founder and Principal Consultant, The Lew Edwards Group
With over three decades of experience in community organizing and politics, Catherine Lew is known as one of California's toughest and most successful communications and campaign consultants. A first-generation California native, she was raised in the Salinas Valley by parents who immigrated to this country to seek a better life. A veteran of 700 political campaigns and ballot measures, Catherine has worked on behalf of clients who include the California Democratic Party, California Teachers Association, California Nurses Association and other local labor unions, children's organizations, K-14 school districts, organizational clients such as the Presidio Trust of San Francisco, Sierra Club and Nature Conservancy, and scores of regional and local elected officials. Catherine’s firm –The Lew Edwards Group—is a nationally recognized, award-winning company founded 22 years ago. LEG has enacted $37.5 Billion in California revenue measures at a 95%+ win rate to repair K-12 and college classrooms, protect funding for local services, and improve libraries, parks and infrastructure consistent with its organizational philosophy to empower voters to protect and expand their local quality of lives. A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and the University of San Francisco School of Law, Catherine Lew is also a member of the California State Bar. She and her spouse live in Oakland. When she isn’t busy during an election cycle, she can be found at a barn with her American Quarter Horse Dakota. Catherine can be reached at Catherine@lewedwardsgroup.com.
Professor of Law and Professor of Economics, Chapman University
Tom Campbell is the Doy and Dee Henley Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence, and Professor of Economics, at Chapman University. He served as dean of the Fowler School of Law at Chapman, and, before that, dean of the Haas School of Business at Berkeley. He was a United States Congressman for five terms, a California State Senator, Director of Finance for the State of California, Director of the Bureau of Competition of the Federal Trade Commission, a tenured law professor at Stanford, a White House Fellow in the office of the Chief of Staff at the White House, law clerk to US Supreme Court Justice Byron R. White, and US Court of Appeals Judge George MacKinnon. He is the author of Separation of Powers in Practice, a constitutional law book published by Stanford University Press, and numerous articles in law reviews, including Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, Columbia, Hastings and Texas. He is a weekly columnist for the Orange County Register. He is married to Susanne Campbell, a Russian specialist and former director of the joint program between St. Petersburg University School of Management and the University of California, Berkeley. He holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago and law degree, magna cum laude, from Harvard. He was Chairman of the World Affairs Council of Northern California, and is a Member of the American Law Institute.
California State Assemblymember (D-Goleta)
Assemblymember Monique Limón was elected to the California State Assembly in November 2016 and represents the 37th district that includes over half of Santa Barbara County, as well as nearly a quarter of Ventura County.
Born and raised in the 37th district, Monique has worked continuously to serve her community as an educator, leader, and an advocate for causes advancing the quality of life in her community. She has brought her unique voice and perspective to the finance world as the Chair of Committee on Banking & Finance in the California State Assembly, serving as only the second woman in California history to assume this role in either the Assembly or Senate.
Since her appointment as Chair of the Assembly Committee on Banking and Finance in 2018, Assemblymember Limón has addressed an important problem in the lending world by actively focusing on consumer protections in the small dollar consumer loan industry. In just one year of her chairmanship, Assemblymember Limón’s leadership in the area of consumer protection has already been recognized as a prominent voice by consumer and industry advocates as well as among her colleagues.
Managing Partner, TCT Public Affairs
David Townsend is the founder and president of Townsend Raimundo Besler & Usher. For more than 35 years, Mr. Townsend has created and directed winning multimedia, communications, political and public affairs campaigns. He is now a managing partner in TCT. He provides strategic consultation to corporations, statewide coalitions, elected officials and trade associations in addition to directing state and local issue and candidate campaigns. One of California’s top political experts, Mr. Townsend is called upon by Fortune 500 corporations, national and state trade associations, state and national political leaders, small businesses and individuals to provide strategic advice and communications consulting. He has successfully managed California initiative campaigns for several years. Mr. Townsend has an over 85 percent winning record, managing budgets as high as $60 million. Mr. Townsend previously served as chief of staff to a California state senator and as consultant to the Senate Select Committee on Children and Youth. Mr. Townsend has been asked to join political fact-finding and educational missions to Nicaragua, Cuba and the former Soviet Union. He recently served as president of the board of directors of the Crocker Art Museum. He has also served on the California Highway Patrol Commission Advisory Board, as well as the boards of WEAVE (Women Escaping a Violent Environment), KVIE (Sacramento’s Public Television station), the California Musical Theatre, and the Greater Sacramento Urban League. He is past president of the Sacramento Make-A-Wish Foundation. He attended both the University of Wisconsin and Brooklyn College, and received his BA and MSW degrees from California State University, Fresno. Mr. Townsend is married to Sharon Usher and has two daughters, Emma and Elena.
Legislative Director, California Labor Federation
Caitlin Vega is the Legislative Director of the California Labor Federation, where she has been representing the interests of working people before the Legislature since 2005. She oversees all areas of legislative work by the Federation, but her focus is on expanding and defending basic labor standards. She worked to enact legislation to protect temporary, contract, and contingent workers, expand the rights of low-wage and immigrant workers, and strengthen the right to organize. Before coming to the Labor Federation, she was a union representative at SEIU Local 614 in Napa and Teamsters Local 490 in Vallejo. Caitlin started as a union organizer at age 18, working for Justice for Janitors, HERE, and the AFL-CIO. Her dad was a member of the Laborers Union and taught her from a young age that unions change lives.
Executive Vice President, Policy, California Chamber of Commerce
Jennifer Barrera oversees the development and implementation of policy and strategy as executive vice president, policy, and represents the California Chamber of Commerce on legal reform issues. She led CalChamber advocacy on labor and employment and taxation from September 2010 through the end of 2017. As senior policy advocate in 2017, Barrera worked with the executive vice president in developing policy strategy. In addition, she advises the business compliance activities of the CalChamber on interpreting changes in employment law. From May 2003 until joining the CalChamber staff, she worked at a statewide law firm that specializes in labor/employment defense, now Carothers, DiSane & Freudenberger, LLP. She represented employers in both state and federal court on a variety of issues, including wage and hour disputes, discrimination, harassment, retaliation, breach of contract, and wrongful termination. She also advised both small and large businesses on compliance issues, presented seminars on various employment-related topics, and regularly authored articles in human resources publications. Barrera earned a B.A. in English from California State University, Bakersfield, and a J.D. with high honors from California Western School of Law.
Founder and CEO, 3.14 Communications
For over 35 years, Cassandra Walker Pye has enjoyed a successful career in communications, government, politics and advocacy for corporate interests in global, national, state and local arenas. In January 2015, she founded 3.14 Communications, LLC. In addition to leading a full-service communication consultancy, Pye is a professional trainer, facilitator and executive coach. She is an ALF Senior Fellow who leads (or co-leads) Leading Consciously trainings which examine the nature of unconscious (implicit) bias in society. Prior to launching 3.14 Communications, she was Senior Vice President for APCO Worldwide, a global communication consultancy. In 2003, Pye was appointed deputy chief of staff to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and served on his post-recall election transition team and transition staff. She is former corporate affairs Vice President and political director for the CA Chamber of Commerce, executive director for the JobsPAC, Director of Public Affairs for the CA Retailers Association, Director of Governmental Relations for the CA Grocers Association and State Relations Manager for the Food Marketing Institute, headquartered in Washington, DC. An award- winning writer, Pye is a regular contributor to CA Grocer magazine. She serves as State Board President for California Women Lead, sits on the Board of Directors for New Way CA, serves on the Sacramento Board for Street Soccer USA, is a director of the Sacramento Region Community Foundation and an American Leadership Forum (ALF) senior fellow. She and husband Kelvin have four adult sons. They reside in Midtown Sacramento.
Associate Professor, Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy
Luisa Blanco is an economist and an Associate Professor at Pepperdine University’s School of Public Policy where she specializes in economic development with a focus on Latin America, and a particular interest in consumer finance. She was a scholar at UCLA’s Resource Center for Minority Aging Research-Center for Health Improvement of Minority Elderly (RCMAR-CHIME, 2012-2018), a Visiting Senior Scholar at the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank (2017-2018), an Adjunct Researcher at RAND Corporation, a Research Fellow at the Harris Manchester College at Oxford, and President of the American Society of Hispanic Economists (2017). She is currently part of the RCMAR-CHIME Board of Directors. Blanco’s funded research projects focus on financial behavior among minorities in the United States. She has conducted research related to access to financial services, retirement planning, financial behavior, and the well- being of elderly minority populations in the United States. She is currently working on a Mobile Money Diary Project, collecting data among low-and-moderate income Hispanics in California for 8 months about financial wellbeing and mental health. Blanco's research specific to the Latin American region focuses on issues related to economic development and policy-making, such as institutions, democracy, political instability, crime, capital accumulation, capital flows, financial development, and inequality.
CEO and President, Lucas Public Affairs
Over the course of her career, Donna Lucas has earned a reputation as a smart, strategic and successful communications consultant and business woman. Since opening Lucas Public Affairs in 2006, Donna has grown the firm into a team of accomplished public affairs professionals who work collaboratively with clients to explain the complexities around many of the major public policy challenges facing the state – and what can be done to address those challenges. At LPA, Donna provides strategic counsel to each of the firm’s clients, which range from business and financial institutions, to nonprofit organizations, foundations, and government entities. Over her 30-year career, Donna has held senior executive positions in both the public and private sectors. She served as deputy chief of staff for strategic planning and initiatives for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and chief of staff to First Lady Maria Shriver. Donna also served as deputy press secretary for Gov. George Deukmejian, deputy treasurer for state Treasurer Tom Hayes, and California press secretary for the 1988 presidential campaign of then Vice President George H.W. Bush. Donna also was the global and public affairs practice leader for Porter Novelli, an international PR firm, after Porter Novelli acquired Nelson Communications Group, where she served as president and CEO for several years. Donna currently serves on the Executive Committee on the California Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. She is Chair-Emeritus of the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), and also serves on the boards of the Crocker Art Museum, John Burton Advocates for Youth, College Futures Foundation, All About Sacramento, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and Maria Shriver’s Women’s Alzheimer’s Movement. Donna is also a founding member of She Shares, a unique conversation series featuring trailblazing women leaders who have created a lasting impact for women in California and beyond. She is routinely named one of Sacramento’s 100 most powerful people and is often listed as one of the state
2 | Page Capitol’s most influential people and in 2018 was named Sacramento Business Woman of the Year. Donna resides in Sacramento with her husband Greg Lucas, California’s State Librarian.
Commission President, San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women
Debbie Mesloh has worked at the highest levels of both the public and private sectors. Debbie currently serves as a communications consultant, assisting clients with communications strategy, crisis communications and political strategy. Debbie has long served as one of Kamala Harris’ senior advisors. She served on Harris’ first successful race for SF District Attorney in 2003, and has been a part of every one of Harris’ campaigns since. In addition, she served as communications director at the SF DA’s office and California Attorney General’s office. Debbie also co-led Senator Harris’ transition to the United States Senate. Debbie served as a spokesperson in the 2008 Obama for President and 2012 Obama for re-election campaigns. She was appointed by President Obama as a White House Political Appointee to the Public Affairs Office of the United States Trade Representative, where she had a focus on China and cybersecurity. Debbie was recruited to the private sector in 2011, where she served as Vice President of Global Government and Public Affairs for Gap Inc. At Gap, she led communications for the company’s corporate social responsibility work as well as the strategy for the company’s international, national, state and local government affairs. Debbie currently serves as President of the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women, a mayoral-appointed position. Debbie is a founding member of the Emerge America program, which seeks to recruit and train qualified women to run for office and is former President of the San Francisco Women’s Political Committee. She is a graduate of the University of Kansas and remains a proud Jayhawk fan.
Chief Economic and Business Advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom, Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development
Lenny Mendonca is the Chief Economic and Business Advisor to Governor Gavin Newsom and Director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). He is a Senior Partner Emeritus of McKinsey & Company and a Lecturer on Inequality at the Stanford Business School.
He founded McKinsey’s U.S. state and local public sector consulting practice. He also oversaw their knowledge development, Chairing the McKinsey Global Institute and the Firm’s communications, including the McKinsey Quarterly. He served for a decade on the McKinsey Shareholder Council (its Board of Directors). He retired in from McKinsey in 2014.
He was formerly the Chair of New America and Children Now, co-Chair of California Forward, and co-founder and Chair of Fusecorps. He was the Vice-Chair of Common Cause. He is the Chair Emeritus of the Bay Area Council and their Economic Institute, and was vice-chair of the Stanford GSB Advisory Council. He was a trustee at the Committee for Economic Development. He served on the boards of Fidelity Charitable, Western Governors University, UC Merced, The Educational Results Partnership, The College Futures Foundation, California Competes, The Opportunity Institute, Commonwealth Club, National Association of NonPartisan Reformers, and The Guardian.org. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Board of Trustees for Junior Statesmen of America, and the Advisory Boards of Y Analytics, QB3, the Haas Center at Stanford, Third Sector Capital, The CA Community College Chancellor’s Office, and the Public Policy Institute of California.
He received his MBA and certificate in public management from Stanford. He holds an AB, magna cum laude, in economics from Harvard.
He lives on the Half Moon Bay coast with his wife, Christine. They raised their two daughters, Allie and Rebecca, there and are the founders and owners of the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company, The Inn at Mavericks and the Pacific Standard Taproom. He is also Chair and primary owner of the Coastside News Group (Half Moon Bay Review).
President and CEO, Bay Area Council
Jim Wunderman is President and CEO of the Bay Area Council, a CEO-led public policy and advocacy organization formed in 1945 that works to shape the future of the Bay Area and keep it as the most innovative, globally competitive, and sustainable region in the world. Since becoming CEO in 2004, Jim has dramatically expanded and deepened the Council’s reach and influence throughout the Bay Area, Silicon Valley, California, the nation and the world. As the leading steward of the Bay Area, the Council has grown under Jim’s tenure to include more than 325 member companies across a wide range of industries. He has positioned the Council as a leading voice for business on a wide range of issues, including housing, transportation, homelessness, workforce development, early education and more. Jim opened the Council’s office in Sacramento, where he regularly appears on the list of the state’s Top 100 political movers and shakers. Governors, mayors, legislators, foreign leaders and top business executives regularly seek Jim’s input and guidance on key issues. Recognizing early on China’s emerging power on the international stage, Jim launched a bold initiative there that has grown to four offices, and he was instrumental in creating a public-private partnership with the state of California to reopen its trade and investment office in China. Behind Jim’s leadership, the Council has spearheaded numerous ballot measure campaigns that have secured tens of billions of dollars for transportation, housing, early education, climate resilience, healthcare, homeless services and more. And he is at the helm of early efforts to create a unified vision for the growth of the Northern California megaregion. In addition to serving on numerous boards and commissions, including as vice chair of the Water Emergency Transportation Authority, Wunderman is a visiting professor at the UC Davis Graduate School of Management. Jim’s career has included serving in senior leadership roles for former San Francisco Mayors Frank Jordan and Dianne Feinstein and executive positions at Providian Financial Corporation and Recology. He graduated from San Francisco State University with a political science major and received an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration from Kingsborough College, City University of New York. He has four children and resides in Contra Costa County.
California’s 33rd State Treasurer (Former)
John Chiang serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Apollo Medical Holdings (NASDAQ:AMEH), Aegis Systems, Zeuss Technologies, Inc. and Pasadena Private Finance. In addition, he serves as a member of the corporate advisory board for Calyx. From 2015-2019, John Chiang served as California’s 33rd State Treasurer. As the state’s banker, he oversaw trillions of dollars in annual transactions, managed a $75 billion investment portfolio, and was the nation’s largest issuer of municipal bonds.
Prior to being elected Treasurer, Chiang served from 2007 through 2014 as State Controller. During the Great Recession, he took steps to preserve cash to meet obligations to education and bond holders. His cash management decisions – which included delaying payments and issuing IOUs – were instrumental in keeping the state’s credit rating from plunging into junk status. Chiang’s actions saved taxpayers millions of dollars.
He aggressively used his audit programs to identify more than $9.5 billion of fraud, waste and abuse in government programs, the most by any Controller in California’s history.
Chiang was first elected to the Board of Equalization in 1998 where he served two terms, including three years as chair.
Chiang graduated with honors from the University of South Florida with a degree in finance. He received his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center.