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Women in Leadership Fall 2023 Cohort

  • Abigail Maher
    Abigail Maher City & County of San Francisco, Recreation and Park Department

    Abigail Maher

    As Deputy Director of Partnerships for the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department, Abigail works with community members, foundations, non-profits, and businesses interested in supporting parks and programming. Abigail works with these park partners and her colleagues through the city’s process of planning, designing, and implementing improvement projects. During the past decade, Abigail has gained a deep understanding and appreciation of public private partnerships!

  • Angela Hughes
    Angela Hughes San Francisco Foundation

    Angela Hughes

    Angela Hughes has over 12 years of experience as a communications, public relations, and marketing professional in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Currently, she is a Marketing and Communications Officer at the San Francisco Foundation where she communicates key messages and complex ideas through the creative use of imagery, graphics, and video. Previously, she worked as a public relations consultant for KP Public Affairs, and marketing and communications coordinator for the San Francisco Unified School District. As a former broadcast journalist, she believes in the power of visual storytelling, centering the historically marginalized, and amplifying the voices of BIPOC communities. Angela received her M.A. in Media Studies from The New School and a B.S. in Advertising from San Jose State University.

  • Ashley Snyder
    Ashley Snyder Visa, Inc.

    Ashley Snyder

    Ashley Snyder, born and raised in Richmond, California. Newly obtained MBA degree from George Washington University. A Strategy & Business Operations professional @ Visa with years of product and people experience. My goal is to drive impact and operational alignment professionally. I gain satisfaction from building relationships and connecting with people and organizations conducting purposeful work. Personally, the impact I will be most proud of is nurturing, teaching and loving my son.

  • Brenna Mahoney
    Brenna Mahoney PG&E

    Brenna Mahoney

    Originally from the east coast, Brenna turned her love of the oceans into a 15-year career as a scientific and technical diving and earned a PhD from UC Santa Cruz in marine ecology. After deciding she wanted to be more involved in natural resource program management, Brenna went on to hold positions with the CA State Coastal Conservancy, BCDC, NOAA Office for Coastal Management, and California Sea Grant. She has now been at PG&E for the past three years as a climate change adaptation program manager with PG&E’s Climate Resilience Team.  


    Brenna is an avid runner, hiker, traveler, and enthusiastic reader, and is a mom to two young girls.

  • Cara Marie Wagner
    Cara Marie Wagner Ploughshares Fund

    Cara Marie Wagner

    Cara Marie Wagner is a Senior Program Officer at Ploughshares Fund, where she is responsible for stewarding grantmaking portfolios focused on nuclear policy, intersectional partnerships, power building, and peacebuilding as well as leading the foundation’s DEIA strategy and programs through its Equity Rises initiative. Born and raised in the East Bay, Cara holds a Master’s of Science in Global Studies and International Affairs as well as a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Northeastern University and a Bachelor’s of Arts in International Affairs and a Certificate in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

  • Carmen Towler
    Carmen Towler SF Office of Economic and Workforce Development

    Carmen Towler

    Carmen Towler is a proud Los Angeles native, daughter, sister, cousin, niece, auntie, and friend. She has been living and working in the Bay Area since 2018, where she enjoys her role in public service as a Workforce Programs Specialist for vulnerable communities, supporting their access to economic prosperity through jobs and resources. She is passionate about racial equity and considers herself a lifelong learner. In her free time, she can be found on various hiking trails around the Bay Area, doing yoga, reading fiction, listening to podcasts, and connecting with friends and family.

  • Dana Polk
    Dana Polk The Presidio Trust

    Dana Polk

    Dana Polk (she/her) holds the position of Senior Advisor for Government and Community Relations with the Presidio Trust. Dana leverages and builds strong relationships with local, state and federal government and community stakeholders to advance the Presidio’s goals and ensure its continued success. She has a strong understanding of the U.S. Congress, gained through working on Capitol Hill for a U.S. Senator, as a fellow on the House Appropriations Committee, and two decades of professional experience. This knowledge has enabled her to gain key federal support for the Presidio, including a major grant in early 2023 to rebuild the Presidio’s outdated utilities and infrastructure systems. Dana also worked for the State of California Department of Public Health and represented cities as a government relations professional in Washington, D.C. She has a bachelor’s degree from Pitzer College in political studies with a minor in environmental studies and a master’s degree in international relations from San Francisco State. Dana is a San Francisco native and lives in the Presidio with her husband, teenage daughter and their numerous pets. She and her family love to spend time being active outdoors in the Bay Area and around the world.

  • Esther Santamaria
    Esther Santamaria ESO Ventures

    Esther Santamaria

    Esther Santamaria is a multi-faceted entrepreneur with a diverse background in film production, business administration, and operations. Born to Latin-American immigrants who achieved economic empowerment through entrepreneurship, she learned the value of perseverance and innovation at an early age. As an Operations and Engagement Specialist, Esther brings a unique perspective to her work, drawing from her experience in various industries. Her enthusiasm for leveraging systems and operations to create positive change solidifies her commitment to building better workplaces and helping communities thrive.

  • Fritzie de Mata
    Fritzie de Mata Cal Alumni Association

    Fritzie de Mata

    Fritzie holds more than 15 years of experience working in higher education, from scholarships administration, undergraduate teaching and advising, leadership development and training, program management to alumni engagement. As an administrator, scholar, mentor, and teacher, she is committed to justice and serving underrepresented communities. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a double major in English and Political Science and received her doctorate in literature from UC Santa Cruz. She currently serves as the Director of Student Support with the Alumni Scholars Program at the Cal Alumni Association.

  • Hadara Stanton
    Hadara Stanton Liebert Cassidy Whitmore

    Hadara Stanton

    Hadara is grateful to serve as an advisor and advocate for public entities, nonprofits and schools. As an attorney at Liebert Cassidy Whitmore, she works closely with public and nonprofit boards and leaders to provide advice and counsel, training, and litigation advocacy. Hadara has built on her expertise through years of public service, where she represented California agencies and officials in state and federal courts, as well as through her volunteer service for nonprofits. While serving as board president for nonprofit organizations, Hadara helped lead the organizations and the communities they serve through extraordinary circumstances, including executive leadership transitions and the Covid-19 pandemic.  Hadara looks forward to learning from other women leaders, and from their shared and unique experiences.

  • Heidi Nutters
    Heidi Nutters San Francisco Estuary Partnership

    Heidi Nutters

    Heidi Nutters works at the intersection of communities and nature in the San Francisco Bay. She is a Senior Program Manager with the San Francisco Estuary Partnership (housed at the Association of Bay Area Governments) where she leads a large program portfolio on nature-based shoreline adaptation with a strong focus on social and racial justice. Prior to joining the Partnership, she worked San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and SF Bay Conservation and Development Commission. She received an M.A. in Environmental Studies from Brown University and a B.A. from Antioch College. Heidi is an avid gardener and especially loves to grow edible and medicinal plants and lives on Raymutush Ohlone land (San Francisco) with her wife and daughter.

  • Jessica	Martinez Pulido
    Jessica Martinez Pulido Governor's Office of Planning and Research

    Jessica Martinez Pulido

    Jessica Martinez Pulido is the Community Engagement Strategist at the California Governor’s Office of Community Partnerships and Strategic Communications. She works to strengthen the relationship between government and communities by cultivating meaningful and collaborative partnerships with community leaders and trusted messengers. Jessica’s interest in public administration solutions stems from her early work in immigrant rights organizing and health advocacy. Prior to joining the State government, Jessica worked at The California Endowment implementing funding strategies that supported healthcare expansion for undocumented Californians, healthier schools and neighborhoods, and climate resilience. Raised in the diverse community of Hayward, California, Jessica is a proud product of public education and a first-generation Latina graduate from the University of California, Berkeley. She holds a Master in Public Administration from the University of San Francisco.

  • Joanne	Schneider
    Joanne Schneider Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors

    Joanne Schneider

    Joanne Schneider is a thoughtful and experienced philanthropy professional with a passion for bringing together the right resources, people, and opportunities to make sustainable impact.  In her current role as Principal at Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, she guides individuals, families, corporations, and foundations in determining their priorities for giving, develops and implements philanthropy strategies, and manages grantmaking initiatives and giving programs.  Joanne earned a BS from the University of Michigan and a MBA from Columbia University.  She was a Peace Corps volunteer in Cameroon. In her free time, Joanne loves to read, do yoga, and hike with her husband and children.

  • Jody Talkington
    Jody Talkington First 5 Alameda County

    Jody Talkington

    Jody Talkington works for First 5 Alameda County as the Strategic Initiatives and Planning Officer. Jody facilitates and coordinates agency-wide initiatives, including the Oakland Children’s Initiative. Prior to working at First 5, Jody worked at Oakland Unified School District for 18 years and was most recently the Senior Director of Strategic Projects for the Superintendent. She was responsible for development and implementation of OUSD’s strategic plan, and was the liaison for staff and OUSD Board of Education communications. She is trained in Hakomi Somatic Mindful Psychology, Strozzi Institute Embodied Leadership, Matrix Leadership Organization & Group Transformation and Somatic Abolitionism for Racial Equity.

  • Kate Curry
    Kate Curry Niantic Labs Inc

    Kate Curry

    Kate Curry works in Business Operations at Niantic, with a focus on increasing organizational efficiency and managing strategic projects. Prior to relocating to San Francisco, she worked in Finance for a large Canadian retailer. Kate holds an undergraduate degree in Business & Economics from Trinity College, Dublin, and a Masters in International Business from Ivey Business School, Canada. Outside of work, Kate is a bookworm and spends her weekends exploring the neighborhoods of San Francisco, her new home.

  • Katharine Pan
    Katharine Pan San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission

    Katharine Pan

    Katharine Pan has been working in the urban planning field for over a decade, both as a private sector consultant preparing general plans and environmental analyses for communities across California and as a planner and permit analyst at a public agency. She is currently serving as the Shoreline Development Program Manager at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, where she works with developers and stakeholders to ensure the rights of the public to the Bay shoreline. She is passionate about delving into the intricacies of policy and regulation and translating them into actual built environments that are equitable and sustainable, and that can positively impact our everyday lives.

  • Kokaale	Amissah-Aidoo
    Kokaale Amissah-Aidoo California Primary Care Association

    Kokaale Amissah-Aidoo

    Kokaale has a decade of experience leading projects and events at organizations impacting the public good. She has supported community health projects in Central America, served as lead paralegal on lawsuits on behalf of working class immigrants in the Bay Area, managed outreach and promotion of community based health education materials available in 89 languages, and in her current role leads the design, delivery, and evaluation of several high profile events in the healthcare industry while overseeing the organization’s accreditations for the provision of continuing education activities. She has a B.A. in political science from Amherst College and an M.S. in workforce training and development.

  • Mego Lien
    Mego Lien County of Santa Clara Behavioral Health Services Dept

    Mego Lien

    Mego Lien, MPH, MIA is a public health professional with expertise in chronic disease and injury prevention. She created and oversees the Prevention Services Division at the County of Santa Clara’s Behavioral Health Services Department (BHSD). Previously, she oversaw BHSD’s Suicide Prevention Program and worked on Injury and Trauma Prevention at Prevention Institute, a national public health non-profit. Mego has ten years of prior global health experience in topics such as tobacco control, road safety, and violence prevention, working at institutions that include Vital Strategies, the Earth Institute, and the United Nations Development Programme. Mego has volunteered on a suicide crisis line and as a sexual assault counselor and advocate. She holds dual Masters of Public Health and International Relations from Columbia University and a Bachelors in Psychology and Education from Swarthmore College.

  • Rebeka	Ramangamihanta
    Rebeka Ramangamihanta 11th Hour Project

    Rebeka Ramangamihanta

    Rebeka Ramangamihanta is the program associate for the Human Rights program at The 11th Hour Project, which supports movements for just and ecologically sound development that promotes human rights, vibrant local economies, and dignified livelihoods for all in the energy, mining, and agriculture sectors. They work in Africa and Haiti. 


    She holds a master’s degree in development practice from the University of California Berkeley. She enjoys hiking and cooking.

  • Sandra Ramirez
    Sandra Ramirez East Bay Community Foundation

    Sandra Ramirez

    Sandra is a first-generation immigrant from Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca, Colombia. She is also a first-generation college student who transferred from City College of San Francisco where she double majored in Math and Science, and Behavioral Science to the University of California, Santa Cruz where she completed her BA in Latin American & Latinx Studies. She has an extensive and diverse background in administration support, database and file management, internal and external customer service, scheduling and event planning in a variety of business and organizational settings.


    Outside of her professional environment, Sandra really enjoys being Tia to two little humans, volunteering, learning how to garden and cook, camping, and exploring the California coastline.


  • Sheema	Javeed
    Sheema Javeed Ruby's Place

    Sheema Javeed

    Sheema Javeed has lived in the Bay area for the past 24 years, helped start and run a construction technology company. She now works for a non profit organization that provides shelter for victims of domestic violence, human trafficking and youth. She has been in the finance field since the past 25 years and now is in the leadership role at her organization which is growing and expanding their services. She has been a girls scout leader for her daughters troop and volunteers at the local food bank. She is very passionate about helping people. In her free time she likes to travel and spend time with her family.

  • Sochi Odidika
    Sochi Odidika

    Sochi Odidika

    Sochi Odidika is passionate about diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. She started her career in this space as early as 2008 when she was the Campus Ambassador at Laney College. Sochi’s experience in motivating, guiding, creating an inclusive environment, fostering a sense of belonging, and coaching others led her to the healthcare field, where she managed healthcare projects and later transitioned into an HR program/project manager. As an HR program/project manager, she has advocated for a more robust hiring process and diverse talent, served as a committee member for hiring processes, and has created programs centered around inclusion, belonging, and psychological safety. 


    Sochi is an alumna of the University of California, Berkeley, where she studied Political Economy with an emphasis in Globalization, and the California State University East Bay, where she earned her Master’s in Public Administration with an emphasis in Health Care Management/Administration. Sochi enjoys hiking, biking, dancing, singing, and learning new things. Sochi is grateful for this opportunity to continue to learn, grow, and invest in others.

  • Stanislava Peycheva
    Stanislava Peycheva United Way Bay Area

    Stanislava Peycheva

    Stani Peycheva serves as the Senior Director of Corporate Engagement at United Way Bay Area (UWBA). Over the past seven years, she has collaborated with companies spanning different industry sectors and forged partnerships to drive various social impact initiatives and advise on employee engagement strategies while successfully raising funds to advance the programmatic efforts of the United Way Bay Area. Prior to joining the UWBA team, Stani gained experience in the non-profit and public sectors in Bulgaria. Her work primarily centered around corporate social responsibility and community impact. She oversaw marketing and communications at BBLF, the leading corporate social responsibility association in Bulgaria. She also served as external affairs officer at Bulgaria’s national agency, the Commission for Protection against Discrimination.

  • Stephanie Corpuz
    Stephanie Corpuz The California Wellness Foundation

    Stephanie Corpuz

    Stephanie Corpuz is executive assistant to the vice president of programs and works closely with the programs department to advance grantmaking priorities and department operations. She has been with Cal Wellness since 2015 and is passionate about working together, as one team, to ensure the foundation achieves its mission and goals. She earned her human biology degree with a minor in psychology from the University of California, Merced. At UC Merced, she co-founded the Pilipino American Alliance. Although philanthropy was a career switch when joining Cal Wellness, the impact, community, and people keep her motivated and inspired every day. She enjoys spending her personal time visiting new cities and a specialty for finding cultural connections through the lens of a foodie. Stephanie hopes to learn and grow as a leader to continue to make positive impacts to close (and future) engagements.

  • Vida Tehrani
    Vida Tehrani Public Policy Institute of California

    Vida Tehrani

    Vida Tehrani is senior grants manager at the Public Policy Institute of California, where she identifies and secures grant funding that supports the institute’s mission and strategic agenda. Her career in grants management began in the international development sector, and she has worked with several New York based NGOs, nonprofits, and United Nations programs. Vida served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger and Burkina Faso, and currently serves on the board of the Northern California Peace Corps Association. Vida earned her BS in social sciences at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and her MA in international affairs at The New School in New York City. In her spare time, Vida enjoys teaching fitness classes at X’CORE Studio in Oakland.