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2020-2021  Annual Report

Uncertainty may be the new normal, but the value of good leadership endures. That’s why, for almost 80 years, Coro has empowered civic-minded and collaborative leaders.

Challenging times present an opportunity for all of us to grow our leadership skills, increase our impact, and commit to inquiry, inclusivity, compassion, perseverance, and adaptability. That’s why Coro is here — and that’s why we count on your support and engagement.

Thanks to our alums and supporters, Coro is evolving, expanding, and delivering essential leadership development education — at a time when leaders at every level are seeking support, connection, and a path forward.

Thank you for supporting this work!

With gratitude,

Laney signature

Laney Whitcanack
Chief Executive Officer & Coro Alumna

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Marianna Pisano
Board Chair & Coro Alumna

Coro’s mission is to train, support, and connect leaders to foster a thriving democracy and tackle society’s biggest challenges together.

Coro programs focus on 6 key leadership competencies: self-awareness, critical thinking, communication, inclusion, collaboration, and empowered professionalism.

Leading for Impact

In 2020-2021 CORO served 1,326 people, and 85% of them reported increased leadership skills.
Eddie Whitfield

“I applied to be a Fellow in Public Affairs so that I could build my repertoire of tools to contribute to building a more equitable society, learn to adapt to new challenges, and gain cross-sectoral experience. I got exactly what I wanted — and more importantly, I grew as a person. I am leaving Coro as a leader who is guided by curiosity, grounded in self awareness, and comfortable showing compassion.”

Eddie Whitfield, Fellows Program in Public Affairs Class of 2021

Training, Support & Connection

Meeting the Moment

Michelle Teng

“I have always been civic-minded and in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit San Francisco, I felt the need to give back to my local community … Coro’s Resilient San Francisco Leadership Academy helped me recognize my strengths and love for bringing people together and cultivating strong community ties. The Coro program and the Coro network are extensive and key levers for empowering me to do more for my communities.”

Michelle Teng, Resilient San Francisco Alumna

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In response to COVID-19, Coro adapted our programs and workshops to a virtual model. Now, we’re rolling out a hybrid learning model — combining online learning with in-person gatherings in accordance with public health guidelines.

We reaffirmed our ongoing commitment to elevating equity and racial justice as crucial 21st century leadership competencies, collaborating with Coro Centers nationwide to deepen our Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) work.

Connecting Our Community

Hundreds of alums are active on Coro Connect, our thriving online resource exclusively for Coro alums to share job, volunteer, and mentorship opportunities.

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Strengthening Democracy

The Coro Fellows Program Class of 2021 interviewing Governor Newsom over zoom.
The Coro Fellows Program Class of 2021 interviewing Governor Newsom.

Fellows Program in Public Affairs

Coro offers 12 Fellows each year the experience of a lifetime, accelerating the trajectories of bright and promising leaders. 100% of our most recent class of Fellows increased essential leadership skills and gained vital field experience across sectors.

Hoplamazian Mara

“The experiences I had as a Coro Fellow have given me a foundation I could never have developed otherwise. The exposure to a variety of workplace environments and sectors not only gave me a base understanding that allowed me to ask better questions about the world around me, but Coro also gave me an opportunity to practice modes of inquiry that I’d never focused on before and apply them to myself….. I’m less reactive and more curious as a result of Coro.” 

— Mara Hoplamazian, Fellows Program in Public Affairs Class of 2021

Women in Leadership Program graduation group image screenshot over zoom

Women in Leadership

More than 225 cross-sector professionals have graduated from our relaunched Women in Leadership program. They’re leading and making positive change in wide-ranging institutions across the Bay Area.

Connie Chan
Aliya Chisti
Maika Lorens Gulati

Three Women in Leadership alumnae were elected to local office in 2020! Connie Chan (San Francisco Board of Supervisors), Aliya Chisti (San Francisco Community College Board), and Maika Llorens Gulati (San Rafael City Council) are all recent WIL grads.

naima mcqueen

“The Women in Leadership program introduced me to a cohort of professional women with whom I can conspire to create change. There’s something incredibly profound about cohort learning with folks from across industries and experiences who see value in building connections for our collective success. …. This is what it means to create equitable access to social capital. … There aren’t many programs like this and it’s why I continue to return as a Coro participant, across programs.”

Naima McQueen, Alumna, Fellows Program in Public Affairs and Women in Leadership

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Elevating Youth Voices

We expanded our programming to support youth and youth development professionals, ensuring that tomorrow’s leaders get the skills they need to create positive change. Exploring Leadership offers Youth Fellows from across the Bay Area a transformative, full-time summer learning experience. District Youth Leadership Academies deliver neighborhood-based civic engagement training in San Francisco’s Districts 1 and 7.

New partnerships with Summer Search and Generation Thrive (a partnership with the Golden State Warriors and Kaiser Permanente), and an ongoing partnership with San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s Opportunities for All program, expanded our reach and brought Coro training to more rising leaders across the region.

Samantha Ma

“Coro has made me so much more confident in myself, my voice, and my work. I value my voice, I know that I can contribute good ideas and … I now am able to speak up way more than before.”

Samantha Ma, Exploring Leadership Youth Fellow

Rene Galvez

“Coro truly changed my professional trajectory …. It prepared me with the right tools and frame of mind to lead educational change. I feel grateful for the space to come together with other people making an impact in education.”

Rene Galvez, Generation Thrive Leadership Network Alumna

San Francisco skyline and golden gate bridge

Resilient San Francisco focused on training neighborhood leaders to support the City’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts; delivered in partnership with the Neighborhood Empowerment Network and the Office of Resilience and Capital Planning.

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This year, we developed a new civic program and recruited a fantastic slate of Lead Bay Area Fellows. The 8-month fellowship program for mid-career community leaders launched in September 2021, with a focus on making the Bay Area a more equitable place. Stay tuned!

Jackie Elward

Leadership Rohnert Park, our partnership with the City of Rohnert Park, helps community leaders increase civic knowledge and capacity. Five program alums have already gone on to elected office, commission, committee, or board service, including Vice Mayor Jackie Elward.

Strengthening Institutions

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Our partnerships with the University of California and the Federal Executive Board empowered leaders in higher education and the federal government to navigate tremendous challenges, strengthening the capacity of vital public institutions.

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The Coro-University of California Women’s Initiative now boasts more than 600 graduates. Our UC partner says the retention rate for staff and faculty who have completed the program is over 95%.

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Tackling Big Challenges Together

Water Solutions Network Collaborating for California
The Water Solutions Network in the field.
The Water Solutions Network in the field.

Water Solutions Network

We’re building and growing a network of rising water leaders equipped to move California toward a sustainable water future.

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An article in Grist magazine highlighted the Water Solutions Network’s collaborative model as a prime example of bringing stakeholders together for better water management and outcomes.

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Human Trafficking Leadership Academy

Bringing cross-sector and survivor leaders to the table to combat human trafficking — sharing expertise and creating change nationally. A partnership with the National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center.

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Workforce Leadership Network

In partnership with Coro Southern California, we launched a statewide network dedicated to preparing workforce professionals to support and serve vulnerable workers, act from a systems perspective, and promote sustainable job creation.

Financials 2020 – 2021*

Expenses: $2.4 million
Revenue: $2.8 million
Funding Model: 33% earned and 67% contributed

*Pre-audit numbers.
**Earned revenue includes training contracts, project fees, Women in Leadership tuition, etc.

Thank You

Coro group shot from staff retreat in Summer 2021.
Coro staff retreat in Summer 2021.

Click a category to learn more about us.

Our Team

Our Team

Staff 2020-21
Erika O. Carlsen,* Senior Director of Training
Debbie Franco, Managing Director, Water Solutions Network
Jeanette Freiberg,* Program Manager
Vic Hogg,* Director of Training
Shaya Kara,* Senior Manager of External Affairs
Alexis Llamas, Director of Youth Programs
Masharika Prejean Maddison, Senior Director of Training
Nancy Masuda,* Director of Strategic Partnerships
Nnenna Ozobia,* Senior Director of Training
Angela Pang, Director of Program Management
Nancy Shemick,” Program Faculty
Rosa Terrazas,* Chief of Staff
Fred Tse, Director of Finance and Operations
Genanne Walsh, Director of Communications and Strategic Projects
Laney Whitcanack,* Chief Executive Officer
Clifford Yee, Senior Director of Training
Courtney Young-Law, Vice-President of Programs and Leadership Training

Board 2020-21
Marianna Pisano* – Chair
Minden Beach* – Vice Chair
Derick Brown* – Vice Chair
William Jackson* – Vice Chair
Mothusi Pahl* – Secretary
Aimee Brown – Treasurer
Diana Bricknell*
Kate Byrne*
Hank Dempsey*
Sean Gibson*
Christina Giguere
Erick C. Howard
Rebecca Hutman*
Lauren Itow*
Leti Light*
Lawland Long*
Jenna Narayanan
Chris Patterson
Ji-Ho Park*
Anna Van Degna*
Diana Tate Vermeire
Frances Coronel*

Honorary Board Member
Betty Schafer*

* Indicates Coro Alumni.

Our Partners

2020-21 Community Partners

Our community partners collectively spend thousands of hours each year supporting and mentoring Coro participants.

280 Cap Markets
3.14 Communications
A-Plan Coaching
ACLU Foundation of Northern California
ACLU of Northern California
AFSCME Council 57
Akonadi Foundation
Alameda County Homeless Action Center
Alameda County Public Health Department
Alameda Labor Council
Alliance for Community Development
ALL IN Alameda County
Ann Ravel for CA State Senate
Annie Eagan Consulting
Apple Education
Babson College
Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)
Beneficial State Foundation
Blue Shield of California
Blue Shield of California Foundation
Bridgespan Group
Brightline Defense Fund
Broadway Angels
Business for Social Responsibility
CA Fwd
California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (CAPH)
California Budget & Policy Center
California Business Roundtable
California Chamber of Commerce
California City Finance
California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation
California Department of Education
California Department of Finance
California Department of Food and Agriculture
California Department of Human Resources
California Department of Water Resources
California Health and Human Services Agency
California Independent Petroleum Association
California Labor Federation
California Legislative Analyst’s Office
California Peace Officers’ Association
California Public Employees’ Retirement System
California Public Utilities Commission
California Republican Party
California State Assembly Budget Committee
California State Auditor
California State Coastal Conservancy
California State Transportation Agency
California Teachers Association
CalTrans Office of Civil Rights
Center for Care Innovations
City and County of San Francisco
City and County of San Francisco Office of Public Finance
City of Oakland
City of Rohnert Park
City of San José Department of Transportation
Clif Bar
Clifford Moss
Climate Resolve
Coleman Advocates for Children
Commonwealth Club
Connie Chan for San Francisco District 1 Supervisor Campaign
COS and Company LLC
Covered California
Curtis Development
Dignity Health
Duane Morris LLP
Dodge & Cox
Earn & Learn
Echidna Giving
Edward Jones Investments
Fall Line Analytics
Family Equality Council
First Republic Bank
ForgePoint Capital
Generation Thrive/Golden State Warriors/Kaiser Permanente
Global School Leaders
Goldman Sachs
Grassroots Lab
Harvard Kennedy School
Health Access
Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center
Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association
Immigrant Legal Resource Center
Inner Spark Foundation
Institute for the Future
IT Bookman Center
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Kearns & West
League of California Cities
Leapfrog Consulting
The Libra Foundation
Los Angeles Times
Lucas Public Affairs
McNally Temple Associates, Inc.
Metta Fund
Metropolitan Transportation Commission
Mills College
Mission Economic Development Agency
MJE Strategies
National Human Trafficking Training and Technical Assistance Center
The Nehemiah Corporation
The Neighborhood Empowerment Network
NextGen America
Nielsen Merksamer
Office of Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gómez Reyes
Office of Assemblymember Bill Quirk
Office of Assemblymember Blanca Rubio
Office of Assemblymember Cottie Petrie-Norris
Office of Assemblymember David Chiu
Office of Assemblymember Freddie Rodriguez
Office of Assemblymember Mark Stone
Office of Assemblymember Megan Dahle
Office of Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager
Office of California Governor Gavin Newsom
Office of California State Treasurer Fiona Ma
Office of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf
Office of Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg
Office of San Francisco District 1 Supervisor Connie Chan
Office of San Francisco District 7 Supervisor Myrna Melgar
Office of San Francisco District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton
Office of Senator Ben Allen
Senator Bob Więckowski
Office of Senator Scott Wiener
Office of Senator Thomas J. Umberg
Office of the California Senate Pro Tempore
Office of United States Senator Dianne Feinstein
Orrick LLC
Ohlone College
Opportunities for All
Pacific Media Workers Guild
The Pivot Group
The Presidio Trust
Project Glimmer
Public Policy Institute of California
Qatalyst Partners
R Street Institute
Region 32 of the National Labor Relations Board
Remind 101, Inc.
Rescue California
The Richmond Neighborhood Center
Rising Sun Center for Opportunity
Ruckus Partners, Inc.
S&P Global Ratings
Sacred Heart Community Service
San Francisco Department of Children, Youth, and their Families
San Francisco Bay Area Federal Executive Board
San Francisco County Transportation Authority
San Francisco Department of Public Health
San Francisco Department of Technology
San Francisco Department on the Status of Women
The San Francisco Foundation
San Francisco Housing Accelerator Fund
San Francisco Living Wage Coalition
San Francisco Local Agency Formation Commission
San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency
San Francisco Office of the Controller
San Francisco Planning Department
San Francisco Rising
San Francisco Unified School District
Savvy, ink.
S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation
SEIU 1000
Sierra Orchards
Silicon Valley Leadership Group
Singularity University
South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council
Spring Impact
Stanford Global Management Immersion Experience (GMIX)
State Building and Construction Trades Council of California
Summer Search
Syphax Strategic Solutions
Stutzman Public Affairs
Trellis Education
Trust-Based Philanthropy Project
UFCW Western States Council
UNITE HERE! Local 2850
University of California Office of the President
University of California Berkeley
University of California Davis
University of California San Francisco
University of California Santa Cruz
University of San Francisco
U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program
Walter and Elise Haas Fund
UrbanSitter, Inc.
VC Include
Water Solutions Network
Wells Fargo
Well Versed Consulting, Inc.
Western States Petroleum Association
The Whitman Institute
The Women’s Foundation
The Workers Lab
Tipping Point Community Foundation

Our Supporters

Public Funding

San Francisco Department of Children, Youth and Their Families


S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation
Pam Jones and Steve Herskovitz
Dodge & Cox
Inner Spark Foundation
JPMorgan Chase Foundation
Mary Obelnicki and Craig Silverstein
Betty and Jack Schafer


Diane B. Wilsey
First Republic Bank
Marianna Pisano and Patrick Ford
Aimee Brown
Jackie Henning
Lucia Choi-Dalton


Mary Jo and Dick Garrett
CommonSpirit Health
Marilyn Snider
Robyn and David Reiss
Blue Shield of California
Latham & Watkins
David Coulter and Susan Weeks Coulter
Minden and Kathleen Beach
Tom Lockard and Alix Marduel
Sara and Josh Leslie
Warburg Pincus
Rachel Pytlak and Phuong Phillips
Sonja Perkins


Sean Gibson and Serena Ingre
Hank Dempsey
Lauren Itow
Celeste Cantu
William Jackson and Jacqueline Holen
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Linda Gregory
Walter & Elise Haas Fund
Dunstan and Jamie Allison-Hope
Courtney Young-Law and Chris Law
California Teachers Association
John Iannuccillo
California Business Roundtable
Laney Whitcanack and Jon Deane
Leti Light
Jan and Fred Hodder
Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock
Kaiser Permanente
Susan Walters


Emily Meyer
Diana Tate Vermeire
Katherine N Byrne
Jeffrey Sosnaud and Jean Curran, M.D.
Kathryn W. Frank and James B. Blume
Rebecca Hutman
James Cervantes
David Sibbet and Gisela Wendling
Ji-Ho Park
Phillip Kilbridge and Kelley Karandjeff
Lawland Long
Kathy Blackburn
Beth Parker and Ken Taymor
Frances Coronel
Katherine Strehl
Kathryn Poling
John Rogers
Alexander Wong
Nancy and Gavin Masuda
Jon Eberly
John Claisse
Maria and Dean Nicolacakis
Thomas Hoeber
University of San Francisco
Honorable Ann Veneman
Don Reinke
Joseph and Lisa Hartley
Leslie Hatamiya and Randy Schieber
Mary Mountcastle and James Overton
Honorable James Hormel
Raymond Roeder
Jenna and Satish Narayanan
David Jackson
Christine Johnson
Zach Blume
Richard Leib and Sharon Rosen Leib
Larry Simi and Janet Rogers
Hon. Libby Schaaf
Mark and Jane Pisano
David Kirp
Edmund and Heike San Diego
Scott Patterson

This is a partial list. We are grateful to the many individual donors and volunteers who make Coro’s work possible.

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Coro Network celebrates at our 2021 Spring Event on zoom
The Coro Network celebrates at our 2021 Spring Event.