"The program gave me a close-up view of political, business and social issues and trends, information that is invaluable to me as an entrepreneur and active participant in the success of our great state. The speakers were incredible� they inspired us and stretched our minds. The opportunity to connect with successful and dynamic California women leaders was a main highlight. Being part of Leadership California is like being part of a powerful sisterhood."

—Ursula C. Mentjes, M.S., ACC
President and Certified Business Coach
Potential Quest, Inc.
"I have enjoyed my involvement with Leadership California. Our trip to the state capitol was most enlightening. As a result I have gotten involved with the Los Angeles African American Women's Political Action Committee. Thank you, Leadership California, for sparking a genuine interest in the political process."

—Shawn Farrar
Director Corporate Diversity
Sempra Energy
"The CIT program brings together successful women from all over California, and gives them the opportunity to build a network with other successful women. It's a way to learn about the important issues in our state, and to get ready to take the next step in your professional life."

—Isela Vilchis Hoenigmann
"Leadership California has provided me a panoramic view of issues, challenges and opportunities for this lovely state that I live in. The program was my introduction to women of unbelievable talent, experience and passion who are set to make a difference. The feeling to want to be more, to accomplish more, is simply contagious. I hope to know these women for the rest of my life."

—Rosario Montes-Arena
Manager, IBM Software Executive Briefing Program
Silicon Valley & Worldwide Briefing Program
"As a young immigrant woman working in the nonprofit sector, it was inspiring to see women leaders in action, to be able to network with them, and talk about the issues that are relevant to our communities and our state. I feel honored and privileged for the opportunity to participate in such an awesome program that weaves women leaders from different sectors and geographies of California to engage in a conversation about the social, political, and economic fabric of California."

—Winnie Hui-Min Yu
Development Associate
Asian Law Caucus
San Francisco
"I've spent half of my work life in the corporate world, and the past ten years in the nonprofit world, but neither taught me how to be who I am at work�the whole pastiche of talent and spirit. I found role models who excited me, the true state of our state of California (which frustrated me), work partners continually learning like me, and friends."

—Peta G. Penson, Ed. D.
Oakland Unified School District
"Leadership California sessions feature influential speakers and lively discussion on timely issues shaping the economy and workforce. The session on work-life balance struck a chord with me, where key leaders advised us to map out a personal career plan. Networking with other women was invaluable. Leadership California is an engaging and downright fun experience."

—Roberta Tinajero-Frankel
Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit Dept.
Healthy Eating, Active Living Project Manager
"Simply put, Leadership California is time well spent that will benefit me personally and professionally for years to come. I've not only kept in contact with my fellow classmates on a social level, but have had opportunities to work with some of them on business projects as our professional paths crossed. The sessions gave in-depth looks at the critical social issues that many Californians face, inspiring me to get more involved in my community�s outreach programs."

—Teena Massingill
Manager of Corporate Public Affairs
Safeway Inc.

Leadership California is a network of accomplished women, dedicated to advancing the leadership role women play in impacting business, social issues and public policy.

Leadership California is also a unique program, designed to develop and mobilize female leaders. From corporate, academic, state and community organizations across the state, Leadership California draws a diverse group of executive women into its California Issues and Trends Program. Alumnae gain new insights on complex global, national and regional issues facing California.

Message from the President
2015 Program Overview

It's time to apply for CIT 2016!

Apply today or nominate
an amazing woman leader
as a candidate.

Apply Now or
Refer a friend

Come with Us to Washington D.C. in September!  REGISTER NOW

Open to all Executive Women
The Ultimate Leadership California Experience

Leadership California Goes to Washington DC 2015 is a special opportunity for California women leaders to study how national and international issues influence Californians and California business, and how California’s issues and trends influence the nation and the world.

Program dates: September 27-30, 2015


LC to DC offers the scope and depth of Leadership California's signature California Issues & Trends (CIT) program, featuring highly engaging and thought-provoking content and highlighting the capital's most inspiring sights and experiences.

Leaders will study issues and trends of national importance, learning how these national and international issues and trends affect California's leaders, California's businesses—and all Californians.

LC to DC is open to all executive women: You don't need to be a CIT Alumna or CIT applicant to register.

The 2015 Leadership California LC to DC delegation will visit the
Martin Luther King monument on a nighttime tour.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION ON LC TO DC 2015, a tentative program agenda, program tuition and hotel details. NOW Early-bird registration extended through August 15, 2015.

Questions about registration or tuition payment? Please call Yvette at (626) 793-7834



PAM JOHNSON at Angels Landing at Zion National Park in Utah, June 2015. Pam is director of educational partnerships at Emerald Cove Outdoor Science (ECOS) Institute, a private, California- based outdoor education program for fifth and sixth-graders serving Orange County schools.

Be Part of the STEM Solution

By Pam Johnson
July 2, 2015

AS THE FIRST WOMAN GEOLOGIST to become a university president in North America, Dr. Lisa Rossbacher is a role model for women in STEM fields (science, engineering, technology and math) and also for young women and girls who will be making decisions about their career options. After receiving her Ph.D. in geological and geophysical sciences at Princeton, Lisa worked for the U.S. Geological Survey, NASA, a geothermal exploration company, and National Public Radio, in addition to her academic roles as a faculty member and administrator. She now serves as president of Humboldt State University. A leader in a male-dominated field, she has become part of the STEM solution so necessary to our communities.

U.S. women working in science, engineering and tech fields are 45% more likely than their male peers to leave the industry within a year.”


ARE YOU ALREADY PART OF THE STEM SOLUTION, without realizing it? Consider that your current job might be counted as a STEM profession: According to a new study from the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, 20% of all jobs in the U.S require a “high level of knowledge” in at least one STEM field. Many nonprofessional jobs in manufacturing, health care, construction and mining industries could be considered STEM jobs. STEM-related jobs are a major economic driver across the U.S. Yet, research from the Center for Talent Innovation shows U.S. women working in science, engineering and tech fields are 45% more likely than their male peers to leave the industry within a year. Some of the factors that prevent women from leading in these jobs include a sense of isolation, lack of sponsors and women mentors. READ MORE






Here’s that Photo We Promised You

August 1, 2015—“Not a Photoshop trick but the real deal!” said Kay Iwata, mom of Audrey Yamamoto (’10), who posed with President Obama for this photo on a visit to the White House on May 5.

“She was in DC for a meeting of foundation leaders, and got to meet a couple of Cabinet members. She had an invite to a reception with the President, and was just hoping he would not be called away so she could at least see him in person," wrote Iwata as she distributed the photo of her daughter to friends and family.

"Lo and behold, the White House called her that morning and asked if she would like to be in the photo line. According to her account, it went by in a flash, but she did get to tell the President that Justin, her 7-year old, really loved reading the book he wrote for his daughters. The President asked if she had it with her, as he would be happy to sign it! She did not, but sent one in to be autographed later. Who would think!!!” Iwata signed off as “Proud Mama.”

Audrey is a foundation representative of the San Francisco Pathways to Citizenship initiative, the reason she was invited to the White House on May 5, the Cinco de Mayo holiday. Kay is a faculty member of Leadership California's CIT program and Central Valley Women's Forum, a member of LC’s Executive Advisory Council, and a specialist in diversity and inclusion.

Leadership California congratulates Audrey for her recognition and for participating in the public policy dialog on citizenship and immigration.

See more photos and story about the White House visit HERE

July 19-21, 2015

California's Global
Business & Economy:
Opportunities & Challenges

See all the Session III photos HERE

VIEW more photos/stories HERE

DINNER IN A HISTORIC SETTING: Session III featured a dinner at the California Historical Society, founded in 1871, a repository for documents and artifacts revealing the environmental, economic, social, political, and cultural heritage of the state. Paintings, manuscripts, advertisements, and historical objects related to the Panama-Pacific International Exposition were on display. The 1915 Exposition commemorated the opening of the Panama Canal. The current exhibit is part of San Francisco's Centennial Celebration.


STRAIGHT TALK ON THE ECONOMY: Director of research at the Milken Institute Perry Wong spoke on "California’s Global Economy: What’s Fueling It—What’s Not." He is a specialist in California’s regional economy, with emphasis on technology and development. His 2015 outlook: California's in good shape.


LESSONS IN LEADERSHIP: "Lessons Learned on the Journey," led by Pam Hemann, left, featured panelists sharing stories about their professional careers, as they looked back on their leadership experiences, career moves and personal and workplace challenges. Women leaders on the panel, from left: Anni Chung, president & CEO, Self-Help for the Elderly, a San Francisco nonprofit; Lydia Beebe, corporate secretary and chief governance officer (Ret.), Chevron Corporation; Mirian Saez, director of island operations for the city and county of San Francisco.


VALUES OF A LEADER: Janice Doucet Thompson, Ed.D., standing, returned for part 2 of a "Leadership Point of View" class discussion. She conducted exercises designed to enhance leaders’ abilities to define their values, communicate ideas, and motivate others. She is founder and principal of JD Thompson & Associates, LLC.


A presentation on community investment and infrastructure for the City of San Francisco focused on public/private partnerships that provide the financial underpinning for new building projects.
On foot and by bus, the Class toured Mission Bay, where improvements in housing, transportation, access to parks, and vibrant commercial and retail centers are underway.

See all the Session III photos HERE

VIEW more photos/stories HERE

Two New Podcasts!

What a State We're In:
Engaging with Rafe Sonenshein on California Politics

AT SESSION I IN SACRAMENTO, Rafe Sonenshein, Ph.D. gives the CIT class a nutshell version of California's political state of affairs in a "State of the State" presentation.

Sonenshein engages with a mix of serious and satiric analysis bordering on stand-up comedy.

Sonenshein is executive director of the Pat Brown Institute at Cal State LA. The political science Ph.D. taught at Cal State Fullerton for 29 years and is the author of three books on local, regional and national political issues.

State of the State in 2015
Rafe Sonenshein on the Unfulfilled Quest for Political Bipartisanship and, What is the Role of Government?

WHAT'S HAPPENED TO CALIFORNIA'S political parties, what demographic changes has California experienced, and who thinks what about the true role of government, nationally and regionally? Hear Sonenshein on the political climate in Sacramento and the forces at work in California politics in 2015. Listen to the podcast HERE

State of the State in 2013
Rafe Sonenshein on Peeling Onions: Is Real Bipartisanship on the Horizon in California?

ONE MILLION MORE WOMEN THAN MEN voted in the 2012 California election. If that doesn’t shake us up enough, the realities of California politics have changed so much that we might even have to cry about it. Listen to the podcast HERE




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