"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
2017 Program Overview
2016 Program Overview

We're looking for successful women to join us for the journey of a lifetime, the California Issues and Trends Program. 
Grow your leadership insights, build your power network, make a positive difference in your professional life and envision your role in California's future.





Wednesday, March 29, 2017
8:30 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.
Fresno Pacific University

twitter.com/@LeadershipCalif #centralvalleywomensforum

JOIN US for Leadership California's 3rd Annual Central Valley Women's Forum (CVWF), a program for women leaders who are changing the face of our Central Valley.

FEATURING California issues and trends and regional perspectives important to the Central Valley, the daylong event includes continental breakfast and lunch, plus a day of outstanding speakers and unique networking opportunities.

Registration per person is $75.00


•  "The Education Challenge"
KEYNOTE: UC Merced Chancellor Dorothy Leland
    • Moderator: Karen Yelverton-Zamarripa, President/CEO, K-Zamarripa Consulting and former CSU Assistant Vice Chancellor, Advocacy & State Relations
    • Sonia Rodriguez, Executive Director, Kern County Regional Office, Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE)
    • Kristin Olsen, Member, Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors, District 1 and former State Assembly Member, District 12

•  "Education to Workforce: Pipeline to Success"
KEYNOTERS: Karri Hammerstrom, Regional Chair, Central/Mother Lode Community Colleges Regional Consortium; Carole Goldsmith, Ed.D., President, Fresno City College

•  "Economic Development: Valley Team Approach"
Panel with Cheryl Scott, Kern County Economic Development Corporation; Lee Ann Eager, President & CEO, Fresno County Economic Development Corporation

•  "Lessons Learned on the Journey"
Diverse panel of women leaders share their career trajectories
Moderator: Pamela Hemann, Executive Director, Leadership California



Come with us to Washington D.C.
September 24-27, 2017!


SAVE THE DATE for the ultimate Leadership California experience, open to all executive women. Leadership California Goes to Washington DC 2017 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. MORE INFORMATION



There’s still time: apply for CIT 2017! 


THE CALIFORNIA ISSUES & TRENDS  PROGRAM introduces 60 women each year to diverse perspectives and points of view beyond their own disciplines and areas of expertise. Through thought leaders and experts, field trips, unique experiential learning and a rich dialog within the group, our women leaders hear from experts on thought-provoking subjects such as changing demographics, a global view on business and the economy, education, health care challenges, and public policy development.

PARTICIPANTS GAIN A POWERFUL NEW NETWORK of accomplished women and new insights on California in the state, national and global arenas. Apply Now or Refer a friend



Session I: Class of 2017 will meet powerful network of women leaders at State Capital

Session I
March 5-7, 2017 in Sacramento

“The Political Landscape: California's
Dynamic Government Today”

The class will convene at the Capitol for a breakfast meeting with legislators, a visit to the Governor's office, and conversations with women leaders on the floor of both the Senate and Assembly chambers.

In the Senate Chamber, the class will have opportunities to sit at Senators' desks and hear personal stories from capitol leaders.

A breakfast with Capitol Leaders will feature Senator Holly Mitchell, center, and Chief Senate Sergeant-at-Arms and Leadership California former president Debbie Manning. At left, Pam Hemann.

The class will visit the Office of the Governor and the Governor's private council room, where they will study the legislative process with alumnae Diane Boyer-Vine, legislative counsel for California, and Sue Parker, assistant chief clerk, California State Assembly.

The historic Stanford Mansion, the state’s official reception center for leaders from around the world, will welcome the class with a tour and luncheon featuring a keynote from an international woman leader.

Presenter Raphael J. Sonenshein, Ph.D., executive director, Pat Brown Institute, California State University Los Angeles, will give a "State of the State" overview of the big issues facing the state and the nation. Pam Hemann, right.

Leadership coach Laurie Cozart will lead a session on "Connecting and Communicating with Purpose" designed to help the new Class of 2017 get acquainted.

State of California Librarian Greg Lucas will meet with the class for a tour of the State Library and Third Court of Appeals. He has served as a journalist, historian and senior editor for news organizations and publications focused on California history and politics.












Monday, April 24, 2017

Janet Napolitano: 2017 Legacy of Service Award

BOLD LEADERS IN THE MAKINGJanet Napolitano with the UC Santa Cruz women's soccer team. She will be honored with a Legacy of Service Award at Leadership California's Legacy of Leadership celebration on April 24, 2017 in Los Angeles. Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta.

JANET NAPOLITANO was named the 20th president of the University of California on July 18, 2013, and took office on Sept. 30, 2013. She leads a university system with 10 campuses, five medical centers, three affiliated national laboratories, and a statewide agriculture and natural resources program.

NAPOLITANO is a distinguished public servant with a record of leading large, complex organizations. She served as Secretary of Homeland Security from 2009-13, as Governor of Arizona from 2003-09, as Attorney General of Arizona from 1998-2003, and as U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona from 1993-97.

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.


The Legacy of Leadership Awards is an annual event, created to recognize leaders whose achievements have made a positive difference for the people of California.

THE GALA EVENING CELEBRATES the accomplishments of women leaders who have positively influenced the lives of Californians. Nearly 300 attend, where state leaders, corporate representatives and academic and nonprofit celebrants enjoy a “moveable feast” and ceremonies with our stellar slate of honorees.


President, University of California

Transformative Leader in Law, Government, Academia fulfills each Role with Resolve

by Carol Caley
January 12, 2017

This article has been edited for length and clarity.

Q: President Napolitano, your career switches have been both phenomenal and inspiring. From practicing law, you became a U.S. Attorney, then Arizona Attorney General, Governor of Arizona and then U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security. You’ve been University of California President since 2013. Tell us about your remarkable career trajectory. Did you have a plan, or did you leap at opportunities that came your way, or both?

A: I DIDN’T HAVE A PLAN PER SE. Most people I meet in leadership positions didn’t have a straight linear trajectory, but you do have a sense of where you’d like to be, where you’d like to devote your energies. I’ve always had a desire to be in public service of some type. I did not contemplate being in Arizona. I ended up there because I got a judicial clerkship there after law school, and I decided to stay. Then different opportunities arose, and I took them.

Q: Some leaders call it a “jungle gym” approach to their career: being able to swing from one place to another, not go on a linear path.

A: THE KEY THING is being prepared and being flexible. Thirdly, being willing to accept some risk.

Q: How so?

A: WHEN I MADE THE DECISION to run for elective office—that’s a risk. I was a Democrat in Arizona, and I could lose. That was very easy to see. I had to say, well, that’s the risk, but on the other hand, this is an office I could win, and that I’m prepared to take. So being willing to jump into that pool was a big decision, but it was the right decision. READ MORE




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