- Age: 54
- Education: Ph.D., Education, Stanford University
- Community involvement: Chair of the Board, The Crucible; Co-Chair, Anchor Assessment Committee, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland; Community Advisory Board Member, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland; Commissioner, Oakland Children’s Initiative, City of Oakland
- Born: New Orleans, LA
- Residence: Oakland
- What does your company do: Collective impact initiatives to make Oakland the healthiest city in the nation for children and families
Biggest impact on your life: Collective impact initiatives to make Oakland the healthiest city in the nation for children and families
Most proud of: My two daughters, ages 26 and 18. They are future leaders!
Industry entry point: As a graduate student, I worked alongside a professor to conduct an evaluation study of a youth development organization. That launched me into the field of strategy and planning for community development initiatives.
Best advice received: Elevate your sights. Don’t settle for less than you’re worth. My father-in-law told me this when I graduated from college.
Guidance for aspiring female leaders: Get all the education you can. Ask for double the salary or consulting rate you first have in mind. Do not try to have it all/do it all — it’s impossible. If you’re going to lead an organization, you won’t have the energy to make dinner when you get home…order in!
Impact of climate change: Climate change has disproportionate effects on lower income communities, such as those in many Oakland neighborhoods. Lower income families have fewer options to avoid or reduce the effects of warmer temperatures, forest fires, rising energy costs, or environmental pollution. A green technology and jobs revolution is needed both to provide jobs and improve environmental conditions.
A common misconception about your work: Improving conditions for children and families is not a one-time fix. We need ongoing strategic and sustained investment from both the public and private sectors to create thriving neighborhoods.
The future: I am most concerned about the irreparable harm we are causing to our environment. We have already changed the world for the worse, and we can’t take it back. I am most encouraged by human ingenuity combined with the human spirit — I believe we will rise to the occasion and design strategies to fix what we have broken.
The biggest challenge facing women leaders: We still expect women to do it all – to be great leaders and great mothers, to look great all the time, to be pleasant and friendly while also being tough and uncompromising. No single human can do all those things well simultaneously, and we need to recognize that women in leadership roles need and deserve support.
Surprising fact: I used to be a semi-professional dancer and dance teacher.