She Shares hosts quarterly conversations featuring some of the most prominent female leaders in the United States. Our speakers candidly address key issues related to their careers, industries and personal experiences.
What happens when you gather the smartest, most engaging and fun women you know for an hour or so of unscripted conversation about what really matters in our lives? Check out some highlights from past She Shares speaker events to find out.
Mona Pasquil serves as Appointments Secretary in the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and is responsible for helping the Governor build his administration by recruiting top candidates to serve the state.
Prior to her appointment, Pasquil served as Chief of Staff to California Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi and Acting Lieutenant Governor, after Garamendi was elected to Congress. This marked the first time a woman, Asian Pacific Islander or Filipino-American served in this role.
Pasquil is a veteran political advisor and strategist, serving as President of Pasquil Associates & Strategic Communications for more than three decades and directing presidential, gubernatorial, and local campaigns across the nation. In addition to working with California and Washington's heaviest political hitters, Pasquil also worked as a strategic consultant for IBM's national, state and local government sales team. Pasquil is most proud of her work mentoring California's youth to become more active in their communities. This work includes founding the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project of California, an organization dedicated to boosting Asian and Pacific Islander youth involvement in California policy.
Diane D. Miller is President and CEO of Wilcox Miller & Nelson (WMN), a midsized human capital and board governance consulting firm. During her tenure she has restructured the company to
include workforce planning and board advisory services. This has resulted in a five-fold value increase, as well as national recognition in the governance field. Ms. Miller’s focus is on
organizational culture and strategy, the changing workforce, the “gig” economy, and board governance. She has a particular expertise in technology and its effect on the variable executive workforce.
WMN is a co-owner of a global consortium, Career Partners International, with 200 offices in 45 countries.
As one of few women to serve on a large financial institution board (before, during and after the 2008 recession), Ms. Miller has honed her experience in risk management, mergers and acquisitions, board governance, and corporate culture. She has driven such initiatives as corporate social responsibility, organizational culture, and shareholder relations. Ms. Miller’s governance work includes experience with some of the largest U.S. pension funds. In her prior work, she was involved in commercial real estate (REITS, asset management, and limited partnership strategy and management.)
Ms. Miller speaks on such topics as jobs and the economy, and board governance matters. Since 2007, she has served on the National Association of Corporate Director’s Board Advisory Services Faculty, providing governance consulting, education, evaluation and strategic advising to boards across the nation, from Fortune 400s to large nonprofits.
Congresswoman Doris Matsui has represented the city of Sacramento and its surrounding areas since 2005. As a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, she serves on the Health, Communications & Technology, Environment, and Digital Commerce & Consumer Protection subcommittees. She is committed to strengthening Sacramento’s flood protection, ensuring quality, affordable health care for all, promoting a clean energy economy, and creating a vibrant region where families can live, work, and play.
Sitting at the confluence of two rivers, the Sacramento area has one of the highest flood risks in the country. Congresswoman Matsui is a stalwart champion for increased flood protection, levee improvements and keeping flood insurance rates affordable. She is at the forefront of the effort to build the Joint Federal Project at Folsom Dam, a $1 billion project that is a model of cooperation and efficiency. She also fights to preserve the region’s water rights and resources within the ongoing Bay Delta Conservation Plan.
Congresswoman Matsui passionately works to increase public transportation options in Sacramento. She is engaged in the planning and execution of an intermodal transportation center in downtown Sacramento, was instrumental in securing federal funds to extend Sacramento’s light rail system, and is a leading proponent and has helped secure critical federal resources for a streetcar system linking Sacramento and West Sacramento.
She has worked tirelessly to improve access to high quality health care in Sacramento and across the nation. Through her committee work, Congresswoman Matsui helped author the Affordable Care Act, and she continues to advocate for access to high quality health care services. She is a champion in Congress for improving our nation’s mental health care system, and secured passage of landmark bipartisan legislation, the Excellence in Mental Health Act, which provides $1 billion to strengthen the mental health safety net.
A seasoned public policy advocate and political
strategist, Maria Cardona has more than two
decades of experience in government, politics, public relations and community affairs.
Recognized among the most influential Latinos in the country, Maria is a Principal at the Dewey Square Group, leading the Multicultural and Public Affairs practices. Maria joined DSG in 2005 and
founded DSG’s Latino Strategies practice, “Latinovations,” leveraging her reach in the Latino community by advocating on
Latino issues, guiding clients on “best practices” for coalition building and support for their positions, products, and brands within the Hispanic community, and spearheading multicultural campaigns.
Maria is also known for her work as a
political commentator, and is currently a CNN and CNN en Español political contributor.
Debra Saunders is a nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate. She became a columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle in 1992.
Before joining the Chronicle, Saunders worked as a columnist and editorial writer for the Los Angeles Daily News for five years.
Saunders’ column is published in newspapers across the country. In addition to writing her column, Saunders pieces have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard and National Review. She frequently appears on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC.
Melanie Mason covers state government and politics in Sacramento. She first began working for the Los Angeles Times in 2011 in Washington, D.C., where she covered money and politics during the 2012 presidential campaign. She is originally from Los Angeles and is a graduate of Georgetown University and the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
Alice A. Huffman is a grassroots leader at the local and national level, a manager, a consultant, a community bridge between government policy makers and the community. She was elected president of the California Hawaii NAACP in 1999 and has won 8 consecutive elections. She is also a member of the National Board of the NAACP. She runs her own consulting firm founded in 1988, AC Public Affairs, Inc.
She is a past appointee of three democratic and republican governors. She currently assists the Governor in a volunteer capacity in his appointment of African Americans in state government and judiciary positions. She is a member of the Advisory Board for the American University of Antigua and a founding member and President of the Board of Directors of the Center for Democratic Participation.
She is a member of the California Democratic Party Executive Committee, and Co-chair of the Rules Committee; and a member of the Democratic National Committee since 1988 and a Super Delegate to the national conventions. She also served as Chair of the 2008 National Convention in Boston.
Huffman formerly served as a member of the current elected Attorney General’s transition team; The State Parks and Recreation Commission; Member of the University of California President’s Council on Campus Climate, Culture, & Inclusion; The Secretary of State’s California Complete Count Committee for the 2010 Census; and Grand Marshall of the San Francisco’s Gay Pride Parade.
Huffman, a high school dropout, was admitted to UC Berkeley as an EOP student from which she graduated in 2 ½ years with honors in Social and Cultural Anthropology. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Kappa Sorority. She did extensive graduate work in University of Pennsylvania, U.C. Davis in Anthropology and USC in Public Administration.
She has many national and state distinguished awards. The most recent received was the CA Legislative Black Caucus Heritage and Legends Award; numerous awards awarded to her community work, work on behalf of the gay community and efforts to regulate cannabis.
Annually she was included in the 100 most influential California by the Sacramento Observer, and the Capitol Weekly and twice the recipient of The National NAACP Thalheimer Award for the best state conference in the nation.
Karen Skelton is president of Skelton Strategies, a boutique political and strategic consulting firm. She recently completed three tours of duty as CEO and managing editor of The Shriver Reports, a nonprofit media initiative examining seismic societal shifts affecting American women today. In that role, she was the coordinating producer of an Emmy-nominated HBO documentary, Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life and Times of Katrina Gilbert. She spent about a decade in Washington, D.C. working in the Clinton/Gore Administration and White House, and another decade managing a national public affairs firm, building it from scratch with a DC-based partner into a multimillion dollar business.
Working at the intersection of politics, business, communications, law, and policy, she has managed some of the most complex and entrepreneurial projects in the nation for presidents, vice presidents, governors, CEOs, foundations, and families. For seven years she was the co-executive producer of Maria Shriver’s Women’s Conference. She holds a master’s degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, a JD from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she majored in English.
Political columnist George Skelton has covered government and politics for more than 50 years and for The Los Angeles Times since 1974. He has been a Times political writer and editor in Los Angeles, Sacramento bureau chief and White House correspondent. He has written a column on California politics, “Capitol Journal,” since 1993. Skelton is a Santa Barbara native, grew up in Ojai and received a journalism degree at San Jose State.edit, move, copy or delete it.
Dee Dee Myers became Executive Vice President, Worldwide Corporate Communications and Public Affairs for Warner Bros. in September 2014. In this role, she oversees all of the company's corporate communications strategies and activities on a global basis, including media relations, public positioning, executive communications, corporate responsibility and philanthropy.
Prior to joining Warner Bros., Myers most recently served as Managing Director of the Glover Park Group, where she used her years of experience in politics and media to counsel clients on strategic and crisis communications, reputation management and integrated marketing.
Myers served as White House Press Secretary during President Bill Clinton's first term and was the first woman to hold the position. After leaving the White House, she worked as a political analyst, commentator and writer as well as a contributing editor to Vanity Fair. She is the author of the New York Times best-selling book Why Women Should Rule the World. She also co-hosted the CNBC political talk show Equal Time and served as a consultant on Warner Bros. Television’s Emmy Award-winning drama series The West Wing.
Myers is a graduate of Santa Clara University in California. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Todd S. Purdum, a senior writer for Politico and a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, and their children.
Nancy "Lady Magic" Lieberman is a true pioneer in women's sports. Her extensive resume includes NBA Coach, WNBA player and coach, general manager, sports broadcaster for ABC, NBC, ESPN, and FOX Sports Southwest, motivational speaker, and author. In addition, Nancy Lieberman is a Basketball Hall of Famer, two-time Olympian, three-time All American, two-time collegiate national champion and a two-time National Player of the Year at Old Dominion University.
Nancy Lieberman has broken ground in the sport of basketball as both a player and coach. Rising through the rank of professional sports, Lieberman has made significant contributions to basketball. Her distinguished career is one of monumental strength and motivation. In pursuit of becoming the greatest women's basketball player, she refused to accept anything less than the best. Her devotion to the sport and passion for the advancement of women are a source of inspiration.
On July 30, 2015, Nancy Lieberman became the second woman in history to join the coaching staff of an NBA team. Currently, Nancy Lieberman is the Assistant Coach with the Sacramento Kings.
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 at the federal and state levels.
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. Before that, she practiced at the law firm of Lewis & Roca in Phoenix, where she became a partner in 1989. She began her career in 1983 as a clerk for Judge Mary M. Schroeder of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
State Controller Betty T. Yee was elected in November 2014, following two terms of service on the Board of Equalization. As Controller, she continues to serve the Board as its fifth voting member.
Now serving as the State’s Chief Financial Officer, Ms. Yee also chairs the Franchise Tax Board and serves as a member of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) Boards.
Ms. Yee has over 30 years of experience in public service, specializing in state and local finance and tax policy. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Equality California Institute. She is a cofounder of the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project, which exposes California high school youth to the public service, public policy, and political arenas.
A native of San Francisco, Ms. Yee received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and her master’s degree in Public Administration from Golden Gate University, San Francisco.
Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen was first elected to the California State Assembly in November 2010, and was unanimously elected by her colleagues to serve as the Minority Leader in 2014. She is currently serving her third term, and has successfully passed reforms to environmental, education, and veterans policies in order to protect and grow jobs and facilitate educational excellence. She also has been a leader on introducing reforms to enhance government accountability and transparency, and has led by example as the first legislator to release her office budget to the public.
Born, raised and now raising her own family in Modesto, Olsen has a passion for the communities, businesses, and people of California’s Central Valley communities. She previously served on the Modesto City Council from 2005 to 2010, where she stood up for fiscal responsibility, public safety, and economic development.
Ambassador Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis was sworn in to office by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on January 7, 2010. She presented her credentials to the President of Hungary, László Sólyom on January 11, 2010.
Before accepting President Obama’s nomination to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Hungary, Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis was president of AKT Development Corporation, one of California’s largest and most respected land development firms. A prominent and successful businesswoman, Ambassador Kounalakis earned her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth and an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley. In 2011 she received an Honorary Doctorate in Law from the American College of Greece.
Ambassador Kounalakis and her husband, veteran print journalist Markos Kounalakis, have founded two university chairs in Hellenic studies. These are the Eleni and Markos Tsakopoulos Kounalakis chair at Georgetown University, and the Tsakopoulos Kounalakis chair in honor of Constantine Mitsotakis at Stanford University. Both chairs focus on the understanding of the origins of Athenian democracy. Further to their support of the understanding of democracy and international relations, they established the Tsakopoulos Kounalakis lecture series at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Atkins began a life of public service in San Diego in the mid-1980s as director of clinic services at Womancare Health Center. She became a staff representative of then-City Councilmember Christine Kehoe, later winning her mentor's council seat after Ms. Kehoe's election to the Assembly. She represented the City of San Diego in the local chapter of the League of California Cities; on the board of the Metropolitan Transit System; on the San Diego Association of Governments; the Regional Housing Working Group; and the San Diego Rivery Conservancy.
Assembly Speaker Toni G. Atkins has served in the California State Assembly since 2010, and was elevated to the top leadership position in 2014, when her colleagues unanimously elected her 69th Speaker of the California Assembly.
Speaker Atkins proudly represents the people of coastal San Diego, from Imperial Beach, along the Mexican border, north to Solana Beach, and most of central San Diego.
Maria Shriver is a mother of four, a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning journalist and producer, a six-time New York Times best-selling author, and an NBC News Special Anchor covering the shifting roles, emerging power and evolving needs of women in modern life. Since 2009, Shriver has produced a groundbreaking series of Shriver Reports that chronicle the status of American women and explore seismic shifts in the American culture and society affecting women today.
Shriver was California's First Lady from 2003 to 2010 and, during that time, she spearheaded what became the nation's premier forum for women, The Women's Conference. In addition to her groundbreaking work on women's issues, Shriver is one of the nation's leading advocates for families struggling with Alzheimer's disease. She has also been a lifelong advocate for people with intellectual disabilities. Shriver's work is driven by her belief that all of us have the ability to be Architects of Change -- a term she coined to describe people from all walks of life who use the power of their ideas, influence and initiative to impact our world.
Matina Kolokotronis is President of Business Operations with the Sacramento Kings, bringing a strong background in sports and government law, community affairs and contract negotiations to the job. A long-time Sacramento resident and community leader, Kolokotronis is the only female in the NBA to hold the title of Business Operations.
She has more than 17 years of experience with the organization. Prior to being named President of Business Operations, Kolokotronis served as legal consultant for the Kings business and basketball operations teams, negotiating player and staff contracts.
At the start of the 2009-10 season, she assumed a pivotal role in the Kings business operations, directing community outreach and ticket sales strategies. She created the "Kings 100," a group of community leaders who served as boosters and community ambassadors for the Kings. Kolokotronis also served for six years as director of the Sacramento Kings Foundation, overseeing strategic development and fundraising activities.
Jennifer M. Granholm is the former two-term governor of Michigan, a distinguished practitioner of law and public policy at UC Berkeley and a columnist at Politico.
Granholm was elected governor of Michigan 2002. In 2006, she was re-elected with the largest number of votes ever cast for governor in Michigan. As Governor, Granholm led the state through a brutal economic downturn that resulted from a meltdown in the automotive and manufacturing sectors. She worked relentlessly to diversify the state’s economy, strengthen its auto industry, preserve the advanced manufacturing sector, and add new, emerging sectors, such as clean energy, to Michigan’s economic portfolio.
Granholm currently teaches courses in law and public policy at UC Berkeley’s School of Law and Goldman School of Public Policy. After leaving office, Granholm hosted Current TV’s national political analysis show “The War Room with Jennifer Granholm” and co-authored The Washington Post political bestseller A Governor’s Story: The Fight for Jobs and America’s Economic Future.
Anne Gust Brown is the First Lady of California and Special Counsel to Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. A graduate of Stanford University and the University of Michigan Law School, Anne worked as a lawyer at several prominent San Francisco Bay Area law firms before joining Gap Inc. as an in-house attorney in 1991.
Anne held various senior level positions including General Counsel, before being named Gap Inc.’s Chief Administrative Officer in March 2000. She helped run Governor Brown’s successful campaign for California Attorney General and served as special counsel while he held the office.
She has been called “a power in her own right,” by the Los Angeles Times and her political and business savvy have had a significant impact on Governor Jerry Brown’s third term in office.
Linda Katehi became the sixth chancellor of the University of California, Davis, on August 17, 2009. As chief executive officer, she oversees all aspects of the university’s teaching, research and public service mission, including the UC Davis Health System and its acute-care teaching hospital in Sacramento, one of the nation’s leading medical schools, a new school of nursing and a multi-specialty physician group that serves 33 counties and six million residents.
Even though she came to UC Davis during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, Chancellor Katehi continues to move the university forward, and along with her leadership team, she has achieved a number of crucial initiatives that have enhanced UC Davis’ reputation for excellence.
In addition to her role as Chancellor, Katehi also holds US Davis faculty appointments in electrical and computer engineering and in women and gender studies. A member of the National Academcy of Engineering, she chaired until 2010 the President's Committee for the National Medal od Science and the Secretary of Commerce's committee for the National Medal of Technology and Innovation. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a member of many ofther national boards and committees.
Newsom is the writer, director, and producer of the 2011 Sundance documentary film Miss Representation, which explores how the media’s inaccurate portrayals of women have led to the under-representation of women in positions of power and influence.
Coinciding with the distribution of her film, Newsom launched MissRepresentation.org, a call-to-action movement that provides women and girls the tools to realize their full potential. Newsom serves as the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of MissRepresentation.org.
Newsom is also the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Girls Club Entertainment, LLC, a film production company established to develop independent films focused primarily on women that educate, activate, and transform culture. Newsom is an Executive Producer of the 2012 Sundance Award-winning documentary The Invisible War, which exposes the epidemic of rape in the U.S. military. She is currently in pre-production on her next documentary film series, The Mask You Live In.
Prior, Newsom worked on assignments in Africa, Latin America, and Europe for Conservation International, a global environmental organization, where her primary focus was providing micro-enterprise opportunities to women.
Nancy McFadden is Executive Secretary to California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. Prior to that she was the Senior Vice President and Senior Advisor to the Chairman and CEO of PG&E Corporation, and before that was the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
Previously she was senior advisor to California Governor Gray Davis. A senior member of the Clinton Administration for eight years, she served as deputy chief of staff to Vice President Al Gore, General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Transportation and Deputy Associate Attorney General. The Washington Post named her one of the “go-to people” in the Clinton Administration for her significant record of accomplishment. She started her career practicing law with the firm of O’Melveny and Myers, during which time she was named “One of the 40 Best Lawyers Under 40” by Washingtonian magazine.
She has served on numerous boards, including the California Museum for History, Women’s Foundation of California, the California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy, and the Bay Area Council.
On January 3, 2011, Kamala D. Harris was sworn in as the 32nd Attorney General of the State of California. She is the first woman, the first African American, and the first South Asian to hold the office in the history of California.
As chief law enforcement officer for the state, Attorney General Harris has focused on combating transnational gangs that are trafficking guns, drugs, and human beings throughout California. She has worked to increase the adoption of technology and data-driven policing to assist law enforcement in the efficient investigation and prosecution of crime, and has traveled to every region of California to expand partnerships with local law enforcement.
As chief lawyer for the people of California, Attorney General Harris has led a bold response to the state’s foreclosure crisis. She has expanded prosecutions of mortgage-related fraud and crime by establishing a multidivisional Mortgage Fraud Strike Force. On behalf of California homeowners, she secured an estimated $18 billion from the nation’s banks as part of the recent National Mortgage Settlement, including $12 billion in principal reductions. To restore transparency and fairness to the mortgage and foreclosure system, she wrote the nation’s most comprehensive package of foreclosure reforms—the California Homeowner Bill of Rights—and fought successfully for its passage through the California Legislature and saw it signed into law.
Chief Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye is the 28th chief justice of the State of California. She was sworn into office on January 3, 2011, and is the first Asian-Filipina American and the second woman to serve as the state's chief justice.
After former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger nominated her as Chief Justice on July 22, 201, the California State Bar Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission rated her exceptionally well qualified for the position. At a public hearing on August 25, 2010, she was unanimously confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments, and in a general election on November 2, 2010, an overwhelming majority of voters elected her to that position.
Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye chairs the Judicial Council of California, the administrative policymaking body of state courts, and the Commission on the Judicial Appointments.
Mentoring Future Leaders
Run in partnership with the California Center for Civic Participation, She Shares offers a mentorship and networking opportuntiy for young women.
For more information, contact She Shares.
She Shares offers event sponsorship at many levels for organizations and businesses interested in supporting the next generation of women leaders. Because the California Center for Civic Participation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, contributions to She Shares are tax-deductible.
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