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Who We Are
Who We Are

Our Vision

"Moving Women from Success to Significance"

Our Mission

The mission of Leadership California is to increase the representation and influence of diverse women leaders across the state and inspire them to act on their knowledge of issues and cutting-edge trends facing California, the nation and the world.


The founding of Leadership California actually started in Texas, in 1983, with a group of women leaders gathered around a kitchen table in Austin.

The women around that kitchen table were:

  • Ann Richards, the 45th Governor of Texas;
  • Sarah Weddington, who successfully argued the landmark Roe v. Wade case as a young attorney before the U.S. Supreme Court;
  • Liz Carpenter, an aide to Lyndon B. Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson and Founder of the National Women’s Political Caucus
  • Cathy Bonner, founder of the first and only women's museum, The Women's Museum: An Institute for the Future;
  • Barbara Jordan, the first African American representative to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas; and others.

They then thought about how they could change that and created Leadership Texas. A program that would bring women leaders together from across the state to learn the issues and trends and meet the movers and shakers and knowledge holders making things happen.

Read Full History

Executive Board

Jennifer Persike
Executive Director

Jennifer Persike
Leadership California
Marguerite (Margie) Wheeler

Marguerite (Margie) Wheeler
The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Nancy	DiLella
Vice President

Catherine Brown
Vice President

Vetted Solutions
Carol	Hunter

Symantec Corporation
Sue Parker

California State Assembly Office of the Chief Clerk



Melissa Manchester
Administrative Director
Elizabeth Cardwell
Meeting Planner
Justin Lewis
Director of Technology
Amanda Smith
IT Coordinator

Make a Donation

General Giving Contribution

We appreciate having you as a member of our community, and we thank you for your support! Leadership California is a 501(c)(3) organization and your contributions are 100% tax deductible.


Pamela Hemann Scholarship Fund

In honor of long-time executive director Pamela Hemann, Leadership California has established the Pamela Hemann Scholarship Fund to assist candidates for the CIT Program with tuition.