Michael Wiafe, a member of California Forward’s Young Leaders Advisory Council, will also be adding his voice to the work of California Forward’s sister advocacy organization.
Wiafe was appointed to the board of the California Forward Action Fund, which engages in lobbying and advocacy activities that work to improve the quality of life of all Californians through policies that create inclusive, sustainable growth and improve government.
“Creating a space where California’s young, rising leaders can engage in changing the course of the state is critical to the success of our work,” said Micah Weinberg, CEO of CA FWD and director of the Action Fund. “We are thrilled to welcome Michael to the Action Fund board and look forward to working with him to move policies forward that increase the opportunities for all generations to prosper.”
Wiafe is no stranger to California Forward, advocacy or policy work.
He is a founding member of the California Forward Young Leaders Advisory Council and has demonstrated significant leadership in the development of the Council’s initiatives and operations. Although he is the youngest member of the Board, Wiafe brings a wealth of experience and unique perspective to his new role. He was elected as the 2019-2020 president of the Cal State Student Association, representing more than 480,0000 students across the 23 campuses of the California State University system. He was also tapped to serve on California’s Higher Education Recovery with Equity Task Force, led by the Office of Governor Gavin Newsom.
An African immigrant raised in the Inland Empire, Wiafe is passionate about bringing more resources to the region and improving its economy. He is currently serving on the executive committee of the Inland Economic Growth and Opportunity (IEGO) strategic development collaboration.
On behalf of the Council and in partnership with the Youth Leadership Institute, he is also a founding co-host of the PolicyWise Podcast, which offers intergenerational policy discussions centered around today’s youth.
“Intergenerational problems require intergenerational solutions, and the reality is that young people are hardly represented in positions of power,” said Wiafe. “I’m excited to join the California Forward Action Fund board and to use my voice to help create a future where people are able to thrive regardless of the circumstances in which they are born.”
Wiafe is currently pursuing graduate studies at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. He received his bachelor’s degree in political science at San Diego State University in 2020. He also will be hosting the 3rd season of the California State University podcast, Higher Ed Rewired. Finally, he is currently completing a policy internship with the Lumina Foundation, he recently completed an internship and project assistant role at the Public Policy Institute of California, and completed a PPIA-JSI Data Analytics Fellowship at Carnegie Mellon in 2019.
Appointed to the Action Fund by California Forward’s Leadership Council, Wiafe joins a dedicated multi-partisan board which includes Paul Granillo, president and CEO of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership; Jacqueline Martinez Garcel, CEO of the Latino Community Foundation; Jennifer Hernandez, partner at Holland & Knight; Dave Regan, president of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West; Bill Shireman, president & CEO of Future 500; Duf Sundheim, principal at GPS Mediation, APC and former chairman of the Republican party; and, Kate Meis Wright, executive director of the Local Government Commission.