Our Leadership

Our Leadership Council is a diverse group of Californians who select and guide California Forward’s projects.

John Chiang, Co-Chair
Former State Treasurer & Controller
Director, Apollo Medical Holdings

Peter Weber, Co-Chair
Former Executive Committee Chair of the
CA Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley

Ashley Swearengin, Vice-Chair
President and CEO of the Central Valley
Community Foundation & Former Mayor of Fresno

Van Ton-Quinlivan, Vice-Chair
CEO, Futuro Health


Catharine Baker
Former Assemblymember & Special Counsel, Hoge Fenton

Oscar Chavez
Assistant Director, Sonoma County
Human Services Department


Sunita Cooke
Superintendent/President, MiraCosta
Community College District


Jim Heerwagen
Chair, Voter's Right to Know

Jennifer Hernandez
Partner, Holland & Knight

Gustavo Herrera
Executive Director, Arts for LA

Heidi Hill Drum
CEO, Tahoe Prosperity Center

Jacqueline Martinez Garcel
CEO, California Latino Community Foundation

Pete Peterson
Dean, Pepperdine School of Public Policy
& Sr. Fellow, Davenport Institute

Kish Rajan
Principal, Kish Rajan Public Affairs

Kausik Rajgopal
Managing Partner, U.S. Western Region,
McKinsey & Company

Dave Regan
President, SEIU-United
Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW)

Bill Shireman
President and CEO, Future 500


Duf Sundheim
Principal at GPS Mediation, APC
& Former Chairman of the California
Republican Party

Micah Weinberg
CEO, California Forward


Caroline Whistler
Co-founder & CEO, Third Sector
Capital Partners

Dan Whitehurst
Chair, California Issues Forum




Leadership Council Secretary

Susan Lovenburg


Previously Served

Juan Arambula
California State Assemblymember

Robert L. Balgenorth
President of the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California, AFL-CIO

David Davenport
Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution

Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins
CEO of Green For All

Yolie Flores
Children's Advocate

Carl Guardino
President and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group

R. William "Bill" Hauck
Former President of the California Business Roundtable

Antonia Hernández
President & CEO of the California Community Foundation

Robert M. Hertzberg
Former Co-Chair; Chair & Founder of G24 Innovations

Fred Keeley
Former Assembly Speaker pro Tempore

Joanne Kozberg
Principal at California Strategies, LLC

Stewart Kwoh
President & Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice

Donna Lucas
Former Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Planning & Initiatives for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

Laurie Madigan 
Partner at Madigan Consulting, Inc

James P. Mayer
Senior Fellow & President Emeritus at California Forward

Lenny Mendonca
Chief Economic and Business Advisor for Governor Gavin Newsom and Director of the Office of Business and Economic Development; Former Director of the San Francisco office of McKinsey & Company

Thomas V. McKernan, Founding Co-Chair
Chair of the Board of the Automobile Club of Southern California

Bruce McPherson
Former California Secretary of State

Eloy Ortiz Oakley
Superintendent-President, Long Beach City College

Leon E. Panetta
Former Co-Chair; Fmr. Secretary of Defense and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

Charles "Chuck" Poochigian
Former State Senator & Assemblymember

Cruz Reynoso
Former Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court & the Third District Court of Appeal

Constance L. "Connie" Rice
Former Co-Director of the Los Angeles NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund

Joseph N. Sanberg
Founder, CalEITC4Me

Bruce Stenslie
President & CEO, Economic Development Collaborative-Ventura County

Arturo Vargas
Executive Director, NALEO

Eugene J. "Gene" Voiland
Former President & CEO of Aera Energy LLC

Sunne Wright McPeak
President & CEO of the California Emerging Technology Fund