Symposium Speakers


Below is a partial list of what promises to be an exciting line-up of speakers from nonprofit, government, and philanthropy. Please check back for new additions.

Luz Rivas photoAssemblymember Luz Rivas, AD-39 

Luz M. Rivas was born in Los Angeles to an immigrant family and grew up in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. She attended LA Unified schools before earning a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from MIT and a master’s of education from Harvard. Luz built her career at the intersection of engineering and education before entering public service. She worked as an electrical design engineer at Motorola before founding DIY Girls, a nonprofit that provides enrichment programs focused on encouraging young girls to pursue careers in science, engineering, and technology. In 2016, she was appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti to the Los Angeles Board of Public Works.

Luz was elected and sworn into the California State Assembly in June 2018. She is Chair of the Select Committee on the Non-Profit Sector and serves on the Select Committee on Latina Inequalities and Select Committee on Coastal Protection and Access to Natural Resources. She also serves on the Assembly Committees on Budget; Budget Subcommittee No. 3 on Resources and Transportation; Health; Local Government; Revenue and Taxation; and the Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management. During Luz’s time in the Assembly, her priority has been to uplift and empower underrepresented communities. She has been extraordinarily successful as a leader in delivering substantive policy, such as reforming the state’s response to homelessness, providing universal school meals to all K-12 students, creating the California Youth Empowerment Commission to increase youth civic engagement, and advocating for environmental justice.

Jan Masaoka photoAssemblymember Buffy Wicks (AD-15) 

Assemblymember Buffy Wicks, CA Assembly District 15, represents the East Bay in the California State Assembly. Elected in 2018 and re-elected in 2020, her district spans the communities of Oakland to Richmond, and includes the City of Berkeley.Asm. Wicks’ work in the Assembly focuses on housing, expanding the social safety net, protecting consumers’ privacy, and championing the rights of women and working families. Governor Gavin Newsom signed eight of her bills in her first year in office, and despite the challenges brought on by the COVID pandemic, signed seven of her bills into law in 2020. A lifelong community organizer, Asm. Wicks previously served on both of President Barack Obama’s campaigns, and worked for him in the White House. She lives in Oakland with her husband, Peter, and daughters, Jojo and Elly."

Tania Ibanez photoSenior Assistant Attorney General Tania Ibanez 

Tania Ibanez is the Senior Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Charitable Trust Section of the California Attorney General’s Office. As the Section head, Tania leads a team of lawyers and auditors in Los Angeles and San Francisco who investigate and bring appropriate legal actions against charitable fundraisers, charitable trusts, and charitable organizations to protect the public from fraudulent or misleading solicitations, and to recover the loss of charitable assets. As Senior Assistant, Tania also oversees the publication of training and educational guides, including the recently released Donor-Advised Funds: An Overview which took a look at one of the fastest-growing parts of US philanthrop. Tania also serves on the board of directors of the National Association of State Charity Officials.

Holly Mitchell photoLos Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell 

Holly Mitchell currently serves as Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. As the daughter of parents who were public servants and a third-generation Angeleno, Mitchell leads with a deep understanding of the vital safety net LA County provides to millions of families and is committed to ensuring that all residents can thrive. She is also a former nonprofit leader and a strong supporter of the sector.

Since her election to the Board of Supervisors in 2020, Supervisor Mitchell has made poverty alleviation a countywide priority and has anchored an equitable recovery plan from the health and economic pandemic caused by COVID-19. Within her first year as Supervisor and with support from the County Board of Supervisors, Mitchell passed a landmark guaranteed income program, made LA County the first in the nation to phase out urban oil drilling and has strengthened the County’s ability to quickly respond to mental health crises among our unhoused residents.

Supervisor Mitchell is honored to represent the two million residents of Los Angeles County’s Second District – including the neighborhood she grew up in – Leimert Park.

Jan Masaoka photoJan Masaoka 

Jan Masaoka is CEO of the California Association of Nonprofits (CalNonprofits), a statewide policy alliance speaking to government, philanthropy, and the public at large. During her tenure, CalNonprofits has been a leader for nonprofits in government-nonprofit contract reform, in philanthropic reform, in regulation of online fundraising platforms, and in research.

Jan's books include Nonprofit Sustainability: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability (with Jeanne Bell and Steve Zimmerman (Wiley), Best of the Board Cafe (Fieldstone), and NOnprofit HR: Managing Employees and Volunteers (Nolo Press). , An August 2022 profile of her in the Chronicle of Philanthropy described her as a "fighter for nonprofits" and "an outspoken advocate for laws and regulations that would impose more stringent payout requirements on foundations and other kinds of grant makers, and she supports requiring more disclosure of the identities of people who give money to charities to prevent fraud."

Ray Madoff photoRay Madoff 

Ray Madoff is a professor at Boston College Law School, where she teaches and writes on philanthropy policy, taxes, property, and estate planning. She is Co-founder and Director of the Boston College Law School Forum on Philanthropy and the Public Good, a non-partisan think tank exploring questions regarding whether the rules governing the charitable sector best serve the public good. Her leadership in philanthropic scholarship led her to being one of the chief architects of the ACE (Accelerating Charitable Effort) bill currently in Congress.

Madoff authored Immortality and the Law: The Rising Power of the American Dead (Yale University Press), examiningg how American law treats the interests of the dead and what this tells us about our values for the living. The Financial Times called it "a sparkling polemic." Madoff is a frequent contributor to the opinion pages of the New York Times and has published op-eds in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, LA Times, Boston Globe and Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Maricela Morales photoMaricela Morales 

Maricela Morales' career began as a teenage volunteer translating public health education materials to farmworker communities. Since then, she has worked on social, economic, and environmental justice issues at nonprofits and as an elected official. Grateful to her Mexican immigrant parents, she attended Stanford University (Human Biology) and Pacific Graduate Institute (Psychology). She started with CAUSE as a volunteer in the Ventura County Living Coalition. She was the first Latina to be elected to the Port Hueneme City Council in 2002, and in 2007 she became the city’s first Latina Mayor. Maricela's boldness of thinking and action was recognized with the 2019 Visionary Leader Award by the Santa Barbara Foundation. She co-founded the 805Undocufund in the aftermath of the Thomas Fire and Debris Flow and is a co-founder of the Climate Justice Network.

Surina Khan 800pxSurina Khan 

Surina Khan is Chief Executive Officer of the Women’s Foundation of Californiak and is a proud Californian by way of Connecticut and Pakistan. The Women's Foundation makes grants to community-based organizations, trains community leaders in advocacy, and runs their signature program, the Women's Policy Institute, which has prepared dozens of women for public policy leadership.

While working as a program officer at the Ford Foundation, Surina designed and launched their LGBT Rights Initiative. She served as executive director of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. She is a former member of the Public Policy Committee of Northern California Grantmakers, and serves on the boards of many influential nonprofits. Surina is a widely published and admired writer as well: “Philanthropy, not only here in California but across the nation, has the opportunity — and a responsibility — to support advocacy work that is critical to ensuring that California, and the United States, continue to lead the way to a better, fairer, safer world."

Benjamin Torres 

Benjamin Torres photoBenjamin Torres is the President/CEO of the Community Development Technologies Center (CDTech), a community-based nonprofit organization focused on issues of racial equity and economic justice in low-income areas of South-Central Los Angeles.

Benjamin’s entire career has been focused on placing the tools of democracy directly in the hands of our most marginalized residents through education, training, engagement and multi-ethnic/racial community building. For the last 25 years, his leadership has supported the South LA region’s Black/Brown residents to increase their political capital and economic opportunity. He has developed efforts to create inclusive, democratic and power-building strategies using highly effective public, private, nonprofit and community partnerships. Benjamin is committed to progressive movement-building efforts and serves on the board of directors of several key local and national organizations. He also serves as President of the City of LA Commission on Community and Family Services, sits on the LA County Public Health Equity Task Force Commission, and is an active member of the Los Angeles County Equity in County Contracting Task Force.

Debbi Lerman 

Debbi Lerman photoDebbi Lerman is the Director of the San Francisco Human Services Network, where she has led victories such as recently obtaining a 5% COLA increase for staff wages in nonprofits that contract with the county, as well as a 2.5% increase in cost-of-doing business for the same nonprofits. She is the former Executive Director of the Seismic Retrofit Employment Consortium and the Toxics Coordinating Project, and has served in workforce development and for women in the construction industry. A member of the California Bar, Debbi's tenacity and thorough research – along with her trademark colorful hair – has made her impossible for officials to sideline. She holds a J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.S. in Earth Sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Joel Roberts photoJohn Joel Roberts

Joel John Roberts the immediate past CEO of PATH (People Assisting The Homeless) and PATH Ventures. PATH currently operates in 140 cities across California and serves a remarkable 20% of California’s homeless population. PATH Ventures has 20 permanent supportive housing communities completed or in development.

Joel intentionally built a leadership team that recently allowed him to step aside from PATH after 25 years and become the CEO of Path Ventures, an affiliated housingg development agency. Joel is a CalNonprofits board member and also serves on the boards of Destination: Home, a public-private partnership in Silicon Valley, San Diego 211, San Diego’s New Market Tax Credit Advisory Board, and Santa Clara County’s Continuum of Care. Joel is also the author of numerous opinion pieces on homelessness, as well as the book, How to Increase Homelessness. Joel's admirers point to his light touch as belying his generous spirit and, deep thoughtfulness, and relentlessness in pursuit of social justice.

Le Ondra Clark Harvey photoDr. Le Ondra Clark Harvey 

Dr. Clark Harvey is a psychologist and the Chief Executive Officer of the California Council of Community Behavioral Health Agencies (CBHA). CBHA is a statewide advocacy organization representing mental health and substance use disorder nonprofit agencies that collectively serve one million Californians. She is also the Executive Director of the California Access Coalition, a group of advocacy organizations and pharmaceutical companies that advocates for patient access to behavioral health treatment. Dr. Clark Harvey has previously served as Chief Consultant to the California State Assembly Committee on Business and Professions, Principal Consultant to the Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development, and a health policy consultant to the office of former Senator Curren D. Price, Jr. In 2020, she was appointed by California Governor Gavin Newsom to his Master Plan on Aging Advisory Committee and Behavioral Health Task Force. In 2021, she was appointed by California Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis to the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine Board and by the federal Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Advisory Committee for Women’s Services.

Geoff Greene photoGeoff Green 

Geoff Green is Chief Executive Officer of the Santa Barbara City College (SBCCF) Foundation and was an early national leader in the College Promise movement, providing funds to ensure that all high school graduates in the Santa Barbara Community College District can attend SBCC for free. Geoff's career has encompassed serving as a National Park Service ranger, public radio programmer, campaign field organizer, board chair of the Chamber of Commerce of Santa Barbara Region, consultant to nonprofits, and before his current position, as the long-time and celebrated executive director of the Fund for Santa Barbara. Geoff is known for his warmth, his willingness to roll up his sleeves, and his insights, for which he is frequently sought out by the press. Geoff is a former board chair for CalNonprofits and current treasurer. As a volunteer auctioneer for nonprofits, Geoff has raised more than $4 million for more than 50 organizations.

Malcolm Yeung 

Malcolm Yeung photo Malcolm Yeung is Executive Director of Chinatown Community Development Corporation (Chinatown CDC) in San Francisco, a comprehensive community development organization with a mission to build community through bricks and mortar (developing, acquiring and operating over 3,500 units of affordable housing) and people (tenant organizing, community planning and advocacy, youth leadership development, and residents' services).

Malcolm first practiced in venture finance and in I.P. litigation at Perkins Coie LLP and then O'Melveny and Meyers LLP before joining the Asian Law Caucus in 2003. In 2009, Malcolm joined Chinatown CDC where he has been ever since, except for a brief sabbatical serving as Senior Housing Advisor to San Francisco's First Asian American Mayor, the Honorable Edwin M. Lee. Malcolm is known for his leadership integrating advocacy, community organizing, and human services to build commnit-based power.

Jennifer Fearing photoJennifer Fearing 

Jennifer Fearing is CalNonprofits' Sacramento advocate and runs the high-profile firm Fearless Advocacy. Fearless Advocacy works to advance the state policy and budget agendas of mission-based organizations like Meals on Wheels California, Pew Charitable Trusts, Oceana, the Monterey Bay Aquarium and more. Jennifer is regularly named by Capitol Weekly as one of the 100 most powerful people in the California capitol community and in 2019 was chosen by her peers as “Public Interest Lobbyist of the Year.” Jennifer serves on the board of Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability and is the author of a nonprofit lobbying chapter for A Practitioner’s Guide to Lobbying and Advocacy in California published in early 2020. Jennifer is active on Twitter (@JenniferFearing) where she promotes plant-based eating, pet adoption, environmental justice, and gender equity. She lives in Sacramento with her dog and her husband, with whom she jointly stewards the Fearless Fund, a DAF that grants out almost all of incoming funds within a few months.



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