We’re thrilled to announce our first WIL cohort!

Rhonda Baldenegro
Director of Instruction
Gabriella Charter Schools
Rhonda Baldenegro is the Director of Instruction for Gabriella Charter Schools, a dance-themed charter network in Los Angeles.  She joined GCS in 2012 as Assistant Principal and served as Principal for four years before assuming her current role. Rhonda started her career in education in 2003 via Teach For America in LAUSD, teaching elementary school and coordinating gifted programs for seven years before transitioning to an instructional coaching position.  She is dedicated to creating an inclusive, vision-driven school community and believes that stakeholder collaboration and communication are the keys to student success. Rhonda received her bachelor’s in psychology from the University of Notre Dame, her master’s in elementary education from Loyola Marymount, and her doctorate in educational leadership from UCLA.Rhonda hopes Coro’s WIL program will help her build capacity in analyzing issues from multiple perspectives to influence positive change at GCS and the broader Los Angeles community.

Sue Chi
Senior Director
The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation
Sue is Senior Director of The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, where she currently oversees grantmaking initiatives to prepare students for the future of work. Prior to joining The Broad Foundation, Sue spent over a decade working on social and economic development initiatives, including working on international finance and economic development policy in East and Southeast Asia, impact investing in Sub-Saharan Africa and India, and financial strategy and fundraising for nonprofits in the United States focused on youth development and poverty alleviation. Sue earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, a master’s degree from the School of Advanced International Studies at John Hopkins University and a master of business administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Through the inaugural Coro Women in Leadership LA fellowship, Sue is excited to foster cross-sector connections with dynamic women that will help inform her work to improve economic opportunities for young Angelenos.

Jacqueline Chun
Chief Programs & Operations Officer
The Carl & Roberta Deutsch Foundation
Jacqueline Chun has worked steadily in the non-profit sector for nearly 20 years. She started her career in philanthropy directly after college at the Public Welfare Foundation in Washington, D.C. where she spent six years. Following the Public Welfare Foundation, she moved cross-country to Los Angeles and joined a grassroots immigrant rights education and advocacy organization for nearly two years. She attributes her experience at the grassroots level with providing her with a fuller perspective and understanding of the non-profit sector before moving back into philanthropy. Jacqueline joined The Carl & Roberta Deutsch Foundation in 2008 and is the Chief Programs and Administrative Officer, where she is responsible for managing the Foundation’s strategic grantmaking and daily operations. She also serves on the Executive Committee and Investor’s Committee of the LA Partnership for Early Childhood Investment, Education Leadership Council of Southern California Public Radio, Council, Home For Good Funders Collaborative, and as Advancement Grant Chair of the LA County Arts Commission’s Arts Education Collective Funders.

Linda Delgado
Government Affairs Advisor
Southern California Edison
Ms. Linda Cibely Delgado is a Local Public Affairs Manager with Southern California Edison (SCE). Her career with SCE has been primarily within the Local Public Affairs organization, where she has worked on providing outreach and education to local communities on major projects as well as managing the Company’s franchises, including negotiations and compliance. Prior to joining SCE, Ms. Delgado worked within the non-profit sector, conducting community outreach on labor related issues. She is excited to join the leadership program in which she hopes to help advance and promote the contributions of women of color in all facets of the professional world. She is a team player and believes that you are only as good as those around you. She holds a degree from UCLA in Political Science.

Carolyn Emery
Executive Officer
Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission
Carolyn Emery joined OC LAFCO in 2000.  With more than 25 years of experience with local and state government, Ms. Emery currently provides executive leadership on agency projects that include developing governance alternatives involving infrastructure challenges and facilitating solutions through the vehicles of urban and regional planning.  As Executive Officer, she is responsible for the agency’s external relations and the development of annual strategic plans, work plans and the operational budget. Additionally, Ms. Emery serves on multiple committees and boards that include the: Orange County Council of Governments, Center for Demographic Research Management Oversight Committee, and CALAFCO Legislative Committee. Ms. Emery earned a B.A. in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration from CSU Long Beach.  She is also a graduate of the Stanford University Bill Lane Center Local Governance Summer Institute and a member of the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) and Women Leading Government (WLG).

Stephanie Gomez
Public Affairs Associate
The California Wellness Foundation
Stephanie Gomez is a public affairs associate at The California Wellness Foundation. In this role, she helps identify, cultivate and manage opportunities for collaboration and elevation of health equity among key audiences, including policymakers, community leaders and community partners. Prior to joining Cal Wellness, Stephanie was a program associate at the Los Angeles Food Policy Council, where she worked on projects such as advocating for a sidewalk vending permit system and developing curriculum to help business owners increase their expertise on healthy food retail. She has also worked as a program coordinator for Families In Schools and as a policy consultant for the California State Treasurer’s Office. Stephanie earned her master’s degree in public policy from the University of Southern California and her bachelor’s degree in sociology from UCLA. Through WIL, Stephanie hopes to learn how she can leverage her leadership to lift the underrepresented people in her community.

Becky Gross
Project Manager
Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA)
Becky Gross is a project manager at the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, where she works closely with the City and County of Los Angeles. Her most notable project is the Safe Parking Program that serves people living in their vehicles and provides them with resources to get on the path to housing. Prior to this, Becky was the general manager for A Sense of Home, where she played a central role in streamlining organizational efficiency and operations. She also worked at the Wonderful Company to develop strategic initiatives to increase educational resources for California’s Central Valley. Ms. Gross earned a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Michigan and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from USC. Becky is looking forward to this program so she can build cross-sector relationships, learn from her peers, and enhance her critical thinking skills to become more effective at creating change in the community.

Carrie Harlow
Program Officer
The Ahmanson Foundation
Carrie Harlow currently serves as a Program Officer at The Ahmanson Foundation, where she works in the areas of Health and Human Services, Education, and the Arts. She is most energized by the opportunities in her work to build partnerships and nurture collaboration, serving as a managing funder of the Nonprofit Sustainability Initiative, on the Education and Community Partnerships Committee at Center Theatre Group, and as the Co-Chair of the L.A. chapter of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP). Carrie is looking forward to connecting with new, cross-sector thought partners through Coro’s Women in Leadership cohort. She is also interested in exploring more collaborative and unconventional leadership structures, and investing in building a more resilient and inclusive leadership pipeline of change makers in Los Angeles.

Janelle Hartley
Local Public Affairs Manager
Southern California Edison
Janelle Hartley serves as a Community Engagement Manager for Southern California Edison’s Local Public Affairs department.  In this role, she develops and executes engagement strategies with community-based, faith-based, environmental organizations, and special interest groups on key policies and environmental priorities. She works on environmental efforts to support California’s commitment to greenhouse gas reduction (GHG) through widespread adoption of renewable and distributed energy, storage, electric vehicle charging, and other technologies. Janelle joined the Coro Women in Leadership (WIL) program to expand her capacity to strategically push through barriers and influence change. Through the analytical & leadership exercises, she will uncover potential blind spots and enhance decision making, communication and leaderships skills.  Working with the WIL cross-sector network of women, she will develop a strong support system to support her continued growth and development.

Cecilia Hernandez
Director of Extended Learning
Para Los Ninos
Cecilia Hernandez serves as the Director of Extended Learning for Para Los Niños and has been with the organization since 2009. With over 15 years’ experience in the afterschool and extended learning sector, Cecilia’s responsibilities have grown to include youth development, program management and grants management. In her current role, Cecilia oversees all after school and summer programs and external partnerships at Para Los Niños’ three charter schools and is responsible for ensuring the community needs are met while holding high standards for quality programming. Cecilia holds a B.A. in Child Development from California State University, Los Angeles, M.A. in Education from Pacific Oaks College and Director’s permit from the CA Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Cecilia hopes to deepen her leadership skills and grow as a manager and coach. She is looking for a meaningful learning opportunity and self-reflection that can support her practice in leading others to effective outcomes.

Rachel Huguet
Program Associate, International Programs
Conrad N. Hilton Foundation
Rachel Huguet is a Program Associate at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation where she supports two international grant portfolios: Disaster Risk and Recovery and Avoidable Blindness. To this end, she conducts research and analysis associated with their strategy development, as well as stakeholder coordination, project management, and communications to ensure high quality implementation of the programs. Prior to joining the Hilton Foundation, Huguet worked on water, sanitation, and hygiene at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She has also spent time as a consultant for the National Park Service, a Social Innovation Associate at Mercy Corps, and a Rural Community Development Volunteer for Peace Corps, Costa Rica. Huguet holds a master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Southern California and a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from George Washington University. Through the WIL, Huguet hopes to learn strategies for moving organizations and communities forward and to gain a greater sense of community in Los Angeles.

Abril Iñiguez-Rivas
Associate Director of Programs & Evaluation
Arts for LA
A native Angeleno, Abril Iñiguez-Rivas holds a B.A. in Biology from Pomona College and studied marine biodiversity and evolutionary genetics at the UCLA Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Indonesian Biodiversity Research Center in Denpasar, Bali. As Associate Director of Programs & Evaluation, she helps oversee Arts for LA’s signature advocacy events and programs and drives the organization’s evaluation practices. Although a trained scientist, Abril nurtures her artistic side through music. She was a founding member of Mariachi Serrano de Claremont at the Claremont Colleges, played with Mariachi de Uclatlán during her time at UCLA, and is currently the Production Manager for Boleros de Noche, a local concert series dedicated to the celebration and preservation of traditional bolero music from Mexico and Cuba. Through Women in Leadership, Abril hopes to solidify her own leadership style and practice and learn to identify and nurture emerging leaders around her.

Erin Jackson-Ward
Senior Program Officer
Cedars-Sinai
Erin Jackson-Ward is the Senior Program Officer for the Community Benefit Giving Office (CBGO) at Cedars-Sinai and oversees all outbound philanthropy on behalf of the health system. Erin launched the CBGO’s Behavioral Health Initiative, which focuses on collaboration between medical, behavioral health and social service organizations. She also directs the CBGO’s flagship program, providing support for community clinics to elevate their leadership and effectiveness in the healthcare safety net. Previously, Erin served as an Operations Manager for Cedars-Sinai, where she played a significant role in expanding the network’s presence in new communities. Prior to joining Cedars-Sinai, Erin was involved with several nonprofit organizations, working primarily on the sociomedical needs of pediatric HIV, homeless, and formerly incarcerated populations. She holds an MPH from Columbia University and a BA in Psychology from UCLA. Erin joined Coro WIL to deepen her leadership impact through knowledge and competencies learned from a cross-sector network of women leaders in LA.

Moninder-Mona Jhawar
Senior Learning and Evaluation Manager
The California Endowment
With over 20 years of experience within the public health sector, Moninder-Mona K. Jhawar currently serves as a Senior Learning and Evaluation Manager at the California Endowment (TCE). Since 2008, she’s worked within this role to leverage opportunities for learning, synthesize contributions towards achieving impact through TCE’s Building Healthy Communities strategy, oversee and communicate L&E activities, and utilize evaluation for continuous improvement. In addition, Mona is responsible for organizational learning efforts such as implementing TCE’s diversity, equity, and inclusion audit and creating feedback loops for current grantees. Mona earned her B.S. in Environmental Toxicology and minor in Women’s Studies from the University of California, Davis, and her Master’s in Public Health from UCLA.

Asha Lang
Regulatory Marketing Senior Paralegal
The Walt Disney Company
Asha Brooks Lang serves as a state commissioner appointed to the California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists, where she provides recommendations on statewide legislation, regulation, licensing, and engagement of California’s environmental industries. She is a key member of the legal team at the Walt Disney Company where she manages projects and client relationships and negotiates media agreements for marketing and promotional campaigns. She is a proud graduate of Clark Atlanta University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications with a minor in public relations. Asha is looking forward to discovering new ways of utilizing her multi-industry experience to address societal issues through policy, strategy, and action. She is excited to collaborate with the empowered women of the Coro Women in Leadership program and begin her next phase of purposeful work.

Elizabeth O’Toole
Special Projects Manager
University of Southern California
Elizabeth O’Toole is a Special Projects Manager at the Keck School of Medicine of USC where she manages the development of a broad array of ventures in the Dean’s office. Some of the projects she is most passionate about are the school’s wellness, gender equity, and social justice initiatives. Elizabeth has spent over a decade managing programs in geriatric medicine, integrative health, elder justice, and digital health in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. She earned a BA in Psychology and Social Behavior from UC Irvine and a Master of Science in Public Health from the department of Health Policy and Management at UNC-Chapel Hill. Coro’s Women in Leadership Program is an important opportunity for Elizabeth to learn how she can be a more effective leader and have a more meaningful impact on both her organization and the greater Los Angeles community.

Allison Ostrovsky
Cultural Affairs Supervisor
City of Santa Monica
Allison Ostrovsky is Cultural Affairs Supervisor for the City of Santa Monica where she creates arts and cultural events that celebrate and explore the City’s cultural identity. Allison leads teams in developing these community events inspired by the power of artistic and cultural expression to connect people through our shared humanity. Her work focuses on the intersection of the arts, community engagement, and the City’s goals of inclusion, diversity, and learning. Studying and working in San Francisco, India, London and New York informed Allison’s belief that creativity is a key way for people to discover themselves, their communities and the world. Alongside committed and talented women, Allison looks forward to participating in the first WIL cohort, developing new leadership skills, and increasing her impact at work and throughout the community.

Dara Papel
Senior Program Manager
Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH)
Dara Papel is a seasoned homeless services professional with over ten years’ experience in direct services, social policy and economic justice. Currently a Senior Program Manager at Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH), Ms. Papel advises public agencies on needed policy and systems change to address chronic homelessness. Currently, she is working with Los Angeles County’s Chief Executive Office to create alignment between public workforce services and homeless response systems to increase access to employment for homeless jobseekers. Ms. Papel holds a BA from the University of Colorado – Boulder in Sociology and Criminology, certificates in Fundraising and Nonprofit Management from UCLA, she graduated from The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles’s New Leaders Project in 2015, and sits on the Associate Board for Shelter Partnership. Through Coro, Ms. Papel is most excited to build her skillset to guide stakeholder groups to develop their vision, find agreement and take action to turn that vision into reality for meaningful systemic transformation.

Elisa Paster
Partner
Glaser Weil
Elisa L. Paster is a Partner in Glaser Weil’s Government and Regulatory Law Practice Group. Elisa represents developers, land owners, investors and municipal governments in all aspects of land use entitlement, regulatory and administrative matters. Her expertise focuses on compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act, subdivision, planning and zoning laws, administrative rules, and all related local regulations. Elisa is the immediate past President of the Westside Urban Forum. She is also a frequent speaker at law and planning conferences. For many years, Elisa has received the distinguished honors of Southern California Super Lawyer and Rising Star by Super Lawyers. Her academic career consists of graduating from Bryn Mawr College, where she studied Growth and Structure of Cities. She attended the University College of London, Bartlett School of Architecture, focusing on Development Planning Unit, MSc in Housing in Development. Elisa also earned her J.D. at the University of New Mexico.

Stephanie Piazza
Literacy Curriculum Specialist
Green Dot Public Schools
Stephanie Piazza is a Literacy Curriculum Specialist at Green Dot Public Schools. She is looking to the Coro Women in Leadership program to catalyze her leadership development, refine her vision for educational equity in Southern California, and cultivate a strong network of supportive, driven women. She understands our region through an educational lens and is ready to enhance her insight through the experiences, stories, and visions of the rest of her cohort. She hopes to grow professionally and personally as she refines her understanding of herself at this stage in her career and in life as a mother to a toddler.

Rachel Ramos
Product Manager
Capital Group
Rachel Ramos is a product manager for Capital Group, home of the American Funds, responsible for the product development and management of American Funds’ education savings product suite, including CollegeAmerica® and ABLEAmerica®. She has 20 years of industry experience, all with Capital Group. Earlier in her career at Capital, she contributed to the firms’ marketing, conference and overall independent broker-dealer strategy, and distribution and service center efforts. Rachel is based in Los Angeles.

Nisha Randhava
Senior Development Associate
Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy
Nisha Randhava is a Senior Development Associate with the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), an organization committed to advocacy and policy supporting working families. Nisha believes strong policy has the potential to improve communities, and she is especially invested in this model in her native Los Angeles. Nisha joined CORO Women in Leadership with the goal of strengthening her leadership skills and identifying areas for improvement. She believes women’s strength as leaders comes from being vulnerable and having compassion while still being able to negotiate, compromise and make difficult decisions, and she would like to further explore the intersection of these skill areas. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, running, reading and exploring different Los Angeles neighborhoods. She received her Master in Public Administration from the University of Washington.

Rachel Resnick
Chief Program Officer
National Council of Jewish Women, Los Angeles
Rachel Resnick is the Chief Program Officer at NCJWLA.  Rachel has spent her entire professional career in Los Angeles; first as an academic counselor at UCLA, then as a trainer at the Posse Foundation before joining NCJWLA as the Director of Youth Educational Programs and Services in 2013.  Rachel believes that educational access is a vital piece of individual growth and community engagement. She is dedicated to building a network of strong and inspiring young leaders across the city. Rachel is looking forward to gaining new insights on community collaboration and drawing on the energy and enthusiasm of her CORO Women in Leadership cohort to help guide her work.  Rachel loves visiting local farmers’ markets, exploring new trails with her dog Libbey and is on a quest to find L.A.’s best maple bar.

Nazan Riahei
Senior Vice President
Abernathy MacGregor
Nazan Riahei is a Senior Vice President in the Los Angeles office of Abernathy MacGregor, a strategic corporate communications firm. In this position, Nazan advises clients on a wide range of high-stakes situations, including crisis events, significant transactions, executive transitions, complex litigations and activism. Prior to her career in communications, Nazan was a corporate attorney at Latham & Watkins in New York for five years. She graduated from NYU School of Law in 2007 and the University of Virginia’s McIntire School of Commerce in 2004. Through the Coro Women in Leadership program, Nazan hopes to build a strong network of female leaders from diverse career paths and backgrounds, including peers and mentors. She intends to use the experience to hone her skills as a leader in the corporate world and to mentor other women in the workplace. Nazan would also like to gain insight into how she can better leverage her experience and skills to serve her community.

Bianca Rodas
Marketing Manager, Experiential
Los Angeles Times
Bianca is a leader of ideation and creative conceptualization for B2B marketing and sales efforts at the Los Angeles Times. With an extensive background in developing and executing campaigns that drive brand awareness and consumer engagement in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors, Bianca is always looking for ways to further develop her leadership skills and professionally advance in her field. By participating in Coro, Bianca is looking forward to having thoughtful conversations with her peers, the opportunity to be mentored by professional women, and to grow her leadership toolbox.

Mary Rosas
Director of Public Affairs
California Resources Corporation
As Director of Local Public Affairs for California Resources Corporation(CRC), Mary is responsible for managing local government relations, secure alignment with key stakeholders and internal communications in the Los Angeles Basin. Her role will prioritize developing partnerships with community organizations and trade associations to insure their support on the energy demand Californians require to maintain a strong quality of life. Mary’s career in alliance development spans across the Western Region of the United States mobilizing community groups on health access. In addition, she was a gubernatorial appointee by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve as Deputy Director of the California Department of Consumer Affairs Division (CCED). By participating in the Coro Women in Leadership program she hopes to elevate and engage women to follow their personal and career goals. Mary was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley and is a resident of Granada Hills, CA.

Sara Ross
National Sales Manager
Moleskine America
Sara Ross is a National Sales Manager at Moleskine America where she manages the B2B reseller sales channel. During her seven years at the company, she has built out a new distribution sales model of corporate branded product that now accounts for 25% of B2B sales worldwide. Prior to joining Moleskine, Sara worked across design, product development and production at a variety of fashion firms. Experience included a cross-section of the industry, from small independent designers, such as Yoana Baraschi, to beloved household names, like J.Crew. She graduated with Honors from Wesleyan University with a BA in Studio Art-Architecture with a one-year program at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture doing a comparative study of US and European urban development. The number one thing she is hoping to gain from the Coro Women in Leadership program is a stronger emotional resilience through becoming comfortable with discomfort.  

Kathryn Sanders
Project Manager
California Resources Corporation
Katie Sanders is a Project Manager at California Resources Corporation (CRC). She received Bachelor of Science degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Business from the University of Kansas.  In addition to her technical role, Katie serves as the Chair of the Women’s Interest Network, an employee resource group with a vision to develop, connect, and promote women as leaders at CRC. Also, she is currently an MBA candidate at UCLA Anderson School of Management. Katie is excited to gain access to a vast network of resources by meeting other leaders through the Coro Women in Leadership program. She is looking forward to improving her ability to make decisions and to communicate effectively as a leader.

Patty Senecal
Director of Southern California Region
Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA)
As the Director for the Southern California Region for Western States Petroleum Agency (WSPA), Ms. Senecal represents Southern California WSPA members on technical and policy issues at the South Coast Air Quality Management District, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, Ports of LA and Long Beach, and other local/regional government bodies. Prior to joining WSPA, Ms. Senecal was the Vice President at Transport Express Inc., a family business established in 1977.  Ms. Senecal has twenty years of experience in the goods movement and international logistics industry. Ms. Senecal’s background includes operational experience in trucking, environmental compliance, warehousing, distribution, along with business development, U.S. Customs Compliance and Government Affairs. Ms. Senecal also serves on the Advisory Board at the California State University Long Beach Extension Services for the Center of International Trade and Transportation (CITT), is currently a Board member for the Business Federation (BizFed) Los Angeles and FuturePorts, and is active with many local chambers and business organizations within Southern California.  

Amy Turk
Chief Innovation Officer
Downtown Women’s Center
As Chief Innovation Officer at Downtown Women’s Center, Amy Turk, LCSW, provides strategic development of new organizational projects and fosters vital relationships with community partners in efforts to end women’s homelessness. Amy has worked in the homeless services field since 2001, including for five years as DWC’s Chief Program Officer. Prior to DWC, she was the Director of Daybreak, a project of The People Concern. She is a John A. Hartford Foundation Practice Change Leader award recipient for her efforts to improve healthcare for older adults, one of the founders of 1-in-4, a national social change movement to end homelessness among women, and a founding leader of the Domestic Violence Homeless Services Coalition. Amy holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Pepperdine University and a master’s in social work from California State University, Los Angeles. Amy looks forward to learning from accomplished leaders through the Coro Women in Leadership Program.

Lauren Vargas
Director of Innovation
City of Long Beach, Mayor’s Office
Lauren is currently the Director of Innovation for the Mayor of Long Beach, California, Robert Garcia. Here she is charged with promoting policies that utilize data-driven decision making for municipal leaders. Prior to her current role, Lauren served as a Presidential Appointee in the Obama Administration at the Department of Defense. She was a Special Assistant in the Office of the Under Secretary of Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics, where she focused on the rapid acquisition of defense capabilities. Prior, Lauren worked as a Legislative Assistant for Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano in Washington, DC, focusing on immigration and homeland security policy. Lauren is from Montebello, California. She holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Whittier College.

Grace Yao
Director, Public Affairs
Loyola Marymount University
Grace Yao is the Director of Public Affairs at Loyola Marymount University, where she serves as the university’s primary liaison to business and civic leaders. She also oversees the university’s government relations and community outreach activities. Prior to LMU, Grace spent many years in the public and private sectors creating strategic communications plans to build and enhance brands and influence and engage the public. She is excited about growing together with this first WIL cohort and hopes to become a more effective leader and advocate for women in the workplace and in her community. Most importantly, as a working mom, she hopes to set a positive example for her children to be their best selves, lean on and draw from the wisdom of others, and make a positive impact wherever they are. A native of Los Angeles, Grace holds a BA from Wellesley College and an MPP from UCLA.