Fall 2023 Women in Leadership Cohort

We’re thrilled to announce our Fall 2023 WIL cohort!

Maya Angulo
Head of Political, Press & Public Affairs
British Consulate – General Los Angeles

Maya Angulo is Head of Political, Press & Public Affairs at the British Consulate – General Los Angeles, working across the Consulate’s area of responsibility – Southern California, NV, UT, AZ, and HI. Her team’s work is at the heart of what the Consulate does, helping to forge and sustain government-to-government links and producing creative public diplomacy and public affairs initiatives that highlight shared values and policy areas. Maya currently sits on Girl Rising’s Advisory Board and the International Citizen Diplomacy of Los Angeles Young Professionals’ Steering Committee. Maya looks forward to building out her network of trusted confidants while learning to harness her personal leadership position to increase personal and professional resiliency and agility to tackle new challenges with empathy and a strong sense of direction.

Devyn Bakewell
Communications Director
Office of Councilwoman Heather Hutt

Devyn Bakewell is the Communications Director for Councilwoman Heather Hutt, representing Los Angeles Council District 10, where she manages the day-to-day aspects of media requests and engagements. A resilient, dedicated, and hardworking Howard University alumna, Devyn previously served as Assistant Managing Editor of LA Sentinel, the weekly black-owned newspaper in CD10, established in 1933, with a readership of 125,000. Devyn is also a published author who discovered her love for writing at an early age, and has written two fiction novels, “Greater Love” and “Greater Life”. Through Coro, Devyn hopes to strengthen herself as a young woman and a leader, as well as build connections with the next generation of changemakers in the program. Her hope is that this fellowship will sustain her with the tools and methods to enrich the hearts and minds of her community, her team, and herself.

Charisse Burnett
Senior Advisor in Information Governance
Southern California Edison

Charisse is currently a Senior Advisor in Information Governance at Southern California Edison. In this capacity, she oversees the protection and governance of data and information across the organization. She actively volunteers in her community, in addition to the several volunteer opportunities she participates in at work. Being a part of Coro gives her the opportunity to get to know herself a little better by exploring her motivation to lead and testing her level of self-confidence, emotional intelligence, and other qualities that are needed to become a good leader. She also hopes to uncover the elements of motivation and to learn how to motivate her team, discriminate between good and bad sources of power, and distinguish between strong and weak methods of influence.

Christina Cantero
Talent Acquisition Specialist
Para Los Niños

Christina Cantero is a Talent Acquisition Specialist for Para Los Niños. PLN is an education and social services agency that provides wrap-around services so that children, youth, and families can thrive. Her role is to attract talent, attend career fairs, and support with the hiring process/orientation. Her civic interests have always leaned towards expanding access to career planning and personal finance services. Many people graduate from the school system without basic knowledge of financial literacy, resume building, interviews, and general life skills. She would love it if California would add these types of content into our education system. She hopes to become a better leader, build relationships with Coro participants, and take the skills she gains back to her team.

Abigail Carlos Alejo
Senior Coordinator of School Transformation, Family Engagement
Partnership for Los Angeles Schools

Abigail is Senior Coordinator of School Transformation, Family Engagement at Partnership for Los Angeles Schools. In her role, she supports and builds the capacity of 11 Elementary LAUSD schools to build and sustain school-wide systems and a culture of family engagement. She hopes to learn a lot, try on a lot, and most importantly share space and learn with other women on their leadership journey.

Jackie Chavira
HQ Project Manager
Heluna Health

Jackie is an HQ Project Manager for Heluna Health. In her current capacity, she partners with the Chief Program Officer and Deputy Director of Contracts and Grants Management to develop and implement project management processes and assists leadership with defining and prioritizing strategic projects. Prior to her role at Heluna Health, Jackie worked on the COVID-19 frontlines with CORE and oversaw large-scale testing/vaccine sites, including Dodger Stadium. Jackie is passionate about all things public health but is specifically interested in expanding abortion access across the country. She has volunteered with Planned Parenthood Los Angeles and served as a Community Health Worker with the UCLA OBGYN Clinic. In her spare time, she enjoys flexing her creative muscles through writing, ballet, and art. Through Coro, Jackie hopes to become a more effective, intentional, and intersectional leader.

Crystal Clark
Director of Adult Intensive Services
Southern California Health and Rehabilitation Program (SCHARP)

Crystal Clark, LCSW, serves as the Director of Adult Intensive Services at the Southern California Health and Rehabilitation Program (SCHARP). Crystal has over five years of experience serving marginalized and disenfranchised adults who struggle with mental wellness. In her capacity as Director of Adult Intensive Services, she oversees one of the largest programs at SCHARP. Crystal has a keen interest in identifying solutions for the health inequity and housing challenges in Los Angeles. Outside of the mental health world, Crystal can be found hiking and writing poetry. Crystal is looking forward to obtaining the training and tools that will enhance her leadership skills, build her self-confidence to continue to lead and inspire others, and build meaningful relationships with women leaders from different sectors.

Katie Clark
Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
Para Los Niños Charter Schools

Katie is the Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment at Para Los Niños Charter Schools. She is responsible for ensuring that the instructional systems in the 3 schools lead to on or above grade-level performance for all students. She directly oversees the adoption of all curricula, its implementation, and all instruction-related professional development for school leaders, teachers, and staff. Katie’s professional passion lies in honing project-based, meaningful, identity-driven instruction for students. Outside of her career, Katie’s primary focus is her family, advocating for and educating her own children, and staying active in her local district community. Through her participation with Coro, Katie hopes to gain increased confidence in her leadership skills, varied communication tactics, and a broader network of empowered female friends to connect with both personally and professionally.

Sorelle Cohen
Sr. Director of Development, Marketing & Communications
The Pad Project

Sorelle Cohen is the Sr. Director of Development, Marketing & Communications for the non-profit organization, The Pad Project. Sorelle not only contributes to the maverick, go-getting energy of her team, but strengthens their ties to the growing network of nonprofits dedicated to the empowerment of women and girls. Through the program, Sorelle hopes to network with other local members to gain a deeper understanding of the city’s current non-profit landscape.

Julia Connolly
Account Executive

Julia is an Account Executive at GrassrootsLab. In her capacity as an Account Executive, she works with local governments, business groups, and other stakeholders in Los Angeles County on complex and controversial issues of public interest. She develops and designs strategic digital communications that effectively promote community engagement and drive civic participation. Julia previously led grassroots campaign efforts, assisting Southern California’s congressional campaigns, through volunteer engagement and voter outreach. She hopes to gain tools and resources that allow her to open doors to leadership for other women in the future.

Danielle Cronin
Government Relations Senior Advisor with Local Public Affairs
Southern California Edison

Danielle is a Government Relations Senior Advisor with Local Public Affairs at Southern California Edison. In her role, she manages continuous compliance and improvement efforts and seeks new ways to measure and demonstrate the value of the organization. She also enjoys being present as a volunteer with the Girl Scouts and various school committees. Danielle is looking forward to gaining new allies and building leadership skills and confidence.

Carmen Cuevas
External Affairs Area Manager

Carmen Cuevas currently serves as an External Affairs Area Manager at AT&T. In this capacity, she is responsible for representing AT&T with local and regional governments in the San Gabriel Valley on all business and public policy issues. She also builds local relationships with federal, state, and local elected officials and grassroots and community stakeholders. Cuevas currently serves on the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership’s Board of Directors and is passionate about helping other Latinas excel in their careers through mentorship and networking. Cuevas hopes to increase her network in Los Angeles County and gain the knowledge and skills necessary to become an effective leader in her workplace and region.

Pilar Diaz
Program Officer
First 5 LA

Pilar Diaz brings over two decades of experience in the nonprofit and public sectors. She serves as a Program Officer for First 5 LA, focused on the Antelope Valley. Pilar supports regional strategies to change systems to positively impact the prenatal to age five population and the community. Pilar is passionate about engaging, lifting the needs, and supporting communities deemed statistically insignificant, forgotten, or not at the table. Previous roles have included grantmaking, fundraising, and community organizing. Pilar was the California lead for the U.S. Census Bureau’s Native Hawaiian Pacific Islanders outreach during the 2020 Census. Pilar served as a commissioner for the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. She has also served on numerous boards and philanthropic organizations that support Asian American Pacific Islander communities, the arts, and the next generation of leaders. Pilar is an avid golfer and active in the golf community. She is excited to meet women leaders from different career stages and sectors.

Sharon Feder
Director of Communications

Sharon Feder is currently the Director of Communications for LA’s BEST Afterschool Enrichment Program. She joined LA’s BEST in early 2015, after 15+ years in the nonprofit sector. As an authentic storyteller, Sharon specializes in synthesizing complex information and calls to action into inspiring messages that evoke emotion and positive change. Prior to focusing on afterschool, Sharon’s interest in culture and justice led her to work in international development. 

Sharon is a perpetual student, which is why she listens to podcasts and seeks adventure from down the street to across continents. While living in New York City, she earned Master’s degrees in nonprofit management and in international affairs with an emphasis in human rights and conflict resolution from Columbia University. While participating in Coro’s Women in Leadership Program, Sharon hopes to evaluate and gain more leadership skills, learn from and find camaraderie among her peers, and, most importantly, have fun.

Irma Galicia
Deputy for Constituent Engagement
Office of LA Supervisor Holly J Mitchell

Irma Galicia was born in the neighborhood of Boyle Heights. At a young age, she saw a lot of disparities in her community and wanted to find proactive solutions to address them. Irma attended Roosevelt High School where she was High School Class President. When she graduated, she attended CSULB, where she pursued a degree in History. Irma Galicia currently works as a Deputy for Constituent Engagement for the office of LA Supervisor Holly J Mitchell. Irma has been serving as a deputy for Supervisor Mitchell for over a year now, she oversees the areas of South Central Los Angeles and the Unincorporated Community of Florence-Firestone where she brings county services directly to constituents. During her spare time, Irma likes to volunteer at her local animal shelter and advocates for the adoption of animals instead of the purchase. Irma hopes to gain more confidence during her time at Coro and to build her network with the exemplary women she will meet during her time in this program.

Joy Hampton
Executive Assistant
Encore VFX

Joy is the executive assistant for a visual effects company, Encore VFX, where she keeps things running behind the scenes. An ACFC season ticket holder, she loves women’s sports, great food, and weekend trips to anywhere new. Through Coro, she hopes to improve her professional skills and prepare for a future where she leads. Especially public speaking. Because that’s terrifying.

Lauren Hill
Associate VP of Sexual and Reproductive Health Programs
Essential Access Health

Lauren Hill is the Associate VP of Sexual and Reproductive Health Programs at Essential Access Health, a statewide reproductive health and justice organization based in California. In her role, she oversees family planning, STI prevention, and youth-driven programs throughout California and Hawaii. She has worked in community-based public health since 2004, working in clinic operations, leadership development, and advocacy, centering reproductive health & equity. She earned her MPH in Global Reproductive Health from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University and her BA in Religious Studies from Occidental College. Outside of work, Lauren is active in playing ultimate Frisbee, coaching and participating in CrossFit, and attending Angel City FC soccer games. She hopes the Coro fellowship will help her develop a greater systems approach to creating and leading diverse staff within a more inclusive environment.

Taylor Holland
Director of Development
Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation

Taylor Holland is a Director of Development at Wakeland Housing and Development Corporation. In her capacity as Director, she oversees staff and a full range of activities related to the acquisition, financing, construction, and lease-up of Wakeland’s affordable and supportive housing developments. Over her career, Taylor has assisted in the development of nearly 3,000 affordable homes throughout Southern California. Taylor holds a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning with a focus in Housing and Community Economic Development from UCLA.  

Based in Los Angeles, Taylor is an active advocate for the unique needs of her local community with the City government. She serves on the Mid City West Neighborhood Council as the chair of the Social and Racial Equity Committee and is a member of the Homelessness & Renters Rights and Planning & Land Use Committees.

Sylvia Jauregui
Governing Board Member
Equitas Academy Charter Schools
Board Member
LMU School of Education Alumni Association

Dr. Sylvia Jauregui has worked in diverse education organizations including state agencies, national advocacy groups, and public and charter schools. As an educator, she worked in highly diverse, multilingual, Title I schools in California and Texas. She was awarded fellowships by the National Head Start Association in D.C. and the Center for Equity for English Learners at LMU. Her award-winning doctoral research at Loyola Marymount University focused on Latina parent engagement in the Local Control and Accountability Plan process. Sylvia serves on the LMU School of Education Alumni Association Board of Directors and the Academic Committee for Equitas Academy Charter Schools.

Sylvia is excited to join Coro Women in Leadership to expand her leadership capabilities and network. She aims to refine her strategic decision-making and team management skills and bring new DEI best practices to her organization. Sylvia looks forward to gaining greater confidence as a leader who drives impact.

Mayra Lara
Director of Southern California Partnerships and Engagement
The Education Trust-West

At a young age, Dr. Mayra A. Lara (she/her/ella) immigrated to the United States from Mexico with her parents and sister to make Los Angeles their home. With support from her parents, siblings, and mentors, Mayra became the first person in her family to be admitted to and graduate from a university. Her lived experience coupled with her academic journey fueled her interest in working in education. As the Director of Southern California Partnerships and Engagement at the Education Trust-West, Mayra works closely with colleagues to advance educational equity for students of color and students living in poverty in Los Angeles County and across Southern California. Mayra holds a B.A. in English Literature and an M.A. in Social and Cultural Analysis of Education from California State University, Long Beach. Mayra also holds a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership for Social Justice from Loyola Marymount University where her research focused on the experience of young women of color as they navigated the sexual politics of education. Mayra is looking forward to engaging in professional skill-building and being part of a community of women who are committed to each other’s leadership development.

Katrina Linden
Public Affairs Director
Campaign for College Opportunity

Katrina is the Public Affairs Director for the Campaign for College Opportunity, a higher education policy nonprofit based in Los Angeles that is focused on expanding college access, success, and completion for all Californians, with an eye toward closing racial equity gaps in higher education. In her role, she leads the strategic direction of the organization’s engagement with statewide and local allies in furtherance of the organization’s policy and research priorities. She also monitors and leads regional implementation of core student-centered policies in Los Angeles, the Inland Empire, and Central Valley by building coalitions of advocates committed to regional student success. Katrina is the Pipeline Director for FemDems of Sacramento and the Communications Chair for NLC Sacramento. She hopes to deepen her ability to be a strategic, intentional leader and to gain the skills necessary to enter into the next phase of her leadership journey.

Laura McQuay
Chief Financial Officer
Inner City Law Center

Laura is a dynamic and passionate nonprofit leader committed to finding creative and equitable solutions. She is a proactive and strategic thinker motivated by unraveling complex challenges, finding efficiencies, and empowering talent. Laura is the Chief Financial Officer at Inner City Law Center, a nonprofit law firm working to end homelessness by fighting for housing and justice, where she oversees the fiscal operations of a $20M annual operating budget and serves on the Executive Leadership Team. As a lifelong Angeleno, she is deeply committed to making an impact on the future of our city through supporting vulnerable populations. She holds a Master’s in Business Administration from USC and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Puget Sound. She hopes to gain new leadership skills and personal insights that will make her a better leader and advocate. She is also looking forward to learning from her fellow women in the leadership cohort.

Karla Morales
Founder and CEO
Orchid Essence, LLC

Karla Morales is Salvadoran by birth and immigrated to the United States 14 years ago. She graduated from the Evangelical University of El Salvador as a Doctor of Dental Surgery. She is the Founder and CEO of Orchid Essence, LLC, a handmade candle company based in West Covina, CA. She worked as a Lead Health Educator at East Los Angeles Women’s Centers for over 8 years working with women in the area of ​​HIV Prevention and Sexually Transmitted Diseases. She is certified as a provider of HIV Prevention by the Medical Learning Institute Inc., certified by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to provide Health Navigation Services, and certified by the State of California to advocate for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. She recently obtained a certificate in Digital Marketing and Community Management from the University of Guatemala through the edX program. In the Coro Program, she hopes to develop new leadership skills and confidence to lead her own business and elevate Latina Women Business Owners’ voices.

Fabiola Moreno
Civil Engineer
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

Fabiola Moreno is a civil engineer with over 14 years of experience in the public utility sector. She specializes in the design of large-diameter pipes, ensuring reliable and sustainable delivery of potable water to the City of Los Angeles. Fabiola holds a master’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Southern California (USC) and is a licensed professional engineer (PE) in the state of California. She has a strong commitment to safety and the use of innovative solutions and is responsible for promoting and delivering a Safety by Design program for the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. She hopes to enhance and grow her leadership capabilities to make a positive impact within LADWP.

Antoinette Ratcliffe
Executive Director
Initiate Justice

Antoinette is the Executive Director of Initiate Justice, a California nonprofit that activates the political power of people impacted by incarceration. Antoinette oversees the organization’s operations and programs ensuring that impacted people are positioned as leaders in efforts to transform California’s criminal justice system. Antoinette’s passion stems from lived experiences. She has organized alongside thousands and is courageously committed to amplifying the experiences of those most impacted by the criminal legal system and the many intersecting social systems.

When she is not spending time in the community, Antoinette cherishes time with her family and indulges in her newfound passion for traveling. Antoinette joins Coro’s Women in Leadership program to become the best mentor she can and bring out valuable leadership qualities in all people to continue building leader-full social justice movements.

Jessica Reyes Juarez
Associate Regional Planner
Southern California Association of Governments

Jessica Reyes Juarez is a passionate urban planner with an interest in the intersection between planning, public health, placemaking, and equitable economic growth. As an Associate Regional Planner at the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG), she plays a pivotal role in standing up grant programs to support local jurisdictions investing and scaling up housing supply in the region. Jessica’s professional background includes supporting various strategic, master planning, mixed-use, and active transportation plans that value community and stakeholder engagement in the planning process. Growing up in unincorporated LA County, she saw firsthand the disparities in resources across neighborhoods, fueling her people-centric urban planning approach. Jessica earned her Master’s in Planning from the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy, with a focus on Economic Development, and a Bachelor’s from California State University, Long Beach, where her studies spanned International Studies, Geography, and International Economics.

Nancy Villarreal
Early Childhood & Family Engagement Director
Los Angeles Education Partnership

Nancy Villarreal has over 25 years of experience working with children and families in Los Angeles community-based programs. She joined the Los Angeles Education Partnership (LAEP) in 1998, and currently oversees LAEP’s Early Head Start program in South LA, Inglewood, and Hawthorne, their county-wide child care initiative, and the Northeast Valley Best Start Community. She is committed to providing empowering, strengths-based, and culturally competent services to every family and community they serve. Her passion is to work with parents of children ages 0-5 years and to bring awareness to the importance of early childhood education. She resides in the heart of Los Angeles (DTLA) and enjoys walking on the beach, reading, and listening to podcasts. She is excited to start this Fall 2023 Women In Leadership cohort and learn to leave a legacy in and represent her community.