Gender Equality Council

Lisa Adukia, Friends of the Commission on the Status of Women
Lisa Adukia is a conscious change leader focused on the health and wellness of Pacific Gas & Electric’s 24,000 employees. Lisa joined PG&E in 2008 and has spent her time leading high profile projects and teams in Regulatory Affairs, Finance, Energy Supply, and Human Resources. She is currently in the company’s Safety Health & Environment organization, leading the Integrated Health Management team responsible for the company’s physical, emotional, and financial health and wellness programs. She is currently a graduate student at American University, pursuing a Master’s in Nutrition Education. She received her undergraduate degree in Business Administration from University of Phoenix. She is currently on the Board of Directors for The Friends of the Commission on the Status of Women. Previously she served on the Board of Directors for the PG&E Women’s Network for five years. Lisa has been awarded the Jefferson award for outstanding public service, and received a Frederick W. Mielke Jr. Award, the highest honor a PG&E employee can receive for outstanding community service.

Patricia Bovan, Friends of the Commission on the Status of Women
Patricia Bovan is the Associate General Counsel and Senior Director at Salesforce.org., as well as the Corporate Secretary for the Friends of the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women. She previously led the Global Contracts group for Symantec’s Support Services business unit. She has focused her career negotiating and closing large technology contracts in hardware and software areas, revenue generating deals, and strategic corporate transactions. Ms. Bovan received the Queen’s Bench Bar Association Annual Merit Award, was appointed Officer and Director in 2007, and also served as Director of the Queen's Bench Foundation in 2007 and 2008. Patricia received her BA from Cornell University, and JD from Case Western Reserve.

Emily Loper, Bay Area Council
Emily Loper is a Policy Manager at the Bay Area Council, where she leads the Council’s Gender Equity policy work. The Bay Area Council’s Gender Equity Committee advocates for policies that promote women in the workforce and enhance workplace cultures of equality. Earlier this year, Emily helped drive the passage of the San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Ordinance, which made San Francisco the first city in the nation to guarantee that nearly all employees have access to fully paid leave for the purposes of bonding with a new child. Emily holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the USC Price School of Public Policy where she was a Dean’s Merit Scholar, and graduated with honors from UCLA with a degree in Political Science and International Relations. A Bay Area native, Emily enjoys cycling, hiking, and skiing on weekends.

Peg McAllister, Bay Area Council and Friends of the Commission on the Status of Women
Peg McAllister is Senior Vice President in the San Francisco office of Lee Hecht Harrison. In this position, Peg consults with corporate clients for Career Transition and Outplacement, Career Development and Leadership and Change Consulting and Executive Coaching, providing customized solutions. Peg has more than 25 years of experience in the Northern California market in leading and creating human capital solutions. She has extensive experience in building national strategic business relationships with Fortune 500 companies and developing strong, high performance service teams. Peg holds an MBA from California Lutheran University. Her professional development includes coursework in leadership and career development, teamwork and change management. Peg is an Executive Board Member of the Bay Area Council and Co-chairs Gender Equity initiatives. She also serves on the boards of the Friends of the San Francisco Commission on Status of Women and the Girl Scouts of Northern California, as a Camp CEO mentor and a ChristCare Leader at Trinity Lutheran Church. She is often called upon by media and the community to comment on women in leadership, gender equity, employment, talent mobility, employee engagement and leadership trends.

Karen McMillan, Friends of the Commission on the Status of Women
Karen McMillan, CFP®, has been a financial advisor for 22 years, first in Canada, and starting in 2002 in the United States. She joined the San Francisco office of Merrill Lynch in 2009. She has a passion for working with clients to help them identify their primary goals and needs, and to develop a solid understanding of financial strategies available to help attain desired outcomes. She holds the Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®) designation awarded by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., and has completed Level 1 of the Certified Equity Professional designation. Karen currently serves on the board of the Friends of the Commission on the Status of Women, and is Co-President of the Merrill Lynch San Francisco Woman's Exchange. Karen and her husband live in San Francisco.

Debbie Mesloh, Commission on the Status of Women
Deborah "Debbie" Mesloh has served in the public policy and political arena for the past 15 years. She was previously the Senior Director of Global Public and Government Affairs at Gap, Inc. Most recently she was Senior Advisor to Attorney General Kamala Harris during her successful run for statewide office. Commissioner Mesloh's work with AG Harris builds upon her service as a key campaign official during Harris’ successful race for San Francisco District Attorney in 2003, and served as DA Harris’ communications director during her first term. In 2007, Commissioner Mesloh joined the Obama for America campaign as California Communications Director. She then served the next 18 months in various states throughout the country as a spokeswoman and communications advisor to the campaign. In 2008, she was asked to serve as a spokeswoman on the Presidential Inauguration Committee and then as a White House Political Appointee to the Office of the United States Trade Representative. She remains active in local, state and national politics. Commissioner Mesloh holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Kansas. She is an avid surfer and runner.

Breanna Zwart, Commission on the Status of Women
Breanna Zwart has been a lifelong advocate for women and girls through mentoring, education, and community & economic development. She currently works to promote Internet access in emerging markets with the Access and Energy team at Google. Ms. Zwart’s portfolio includes partnership development, policy implementation, communications, and strategy execution. Prior to joining Google, Ms. Zwart was a Presidential appointee at the U.S. Department of the Treasury where she led initiatives promoting gender equality in international economic development. Before her time in Washington D.C., Ms. Zwart was the City of San Diego’s Budget and Finance committee consultant and a policy advisor to the City Council President. Ms. Zwart has served on the board of the Elementary Institute of Science, the San Diego New Leaders Council, is a past member of Hermanitas, HerStory, and former co-director of Strong Women, Strong Girls. Ms. Zwart holds a Masters of Science in Public Policy and Management, and a Bachelors of Arts and Humanities in International Relations and Drama with a Minor in Hispanic Studies, both from Carnegie Mellon University.
 

FOUNDING PARTNERS

Bennett Freeman, Calvert Investments 
Over the last 15 years of a three decade-plus career, Bennett Freeman worked at the intersection of governments, international institutions, multinational companies, investors and NGOs to improve corporate conduct and to promote human rights and sustainable development. As Senior Vice President for Sustainability Research and Policy at Calvert Investments from April 2006-April 2015, Bennett Freeman led the environmental, social and governance research, analysis, public policy and shareholder advocacy work of the largest set of sustainable and responsible (SRI) mutual funds in the U.S. He was Chair of the Advisory Board of Global Witness; Board member of the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) USA; Steering Committee member of the Corporate Human Rights Benchmark Initiative (CHRB); Board Secretary and a co-founder of the Global Network Initiative (GNI); member of the Governing Board of the Natural Resources Governance Institute (NRGI); Board Chair of EG Justice; Board member of USSIF-The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment. He received an MA in Modern History from the University of Oxford, where he studied as an English Speaking Union Churchill Scholar at Balliol College, and an AB in History from the University of California at Berkeley.

Shawn MacDonald, Verité
Dr. Shawn MacDonald is responsible for a variety of research, training, multi-stakeholder dialogue, and advocacy programs focused on issues like forced labor, freedom of association, compliance program design, trafficking, and standards-setting. He regularly leads workshops, trainings, and multi-stakeholder public meetings on labor and other CSR issues and consults for business leaders on CSR strategy and program design. Dr. MacDonald has broad international and domestic experience in social entrepreneurship, corporate social responsibility, multi-sectoral partnerships, conflict analysis and resolution, labor and environmental standards, public health, and civil society promotion. Before joining Verité, Shawn was Director of Accreditation at the Fair Labor Association, Vice President of Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, and co-founder of the Development and Employment Policy Project. Additionally, he worked for a variety of international NGOs in Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe. He holds a PhD from George Mason University’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, an AB in History from Harvard University, and was certified as a mediator by the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Emily M. Murase, PhD, Department on the Status of Women
Dr. Emily Murase has served as the Executive Director of the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women since her appointment in 2004. Through her leadership, the Department has been engaged in groundbreaking gender analyses of city operations in which the workforce, budget, and services of city departments are examined using the lens of the CEDAW human rights framework. Dr. Murase is currently serving her second term on the San Francisco Board of Education. A graduate of Bryn Mawr College, Dr. Murase holds a Master’s degree from UC San Diego and a PhD from Stanford University. She resides in San Francisco with her husband and 2 children.
 

STAFF

Verna Liza Caba, Friends of the Commission on the Status of Women
After being away from the corporate world for more than 10 years to raise two children, now 12 and 15, Verna Liza is thrilled to provide part-time fundraising, event planning, and organizational support as Executive Director of the Friends of the Commission on the Status of Women. Verna Liza is a Property Manager by profession and has worked for industry giants GE Capital, Trammell Crow, Spieker Properties and Equity Office. She has managed office staff and Class A commercial real estate portfolios in downtown San Francisco, San Mateo and Redwood City. Prior to joining the Friends, she organized and served as Chair of several school auctions in San Francisco which saw repeated increases in revenue while decreasing expenses and delivering the project under budget. Verna Liza grew up on a military base in Hawaii and graduated from UC Davis where she received a BA in History.

Elizabeth Newman, Department on the Status of Women 

Elizabeth Newman is the Workplace Policy & Legislative Director for the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women where she manages public and private sector initiatives to advance gender equity in the workplace and monitors, analyzes, and develops policy and legislation to improve the lives of women and girls in San Francisco. Ms. Newman previously served as a Policy Advocate and Political Organizer for the San Diego Labor Council and coordinated field programs for political campaigns. Ms. Newman graduated with a Master of Public Policy from the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California and earned her BA in Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies and Sociology from Macalester College. 

Allie Walker, Department on the Status of Women 

Allie Walker is the Gender Equality Principles Fellow at the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women where she supports the Gender Equality Principles Initiative and manages the Gender Equality Challenge. She graduated from Grinnell College in 2015 with a BA in Psychology and a passion for women's rights.

View Ann Lehman's profile on LinkedIn

Meet the participants

Many individuals and institutions contributed to the creation and advancement of the Gender Equality Principles' tools and resources.

Please take a moment to see who they are.