Celebrating Women's History Month: Women Leaders and the Future of Politics

Join us for a discussion of women in politics, paths to success, making a difference, and how female leaders are shaping the future.

Meet the Speakers

Malia M. Cohen serves as a member of the California State Board of Equalization (BOE), California’s elected tax commission. She was elected to the BOE in November 2018, served as Chair in 2019, and is the first African-American woman to serve on the Board. As the BOE Board Member for District 2, she represents 10 million constituents living in all or parts of 23 counties extending from Del Norte County in the north to Santa Barbara County in the south. In January 2019, her BOE Board Member colleagues unanimously selected her to serve as Chair of the Board. A strong advocate for social justice and inclusion, Board Member Cohen pledges to ensure that the views of all who come before the Board of Equalization are considered carefully, with respect, civility, and courtesy. She further commits to collaborate with her colleagues to guarantee that all the actions of the BOE are open, transparent, and above reproach. As Finance Chair, she oversaw the adoption of an $11 billion budget, and measures concerning bond issues, taxes, fees, and redevelopment and real estate matters. She also served as a fiduciary member of the San Francisco Transportation Authority, which manages the proceeds of a half-cent sales tax that generates $100 million annually for transportation investments in the County. Previously, she served as a Commissioner of the San Francisco Employee Retirement System (SFERS), which manages a $23 billion pension fund.

Fiona Ma, CPA, is California’s 34th state treasurer. She was elected on November 6, 2018 with more votes (7,825,587) than any other candidate for treasurer in the state’s history. She is the first woman of color and the first female Certified Public Accountant (CPA) elected to the position. Ma was a member of the State Assembly from 2006–2012, serving as speaker pro tempore from 2010–2012. She chaired the Assembly Select Committee on Domestic Violence and spearheaded legislation that strengthened laws protecting victims of domestic violence, consumers and working families; prevented the spread of Hepatitis B; increased access to quality health care; and provided equal rights for all Californians. From 2002–2006, she served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and championed a campaign to end human trafficking in massage parlors and to close prostitution rings. Ma first became involved in public service in 1994 when she was elected president of the Asian Business Association, where she began advocating at San Francisco City Hall and the State capitol on behalf of minority business owners.

Stefanie G. Roumeliotes, a native to the San Francisco Bay Area, has parlayed her passions for supporting political candidates and causes, and enhancing the welfare of others, into a highly productive career as a seasoned strategist and fundraiser in the political and non-profit arenas. Over the last sixteen years, SGR Consulting has raised over $100 million dollars with its various clients. Stefanie is an influential facilitator in the Bay Area who continues to play a major role as a connector in identifying new growth opportunities, maximizing the investor pool, and building successful partnerships for all of her clients.

Stefanie served as the Northwestern Finance Director for Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign for president of the United States, where she led a record-breaking fundraising effort for the region. Her portfolio includes, but is not limited to, Democratic Data Exchange (DDx), Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), Democratic Governor’s Association (DGA), United Nations Foundation, William Jefferson Clinton Foundation, the Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), FWD.us,

Outside of her work, Stefanie has led lectures at training seminars for EMERGE America and often participates in stakeholder convenings as an expert in her field. Stefanie currently serves as a Board member of Children of Shelters, a San Francisco based non-profit organization working to provide support and education for children living in or being served by the homeless shelter system. Appointed to the Golden Gate Park Concourse Authority in 2010 by then-Mayor Gavin Newsom, Stefanie previously served as a San Francisco Commissioner for the City and County of San Francisco. Stefanie now serves as Chair of the San Francisco-Thessaloniki Sister City Association, appointed by late San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee in 2017.

Michelle Meow
Producer and Host, “The Michelle Meow Show,” KBCW/KPIX TV and Podcast; Member, Commonwealth Club Board of Governors—Co-Host

John Zipperer
Producer and Host, Week to Week Political Roundtable; Vice President of Media & Editorial, The Commonwealth Club—Co-Host


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