Our Leadership

Our Leadership Council is a diverse group of Californians who select and guide California Forward’s projects.

Lenny Mendonca, Co-Chair
Former Director of the San Francisco office of McKinsey & Company

Peter Weber, Co-Chair
Former Executive Committee Chair of the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley

Jim Heerwagen
Chair, Voter's Right to Know

Jennifer Hernandez
Partner, Holland & Knight

Laurie Madigan 
Partner at Madigan Consulting, Inc

James P. Mayer
President & CEO of California Forward

Pete Peterson
Executive Director, Davenport Institute for Public Engagement and Civic Leadership, Pepperdine School of Public

Dave Regan
President of SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW)

Cruz Reynoso
Former Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court & the Third District Court of Appeal

Joseph N. Sanberg
Co-Founder and Chair of the Board of Advisors for Aspiration

Duf Sundheim
Principal at GPS Mediation, APC & Former Chairman of the California Republican Party

Ashley Swearengin
President and CEO of the Central Valley Community Foundation & Former Mayor of Fresno


Previously Served

Juan Arambula
California State Assemblymember

Robert L. Balgenorth
President of the State Building & Construction Trades Council of California, AFL-CIO

David Davenport
Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution

Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins
CEO of Green For All

Yolie Flores
Children's Advocate

Carl Guardino
President and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group

R. William "Bill" Hauck
Former President of the California Business Roundtable

Antonia Hernández
President & CEO of the California Community Foundation

Robert M. Hertzberg
Former Co-Chair; Chair & Founder of G24 Innovations

Fred Keeley
Former Assembly Speaker pro Tempore

Joanne Kozberg
Principal at California Strategies, LLC

Stewart Kwoh
President & Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice

Donna Lucas
Former Deputy Chief of Staff for Strategic Planning & Initiatives for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

Thomas V. McKernan, Founding Co-Chair
Chair of the Board of the Automobile Club of Southern California

Bruce McPherson
Former California Secretary of State

Eloy Ortiz Oakley
Superintendent-President, Long Beach City College

Leon E. Panetta
Former Co-Chair; Fmr. Secretary of Defense and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency

Charles "Chuck" Poochigian
Former State Senator & Assemblymember

Constance L. "Connie" Rice
Former Co-Director of the Los Angeles NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund

Arturo Vargas
Executive Director, NALEO

Eugene J. "Gene" Voiland
Former President & CEO of Aera Energy LLC

Sunne Wright McPeak
President & CEO of the California Emerging Technology Fund