About the Host Committee
Mount Saint Mary’s Report on the Status of Women and Girls in California™ Host Committee is made up of distinguished thought leaders from all industries who are dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls. Our Host Committee shares information and updates with their networks to spread the word about the Report and to expand the conversation beyond the event. Host Committee members act as ambassadors for Mount Saint Mary’s University.
Emerald Archer, PhD, is the director of the Center for the Advancement of Women at Mount Saint Mary’s University. She has dedicated her career to studying questions related to gender equity and women’s representation in non-traditional domains such as the United States military. Through the Center, Emerald’s primary goal is to promote and increase gender equity in California and our region. She leads the Center's efforts related to applied research, education and policy analysis. She holds a PhD in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Araceli Campos is executive director of the Miguel Contreras Foundation (MCF), a nonprofit organization with a mission to serve and empower working families in Los Angeles County. Prior to joining MCF, Araceli served as national corporate counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), one of the largest Latino civil rights organizations in the United States. In her public service, Araceli is part of the historic 54% of women appointed locally by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Before moving to the Ethics Commission, Araceli served for almost 10 years as the youngest president in the history of the City’s Commission on the Status of Women. She also served as vice president of the Association of California Commissions for Women.
Kimberly Freeman serves as associate dean and chief diversity officer for the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, managing the office for diversity and strategic initiatives. She works to enhance the educational experience of students and establish an inclusive, welcoming environment for culturally diverse students, staff and faculty. Kimberly most recently served as assistant dean of diversity initiatives and community relations at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, where she spearheaded efforts to increase diversity among and enhance inclusion for faculty, students and staff. Prior to her position at UCLA, she led community relations efforts for Southern California Gas Company and Sempra Energy. She was also an adjunct professor at USC Price School of Public Policy.
Lindy Huang Werges
Lindy Huang Werges is an entrepreneur, philanthropist and advocate for women’s initiatives and gender parity. Lindy has 25-plus years of executive search and corporate finance & accounting experience. She entered the start-up world in 2005 and is the founder of Integritas Resources, Inc., and co-founder of Zen Yoga Strap, Inc. (her third and fourth start-ups). Lindy attributes her career and company successes to her “pay it forward” mentality. Her philanthropic advocacy efforts focus on providing educational resources and internships for under-resourced teens and young professionals; and professional development and mentoring to women entrepreneurs and businesswomen.
Suzanne Lerner is an entrepreneur, activist and advocate for gender equality. She is the co-founder and president of the retail company Michael Stars. Suzanne Lerner boasts decades of experience in business, as well as a background in philanthropy with a primary focus on gender equality, economic empowerment and social justice. Her philanthropic efforts include giving back to communities both domestically and abroad. As an advocate for gender equality, she believes that a woman’s success should not be decided by where she is from. Suzanne has made it her mission to support women’s rights both in business and her personal life.
Tieraona Low Dog
Tieraona Low Dog, MD, is an internationally recognized physician and expert in the fields of dietary supplements, botanical medicine, women’s health and integrative medicine. Before she completed her medical training at the University of New Mexico School Of Medicine, she had studied massage therapy, midwifery, herbal medicine and martial arts. She has chaired numerous dietary supplement expert panels for the United States Pharmacopeia, served on the Advisory Council for the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health at the NIH, was a presidential appointee under Bill Clinton. Tieraona is currently the fellowship director for the Academy of Integrative Health and Medicine.
On July 23, 2013, Nury Martinez became the second Latina in over 25 years to be elected as a Los Angeles city councilmember. At the time, she was the only woman elected out of 18 L.A. elected city positions. She has dedicated her life to the San Fernando Valley where she was born and raised, and has served her community from the L.A. Unified School Board to Pacoima Beautiful. Today, Martinez is still just one of two female members of the Los Angeles City Council, and she is committed to encouraging and supporting girls and women to take leadership roles and be part of government.
Holly J. Mitchell
From children's advocate to "moral conscience of the Senate" (L.A. Times, Feb. 28, 2017), Sen. Holly J. Mitchell has spent her career fighting poverty and creating a California in which all children thrive. Since 2010, she has authored dozens of landmark laws in the California State Senate. These include: ending policies that drove families deeper into poverty; limiting unfair seizures of personal assets; decriminalizing prostitution for child victims of sex trafficking; and substantive reforms to the juvenile justice system. During her first year as chair of the Senate Budget Committee, in 2017, Sen. Mitchell oversaw the state's $183 billion investment in California's future and has been recognized as “Legislator of the Year” or otherwise honored by more than 100 groups statewide. A member of the Senate leadership team, she serves nearly 1 million residents in the 30th Senate District.
Cora Neumann, PhD, is founder of the Global First Ladies Alliance, as well as the founder of RESET, a retreat series for women. She previously served as senior advisor under Secretary Hillary Clinton at the U.S. Department of State. Through her experience working with first ladies, heads of state, CEOs, nonprofit leaders and women entrepreneurs, Cora has witnessed that the world’s most influential and effective leaders are rooted in a connection to self, humanity and the planet. For women leaders in particular, sustained success is grounded in the ability to set boundaries and consistently realign with purpose, meaning and impact. Prior experience includes work for the RAND Corporation, the Bush Institute, Care.com, the Clinton Global Initiative, the World Health Organization and the United Nations.
Alice Petrossian immigrated to the United States at the age of nine and did not any English. She entered public schools in Los Angeles and graduated from California State University of Los Angeles majoring in Speech and Drama. Alice went on to receive multiple teaching and administrative credentials, a masters degree in Education Administration and completed her course work towards a PhD in Educational Policy at the University of Southern California. Alice is currently the president of the Los Angeles County Commission for Women. She retired from the Pasadena Unified School District (PUSD) as Chief Academic Officer-Deputy Superintendent. Prior to joining PUSD, she served in multiple administrative positions in Glendale Unified School District, including 10 years as the assistant superintendent of educational services. Throughout her 44 year career, Alice has been an educational leader and advocate for all students. She has continuously volunteered in organizations, especially those involving women's and children’s causes.
Jessica Postigo is a screenwriter and the president of the L.A. Commission on the Status of Women. She began her professional career as a political journalist for a national newspaper before moving on to work for the country’s top independent ad agency, where she created award-winning campaigns. Jessica’s lifelong passion for filmmaking inspired her to move to Los Angeles where she began working in production. She went on to develop screenplays for various production companies, which ultimately led her to writing them for major studios. She’s sold TV shows to MTV, Lifetime, ABC Studios and Warner Bros. In her work with the City’s Commission on the Status of Women, she is engaged with gender equality, human trafficking, domestic violence and female homelessness, among other issues. Jessica is also on the Latino Advisory Council for Common Sense Media.
Diane M. Reichenberger is a retail and licensing professional with over 30 years of executive leadership experience. She currently serves as vice president of global strategy for consumer products and promotional partnerships at Mattel. Prior to joining Mattel, she co-founded Giiv.com a mobile gifting company. She also served as COO of Rock & Republic; CEO of Dualstar Entertainment Group; president of L.A. Gear Inc.; and senior vice president and general manager of the women's division of Joe Boxer Corp. Diane also co-founded the Women’s Accelerator, a high-touch, management development experience for women leaders at key advancement points in their careers.
Councilmember Monica Rodriguez was elected to the Los Angeles City Council on July 1, 2017, becoming the first woman elected to serve the Seventh District and the third Latina to serve on the City Council in L.A. history. A lifelong resident of the Seventh District, she brings more than 20 years of community, public, private and nonprofit sector experience earning a reputation as an innovative, results-oriented leader. Monica began her career as an aide to two Los Angeles city councilmembers and later served as a member of Mayor Richard Riordan’s administration. In 2013, she was appointed vice president to the Los Angeles City Board of Public Works by Mayor Eric Garcetti. Her priorities as councilmember include prioritizing public safety, developing opportunities for youth, establishing healthy communities, building a strong local economy, supporting small businesses and creating an efficient local city government that addresses the needs of its residents.