The League of Women Voters of San Francisco Board of Directors is composed of the Executive Board and chair-people of each committee. Committees are responsible for carrying out much of our work and we encourage League members to join a committee and get involved in their work.
Leah Edwards works at an investment management firm in San Francisco. She is passionate about bringing about change at the local level, which led her to start volunteering with League of Women Voters of San Francisco as soon as she moved from Tucson, Arizona to San Francisco three years ago. She first began volunteering on political campaigns at the age of 18, and has tried to stay involved and informed on political issues ever since. In her spare time, Leah enjoys traveling, and has worked as an intern at the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and volunteered at the Maya Mountain Research Farm in rural Belize.
Elisa Bond has transitioned seamlessly from eight years in the for profit sector into the non- profit sector. She has helped several non-profits raise significant funds for their particular programs, as well as, for general operating support. She has a BA in Psychology with electives in Literature Writing and Law. She has had the great fortune of being able to live and work in two foreign countries and the international experience has broadened her world view, interest and sensitivity to other cultures and developed her ability to work with others holding different work values. With family roots in Rochester, New York, the presence and legacy of Susan B. Anthony has always cemented in her the importance of women’s suffrage and for equal voting rights. She is an avid runner and participates annually in the North Face Endurance Challenge and the Oakland Running Festival.
Martha Benioff was born in the Pasadena League of Women Voters and raised in the Mendocino MAL Unit (now the League of Women Voters of Mendocino County). It never occurred to her not to join, any more than it occurred to her not to vote. She joined the League of Women Voters of San Francisco in 1995.
Martha works for the San Francisco Department of Public Health, but soon will be a member of the new Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing. Other non-League activities include the San Francisco Trail Advisory Group of the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council, the building she lives in, a co-operative built in 1927 which has 26 cantankerous owners, and the Hooker Alley Community Garden.
Vanessa Royle is on the communications team at Internet performance and security company, Cloudflare, and leads communications for all policy initiatives. She currently serves as the Senior Junior Leagues of California State Public Affairs Committee (SPAC) Delegate for the Junior League of San Francisco and also serves as a middle school tutor for S.M.A.R.T., a San Francisco-based non-profit focused on helping low-income students achieve academic success. A Bay Area native, Vanessa graduated with a B.A. in Communications and Political Science (double major) from the University of California, Berkeley.
Alison currently works for the National Organizing Team at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). During her time at SEIU, she has helped organize rallies, conventions and National Days of Action. She has a BA in Political Science & International Relations from American University in Washington D.C. She moved to San Francisco in 2015 and joined the League of Women Voters of San Francisco, coordinating the Pros & Cons Guide from 2016-2018. In her spare time, Alison enjoys running through Golden Gate Park, trying local craft beers and eating the diverse cuisines in the Richmond District where she lives.
Ashley Raveche is the Co-President of the League of Women Voters of San Francisco, currently focusing efforts to restructure the League for greater efficiency and benefits to its members. She believes it is her responsibility to set an example for her two young daughters, working to empower women to drive positive change in their community. As the former VP of Voter Services, Ashley also produced the Pros & Cons Guide from 2011-2015, expanding access to the Guide to the hearing impaired and renegotiating funding for translations. Under her tenure, the League was awarded the HERO Award from the Mayor of San Francisco for contributions made to voting rights.
Ashley is a Bay Area native who has a diverse background in high-tech, biotech and film, which she previously applied to intellectual property enforcement. Her career includes working in support roles for patent litigation, corporate licensing and consumer protection departments at the San Francisco office of a national law firm. Prior to this, Ashley worked as a trademark investigator for online brand protection where she collaborated closely with US Customs and Border Protection agents in the seizure of counterfeit goods.
Ashley graduated from Boston University and holds a Certificate in Biotechnology and a Certificate in Paralegal studies. She is passionate about increasing youth participation through community outreach and awareness education, and is currently partnering the League with Generation Citizen to help train the next generation of civic-minded leaders.
Jenny Tse was born and raised in San Francisco and graduated from San Jose State University with a BA in Humanities with electives in Religious Studies, Geographic Information Science, and Computer Science. Her career so far has been with UNITE HERE! Local 2 where she was the Child and Elder Care Plan’s plan coordinator and a research intern. Jenny is currently working as a project manager and apprentice success manager for Apprenta. She is also an active member of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, and is on the Neighborhood Emergency Response Team with the San Francisco Fire Department. An avid open water swimmer, she swims in the SF Bay year round.
Amelia Wiederaenders is the Education Chair of the League of Women Voters of San Francisco. Her focus is on voter education and educating the public on the Sunshine Ordinance. She plans to continue the partnership with Generation Citizen that her predecessor started along with possible other partnerships in the future. Amelia is originally from Kansas City and moved to San Francisco in August of 2013. In her time in the Bay Area she’s worked on several campaigns, including Prop A in 2015 for Affordable Housing and voter registration in the South Bay with UpVote. Before moving to the Bay Area Amelia worked on Senator Claire McCaskill’s 2012 campaign and Representative Barbara Bollier’s campaign in 2010.
Amelia graduated from Kansas State University in 2009 with a dual degree in Political Science and International Studies. After graduating she spent 5 months in Europe, two months in Norway and 3 in Germany in 2010. In her spare time, Amelia is active with a number of political clubs including her own neighborhood Democratic club, and sits on the board of Democratic Women in Action. She loves to read and always has a book on her. In the Fall of 2017 she will begin pursuing a masters in Public Administration at the University of San Francisco.
Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Allison moved to San Francisco in 2014 after several years living abroad. Excited to contribute to the community she now calls home, Allison joined the League of Women Voters of San Francisco in 2016. Allison is the Director of Grants and Contracts for a local, non-profit law firm. She has been writing grants for government and non-profit organizations since 2007 and has helped secure millions of dollars for organizations working in a variety of program areas including health and well being, social entrepreneurship, civil rights, and education. Allison can’t believe she is lucky enough to live in such a beautiful part of the world, and enjoys getting outside whenever she can. She enjoys hiking, traveling, and–even though she’s terrible at it–surfing.
Rebecca Saar is a Sr. Marketing Manager at Salesforce focused on educating, empowering and celebrating Salesforce Administrators. Her past experience includes developing marketing programs and growth strategies for technology startups and different Bay Area non-profits. She launched the membership program for media non-profit, CIR, and provided membership & marketing consulting for other non-profits. She has an MBA from Hult International Business School and a BA in International Studies: Political Science from UC San Diego. She volunteers for VITA every tax season to provide tax filing services to low-income families. In her free time, she likes to be outdoors under the sun – running, hiking, biking, boating, skiing or picnicking!
Originally from Chicago, Illinois, Cheryl moved to the Bay Area 14 years ago and worked in the accounting departments at several top law firms in the Bay Area. She is currently working for Academy of Art University. She also supported the Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly organization which help her engage the community where she lives providing her with a greater sense of family. Although she remains close with her large family in Chicago, she prefers California weather and the San Francisco environment which is more conducive to her further spiritual studies with SGI-USA, Pacific Heights District.
Heather grew up on the San Francisco Peninsula in San Carlos and graduated from UC Berkeley in Political Science. She met her husband, Paul, when they both worked at the Pan Am office on Union Square. They, and their young family, lived in Latin America for eight years with Pan Am before returning to the Bay Area. She then joined the League of Women Voters in San Mateo County where they lived for fifteen years in Burlingame. She and Paul moved back to San Francisco as soon as their two children went away to college. She joined the League of Women Voters of San Francisco and is now serving her second stint on the Board. Her employment career was with non-profits in several fields. She was the League of Women Voters of San Francisco representative on the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force for five years and served as president of the board of Meritus College Fund, which gives scholarships to low-income San Francisco students.
Leuwam Tesfai is an attorney and serves as the Communications Co-Chair of the League of Women Voters of San Francisco. Originally from San Diego, she moved to San Francisco from Atlanta, where she attended Emory University. Leuwam is a graduate of the University of San Francisco School of Law and works in the utility regulatory industry at the California Public Utilities Commission, with a focus on energy matters. Besides the League of Women Voters, Leuwam is on the Neighborhood Emergency Response Team with the San Francisco Fire Department, mentors high school students with the California Law Academy, and coordinates volunteer work for her office at the San Francisco Food Bank. In her free time she trains for triathlons, gardens, and enjoys live performances. She supports the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the National Blood Clot Alliance, and the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition.
Whitney Watts, originally from Atlanta, Georgia, is a Marketing Manager at Salesforce and specializes in campaign strategy, enterprise technology, and event management. She received a B.S. in International Affairs with a Minor in History from Georgia Institute of Technology and a M.A. in Sociology of Education from the University of Georgia. After working in education and women’s health non-profits, Whitney moved to San Francisco in 2010. She joined the Board in 2014 as Communications Co-Chair and brings a wealth of experience regarding marketing strategies and implementation. Whitney also enjoys volunteering for Reading Partners, a mentorship-based tutoring program, and supporting the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition. In her spare time, she attends live music concerts, goes for runs in Golden Gate Park, and plays music at local venues around the Bay Area.
David Donahue is Professor of Education and Director of the McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good at the University of San Francisco. Before coming to USF in 2015, he was the Interim Provost and Associate Provost at Mills College in Oakland, California, and worked there for more than twenty years as a professor of education where he taught and advised doctoral students, teacher credential candidates, and undergraduates.
David has a Ph.D. in Education from Stanford University and a B.A. in History from Brown University. His research interests include teacher learning generally and learning from service learning and the arts specifically. He has also published on LGBTQ issues in education. He is co-editor of Democratic Dilemmas of Teaching Service Learning: Curricular Strategies for Success (2011) published by Stylus in 2011. He is also co-editor of Art-Centered Learning Across the Curriculum: Integrating Contemporary Art in the Secondary School Classroom (2014) and Artful Teaching: Integrating the Arts for Understanding Across the Curriculum (2010), both published by Teachers College Press.