"Our focus is poverty reduction and giving women hope,                                                             self-esteem and the ability to control their lives and destinies."

                                                                     - Winifred Cox, Co-Founder, Women's Empowerment International

WE Board of Directors

 

Bridget Burns, Secretary

Bridget Burns is an attorney at Tresp, Day & Associates, Inc., a law firm in Solana Beach, California focusing on all aspects of trust and estate law, including complex estate planning, asset protection, charitable planning, probate, and trust administration.  Bridget attended New York University School of Law and received her BA from the University of San Diego. She also serves as a committee chair for the Lawyers Club of San Diego, a bar association dedicated the advancement of women in law and society, and is currently Secretary of WE.

Teresa Jacques, Vice President

Teresa, a Partner at Major Executive Search has over 20 years of achievements as a global HR executive in the Communications, Information Technology and Professional Services Sectors. Ms. Jacques is known for driving change and scaling leadership teams and organizations for public and venture-backed technology companies including start-ups, business transformations, business acquisitions and joint ventures. Ms. Jacques previously served as Vice President of Human Resources at inCode Wireless, and built a premier business strategy and wireless technology consulting firm funded by Sequoia Capital. Throughout her career, Ms. Jacques has been a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion working with boards and executive teams to maximize capabilities and potential. Ms. Jacques remains at the forefront of board governance and compliance matters through her involvement with the Corporate Director’s Forum. She co-chairs the 2020 Women on Boards San Diego, Campaign, dedicated to accelerating the number of Women on Boards at public companies. As an active community member, Ms. Jacques has served on a number of nonprofit boards and has led fundraising efforts to support youth and military family causes. She has a Master of Arts Degree in Manpower Studies from the University of Westminster UK and completed the General Manager Program at Harvard Business School. She currently serves as WE Vice President.

Linda Kurtz

Linda is an Executive Career Consultant with UCSD's Rady School of Management. She has spent her career in human resources and career coaching, advising individuals on careers and identifying and making the most of their talents. Passionate about philanthropy and volunteering, Linda is involved with the Honor Foundation and Alzheimer's Association. She brings her talent for supporting women entrepreneurs to the WE Board. Linda is active on WE's Programs and Partnerships Committee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deborah McGraw-Block, President
Debbie has served as President of WE since 2019 and also fills the lead role for WE's Partnerships & Programs. Previously, she served as the Chair of the Finance Committee and liaison to WE partner project, ESTIMA. Debbie spent her career at UCSD, where from 1998 to 2015 she was Assistant Vice Chancellor for Resource Administration for the office of UCSD Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Previously, she was Assistant Dean for Fiscal Affairs for the School of Medicine from 1985 to 1998. Debbie received her Master of Arts from the University of Denver, Graduate School of International Studies and Public Policy, focused on Research Methodology and International Trade. She also has been an active volunteer in San Diego for Catholic Charities of San Diego, San Diego Creative Weavers Guild, and Sandy Point Homeowners Association.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christy Hendrickson, M.D.

Christy serves as program liaison to Fonkoze, WE's partner in Haiti. She has an educational background in Psychology, Emergency Medicine, and Educational Therapy. She worked for 20 years as an Emergency Room physician and the last 15 years as an Educational Therapist. She served on the Board of SD International Dyslexia Association and was a speaker at multiple dyslexia conferences. Now retired, she volunteers at a non-profit in Solana Beach that offers after school tutoring to the Hispanic community. Christy has made site visits to WE partner projects in Mexico; Haiti and Uganda.

Susan Hennenfent

Susan is a high-tech and wireless communications pioneer who spent her career in product development at Qualcomm. She is an active community volunteer as a member of the San Diego Women's Foundation and past President of the Rotary Club of Del Mar-Solana Beach. Susan sits on the WE Programs and Partnerships Committee. She holds an MBA from SDSU.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carol Clause

Carol is a longtime WE leader, having served as President, Secretary and co-chair of the Board Development Committee. Carol currently chairs the Fundraising Committee. She was a Marriage and Family Therapist and worked with the YMCA for 25 years. While she now spends most of her time in efforts to fulfill the mission of WE, she also volunteers and supports several other philanthropic organizations. Carol has a great passion for empowering women and is inspired by how, with both financial and social support, they can more fully realize their potential.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ruth Covell

Ruth is Associate Dean Emeritus and Clinical Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health (V) at the UCSD School of Medicine. Her passion for the underserved/stigmatized is reflected in her long time board involvement with San Ysidro Health Center which she helped establish, the Epilepsy Foundation, Mental Health America, PCI (Project Concern International) and the Regional Center for the Developmentally Disabled. Her involvement with WE is the result of her admiration of Win Cox and what she and the impressive army of WE volunteers have achieved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kristen Ryan

Kristen is the Assistant Director of Career Services at the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy. In this role, she works with graduate students and employers in the fields of international affairs and public policy. She has seven years of experience at nonprofit organizations and educational institutions throughout California, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Sacramento, Twin Rivers Unified School District, YMCA of San Diego County, and California State University, Fullerton. Kristen holds a Master of Arts in Postsecondary Educational Leadership from San Diego State University. She is committed to combating poverty and inequality around the world, particularly where it affects the lives of women and girls.

 

Barbara Sawrey

Barbara is an Emerita Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UC San Diego. Prior to her retirement, she served ten years as the Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs and Dean of Undergraduate Education for the university. She received her B.S. in chemistry from Baldwin-Wallace College, and Master's degree from San Diego State University, and Ph.D. in physical inorganic chemistry jointly from UC San Diego and SDSU. She is on the Board of Governors of the Gemological Institute of America, the Board of Governors of The San Diego Foundation, the Board of Directors of the National Conflict Resolution Center, and the Board of Directors of the American Chemical Society. She serves as Chair of WE's Governance Committee.

Erin Schultz

Erin is a political consultant with the firm NWP in Seattle, WA. She leads issue and initiative campaigns, and is highly skilled in communications and media relations. Erin previously worked for Senator Barbara Boxer as well as other candidate and ballot measures in California. She is an active volunteer and holds a degree in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego. Erin is active on WE's Fundraising & Development Committee.

Amina Sheik Mohamed, MPH

Amina is a dedicated public health leader who has gained national, state, and local recognition for her work advancing health equity in San Diego County. Currently serving as the Founding Director of the Refugee Health Unit, Amina is a mission-driven professional who works collaboratively with BIPOC communities to elevate health, uplift community agency, and ensure equitable access to all that San Diego has to offer. Amina holds a Masters of Public Health from Walden University and a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Science from San Diego State University.

Loretta Smith 

Loretta has over 45 years of diverse experience in management and leadership roles at UC San Diego. She served as Vice President and President of the UCSD Retirement Association for a two-year period and she still is an active member. She also is a returning WE Board Director who was instrumental in the selection and implementation of WE's Constituent Database System. She also assisted with fund-raising activities and walked the Camino De Santiago walk, which raised funds for WE. Loretta currently is a member of the La Jolla Sunrise Rotary club and will serve as president as of July 1, 2021.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teresa Wang, M.B.A.,

Teresa brings 25 years of experience in financial, business requirement analysis and project management to her role as a Director for WE. She currently serves as Treasurer. Teresa is a Project Manager for Terra Vista Software and has held numerous positions in finance, product development and clients relations over the course of her career. Teresa also brings international experience and perspective having lived abroad for 12 years. She is fluent in Cantonese and earned her BA from the University of Michigan and MBA from Bowling Green State University.

For further information about our leadership, programs and how you can get involved, please contact us by phone or email. You can make a difference in a woman's life today!

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