The Council

Hon. Aida Alvarez

Former Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration

The Honorable Aida Alvarez has been an award-winning journalist, a successful investment banker, and the first Hispanic woman to serve on a President’s Cabinet.  She currently serves on the boards of Oportun, Zoosk and Hewlett Packard, Inc.  Alvarez Chairs the Latino Community Foundation, is a Smithsonian American Art Museum Commissioner, a Governor on the Board of the San Francisco Symphony, as well as a San Francisco RBI trustee.  As Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Alvarez tripled lending to women and doubled lending to minorities.  Alvarez was an investment banker at Bear Stearns and First Boston.  While a journalist she won a Front Page Award, an Emmy nomination and an Associated Press Award for journalistic excellence.  A Harvard graduate, Alvarez holds honorary doctorates from several colleges and universities.  Alvarez was also on the boards of Pacificare Health Systems, Union Bank of California and Walmart.

Bill Bogaard

Former Mayor, Pasadena

As a four term mayor, Bill Bogaard was the longest serving Mayor in Pasadena’s history.  He began his career in a private law practice in Los Angeles and served as Executive Vice President of First Interstate Bancorp prior to his election in 1999 as Pasadena’s first directly elected mayor. He served as Visiting Professor of Law at the Michigan Law School during 1996-97 and as “Practitioner in Residence” at USC School of Law, 1997-1999. Bill graduated from Loyola Marymount University, served in the U.S. Air Force and graduated from the University of Michigan Law School.

Bob Foster

Former Mayor, Long Beach

Bob Foster served as president of Southern California Edison before his retirement in 2006 after more than 20 years with the company.  He is a graduate of San Jose State University, and served as a trustee to the California State University system prior to his election in 2006.

Elizabeth Hill

Former California Legislative Analyst

Ms. Hill served 32 years in California’s non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, leading it for 22 years until her retirement in 2008. She currently serves on the boards of the California Healthcare Foundation and the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley. She is a graduate of Stanford University and UC Berkeley and was a Fulbright Scholar in Sweden.

Steven Koblik

Former President, Huntington Library

Mr. Koblik served as President of Reed College from 1992-2001, when in 2001 he was named the 7th president of the Huntington Library. In 1989, he was named dean of the faculty of Scripps College, after teaching for several years as professor of history at Pomona College and the Claremont Graduate School. He holds a Bachelor’s from UC Berkeley, a master’s in international relations from the University of Stockholm, and a Ph.D from Northwestern University in Modern European history.

Carol Liu

Former State Senator, 25th District

From 2008 until 2016, Carol Liu served as the State Senator from the 25th District, which connects the Los Angeles County foothills on the west to San Bernardino County on the east. Prior to that Carol Liu was twice elected to serve in the Assembly. She is recognized nationally for her leadership and expertise in education policy.  In the Assembly she served as a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Higher Education and as a member of the National Commission on Accountability in Higher Education.  As a Senator she has served on the Legislative Advisory Committee of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education. Carol chaired several committees and caucuses during her tenure, including the Assembly Higher Education Committee, the Assembly Select Committee on Adult Education and the Senate Education Committee.  Among her most important legislative legacies was SB 1143 which created the task force that led to the California Community College Student Success Act. She is a strong proponent of increasing access to higher education as well as to career and technical education.

Lenny Mendonca

Director Emeritus, McKinsey & Company

Lenny Mendonca is former director & senior partner in the San Francisco office of McKinsey & Company. Lenny is the chairman emeritus of the Bay Area Council and is chairman of the Economic Institute of the Bay Area. He received his M.B.A. and certificate in public management from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He holds an A.B., magna cum laude, in economics from Harvard College.

Roger Niello

Co-Owner, The Niello Company

Roger Niello joined his family’s business at Niello Auto Group in 1974 and has run retail automobile dealerships with his family partners for over 25 years.  His experiences as a business owner led him to his presidency of the Sacramento Metro Chamber of Commerce, election to the Board of Supervisors and later, the State Assembly. In the Assembly, he helped craft legislation to spur economic development and job creation while promoting budget reforms such as a spending cap and rainy day fund to prevent future budget crises. Roger is passionate about reducing the burdensome mandates that pose regulatory burden on small businesses.

Mike Roos

Founder & Chief Consultant, Mike Roos & Company

Mike Roos is Founder and Chief Consultant of Mike Roos and Company, a public affairs management company founded in 1999. A political strategist and legislative leader in California for over 14 years, he served as a member of the California State Assembly from 1977 to 1991 where his leadership roles included serving as Majority Floor Leader and Speaker Pro Tempore. Previously, Mr. Roos ran LEARN, a broad coalition of diverse stakeholders interested in implementing systemic reforms within the Los Angeles Unified School District, and served briefly on the California Postsecondary Education Commission. A native Tennessean and Hall of Fame baseball player at Tulane University, Mr. Roos also holds an MPA from the University of Southern California. He resides in Los Angeles with his wife Tracey.

Libby Schaaf

Mayor, Oakland

Libby Schaaf became Oakland’s 50th mayor in 2015 following a term serving as a member of the Oakland City Council. A native Oaklander, Libby has two decades of public service experience that began while she was a young attorney leading volunteer efforts in Oakland. She later left her legal career at Oakland’s largest law firm to build and run the first centralized volunteer program for Oakland public schools at the Marcus Foster Institute. Libby eventually went on to become Public Affairs Director for the Port of Oakland and chief of staff and top mayoral aide to Jerry Brown. Mayor Schaaf recently launched The Oakland Promise, a cradle-to-career initiative that aims to triple the number of college graduates from Oakland within the next decade.

Jack Scott

Former Chancellor, California Community Colleges

Dr. Jack Scott has a long and distinguished career in higher education as a faculty member, dean and  college president.  He was elected to the State Assembly in 1996 where he served for four years, followed by eight years in the State Senate where he chaired the Senate Education Committee. He was then unanimously selected as the 14th chancellor of the California Community Colleges by the Board of Governors. As the chancellor of the nation’s largest system of higher education, Dr. Scott has led the 112 colleges through some sweeping reforms. His legacy will include his work on the California Community Colleges Student Success Task Force and the Associate Degree for Transfer program. The California Community College Student Success Task Force recently completed a list of 22 recommendations aimed at improving the educational outcomes of students. The reform package was adopted by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors in January 2012 without a dissenting vote. Dr. Scott also served on the Student Aid Commission in 2016.

Ashley Swearengin

CEO, The Central Valley Community Foundation

Ashley Swearengin is president and CEO of the Central Valley Community Foundation, a charitable foundation serving the six counties of Central California and providing over $100 million in funding to over 650 community benefit organizations over the last decade.  Prior to joining CVCF, she served as Mayor of the City of Fresno from 2009 through 2016.  As mayor, she implemented substantial changes to improve the delivery of city services, revitalize the downtown and urban core, promote business and job growth, address chronic homelessness, and stabilize the city’s financial position.  Before becoming mayor, Ashley led a number of economic development initiatives in the Fresno region, including the Central Valley Business Incubator, Fresno State’s Office of Community and Economic Development, and the Regional Jobs Initiative.

Pete Weber

Founder, Fresno Bridge Academy

Pete Weber retired from corporate life in 2001 to dedicate himself to community and economic development activities in the San Joaquin Valley. He is the founder of the Fresno Bridge Academy, a program designed to bring residents in Fresno’s poorest neighborhoods into the economic mainstream through employment and coordinated neighborhood-based services. In 2016 he was recognized for this pathbreaking work with an Irvine Leadership Award.  A dedicated resident of Fresno, he was formerly the Executive Committee Chair of the California Partnership for the San Joaquin Valley. He currently co-chairs California Forward.