MEET THE WOMEN LEADING CIVICAS
Civicas Founding Board
Cynthia Hirschhorn was inspired to found Civicas because she is fortunate to know so many amazing women. Formed as Women4CommonGround.org (inspired by the 2016 elections), the website and group became WCAN.la (Women's Civic Action Network) after the 2017 Women's March, and has evolved into Civicas.net. Cynthia is an environmental designer and advocate for healthy civic life, proudly serving on the boards of AltaSea, RiverLA, ProCon.org & Action Civics CA promoting civic education and engagement. She channels her passions for public art, urban gardens and water into flowproject.la, a resource site promoting civic arts, civic education & water resiliency, and patronizing civic cultural groups including The Council of the Library Foundation and LACMA's Director's Circle. Cynthia developed and implemented "PartyBook" a successful fundraising and community building platform for parents at Harvard-Westlake School, enjoys hosting salons on public health, the LA River, leading urban explorations and organizing events celebrating community. A native of Los Angeles, Cynthia attended Yale College, and has a BA in Cultural History and a Masters in Architecture from UCLA. She and her husband Charles have three adult children, live in Pacific Palisades and love to travel.
Laura Fox is a professor of social entrepreneurship at the USC Marshall School of Business and a lecturer at UCLA. Currently, Laura is the Board Chair of P.S. Arts, the Board Vice Chair of City Year Los Angeles and serves on a number of advisory councils including Human Rights Watch Los Angeles Committee, University of Michigan LSA Dean’s Advisory Council and Common Sense Media Los Angeles Advisory Council. Previously, Laura served as Board Chair of the Brentwood School and on the Board of Directors for Para Los Ninos and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Los Angeles. Laura worked in the entertainment industry for fifteen years, where she was responsible for overseeing business and legal affairs for the DreamWorks movie division, and was the VP of Legal Affairs for Walt Disney Pictures and Touchstone Pictures. Laura graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and Psychology from the University of Michigan, and received a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School. Laura lives in Santa Monica with her husband and two children.
Nicole Mutchnik is a social entrepreneur and longtime advisor to public projects and officials. She serves on the National Executive Committee of the ADL, having served as its regional Board Chair, the Executive Committee of the Women’s Political Committee, having served as its Co-Chair, and most recently founded the California Democracy Fund. With her husband, she recently created the Mutchnik Leadership Fellows at both the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell Law School. She previously worked for Governor Gray Davis, Treasurer Kathleen Brown, Speaker Robert Hertzberg, 1994 World Cup USA games, and the American Cities Initiative, as well as many other political and nonprofit projects. She graduated from UCLA in International Relations, and was a Fels Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Fels Graduate Institute of Government.
Partial list of Civicas Advisors:
Mitra M. Best is an entrepreneur, technologist, and innovation leader. As Principal in PwC New Ventures she identifies and incubates technology-enabled businesses aligned with solving critical challenges faced by organizations, the ecosystem of stakeholders, and the workforce. Mitra holds Bachelor degrees in Computer Science & Linguistics from UCLA, Graduate Management Certificate in Innovation & Strategy from MIT, and an Innovation Masters Certificate from Stanford University. She is a lifelong learner who values continued education as an imperative for growth and development.
Romi Lassally is a former media executive turned social entrepreneur and child welfare advocate. Most recently, Romi co-founded Ready To Succeed LA, a non profit organization on a mission to change the lives of transition age foster youth by providing them with the resources, mentorship and internship experiences they need to succeed in college and beyond. Before entering the non profit sector, Romi worked in digital media as the founder of an online content company for women, True Media, and the founding features editor for the Huffington Post. Romi started her career in the entertainment industry, working as as a studio executive and producer. Romi is a graduate of UCLA and lives in Pacific Palisades with her husband and three children.
Heather Pulier is a hybrid angel investor focused on providing strategic guidance to a select group of companies through the perils of early growth.
Carolyn Ramsay is a political and non-profit fundraiser, working predominantly with California Democratic Congressional candidates. She is a former Los Angeles City Council Chief of Staff, Los Angeles Program Director for the Trust for Public Land and People Magazine correspondent. She and her husband Andy Goodman live in Los Angeles and have two grown children.
Tara Roth is the president of the Goldhirsh Foundation. Prior to this role, Tara bridged the worlds of marketing, media, and philanthropy as the founding COO of GOOD and a social strategy advisor. Tara began her career in marketing and business development for NBCinternet and Infoseek. She has worked with organizations such as Participant Media, Fifteen Foundation, and the New Schools Venture Fund. As a senior advisor to GOOD, Tara helped launch the Pepsi Refresh Project. Tara received a bachelor’s degree at Cornell University, and has an MBA from Oxford University where she was awarded a Skoll scholarship in social entrepreneurship. Tara serves on the board of Southern California Grantmakers and USC's Sol Price School of Public Policy and on the regional advisory boards of Opportunity Fund, FUSE Corps, and 826LA. She is a Senior Fellow at USC's Brittingham Social Enterprise Lab.
Amy Sloane-Pinel has over 25 years of senior level experience in public affairs, corporate communications, and change management, including extensive strategic responsibility for public and private sector entities in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the U.S. In recent years, her focus has been on impact investment and sustainable development (ESG), particularly in building the public private partnerships so critical to supporting social infrastructure in emerging nations and underserved communities. She has served as an adviser to ArtBasel, The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF), The Henri Cartier Bresson Foundation, Vivendi, Corbis, EMI Music Group, Bertelsman Music Group, Sapient, and Eurosport, among others, as well as several private family office entities. She holds U.S. and French citizenship.
Leslie Weisberg studied international affairs at Barnard College, Columbia University. After years in the film Industry, her continuing passion for news and information led her to conceptualize Perseev, an immersive AI powered platform using pictures as gateways to content, experience and opportunity.
Debra Wong Yang is a former United States Attorney for the Central District of California. She was appointed in May 2002 by President George W. Bush, making her the first Asian American woman to serve as a United States Attorney. After leaving the US Attorney's office, Yang became a partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Los Angeles office. Reflective of her broad practice and comprehensive abilities, Ms. Yang is Co-Chair of the firm's Crisis Management Practice Group, White Collar Defense and Investigations Practice Group. In 2009, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa nominated Yang to a vacancy on the Los Angeles Police Commission. In 2016, she was listed as the potential choice for SEC Chief in Donald Trump's cabinet. The Daily Journal has named her over the years to its list of California’s Top 100 California lawyers. The National Law Journal has also named her to its Outstanding Women Lawyers list. In 2018, the Los Angeles Business Journal named her among its Most Influential Minority Lawyers in Los Angeles.
Sarah Zurell is the Chief Brand Officer and Executive Vice President of Pavemint, an environmentally conscious mobility brand helping change the way people park. As the Head of Content for Google Ventures’ “Strut,” she worked directly with the CTO to categorize 7,000 brands and helped transform 45% of downloads into daily users (compared to the industry average of 14%) through on-trend daily content and community management. As an aspiring force for good, she volunteers as a brand consultant for Milana Vayntrub’s charity, Can’t Do Nothing, which has received over 8 million impressions. Sarah has worked to pave the way for women to become active members of We Are LA Tech Women, where she sponsors and organizes technology industry-focused female empowerment events. In her spare time, Sarah is also the face and voice of “Girls Library,” a Twitter-based style and inspiration account, where Sarah has amassed over 300,000 followers.