Commissioner Biographies

Commission on the Status of Women

The Commission comprises 7 individuals appointed by the Mayor to 4-year renewable terms.  Currently all seats are filled. Commissioners meet on the 4th Wednesday of each month, except November and December, when meetings are on a different day. See the Commission Meeting Schedule for details.

Vice President Deborah Mesloh

Debbie Mesloh

President

Debbie Mesloh has served as a lifelong advocate of advancing women both in electoral politics and in the workplace. Debbie currently serves as a communications consultant, assisting clients with communications strategy, crisis communications and message refinement.

Debbie was appointed to the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women in 2015, and she currently serves as President. Debbie also serves as co-chair to the 2018 Bay Area Women’s Summit, convened by the Mayors of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose. Debbie is a founding member of the Emerge America program, which seeks to recruit and train qualified women to run for office and is former President of the San Francisco Women’s Political Committee.

Debbie most recently served as transition co-chair for Senator-elect Kamala Harris (D-California). Debbie previously worked in the Obama Administration as a White House Political Appointee to the Office of the United States Trade Representative. She served as a spokesperson in the 2008 Obama for President and 2012 Obama for re-election campaigns.

Debbie’s private sector experience includes five years as Vice President of Global Government and Public Affairs for Gap Inc. where she ran communications for the company’s corporate social responsibility work as well as the strategy for Gap Inc.’s international, national, state and local government affairs.

Debbie holds Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Kansas and remains a committed Jayhawk fan.

Commissioner Breanna Zwart

Breanna Zwart

Vice President

Breanna Zwart has been a lifelong advocate for women and girls through mentoring, education, and community & economic development. She currently works to promote internet access in emerging markets at Google. Ms. Zwart’s portfolio includes partnership development, policy implementation, communications, and strategy execution.

Prior to joining Google, Ms. Zwart was a Presidential appointee at the U.S. Department of the Treasury where she led initiatives promoting gender equality in international economic development. Before her time in Washington D.C., Ms. Zwart was the City of San Diego’s Budget and Finance committee consultant and a policy advisor to the City Council President.

Ms. Zwart has served on the board of the Elementary Institute of Science, the San Diego New Leaders Council, is a past member of Hermanitas, HerStory, and former co-director of Strong Women, Strong Girls.

Ms. Zwart holds a Masters of Science in Public Policy and Management, and a Bachelors of Arts and Humanities in International Relations and Drama with a Minor in Hispanic Studies, both from Carnegie Mellon University.

Commissioner Meena Harris

Meena Harris

Commissioner

Meena is Head of Strategy & Leadership at Uber, where she oversees transformation initiatives across business units to positively impact brand, customer loyalty, and employee engagement.

Previously Meena managed policy at communication platform Slack, where she provided strategic advice on tech policy issues pertaining to cloud-based enterprise software. Before that, she was a data privacy and cybersecurity attorney at a major global law firm, advising leading tech and media companies.

Prior to law school, Meena worked in user operations at Facebook. She also was active on Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, for which she primarily focused on youth-vote organizing and grassroots fundraising. In 2008, Meena co-founded Gen44, Obama for America's millennial fundraising program.

Last year, Meena launched the Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign, a digital media initiative and collective of diverse women from around the country who support women's causes through promotion of the Maya Angelou-inspired "Phenomenal Woman" t-shirt.

 Commissioner Sonia Melara

Sonia Melara

Commissioner

Sonia Melara is the Executive Director of Rally Family Visitation Services of Saint Francis Memorial Hospital.  Ms. Melara also serves on the part-time faculty of San Francisco State University’s School of Social Work since 2001. Ms. Melara has over 30 years of management experience in the non-profit and for-profit sectors.  She served as Executive Director of the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women from 1995-2001. She was Founder and President of the Hispanic Yellow Pages and served as National Director of Leadership Programs at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF)

Sonia Melara was appointed by President Carter to serve on the National Advisory Commission on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.  She has served on a variety of the boards, including the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce and the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau.  In her civic life, she has served under seven San Francisco Mayors, most recently as member of the San Francisco Police Commission.  Previously, she was a member and president of the San Francisco Parking and Traffic Commission, the Immigrant Rights Commission and the San Francisco Health Commission.  Ms. Melara is co-founder of California’s first shelter for survivors of domestic violence, La Casa De Las Madres, as well as one of founders of La Cocina, a business incubator for low-income women who want to start their business in the food industry.

Ms. Melara holds a Bachelor of Arts and Masters degree in Social Work from San Francisco State University.  She was named One of the top 100 Women in Communications by Hispanic U.S.A. Magazine; Outstanding Leader in the Bay Area by KGO-TV. She has been Featured in Our Wildest Dreams, a book about women in business; Featured in Economics, a textbook for high school students; received the UCSF Center for Gender Equity Award and was inducted into the San Francisco State University Alumni Wall of Fame in 1995.

Commissioner Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz

Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz

Commissioner

Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz is Board Chair and President of Charles Schwab Foundation and Senior Vice President at Charles Schwab & Co, Inc., where she oversees Schwab’s corporate philanthropy and employee volunteer programs. As director and board chair of Schwab Charitable, she oversees one of the country’s largest donor-advised funds. She also serves on the national board of governors of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. 

A leading advocate for financial literacy, she has devoted her career to helping women and men from all walks of life achieve financial security.

Under her leadership, Charles Schwab Foundation has made important strides in promoting financial literacy. With Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Schwab-Pomerantz created a best-in-class financial education program that has been completed by nearly 800,000 teens nationwide. With AARP, she led the development of AARP Foundation Finances 50+SM, an effort to improve financial outcomes for low- and moderate-income seniors.

She has served two White House administrations advising on financial capability policy. 

She is the author of two books and she also writes a nationally syndicated personal finance column called Ask Carrie.

Schwab-Pomerantz earned a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MBA from George Washington University. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certificant.

President Andrea Shorter

Andrea Shorter

Commissioner

Andrea Shorter has served on the Commission on the Status of Women since 2001. A longtime advocate in the women's community, she has served as President of the San Francisco chapter of the National Organization for Women, Founding Board Member of the International Museum of Women, and Board President for both La Casa De Las Madres, and Standing Against Global Exploitation. The former Deputy Director of the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, Andrea is the co-author of a groundbreaking report on the status of girls in San Francisco's juvenile justice system that is still widely referenced as a catalyst for reform.
Commissioner Julie Soo

Julie D. Soo

Commissioner

Julie D. Soo is a senior staff counsel with the California Department of Insurance. She has volunteered in a variety of community causes, including hate crimes projects, civil rights education, campaign work, and community health advocacy. She is well-recognized as a former staff writer with AsianWeek, where she continues to be a features contributor. Julie is a fourth-generation San Franciscan on her mother’s side of the family and a graduate of Lowell High School. In addition to serving on the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women, she is a member of the Board of Trustees for Saint Francis Memorial Hospital and is active with the California Democratic Party Executive Board as a co-chair of the Platform Committee, now entering her sixth term as a delegate. She holds an A.B. with a double major in Pure Mathematics and Statistics from U.C. Berkeley, an M.A. in Applied Mathematics from U.C. San Diego, and a J.D. from Golden Gate University School of Law.

 

 

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