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Executive director, board named to lead Women & Girls Initiative

Los Angeles County’s landmark Women and Girls Initiative has moved into high gear with the appointment of an executive director, Regina Waugh, who previously worked to promote gender equality around the world as a foreign affairs officer in the U.S. State Department.

Waugh joins a high-powered and diverse panel appointed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to the initiative’s Governing Council. They include Anita DeFrantz, Olympic medalist and International Olympic Committee member; Katherine Spillar, co-founder of the Feminist Majority Foundation and executive editor of Ms. Magazine; Araceli Campos, president of the City of Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women; Chanel W. Boutakidis, CEO of the child welfare organization Five Acres; Jane Templin, labor leader and vice-president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 11; and Wendy Greuel and Jan Perry, two prominent local leaders who formerly served on the Los Angeles City Council. The full list of Governing Council appointees is here.

Waugh, who is set to begin work on April 24, 2017, joins the County after seven years in Washington D.C., where she helped coordinate federal efforts to empower women and girls around the world. Most recently, she served as chief of staff in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues in the State Department. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley, from which she also earned a master’s degree in public policy and a law degree.

As executive director, Waugh will work with the governing council to lead the five-year effort—initiated by Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and Hilda Solis and unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors in December—to “address the disproportionate burdens and disadvantages that women and girls in Los Angeles face.”

Waugh, a Southern California native, said she intends to rely on a collaborative approach and to actively engage the community in her new role.

“It’s a matter of pulling together smart people to address the layers of issues that impede the progress of women and girls,” Waugh said.  “I expect we’ll have a lot of different ideas and a process that gives everyone a voice in making change.”

The Women and Girls Initiative Governing Council is a part of the County’s Chief Executive Office.