Who We Are

The Seattle Women's Commission is composed of 21 accomplished individuals who come together as volunteers to research, analyze and make recommendations to the Mayor, City Council, and City Departments on issues facing women in Seattle. Nine commissioners are appointed by the Mayor, nine appointments are made by the City Council, and two appointments are made by the Commission. Commissioners are appointed to a two year term of office and serve without pay. A 21st member joins the Commission each year through Get Engaged, a leadership development program for 18-29 year olds.

The Seattle Office for Civil Rights provides staff and support to the Commission.

Learn About Commission Work


Meet Our Commissioners

Darya Farivar

Darya Farivar

Member
Appointed by: City Council
Term: 07/02/2017 - 07/01/2019

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Darya Farivar received her Bachelors of Arts in Communicative Disorders and minored in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University of Redlands. Her college career was shaped by her heavy involvement in campus life ranging from social justice siblinghoods, Greek life (becoming her sorority's president), and founding the Middle Eastern Student Association. She holds her Iranian heritage close to her heart, believes that social justice is a lifestyle, and looks at the world through a heavy equity lens. Darya now works as the Advocacy Program Coordinator at a local nonprofit, Open Doors for Multicultural Families. At Open Doors, she does a range of policy work, executes outreach projects, and runs a leadership and advocacy training program for multicultural parents and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

Erica Soelling

Erica Soelling

Member
Appointed by: Mayor
Term: 07/02/2017 - 07/01/2019

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Erica Soelling has been a Commissioner on the Seattle Women's Commission since 2015. Through her lived experiences and work as a Registered Nurse, Erica recognizes the ways gender, race, disAbility, sexual orientation, parental status, and other social forces intersect to shape health. She was compelled to join the Commission to improve the health of women, families, and communities through policies addressing the social determinants of health. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from University of Washington in 2013 and is currently a third-year Doctor of Nursing Practice student in the Family Nurse Practitioner track at University of Washington. She works to improve the health of Veterans as a 2016-2018 Jonas Veterans Healthcare Scholar and seeks to advance community health as a Core Leader of the student group, Health Equity Circle. She is engaged in evaluation research on policy approaches to healthy food access. She is the recipient of a 2017 Husky 100 award, which recognizes 100 UW students making the most of their education. Erica is a longitudinal clinical scholar at the VA Center of Excellence in Primary Care Education, where her DNP Project aims to increase breast cancer screening rates for women Veterans.

Idabelle Fosse

Idabelle Fosse

Co-Chair
Appointed by: City Council
Term: 07/02/2016 - 07/01/2018

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Idabelle Fosse, MSW, is an Organizer with the Seattle Human Services Coalition working on issues of homelessness in Seattle. Idabelle has many years of direct service experience with different populations, and has dedicated her career to fighting for racial and gender equity; and social, economic, and reproductive justice for all people. As a bilingual and multicultural woman, she brings a wealth of personal and professional experience to her advocacy work. Idabelle has experience with case management; housing, health, mental health and HIV policy, and program management. She has been on the Seattle Women's Commission a year and a half, as has been a Co-chair since July. Idabelle is determined to make Seattle a safer and better place for all women, especially women of color, LGBTQ women, and all who identify as women.

Jamilah Williams

Jamilah Williams

Member
Appointed by: City Council
Term: 07/02/2017 - 07/01/2019

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Jamilah Williams is the Digital Communications Specialist at Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii (PPVNH). Before being promoted into this position, she was a Community Organizer at PPVNH for 2 years. Working at PPVNH has allowed her to fall in love with politics all the while getting to work on what she's passionate about - reproductive health and rights. She graduated from the University of Washington (UW) with a Bachelor of Arts in Gender, Women, and Sexuality studies and a minor in Diversity studies where she received the Herring Phelps Award for scholarly activism. While at the University of Washington, she served as the Director for the Women's Action Commission where she had the honor and pleasure of putting on The ______ Monologues -- an original, more inclusive version of The Vagina Monologues. Always having loved team sports, she joined the UW Women's Rugby club where she served as Fundraiser and Vice President. When she's not fighting the patriarchy, she enjoys taking her cat for walks, hanging with her squad, and trying new restaurants and breweries with her partner. She served on the Outreach Committee at You Grow Girl! and is on the Organizing Committee of Radical Ravens as well as on the Women of Color Advisory Group for the YWCA of Seattle King Snohomish. You can find her on Twitter @jamillionairess.

K. Min Pease

K. Min Pease

Member
Appointed by: City Council
Term: 07/02/2017 - 07/01/2019

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Min Pease leads Echoing Green's impact investing program. Echoing Green is a 30 year old nonprofit that supports start-up entrepreneurs seeking to make positive social and environmental change, including those that have launched Teach For America, Public Allies, One Acre Fund, and more. Seattle-based grantees include Equal Opportunity Schools, Hugo House, and Stockbox Grocers.
 She helps entrepreneurs get investment ready, oversees investor relations, and manages research. She has a BA in Economics from Whitman College and a MSc in Development Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Lakeisha Jackson

Lakeisha Jackson

Member
Appointed by: City Council
Term: 07/02/2016 - 07/01/2018

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Lakeisha (Keisha) is the Assistant Director of the Consulting and Business Development Center at the University of Washington (UW) Foster School of Business. Prior to her work at UW, Keisha worked at College Success Foundation (CSF) as Program Associate for the College and Alumni Services Department and then at Seattle University as Coordinator of Off-Campus Student Life in the Division of Student Development. Much of her professional career has involved working with underrepresented students in the college to career pipeline. Keisha earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Sociology (double major) from Western Washington University. She earned her Master of Arts in Student Development Administration from Seattle University. She volunteers in the Greater Seattle area mentoring young women and delivering college and career preparation presentations to students, on the CSF Board of Directors and in the Seattle Urban League Young Professionals. Keisha hopes to support SWC’s work around violence prevention and economic opportunities for women while she serves as a commissioner.

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Loida Erhard

Member
Appointed by: Mayor
Term: 07/02/2016 - 07/01/2018

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Michele Frix

Michele Frix

Member
Appointed by: Commission
Term: 07/02/2016 - 07/01/2018

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Michele Frix serves as Chief of Staff for Seattle Foundation. Most recently, Michele worked with Seattle Foundation's key partner on global philanthropy, Seattle International Foundation (SIF). During her seven years with SIF, Michele launched new initiatives, managed global teams, and worked across a variety of stakeholders to build successful programs. Michele worked with SIF's CEO and Board to lead their grantmaking strategy, including oversight of over $17 million in grants to more than 180 nonprofits organizations in 68 countries, including $10 million in grants to Central America.

Prior to joining SIF, Michele worked as a Research Analyst for the Technology and Social Change Group at the University of Washington. At the UW, she conducted field research on Microsoft Community Affair's social investments in employability and technology for marginalized communities throughout Latin America. She has extensive research experience examining the sustainability, efficiency and impact of nonprofits and civil society leaders throughout the region, most specifically Central America. Human rights and gender equity have been at the core of Michele's fieldwork, as well as her experience in the philanthropic sector. In 2012, Michele was appointed by Seattle City Council to serve on the Seattle Women's Commission, where she served as Co-Chair from 2014-2015. She is also a board member of Splash, an international nonprofit and social enterprise committed to providing clean water for kids in Southeast Asia and Africa.

Michele was a regular columnist for LOOK Magazine in Guatemala, where she wrote on issues affecting women in Central America and around the globe. She graduated with her B.A. from the University of Washington's Jackson School of International Studies, accompanied by a minor in Human Rights. In 2015, Michele was named an American Express NGen Fellow by Independent Sector, as well as a member of the inaugural class of Henry M. Jackson Leadership Fellows.

Morgan Beach

Morgan R. Beach

Co-Chair
Appointed by: Mayor
Term: 07/02/2015 - 07/01/2018

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Morgan Beach is a women's rights advocate, a non-profit worker, and a civic volunteer.  Morgan works in corporate partnership development for the American Red Cross in Seattle. Before moving to Seattle, she held positions in program development with United Way and policy analysis with Human Rights Watch, and taught Political Science as adjunct faculty at Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado. She holds a Master in Public Policy concentrating in State & Local Policy and Economics from Pepperdine University, where she served as the President of Women in Public Policy, and a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from the University of Denver. Morgan volunteers with Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, as blood drive coordinator, and with political campaigns.

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Nicole Negron

Member
Appointed by: Mayor
Term: 07/02/2017 - 07/01/2019

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Nicole is a certified Integrative Women's Health, Nutrition and lifestyle consultant. She studied at the Institute of Integrated Nutrition through the State University of New York, and American Association of Drugless Practitioners.  Nicole continued her education studying functional nutrition, Full Body Systems, with Andrea Nakayama and is currently attending the Integrative Women's Health Institute.  She teaches prevention of disease, hormonal imbalance, and weight-loss through proper nutrition.  She established her own practice as a women's health/behavioral counselor and serves a diverse base of clients and stakeholders.

Priya Saxena

Priya Saxena

Member
Appointed by: Commission
Term: 07/02/2017 - 07/01/2019

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Priya Saxena is completing her Masters in Public Administration (MPA) at the University of Washington's Evans School of Public Policy and Governance. Prior to starting her degree, Priya worked at the Urban Institute, a non-profit and non-partisan research organization in Washington, DC. While at the Urban Institute, Priya's research focused on food insecurity, housing and homelessness, and issues relating to women and girls. Priya earned her Bachelor's degree in Urban Studies and Political Science at Bryn Mawr College, a women's college in Pennsylvania. Priya volunteers at FamilyWorks, a non-profit food bank and family resource center in the Wallingford and Greenwood neighborhoods and is on the Leadership Council of FemPAC, an organization working to level the playing field for non-incumbent young women running for office in Washington State.

Rhonda Carter

Rhonda Carter

Member
Appointed by: Mayor
Term: 07/02/2017 - 07/01/2019

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Rhonda M. Carter serves as Chief of Staff at Sound Transit. A native of the South Puget Sound region, she has returned to the area after 10 years living and working in Washington, D.C., to drive initiatives that will enable Sound Transit to continue to deliver on an ambitious and newly expanded capital program and increase the agency’s operating capacity.

Prior to joining Sound Transit, Rhonda was Deputy Chief of Staff to Secretary Anthony R. Foxx at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Before that, she was the White House Liaison in the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy, where she advised Secretary Ernest J. Moniz and other senior officials on a wide array of personnel, operations, and management issues. She began her service to President Obama’s Administration on January 21, 2009 as an aide in the Office of the White House Counsel, where she worked on judicial nominations, including those of Supreme Court Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.

Earlier in her career, she worked for the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team as Assistant to the General Counsel, and at the Center for American Progress, a non-partisan think tank in Washington, D.C., as Special Assistant for Domestic Policy. Rhonda started her career coordinating a federally-funded TRiO program focused on the matriculation of low-income, first-generation students at the University of Washington in Seattle.

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Rokea Jones

Member
Appointed by: City Council
Term: 07/02/2017 - 07/01/2019

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Rokea Jones is an educator, organizer and advocate. She has experience working with women and families in the areas of health, life skills and social justice. Rokea is a recent graduate of the Puget Sound Sage Community Leadership Institute and is a Community Liaison to the HALA Community Focus Group. Prior to this, she worked as a Behavioral Specialist at Hopeful Hands, Chef Educator with Community Kitchens and Rainier Valley Eats and was Program Coordinator and Educator with the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative. Rokea obtained her Bachelor of Liberal Arts with a Focus on Health and Human Development, Statistics and Sciences from The Evergreen State College.

Ruchika Tulshyan

Ruchika Tulshyan

Member
Appointed by: City Council
Term: 07/02/2016 - 07/01/2018

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Ruchika Tulshyan has written extensively about gender and race in the workplace. Her professional experience includes her work as an author and speaker with Forbes Media, adjunct faculty with the University of Washington and her role as funding editor with The Establishment. She recently authored her first book, The Diversity Advantage: Fixing Gender Inequality In The Workplace (Forbes: 2015). She is on the board of several Seattle-based organizations including The Seattle Globalist and serves on the Leadership Program Committee of the Women’s Funding Alliance. Ruchika is passionate about advocating for economic opportunities for women and elevating the voices of women of color and immigrants.

Tana Yasu

Tana Yasu

Member
Appointed by: City Council
Term: 07/02/2016 - 07/01/2018

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Tana Yasu is a Seattle Native who was raised in the Rainier Valley neighborhood. An entrepreneur in the Hair Care and Design industry for more than 20 years, she is now community activist and writer for NW Facts Media Group. Tana loves being out among the community, and volunteers with several local organizations like the Historic Central Area Arts and Cultural District, Disabled American Veterans, Real World Economic Development Academy, the Dr. Martin Luther King Memorial Celebration Committee, and Rainier Avenue Radio. In working with these organizations, Tana has contributed to many projects that have impacted lives for the better. Tana is excited for the opportunity to help women in Seattle on a deeper level. Tana is a proud Seattleite, and wants to serve as a connection to communities and women who are impacted by poverty and under-education.

Tara Cookson

Tara Cookson

Member
Appointed by: Mayor
Term: 07/02/2015 - 07/01/2018

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Tara is the founder of Ladysmith Ventures, a consulting firm that conducts research and strategically advises organizations working globally in gender equality, public policy, innovation, and good governance. She is currently a Leadership Tomorrow Fellow, and won the “Woman to Watch” award for influential women leaders from the Okanagan Valley in 2015. In 2013 Tara founded a leadership training program to support multi-disciplinary, aspiring leaders with practical skills. Called Learning for Purpose, the program is now a foundational element of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship.

Tara has dep experience in social policy and gender equity. Her approach to advocating for women’s wellbeing is both analytical and constructive. Most recently, she has conducted original research on how low-income women in rural Peru are impacted by conditional cash transfer programs. She has previously worked as a project developer for community-based human rights organizations in both Canada and Latin America, planning and executing campaigns and projects to promote the interests and wellbeing of low-income and otherwise marginalized communities in five countries.

Teresa Springer

Teresa Springer

Co-Chair
Appointed by: City Council
Term: 07/02/2016 - 07/01/2018

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Teresa is the founder and visionary for Teresa Springer International, a multi-media marketing and business development consulting firm as well as a franchise owner of an Emerald City Smoothie store in downtown Seattle. Teresa also founded a non-profit organization, Trinity Organizational Society in 2008 to assist children, families and business start-ups in need of in-kind support. Teresa has remained active in community efforts including the Professional Women of Color Network (PWOCN) where she is the Chapter Director and the Network of Women (NoW) Seattle Chapter where she is Co-Chair. Teresa will use her knowledge, experience and resources to educate, empower and transform the way women face challenges personally and professionally in a predominantly male economic climate.

Tracey Whitten

Tracey Whitten

Co-Chair
Appointed by: Mayor
Term: 07/02/2017 - 07/01/2019

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Tracey Whitten (She/Her) is a communications and marketing professional at Team Soapbox, a public relations firm that works with community-based causes, organizations, labor unions and small businesses to amplify their good work. Prior to joining Team Soapbox, she spent several years organizing with SEIU 925 and AFT Washington to promote equity and better working conditions on behalf of faculty in Washington state. Tracey holds a B.S. from the University of Central Florida and also serves as a director on the board of Washington Bus. She lives in Leschi with her husband Chris and daughter Edie.

Vivian Lee

Vivian Lee

Get Engaged Member
Appointed by: Mayor
Term: 09/01/2017 - 08/31/2018

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Vivian Lee is a marketing communications manager at Microsoft, leading campaigns and initiatives tackling the gender gap in STEM. She is a proponent for changing biases and perceptions in order to encourage girls to pursue STEM, and transforming education and industries to create more inclusive environments. As a passionate advocate for a variety of social justice issues, she also sits on the board of NARAL Pro-Choice WA. Vivian graduated from Harvard College with a B.A. in Psychology. She joins the commission as part of the YMCA's Get Engaged program which places young adults ages 18-29 on the City of Seattle's public boards and commissions.

Xochitl Makovich

Xochitl Makovich

Member
Appointed by: City Council
Term: 07/02/2016 - 07/01/2018

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Xochitl Maykovich is a community organizer for Washington CAN! where she organizes around housing justice, healthcare, and retirement security. She serves on the board of the Washington Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. Prior to her work for Washington CAN!, she worked as a legal assistant for a law firm representing union railroaders and served in AmeriCorps at Federal Way High School, supporting students of color overcome economic and societal barriers. Xochitl graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BA in Peace, War, & Defense and a BA in Political Science.

Zoe True

Zoё True

Member
Appointed by: Mayor
Term: 07/02/2017 - 07/01/2019

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Zoë True's diverse professional portfolio includes experience in global health, nonprofit management, international development, social science research, and political campaigns. She is a senior management consultant with Intentional Futures, where she bridges storytelling and research - untangling complex evidence to surface the larger narrative. Prior to this, Zoë worked at PATH, where she coordinated teams developing maternal vaccines to improve the health of mothers and infants worldwide. She conducted research at the Evans School Policy Analysis and Research group on a broad range of issues including mutual aid groups and trends of smallholder farmers in developing countries. She served in the United States Peace Corps from 2011-2013 where she worked in rural health development focusing on women's health and agriculture in Morocco

Prior to the Peace Corps, Zoë directed development and marketing at an arts education nonprofit, led campaign offices, and was an avid volunteer around civic engagement, political action, animal husbandry, homelessness, arts education, and organic farming. In Seattle she is on the Jubilee Women Center's Associates Board and volunteers for Powerful Voices.

She graduated from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance where she earned her MPA and certificates in nonprofit management and global health. During her time at the Evans School she also founded the Race Action Committee at Evans that brings together students to apply their policy training to issues of racial injustice. Prior to that she earned her MA in Political Science at the California State University, Long Beach.