Board of Directors

Mary Bayer

Mary Fleiss

Education: BA Economics, University of California Berkeley

I believe in protecting reproductive rights for all women, regardless of where they live or their socioeconomic status. In a political climate that is threatening to roll back these rights, electing pro-choice women to public office is our best defense. As the mother of three daughters, I am proud to be a member of WIL and have the opportunity to make a difference.

Karen Clark

Karen Clark

Founding WIL Board Member and past Chair
Retired Partner, law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
Education:  BA Stanford; MA in history, University of Washington; JD University of Michigan

WIL has been a passion of mine for over 20 years. I walked and campaigned for choice even before Roe v. Wade. I genuinely believed that the Roe v. Wade decision would permanently provide women with reproductive freedom. What a hopelessly naïve idea! Now we’re fighting for our rights as women all over again and WIL is more needed and more relevant than ever.

Pam Gilmour

Pam Gilmour

Retired attorney
WIL Co-chair
Former Treasurer of Pro-Choice Orange County
Former Board member of Planned Parenthood

Fifty years after Roe v. Wade and women continue to fight for their reproductive rights. I fully embrace WIL's mission. Only when we elect women, who believe in our reproductive freedom, will these rights be promoted and protected.

Karol Gottfredson

Karol Gottfredson

Related Organizations: Girls Inc. of Orange County; Planned Parenthood; Founding member Orange County Women’s Health Project
Retired: University of California Irvine, School of Education, Program Director
Education: BA University of California Davis, MA State University of NY, Albany, National Teacher Corps

One of the strengths of Women in Leadership is its nonpartisan approach to advocating for women’s rights and opportunities. Women in Leadership promotes education, political action and eternal vigilance to safeguard women’s health options and reproductive choices by electing bi-partisan ro-choice women to public office.

Jill Kanzler

Jill DuFour

Public Affairs Consultant, DuFour Advocacy Group, Inc.
Executive Director, S.O.A.R.
Education: B.S. in Political Science and International Relations, University of Southern California

I fully support the mission to help elect strong women and advocate for women’s reproductive rights and freedom. I love being around like-thinking, smart, talented women who stand up and take action for what they believe.

LaDonna Kienitz

LaDonna Kienitz

Tax Attorney
Education:  MLS, Dominican University, River Forest, Illinois;
MBA, Northwestern Univ., Kellogg School of Management, Evanston, Illinois;
JD, Western State University College of Law, Fullerton, California;
LL.M. in Taxation, University of San Diego, San Diego, California

I believe that it is imperative that a woman has complete autonomy over her own body. We must all work to ensure that there is no governmental or regulatory intrusion into a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her own body and medical care available to her.


Jennifer McDonald

Communications Consultant
Education:  UC Santa Barbar

I believe a woman should have the right to choose and that one of the best ways to protect that right is to elect pro-choice women. It takes so much courage to run for public office, it's an honor to help the women who do. WIL provides the funding and visibility these candidates need. I’m proud to support them through WIL.

Liz Parker

Elizabeth “Liz” Dorn Parker, Ed.D.

Elected Governing Board Member, Coast Community College District
Vice Chair and Treasurer, Samueli Academy Board of Trustees
Education: BA Art History, UCLA; MPA CSU Fullerton, Ed.D. Community College Leadership, CSU Fullerton

As a longtime educational leader, one of my priorities has been to ensure women’s reproductive rights and that students receive accurate and age-appropriate health and sex education. Our democracy will not be secure unless students and women have the opportunity to access accurate reproductive education and health and all the rights these freedoms provide. I am proud to be a member and leader with WIL for nearly 30 years. When WIL-endorsed candidates winwe all win. 

Jone Pearce

Jone Pearce

Distinguished Professor Emerita of Organization and Management, The Paul Merage School of Business, University of California, Irvine
AB University of California, Berkeley, MA and PhD Yale University

Women in Leadership helps to develop and elect women political leaders who support women’s rights to control their own lives. Political leaders who will to support education and health care access for reproductive rights are necessary to women’s full citizenship. Every person, not the government, should be able to control his or her own body. This work begins at the local level where political leaders gain the knowledge and experience to make a difference. I am proud to be able to support an organization that does such important work.


Lorraine Prinsky

WIL Member since 2000
Elected Trustee, Coast Community College District
Professor Emeritus, Cal State Fullerton 
Education:  BA UCLA, PH.D. UC Irvine

At a time of sharp political divisions, it is notable and gratifying that WIL has provided a bipartisan forum that brings together those who work to protect women’s reproductive choice. Since the first time I attended a WIL event I have enjoyed enlightening and thoughtful presentations by women who are leaders in their fields.  I look forward to the opportunities presented by WIL to network with others and meet elected officials as well as women seeking elected office.

I serve on the WIL Endorsement Committee and am honored to be a WIL-endorsed elected official.

Phyllis Roberts

Phyllis Roberts

Retired VP of Finance and Operations
Previous owner of specialty manufacturing company
Education: California State University Northridge
Volunteer at Merage JCC Irvine, working on social action programs for the needy as well as cultural arts programming

I have long advocated for a women’s right to choose and WIL recognizes that women still don’t enjoy full equality in regards to control over our personal bodies and health choices.  It is for these reasons that we must continue to elect pro-choice women at all levels of government to protect the gains that have been made and continue to work for the total equality for women.

Melinda Seely

Melinda Seely

Founding WIL board member and current WIL Co-chair
Educator and business owner (retired)
Education:  BA California Sate University, Long Beach
Life diploma – State of California

I am a woman, mother of a daughter and grandmother of three granddaughters. I care very much about the status of women in this country and around the world. Until women’s voices are heard in equal number to the voices of men, things will not change for the better in the lives of women everywhere. WIL aims to be part of the solution by electing more women to political office. We have much work to do!

Fascinating facts:
• Women have not achieved equality with men in any country.
• Of the world’s 1.3 billion poor people, it is estimated that nearly 70% are women.
• Between 75 and 80% of the world’s 27 million refugees are women and children.

Susan Seely

Susan Seely

WIL member since 1997 Director, Olive Tree Initiative at UCI
Former Director of Middle East and Africa, Massachusetts Office of International Trade and Investment
Former campaign manager and campaign treasurer for local city council member
Education: M.A. International Studies – Middle East, University of Washington
B.A. International Relations, UC Santa Barbara

I am a Sustaining Member of WIL and have served on the WIL board since moving to Orange County in 1997. I believe in a woman’s right to have absolute choice over the decisions she makes regarding her own health and reproductive decisions. One route to ensuring that women’s right to choice is guarded and upheld is by working to make sure that women are increasingly represented in elected positions, both nationally and locally.  I am the mother of two wonderful young women, Clara and Emma, and the daughter of WIL Board member and Founder, Melinda Seely.