With a team of 12 full-time staff, a handful of consultants and a Washington, D.C.-based legislative advocate, CWDA plays an invaluable role in shaping human services policies and programs on the state and federal levels. Meet the team Advancing Human Services for the Welfare of All Californians.

925 L Street, Suite 350
Sacramento, CA 95814
Office: (916) 443-1749
Fax: (916) 443-3202

Cathy Senderling-McDonald
Executive Director

Cathy Senderling-McDonald was named Executive Director of CWDA effective January 1, 2021 – following the retirement of long-time Executive Director Frank Mecca.

In this role, she leads the association staff in working with the CWDA Board of Directors and partner organizations to promote legislative, budget and policy changes that improve human services programs and the delivery of those services.


Job Opportunities with CWDA

CWDA has no open recruitments at this time.

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Commitment to Diversity


Eileen Cubanski
Deputy Executive Director

Eileen Cubanski joined CWDA as a Senior Fiscal and Policy Analyst in 2009 and was promoted to Director of Budget and Fiscal Policy in January 2019. Eileen serves as CWDA’s lead budget and fiscal staff, working with county and state staff to conduct fiscal analyses on county human services issues and develop methodologies for distribution of more than $5 billion in state and local realignment funding. 


Diana Boyer
Director of Policy for Child Welfare and Older Adult Services

Diana Boyer joined CWDA in 2005 as a Senior Policy Analyst and was promoted to Director of Policy for Child Welfare and OIder Adult Services in January 2019. Diana specializes in the program areas of In-Home Supportive Services, Adult Protective Services, Child Welfare, and Foster Care.


Amanda Kirchner
Director of Legislative Advocacy

Amanda Kirchner joined CWDA as Director of Legislative Advocacy in May 2022. In this role, she advocates for CWDA’s legislative and budget priorities across the spectrum of services and programs operated by county human services agencies. 


Grace Gomes
Liaison, CMIPS II Project

Grace Gomes joined CWDA as the CMIPS Project Liaison in 2014 and works with the state, counties and CMIPS Project Office to ensure counties’ needs are represented during the Maintenance and Operations Phase of CMIPS. Grace joined the CMIPS Project early on as a county representative during the initial procurement and design, development and implementation stages of CMIPS.


Paula Villescaz
Associate Director of Legislative Advocacy

Paula Villescaz has served as Associate Director of Legislative Advocacy since May 2022 after one year as Director of Legislative Advocacy. In this role, Paula oversees CWDA’s sponsored legislation. She has expertise in emergency response and disaster preparedness, response and recovery, and also helms this area for the association.


Jenny Nguyen
Senior Self-Sufficiency Policy Analyst

Jenny Nguyen joined CWDA as Senior Self-Sufficiency Policy Analyst in December 2020, specializing in the program areas of healthcare and nutrition.  

Prior to joining CWDA, Jenny served as a Staff Finance Budget Analyst in health, human services, and general government programs at the California Department of Finance.

She began her career as a Capital Fellow at the California Department of Public Health, Office of Health Equity.


Traci Metcalf
Executive Assistant

Traci Metcalf joined the CWDA team in March 2019 as an Executive Assistant, performing senior-level professional and administrative work in support of the Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director, as well as CWDA board members and staff.


Eric Nielson
Executive Liaison, CalHEERS Project

Eric Nielson is the CWDA Executive Liaison with the California Health Eligibility Enrollment Retention System (CalHEERS) project.  He represents the 58 County Human Services agencies, their business requirements and system needs at the CalHEERS project.


Roshena Duree
Senior Self Sufficiency Policy Analyst

Roshena Duree joined CWDA as Senior Self-Sufficiency Policy Analyst in June 2022. In this role, Roshena will cover program areas CalWORKs, Child Care and Homelessness.   


Christiana Smith
Director of Information Technology Policy

Christiana Smith joined CWDA as the Information Technology Associate in 2014, and was promoted to Director of Information Technology Policy in January 2019. Christiana works with the state, counties, and automation projects to ensure counties’ needs are represented in developing and maintaining systems that support the work of county human services staff.


Missy Talbot

Missy Talbot joined the CWDA team in January 2020 as a receptionist, focusing on administrative work supporting the Executive Assistant and CWDA directors.

Prior to joining CWDA, Missy worked in the customer service industry while earning her bachelor’s degree in Communications and Humanities from California State University in Monterey Bay. After graduation, she moved to Limerick, Ireland, where she received her Master’s in Creative Writing.

916-443-1749 Ext. 211


Weston Tountas
Legislative Assistant

Weston Tountas joined the CWDA team in January 2020 as a legislative assistant, supporting CWDA Directors and the CWDA Legislative Committee.  

Prior to joining CWDA, Weston worked for the American Academy of Pediatrics, California (AAP-CA), as a legislative writer. He earned a B.A. in History from Bard College in 2018.

916-443-1749 Ext. 216


Tom Joseph
Director, Washington, D.C. Office

Tom Joseph is Vice President of Paragon Government Relations, heading up the firm’s health and human services practice and overseeing various aspects of the firm’s operations. His lobbying expertise, experience, and knowledge are reflected in an impressive 30-plus year history representing local governments.