With a team of 13 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
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 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.
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.
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.
Jenny Nguyen joined CWDA as Senior Self-Sufficiency Policy
Analyst in December 2020, specializing in the program areas of
healthcare and nutrition. She was promoted to Deputy
Director of Budget and Fiscal Policy in October 2022.
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.
Roshena Duree joined CWDA as Senior Self-Sufficiency Policy
Analyst in June 2022 and was promoted to Deputy Director of Self
Sufficiency in February 2023. In this role, Roshena serves as the
policy lead for CWDA in the Self Sufficiency area.
Paula Villescaz has been with CWDA since May 2022, starting
as Director of Legislative Advocacy and most recently
being named the Associate Director of Member Engagement. In this
new role, Paula will primarily focus on supporting the
association’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) related work,
as well as working with CWDA staff and directors to onboard new
board members and improve member engagement and the overall
association membership experience. Paula will continue to provide
support to the legislative team, as well.
Karli Holkko joined CWDA in March 2023 as a Senior Self
Sufficiency Policy Analyst. In this role she has lead
responsibility for analytical and program support activities in
the areas of health care and nutrition.
Jesi Lunsford is joining CWDA as the Senior Information
Technology Policy Analyst. She will be working in relation to
information technology automation issues as well as, working on
technology policy and project issues that includes the full range
of county human services programs, such as, CalWORKs, CalFresh,
Medi-Cal, employment services, child welfare, In Home Supportive
Services, and fiscal, as well as data analysis.
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
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.
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.
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
Tricia Gonzalez, MPAis the CWDA Executive Liaison with
the CWS-CARES (California Automated Response and Engagement
System). She works with the State, counties, and Child
Welfare Digital Services (CWDS) to ensure that the needs of
counties are represented in the development and maintenance of
systems that support the work of county human services
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