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

Frank J. Mecca
Executive Director

Frank Mecca has served as Executive Director for 25 years, during which he has helped establish CWDA as a leading advocacy and policy organization in the field of public human services.

Under Frank’s leadership, the association has been instrumental in the development of significant human services programs and policies, including helping shape the CalWORKs program, creating the Adult Protective Services program, and advocating for significant child welfare reform efforts such as extending foster care support to youth after age 18.


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Cathy Senderling-McDonald
Deputy Executive Director

Cathy Senderling-McDonald has served as the Deputy Executive Director since 2010, and works with the association’s executive director and CWDA Board of Directors to promote legislative, budget and policy changes that improve human services programs and the delivery of those services.


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.


Wendy Christian
Executive Liaison Child Welfare Digital Services/CWS-CARES

Wendy Christian is 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 staff.   With a distinguished career in public service, Wendy is a child welfare subject matter expert and certified Forensic Interview Specialist with more than 20 years of experience working in the field of child welfare in Sacramento


Eileen Cubanski
Director of Budget and Fiscal Policy

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. 


Kristen Davis
Fiscal Policy Analyst

Kristen Davis joined CWDA as a Fiscal Policy Analyst in 2019, 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.


Assmaa Elayyat
Senior Self-Sufficiency Policy Analyst

Assmaa Elayyat joined CWDA in 2013 to assist with Health Care Reform implementation, and serves as the association’s lead on Medi-Cal and health care policy. In 2018, she added the CalFresh program to her portfolio; she serves as the lead analyst for that program and also as a back-up analyst on CalWORKs.

In her role as Senior Self-Sufficiency Policy Analyst, she staffs several CWDA committees and serves as a liaison between counties and key stakeholders, including state departments. 


Megan Gamble
Communications and Outreach Manager

Megan Gamble joined CWDA as Communications and Outreach Manager in 2017, and carries out the association’s internal and external communications. In this role, she oversees CWDA media relations, social media, and communication strategies in coordination with county departments of social services statewide.


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.


Jazmin Hicks
Senior Self-Sufficiency Policy Analyst

Jazmin Hicks joined CWDA as Senior Self-Sufficiency Policy Analyst in 2017, specializing in the program areas of CalWORKs, Child Care, and poverty reduction strategies. She also serves as back-up analyst on CalFresh issues.


Patricia Holling
Legislative Assistant

Patricia Holling has been with CWDA for 10 years, most recently serving as the Legislative Assistant. She brings more than a decade of experience in the insurance industry as a claims representative with major providers such as Allstate and State Farm Insurance companies.


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.


Theresa Peña
Senior Human Services Policy Analyst

Theresa Peña joined CWDA as Senior Human Services Policy Analyst in March 2019, focusing on the program areas of In-Home Supportive Services, Adult Protective Services, Child Welfare, and Foster Care.

Prior to joining CWDA, Theresa served as a Consultant to the California State Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee for health and human services programs, a Budget Analyst in health and human services programs at the California Department of Finance, and a Legislative Aide in the California State Assembly. She began her career in the State Capitol as a Senate Fellow.


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.


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.