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.
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 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 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 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 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
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
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
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.
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
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
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 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 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.