2014 CEDAW Women's Human Rights Awardees

Click here to view photos of the CEDAW Awards

Alecia DeCoudreaux
Mills College

CEDAW Award for Education

Alecia A. DeCoudreaux began her tenure as 13th president of Mills College in July 2011. Holding a BA in English and political science from Wellesley College and a JD degree from Indiana University School of Law at Bloomington, she served as vice president and deputy general counsel at Eli Lilly working in a variety of executive leadership roles over three decades.

Ms. DeCoudreaux’s professional career is enhanced by extensive involvement in the communities where she has lived and worked, including volunteerism, community activism, and a record of service on numerous charitable and nonprofit boards. She has served as trustee and board chair at Wellesley College, director of the Wellesley College Alumnae Association, director of the Indiana University Foundation, and on the Indiana University School of Law Board of Visitors. Her board experience also includes service as a member of The Commonwealth Club of California Board of Governors; member of Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges Council of Presidents; board member of The Mind Trust; member of the Economic Club of Indiana Board of Governors; member of the United Way of Central Indiana Women's Initiative; honorary director of the Indiana University Foundation; and board member of the Women's Fund of Central Indiana.

Ms. DeCoudreaux serves on the advisory committee for the Women in Public Service Project, a program of the Global Women’s Leadership Initiative at the Wilson Center, founded by former U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, in partnership with the U.S. State Department and Seven Sisters Colleges. Mills is pleased to be hosting a Women in Public Service Institute on Water, Women, and the World: How Women Can Solve the Earth's Water Crisis, from April 11-20, 2015.

Becca Prowda
Senior Manager, Corporate Affairs
Levi Strauss

CEDAW Award for Global/Sustainability

Becca is a Senior Manager of Corporate Affairs for Levi Strauss & Co. where she manages corporate involvement with community partners and employee engagement. Previously she worked for San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom both as the Assistant to the Mayor and in the Mayor's Office of Protocol. Becca arrived in San Francisco 9 years ago from New York City. In New York, she worked in the Marketing, Communications and Events department at the Robin Hood Foundation, a poverty-fighting organization in New York City that distributes more than $100 million annually to direct service providers in the five boroughs.
Becca grew up in Seattle, Washington. She attended Barnard College in New York City and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science. She currently serves on the Board of Directors at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, where is the Vice Chair of the Committee of Trustees, and at the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library. She served until recently as a Commissioner on San Francisco's Commission on the Status of Women. Becca has a three-year old daughter, Taya, and a 6-month old son, Sawyer.

Elizabeth Aguilar Tarchi
Assistant District Attorney
City and County of San Francisco

Claire Joyce Tempongko Memorial Award

Elizabeth Aguilar Tarchi has been an Assistant District Attorney in San Francisco for over 27 years.  She has served as the Managing Attorney of the Domestic Violence, Stalking and Elder Abuse Unit for three administrations.   Prior to her career in the District Attorney's Office, she worked as an immigration and civil rights attorney and as Chief Aide to former Supervisor Jim Gonzalez.  She is considered an expert in the field of domestic violence prosecution and has taught courses for the California District Attorneys Association (CDAA) and National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) in domestic violence and stalking trial litigation strategies.  

She has prosecuted cases in every major division of the District Attorney’s Office, including Sexual Assault and the Career Criminal Unit.  She also was the supervising attorney of the Narcotics Division and Collaborative Courts Division of the office.

Liz served on the statewide board of the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence and in 2009 she was awarded the Vagina Warrior Award given by the Filipina Women’s Network

V-Day Committee, for her dedication, passion and commitment in the field of domestic violence prosecution and for her work in prosecuting the high profile homicide case People v. Tari Ramirez.  The trial resulted in a conviction for second-degree murder and a sentence of 16 years to life in prison. The California Supreme Court upheld the verdict in March of this year.

In 2004-2005 she was part of the citywide task force to address concerns regarding the criminal justice system’s response to domestic violence cases. She worked closely with the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women’s “Justice and Courage Project,” to address multi agency problems in the criminal justice system’s response to domestic violence cases.  In 2005 she helped draft the existing policies and procedures manual of the San Francisco District Attorney’s office domestic violence unit.

Of all of her achievements, Liz regards two to be her most significant contributions.  She drafted the supplemental domestic violence forms now in use by the San Francisco Police Department to document all incidents of domestic violence. She established the vertical prosecution unit and court to handle all misdemeanor domestic violence cases.  

Liz was raised in the inner city of Los Angeles. She is one of six children of immigrant Guatemalan parents and the first in her family to attend college.  She graduated Magna Cum Laude from UCLA with a double major in Political Science and Italian Literature.  She received her law degree from Hasting College of the Law.  She has been married for 30 years and lives with her husband and two children, a daughter who works in New York City and a son in his senior year at USC, in San Francisco.

She dedicates this award to all the survivors of domestic violence and to all children who witness and are exposed to violence and all forms of abuse.

Regina Scully
Artemis Rising

CEDAW Award for Arts/Media

Regina K. Scully is the Founder and CEO of Artemis Rising Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to developing and promoting media, education and healing projects that transform our culture. Ms. Scully also is the Founder and CEO of RPR Marketing Communications, a premier Public Relations Agency, NYC, specializing in exclusive consumer products and brands. Ms. Scully is a social entrepreneur, education activist, and documentary Filmmaker. She is one of the leading communications and media consultants in the country, speaking at schools, conferences, and companies around the world. A 30-year veteran in the fields of Journalism, Public Relations, Brand Marketing and Filmmaking, Ms. Scully has a successful track record of building and producing successful premier brands, projects, and films that integrate cause-related issues, social media, and outreach campaigns.

Ms. Scully is an Academy award nominated executive producer, most recently for the 2013 powerful documentary called the “Invisible War”, a film about the epidemic rapes of women and men in the military. The “Invisible War” won the 2012 Sundance Audience Award. Ms. Scully also executive produced “MissRepresentation”, a compelling documentary exposing the gender bias that still exists in our country based on the limited portrayals of women and young girls in our Media, Politics and Entertainment. Ms. Scully is a co-founder of www.MissRepresentation.org. Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network bought “MissRepresentation.” Ms. Scully helped spearhead the development and distribution of its critically acclaimed corresponding national curriculum. And Ms. Scully is also involved in the films, “Fed Up”, a compelling documentary that deals with the growing epidemic of obesity and diabetes in America; “Alive Inside”, a recent Audience Award winner at 2014 Sundance film festival; and “Anita: Truth to Power”, about the 20 year anniversary of the Anita Hill hearings.

In addition to filmmaking, Ms. Scully is deeply passionate about Education reform, and has helped launch some of the most successful inner city charter schools in the country: the Success Academy Schools, in NY (www.successacademies.org); and the Making Waves Academy Schools in Northern California (www.makingwaves.org)
Ms. Scully sits on the following Boards: Stanford University Board of Philanthropy and Civil Society, CA; Project ALS, NYC; Harvard Women’s Leadership Board; V-Day Board; TheRepresentationProject.org; and the Women’s Media Center, NYC.

Soon-Young Yoon
NGO Committee on the Status of Women, New York

CEDAW Award for International Comity

Soon-Young Yoon's LinkedIn profile says "I work for the UN and sometimes I get paid." As the UN representative for the International Alliance of Women and Chair of the NGO Committee on the Status of Women/NY and First Vice-President of the Conference of NGOs in consultative relationship with the UN, she helps to organize the world's women in support of CEDAW and the Beijing Platform for Action. In 1995, she served as the UN liaison for the NGO forum held in parallel with the UN Fourth World Conference on Women, an event that hosted more than 30,000 NGO participants. Ms. Yoon is a board member of the Global Advisory Council at the Harvard AIDS Initiative, Women's Environment and Development Organization and the International Foundation for Ewha Womans University. A former columnist for the EarthTimes newspaper, she works as a senior advisor/consultant for the World Health Organization. She received her PhD in Anthropology from University of Michigan and earned a certificate in computer graphics from Pratt Institute of Art.

President - California

CEDAW Corporate Award  

Ken McNeely is President of AT&T California, where he leads a workforce of more than 36,000 employees. Ken has ADAM MESSINGER, Chief Technology Officer, Twitterled AT&T's efforts in California as it transitions from a residential phone company to one of the world's largest wireless and broadband companies.

He was appointed to his current position in November 2005, following the close of the historic merger between SBC communications Inc. and AT&T Corp.

He earned his B.A. in Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his juris doctor from Howard University School of Law.

Ken is a board member of the California Chamber of Commerce, the California Business Roundtable, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, and Bay Area Council, where he Chairs the Education Committee.

In 2010, Ken was named one of the 50 Top African Americans in Technology.

Catherine Dodd
San Francisco Health Service System

CEDAW Award for Government

Dr. Dodd’s commitment to women’s health began nearly 40 years ago when she was a teen peer counselor at Planned Parenthood.  She is an alumnus of the University of California School of Nursing, receiving her Baccalaureate degree in 1979, her Master’s degree in 1983 and her PhD in Sociology in 2007.

She began her nursing career providing physical exams to farm workers on a mobile health unit throughout California where she saw first hand the immediate health effects of exposure to pesticides, an issue not yet on the public health agenda. She also worked as a high-risk peri-natal nurse and as Director of Women’s Health at San Francisco General Hospital.  During the last 30 years her work has been largely in the areas of health and public policy.  Her roles have included:  Staff to a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Director of Government Relations for the California American Nurses Association, member of the Clinton-Gore National Health Campaign, Director for the California Network for Women's and Children's Health, Executive Director of ANA\California, Director of Government and Community Relations for Kaiser Permanente Northern California, appointee of President Clinton as Regional Director for the United States Department of Health and Human Services for Secretary Donna Shalala, District Director to Congresswoman (now Leader) Nancy Pelosi, and Deputy Chief of Staff to Mayor Gavin Newsom.  Currently she is the Director of the San Francisco Health Service System which provides health benefits for 110,000 City & County, School District, Community College District employees, retirees and their dependents where she has reduced the cost of health premiums and implemented a Wellness program. Dr. Dodd takes serving the members of HSS very seriously. When she learned that the SF Women Firefighters had abnormally high breast cancer, she pulled together advocates and researchers to meet with them, resulting in the first national longitudinal study of female fire fighters and chemical exposures.

Dr. Dodd has been active in the American Nurses Association at the local, state and national level and Chaired the ANA Political Action Committee.  She is a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing and a member of Adaptive Business Leaders in Health.  Her civic and community involvement includes chairing SF NOW in the 1980s and serving on the California NOW board.  She has served on several nonprofit boards, among them, the Board of the Homeless Prenatal Program, the Board of Trustees of the Glide Foundation, the Board of Zen Hospice Project and Board of the Breast Cancer Fund. She was elected to the San Francisco Democratic County Central Committee for a decade and she was an appointee to the SF Health Commission.  She is an Advisory Board member of Emerge. She will become the chair of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare in November. She reminds people frequently that without Social Security 50% of women over 65 would live in poverty and 80% of minorities. Her favorite quote is from Margaret Sanger who said, “to truly live one must put one’s convictions into action.” So Catherine urges people who complain to get involved.

Nancy Milliken
UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women's Health

CEDAW Award for Health

Nancy Milliken, MD is the Founding and Current Director of UCSF National Center of Excellence in Women's Health at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She is Vice Dean Emerita of the UCSF School of Medicine and Professor Emerita, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences.

In 1996, Dr. Milliken led a multidisciplinary team in successfully competing for one of the first National Centers of Excellence in Women's Health designations by the federal government. Under her leadership, the Center for Excellence has developed partnerships within UCSF and with the communities it serves. The Center has galvanized support for initiatives with impact locally, nationally and globally. Success has included advancing research in women's health; implementing models of comprehensive women-focused clinical care; promoting partnerships with individual women and their communities on relevant health and wellness issues; designing women's health curricula for the training of the next generation of researchers and clinicians; and developing leadership potential and opportunities for women. In recognition of her important contributions to women and women's health, Dr. Milliken received the UCSF Chancellor's Award for the Advancement of Women.

Dr. Milliken is passionate about the mentoring of women contemplating or pursuing careers in the health professions. She has supported widespread improvements in leadership development for women at UCSF and in the community. She initiated a mentorship program to encourage young women to enter the field of women's health and co-founded an annual SF Young Women's Health Conference with Jackie Speier in 2000.

Dr. Milliken has long sought to improve the health of women by increasing their knowledge and their participation in decisions regarding their health. As a Robert Woof Johnson Fellow, she explored the ethical issues involved in reproductive decision-making and participated nationally in the debate regarding "maternal-fetal conflict" and forced treatment of pregnant women. Another area in which she has published, taught, and influenced policies in physician patient sexual misconduct.

Since 1993, Dr. Milliken has led the UCSF effort to develop comprehensive clinical services for women across their lifespan. Today this exists as UCSF Women's Health, a network of women-focused practices many of which are co-located in an eight-story building at Mount Zion. In February 2015, after a decade of planning, the new Betty Irene Moore Women's Hospital opens at Mission Bay and will provide specialty services for a lifetime of reproductive health.

Dr. Milliken has received local and national recognition for her efforts including: UCSF Award for Exceptional Leadership and Achievements in Establishing Innovative Women's Healthcare Models; UCSF Diversity Champion; Blue Cross of California Community Service Award; and Women's Warrior in Building Healthy Communities for Young Women from Hunters Point Family. Dr. Milliken has been selected to receive the 2015 Bernadine Healey Award for Visionary Leadership in Women's Health at the 23rd Congress on Women's Health in Washington D.C.

Rita R Semel

Interfaith Council

CEDAW Award for Community Building

Ms. Semel has been an active member of the community for over 60 years and is the Founder and past Chair of the San Francisco Interfaith Council. She serves on numerous boards including the Interfaith Council at Presidio, Board of the Clinic By the Bay, Board in IHSS Public Authority, Regional Board - New Israel Fund, Board of Grace Cathedral, and is also Emeritus Board Member of the Graduate Theological Union and the Catholic Charities CYO. She also serves as a Commissioner for the Human Services Commission.

Ms. Semel has received many awards and recognitions over the years. Recently she was honored with Faith in Action Award by the Catholic Charities CYO in 2014, and Community Leadership Award from the San Francisco Foundation in 2012.

She holds a BA from Barnard College and an Honorary Ph.D. from the University of San Francisco.

Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye
Chief Justice of California

CEDAW Award for Law

Chief Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye is the 28th chief justice of the State of California. She was sworn into office on January 3, 2011, and is the first Asian-Filipina American and the second woman to serve as the state’s chief justice.

After former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger nominated her as Chief Justice on July 22, 2010, the California State Bar Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission rated her as exceptionally well qualified for the position. At a public hearing on August 25, 2010, she was unanimously confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments, and in a general election on November 2, 2010, an overwhelming majority of voters elected her to that position.

Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye chairs the Judicial Council of California, the administrative policymaking body of state courts, and the Commission on Judicial Appointments.  She has served for more than 20 years on California appellate and trial courts, and has been appointed or elevated to higher office by three governors. In 1990, Governor George Deukmejian appointed her to the Sacramento Municipal Court and in 1997, Governor Pete Wilson elevated her to the Superior Court of Sacramento County. On the superior court, she presided over both criminal and civil assignments. In 1997, she established and presided over the first court in Sacramento dedicated solely to domestic violence issues. In addition, then-Judge Cantil-Sakauye chaired the court’s criminal law committee and was a member of the presiding judge’s task force on domestic violence and the Home Court committee. In 2005, Governor Schwarzenegger nominated her to the Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District.

Chief Justice Ronald M. George appointed her to the Judicial Council of California in September 2008. She has also served as chair of the council’s Advisory Committee on Financial Accountability and Efficiency for the Judicial Branch, a member of the Domestic Violence Practice and Procedure Task Force and chaired its Best Practices Domestic Violence subcommittee, vice-chair of the Executive and Planning Committee, vice-chair of the Rules and Projects Committee, co-chair of the Judicial Recruitment and Retention Working Group, and as a member of the Commission for Impartial Courts Implementation Committee.

The Chief Justice was a Special Master, selected by the Supreme Court of California to hear disciplinary proceedings before the Commission on Judicial Performance. She was president of the Anthony M. Kennedy American Inn of Court, an organization dedicated to promoting civility, ethics, and professionalism in the practice of law. And was a member of the national Conference of Chief Justices Board of Directors.

Born in 1959 in Sacramento, Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye attended C. K. McClatchy High School (1977) and Sacramento City College (1978) before receiving her BA from the University of California, Davis, graduating with honors in 1980. After taking a year off to visit her ancestral homeland, the Philippines, the Chief Justice entered the UC Davis, Martin Luther King, Jr., School of Law in 1981. After receiving her JD in 1984, she worked as a deputy district attorney for the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, where she prosecuted a variety of criminal offenses. In 1988, she served on the senior staff of Governor Deukmejian in two capacities: as deputy legal affairs secretary and as a deputy legislative secretary.

Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye is a former board member of several nonprofit organizations and has been active in numerous professional community organizations, including membership in the California Judges Association, the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association, and the Sacramento Asian Bar Association, and received the Filipina of the Year Award. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors for the Conference of Chief Justices, the Board of Visitors for UC Davis, an Advisory Board member of the Sacramento Federal Judicial Library and Learning Center Foundation, an honorary member of the Foundation for Democracy and Justice, a private nonprofit organization devoted to civics education, and is actively engaged in a civic learning initiative Your Constitution: The Power of Democracy.

Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye is married to Mark Sakauye, a retired police lieutenant, and they have two daughters.

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