Philadelphia – Mayor Jim Kenney yesterday joined the Office of Public Engagement and Councilwoman At-Large Blondell Reynolds-Brown in announcing appointments to the Philadelphia Commission for Women. The Commission was established by a change to the Home Rule Charter approved by voters in the May 2015 election.  The Commission consists of 27 members, 10 appointed by the Mayor and 17 appointed by a member of City Council.

“As my administration works toward creating a workforce that looks like the city, gender equality and issues that impact women are an important focus of the work of my office,” said Mayor Kenney.  “I’m confident that this stellar group of women will do great things for women and girls throughout the city.”

“This is a historic opportunity to bring women to the table of City government in an official leadership capacity,” said Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, the only woman elected to an At-Large Council seat since 1999.   “As an official arm of City government, the Commission for Women would provide the foundation for change including building key relationships and helping to create equitable opportunities for women at all levels of the Philadelphia workforce.”

The Mayor also appointed Jovida Hill to serve as the Commission’s Executive Director. Hill joined the administration in February in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.  In her new role, Hill will be working with commissioners to advise City government on public policy that enhances the lives of women and girls at every stage of their lives.

“We want to look at the issues that affect women in public spaces and in the workplace and what policies lead to a more just and equitable society for women and their families,” said  Hill.  “It is absolutely appalling that in this day and age, women still make 77 cents to every dollar that a man makes. I’m proud to serve and lead this Commission and look forward to working with this amazing cohort.”

The Women’s Commission will be under the Office of Public Engagement headed by Deputy Mayor Dr. Nina Ahmad. “The fact that Philadelphians have voted to permanently establish a Commission on Women by amending our Home Rule Charter speaks to a City that is ready to roll up its collective sleeves and ensure equity for women, as well as promote and protect their rights” Ahmad said “It is exciting to have this Commission in place to advise the Mayor and Council on public policy that impacts women, as well as to ensure women will be equal partners in shaping the destiny of our City.”

Members of the Commission are as follows:

Mayoral Appointees


  • Denise McGregor Armbrister, Senior Vice President of Wells Fargo Corporation and Executive Director of the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation


  • Dawn Chavous, President of Chavous Consulting


  • Tara Chupka, Esq. Counsel for the International ‎Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 98 (IBEW)


  • Marleny Franco, MD., Physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia


  • Felicia Harris, President and CEO of Influencing Action Movement (IAM)


  • Farzana Rashid Hossain, MD, faculty for the Urogynecology Fellowship, Urogynecology Division of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania


  • Waleska Maldonado, Chief Programs Officer for Congreso de Latinos Unidos


  • Kathleen R. Padilla, Director of the Office of Business Diversity for the Philadelphia International Airport


  • Anne Wakabayashi, Executive Director of Emerge PA


  • Tonie Willis, Founder of Ardella’s House


City Council Appointees


  • Karen Bojar, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of English and Women’s Studies at the Community College of Philadelphia


  • Larissa T. Cahill, advocate for safe streets as a volunteer for the Queen Village Neighbors Association


  • Morgan Cephas, Democratic nominee for PA General Assembly, 192nd District


  • Vanessa L. Fields, Vice President of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) District Council 47 (Local 2187)


  • Lisa Holgash, Organized Labor Activist


  • Roxanne Horrell, Esq. Legislative Counsel to Councilwoman Blackwell


  • Lois (Soon Chun) Kang Director of Urban Policy and International Affairs for Councilman At-Large David Oh


  • Noelle L. Marconi, legislative director for Councilman William Greenlee


  • Danielle McDermond, Administrative and Constituent Services Assistant for Councilman Brian O’Neill


  • Rachael J. Pritzker, Esq. Legislative Counsel to Councilman Allan Domb


  • Betzaida Rosario, Sales Manager for La Mega Hispanic Radio Station


  • Maggie Stauffer, 2018 candidate for her Ed.D in Student Affairs Leadership from Widener University


  • Shelley Sylva, Esq., First Vice President, Senior Manager of Legal Operations and Governance for TD Bank


  • Jennifer Slavic Constituent Services Representative for Councilman Mark Squilla


  • Julia Terry, Program Director at ArtWell


  • Leigh N. Whitaker, Esq., Vice President of Communications for the Sugar House Casino


  • Tiphanie White, Constituent Services Representative and Special Events Coordinator for Councilman Kenyatta Johnson