We’re thrilled to announce the addition of two exceptional individuals, Julie Castro Abrams and Dr. Ryan J. Smith, to the SEAL Board of Directors, further enriching our mission to prepare all English Learners and Dual Language Learners in California to learn, thrive and lead.

Julie Castro Abrams is an expert in board governance and building diverse boards that are a strategic advantage. She is an experienced non-profit CEO and entrepreneur, and through her consulting practice she supports leaders to build high-performance boards break through performance for the leaders and high performing multicultural teams. She is the CEO of How Women Lead, a network of over 20,000 women dedicated to promoting diverse women’s voices and propelling women’s leadership forward, as well as the Managing Partner of How Women Invest, the country’s largest venture fund focused exclusively on women founders.

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Dr. Ryan J. Smith serves as the President and CEO of the Saint Joseph Center in Los Angeles, CA. For almost fifty years, One of LA County’s largest service providers, St. Joseph Center’s mission is to provide working class families, as well as homeless men, women, and children of all ages with the inner resources and tools to become productive, stable and self-supporting members of the community. Prior to joining St. Joseph Center, he served as the Chief Strategy Officer for Community Coalition—an organization founded by Mayor Karen Bass with the mission of transforming the social and economic conditions of residents in South Los Angeles and beyond. Before his tenure at Community Coalition, Dr. Smith served as Interim CEO and Chief External Officer for LA Unified’s Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, an organization supporting 15,000 students and their families in Watts, Boyle Heights, and South LA.

Read more about Dr. Smith