Meet Our Founders

Meet Our Founders

Founded by inspirational women and role models Ann Reiss Lane (formerly on the Board of LAPD Commissioners) and Betty Friedan (feminist leader and author), Women Against Gun Violence has worked for 23 years on legislation, awareness and educational programs to keep women and children safe from gun violence.

Recently, Ann Reiss Lane was recognized by KCET as a local hero and was given the Angel of Peace Award by the Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles, for her outstanding advocacy and her dedication to preventing gun violence in Los Angeles.


Margot Bennett, MBA
Executive Director

Cynthia Claverie
Program Director, TALK Project

Board of Directors

Chair Emeritus
Ann Reiss Lane
Founder, Women Against Gun Violence

Laurie Saffian
Partner, Bedrock Strategies

Hollye Dexter
Author and Community Activist

Jackie Elkins
Community Activist 

Donna Finkelstein
Retired High School Counselor
Gun Violence Survivor

Rhonda Foster
Case Manager
Community Build & Gang Reduction Youth Development Program
Los Angeles Mayor’s Office
Gun Violence Survivor

Diana Georger, MA
Teacher and Therapist
Cheerful Helpers Child and Family Services

Deborah Gitell
Sales and Marketing Executive

Sheila Goldberg
Community Activist

Lela M. Jones-Avant
YWCA/Los Angeles Job Corps
Gun Violence Survivor

Loren Lieb, MPH
Epidemiologist, Los Angeles County
Gun Violence Survivor

Deputy Chief Debra McCarthy
Professional Standards Bureau
Los Angeles Police Department

Roberta G. Schiller, MSPH
Community Activist

Earl Shields, Chief, Detective Division
Los Angeles Sheriffs Department

Josh Stepakoff
College Student
Gun Violence Survivor

Board of Advisors

Sheriff Lee Baca
Chief Charlie Beck
Bishop Charles E. Blake
Frieda Rappoport Caplan
Bill D’Elia
Ernestine S. Elster, PhD
Hon. Michael Feuer
Hon. Eric Garcetti
Rabbi Laura Geller
Sandy Gooch
Jackie Gottlieb
Hon. Wendy Greuel
Hon. James K. Hahn
Sweet Alice Harris
Marilyn Hudson
Katherine Hennigan Ohanesian
Hon. Paul Koretz
Hon. Paul Krekorian, Esq.
Hon. Abbe Land
Eleanor Montaño
Luis Montes, MD
Hon. Bernard C. Parks
Charlie K. Parsons
Hon. Joy Picus
Dr. George Regas
Nancy Morgan-Ritter
Jan Ross
Carmel Sella
John Torres, ATF
Sayre Weaver