When Gail Farber was named Director of the Los Angeles County Public Works Department in 2008, she assumed responsibility for one of the largest public works agencies in the United States, with an annual budget of $2.2 billion and more than 4,000 employees. In this capacity, she also serves as the County Road Commissioner, County Engineer, and Chief Engineer of the Los Angeles County Flood Control District. As the first female to lead the County Public Works Department, Ms. Farber has been an advocate for promoting women to leadership roles and inspiring students to seek and succeed in non-traditional roles. She was instrumental in the development of the Women’s Leadership Conference, which annually draws more than 500 women from across the County and is developing outreach programs for students to encourage careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Gail received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from San Diego State University. She then spent 19 years with Caltrans, serving in a variety of senior engineering and planning positions. Prior to appointment with County Public Works, Gail served as Director of Public Works/City Engineer for the cities of Pico Rivera and Orange, CA.
Belinda Smith Walker
Board Member, New Village Charter School
Founding Executive Director, Girls & Gangs
Belinda Smith Walker’s dedication to helping girls and women facing issues growing from poverty is evident through her roles in the creation of several nonprofit organizations. In 2006, she became a founding board member of New Village Charter School, an all-girls high school in the Rampart Neighborhood established to meet the educational needs of young women with school histories marked by difficulty and failure and lives marked by pregnancy, parenting and other challenges. In 1997, Ms. Walker co-founded Girls & Gangs (G&G), a nonprofit that provides young women in the juvenile justice system with community reentry services. Ms. Walker served as G&G’s volunteer executive director for more than 10 years and currently serves on its board. In 1985, Ms. Walker co-founded the Los Angeles Women’s Foundation (LAWF) and served as the chair of the founding board of directors. The community-based foundation provided grants and technical support to services that empower women and girls in Greater Los Angeles. In 2000, the LAWF merged with its sister organization in San Francisco to become the Women’s Foundation of California. Ms. Walker served on its governing board.