Named the most powerful unelected person in California Democratic politics by the Sacramento Bee, Kimberly Ellis has helped shape the landscape of progressive and grassroots politics in California and beyond.
After running national operations, including the shepherding of the state and federal incorporation and launch processes as the National Affiliate Director at Emerge America (the nation’s most effective training program for Democratic women who run for office), in 2010, Kimberly was tapped to lead the flagship affiliate, Emerge California, as its Executive Director.
For nearly a decade, Kimberly led the California affiliate with incredible success, growing what had been a regional training program into a statewide electoral powerhouse for Democratic women, earning her the reputation for revolutionizing Democratic politics in the Golden State.
Today, Emerge California alumnae occupy seats from the Lieutenant Governor’s office to the state legislature, to city halls and water boards.
In the Fall of 2020, Kimberly was appointed by San Francisco Mayor London Breed to lead the Department on the Status of Women for the City and County. Tasked with helping to transform San Francisco into a fully gender equitable city, Kimberly leads efforts inside San Francisco’s operations, as well as within the community at large and advocates at the local, state and federal level for resources and policies that create greater opportunity for women, girls and gender nonbinary people.
With particular focus on economic security, mental and physical health and safety, civic engagement and political empowerment, and human trafficking, Kimberly oversees a department of approximately 10 employees and a more than $10M budget. The department annually awards roughly $8.5M in discretionary grants to community-based organizations to combat issues like gender-based violence and housing insecurity. Under Kimberly’s direction, the department also manages state, federal and privately funded grants, as well as collaborates with other City leaders and agencies on combatting issues on numerous intersectional and interdepartmental fronts.
Kimberly has appeared on syndicated television and radio, frequently having been interviewed by leading political media outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post and Associated Press.
Kimberly holds a law degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from Jacksonville University.
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