About Women in Leadership & Philanthropy

Women in Leadership & Philanthropy serves as an initiative within the Office of Development at the University of San Francisco to further advance engagement, leadership, and philanthropic giving to support the strategic priorities of the University. We envision a USF community in which all women thrive at their full potential, contributing to a  more just and humane world.

Our mission is to inspire, empower and advance women-identified individuals as influential leaders in service to USF, to their communities, and throughout the world. We do this by providing opportunities for engagement, networking, and leadership while creating a culture of philanthropy and giving. 

We believe that diversity, gender equity, and inclusion are a prerequisite to achieving the USF  dream of a more just and humane world. We believe that in order to affect change in the world around gender justice and social justice we must embrace and engage in dialogue and understanding among our diverse constituents and communities. We believe that the voice of gender equity will strengthen and advance the impact of USF and beyond when women are empowered as leaders and change-makers. 

Staff and Leadership


irena_matijasIrena Matijas ’95
Board Chair



chery_vargasCheryl Vargas
Director, Women in Leadership & Philanthropy
(415) 422-2063



Women in Leadership & Philanthropy Advisory Board


Women in Leadership & Philanthropy advisory board











 Left to Right: Liliana Blanco Fernandez MSOD ’21, Susi Collins MNA ’13, Michelle Darchuck ’20, Margaret Doherty-Simor ’84, Hershel Lelaind MPA ’11, Paula March LMA ’78, Sarah Marino MBA ’11, Carolyn McCusker ’92, Shirley McGuire, Madeleine Meininger ’15, Sascha Rosemond ’15, MNA ’19, Victoria Sanchez De Alba ’97, Kibibi Shaw ’13, MSOD ’15, Cheryl Smith, Paula de Vos MBA ’94, Gwen Wong MBA ’79, Nora Wu ’88.

Contact Info

Women in Leadership & Philanthropy

M–F, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.

Cheryl Vargas
Director, Women in Leadership & Philanthropy
University of San Francisco
2130 Fulton St.
Lone Mountain Rossi
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 422-2063