Surina Tribute - Women's Foundation California

Thank you, Surina

After decades with Women’s Foundation California, Surina Khan embarks on a new chapter in her remarkable journey. We’re taking a moment to thank Surina, a visionary leader who has left an indelible mark on the philanthropic and non-profit social justice landscape.

With a legacy spanning over thirty years, Surina’s tireless commitment to gender, racial, and economic justice has transformed communities on local, national, and global scales.

“Always in awe of Surina´s powers to transform an organization, to respond with the most creative solutions, and to shape the path of culture change. I think of Surina as a brave visionary and a generous leader, and I celebrate that her legacy will keep on giving, transforming and advancing gender justice in California and beyond. Con toda mi admiraciĂłn y cariño”

Norma Alvarez
WFC Board Emeritus

“Surina, your steadfast, generous, and bold leadership style inspires me every day. Thank you for believing in me and for your partnership, and for being a role model in my life.”

Elena Chavez Quezada,
Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

“Hey Surina, I remember having tea during your first year at the Foundation, and you talked about your dreams and hopes for the work. Your strong and steady leadership took a fragile and uncertain org and made it into the amazing and impactful org it is today. Well done, dearheart. Thank you.”

Akaya Windwood

“Learning together
You as CEO
Me as Chair
What a team we made
Friends and Colleagues forever
Love and Solidarity”

Gretchen Sandler

“I have to say it, Surina!
You are amazing! You are full of exceptional wisdom and have given us your boldest leadership in extraordinary times. Plus a staff & consulting team, & policy makers & funders who believe in us as never before. With gratitude for the cultural shift to mutual respect, care and trust, for Bia, and your generous extensions & legacy gifts that enable our future to keep assuring continued change for all. Brava!”

Tracy Gary,
Women’s Foundation California

“Surina and I and our spouses have been friends for over 15 years. It has been an incredible honor and privilege to work with Surina as a board member at WFC these last 7 years and witness her unflappable leadership during the foundation’s transformation.”

Will Guerra,
Board Member,
Women’s Foundation California

“What I was sharing with Surina how her leadership had impacted my experience as a former staff member. During our chat, I realized that she was just noticing what a vast ripple affects her authentic leadership had both into the future and reaching even to the past.”

Fabiola DeCaratachea
Board Member,
Women’s Foundation California

Today is an important milestone in our CEO transition.

With the end of this fiscal year, I am passing the CEO baton to Bia. On July 1 Bia’s title will change to CEO and mine to CEO Emeritus/Advisor. We’ll use the summer months to close out all the pieces of the transition including internal documents, banking signatures, and website and social media bios and most importantly– giving Bia the space to lead.

Read the Full Letter

From her start in community-based publishing to her influential roles as CEO of the Women’s Foundation California, Director at the Ford Foundation, and Executive Director of the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission, Surina’s impact has been felt across feminist spaces. Her strategic brilliance has guided grantmaking initiatives, forged innovative program designs, and catalyzed powerful policy change. Her advocacy has resonated through compelling communications strategies, while her facilitation prowess has fostered collaboration and progress.



Bia Vieira is CEO of Women’s Foundation California, where she leads the Foundation’s work to advance gender, racial, and economic justice. The Foundation’s program strategy is focused on building community-based power through investing in nonprofit organizations, training community leaders in policy advocacy, connecting key partners, and mobilizing significant financial resources.


This work is powered by you.

The feminist future we are building together in California is going to be built by all of us sharing our time, our money, and our skills.  Please consider contributing today.

Together We Are Unstoppable.

Sign up here to join our mailing list and receive updates about our programs, partnerships, and more!