Moving Forward Together

Press Releases

Jewish Family Service COO Dana Toppel, Board Director Susan Davis Confirmed to Commission on the Status of Women

Former U.S. Congresswoman Davis also Confirmed as Commission Chair

Media Contacts:
Sandy Young / Ashley Bendas, (619) 295-7140
[email protected] / [email protected]

SAN DIEGO (September 20, 2022) — The San Diego City Council confirmed today the appointments of Jewish Family Service San Diego (JFS) Chief Operating Officer Dana Toppel and Board of Directors Member Susan Davis to the City’s newly revived Commission on the Status of Women. Former U.S. Congresswoman Davis has been appointed as the Commission’s Chair.

Mayor Todd Gloria announced Toppel and Davis’s appointments on August 26, 2022, in honor of Women’s Equality Day. Both members of JFS leadership have extensive backgrounds working within the community to advance women’s equality in the workplace and beyond.

As a former U.S. Congresswoman, Davis represented the City of San Diego’s 53rd district for more than 20 years in the House of Representatives. She also served as a member of the California State Assembly and the San Diego Unified Board of Education. Throughout her time in public service, Davis was regarded as an advocate of education as well as veteran’s and women’s rights. Following her retirement in 2019, Davis worked with Family Support Circle to transition Afghan refugees to life in San Diego. She is a member of the Kim Center for Social Balance — a San Diego nonprofit dedicated to equity in the workforce — and joined the JFS Board of Directors in 2022.

Dana Toppel has two decades of experience as a nonprofit executive. She has worked with JFS since 2009 and assumed the role of COO in 2015. Prior to joining JFS, Toppel was the director of programs and services at the San Diego LGBT Community Center. She is the current chair of San Diego for Every Child — a nonprofit coalition housed under JFS dedicated to reducing the experience of childhood poverty in San Diego – as well as Commissioner for the California Commission on Aging and a Community Advisory Board Member for the San Diego Union-Tribune. She is also the founder of Make Work Work for Moms, which seeks to uplift the real stories of working mothers to bring forward change and evolution.

“More than ever in this post-pandemic world, women need resources, policies and programs that provide support in every stage of their lives. Women are the backbone of our care systems, economy and workforce, and we must create systems that serve to empower all individuals regardless of gender,” Toppel said. “I look forward to working with Susan Davis and the rest of the Commission on the Status of Women to ensure access to equitable opportunities is available to all San Diego women.”

The Commission on the Status of Women was first established in 1973 as the “Advisory Board on the Status of Women.” Mayor Gloria reinstated the agency to address inequities San Diego women face in career, economic and vocational pursuits. The commission will advise the Mayor, City Council, and other government agencies on how the City can best support women in our region.

“Despite tremendous progress toward gender equality, there’s still a lot of work to be done to ensure women have equal access to opportunity throughout their lives, and cities can play a role in leveling the playing field on that front,” Mayor Gloria said. “With their diverse experiences, expertise and passions, these commissioners will advise City leaders to ensure women are supported in City policies and decision-making.”

Davis and Toppel join nine other women in a diverse board that is well-equipped to address the challenges San Diego women face.

For more information, to donate or volunteer, visit

About Jewish Family Service of San Diego – Moving Forward Together
Founded in 1918, Jewish Family Service (JFS) is one of San Diego’s most impactful nonprofit agencies — providing resources and support to over 70,000 people every year. Through integrated services, the organization empowers people of all ages, faiths, and backgrounds to overcome challenges, set goals, and build more stable, secure, and connected lives. JFS is committed to helping individuals and families move forward, while developing innovative strategies to break cycles of poverty and strengthen our San Diego community.   

To get help, volunteer or support JFS, visit or call 858-637-3000.