Washington Leadership Institute WLI Community

In May 2003, the Washington State Bar Association Board of Governors ("Board") included in its 2003-2006 Strategic Goals the commitment to "promote diversity, equality and cultural competence in the courts, legal profession and the bar." The Board formally recognized and addressed the need for diversity within the state's legal profession and communities throughout the state. Further, the Board recognized that many newly admitted attorneys, and attorneys who have been in practice for less than 10 years, particularly those who come from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds, women and those from traditionally under-represented groups, have not been recruited nor made aware of leadership positions and training available through the WSBA. In 2004, at the behest of then WSBA President Ronald Ward, the WSBA Leadership Institute was created to meet this important need.

Learn more about our amazing alumni.

2023 Fellows

  • Elbert Aull
  • Smriti Chandrashekar
  • Brynn Felix
  • Chelsey Heindel
  • Fabiola Jimenez
  • Hari Kumar
  • Michelle Morales
  • Sanaa Nagi
  • Jessie Rehms
  • Zaida Rivera
  • Deanna “Dede” Tran
  • Paulina Wu

Read the 2023 WLI Fellows profiles to learn more.


  • Ronald R. Ward, WLI Founder


  • Hon. Mary Yu, Co-Chairs
  • James Williams, Co-Chairs

Board Members

  • Dean Anthony Varona, Ex-Officio member
  • Toni Rembe Dean and Professor of Law Tamara F. Lawson, Ex-Officio member
  • Dean Jacob H. Rooksby, Ex-Officio member
  • WSBA President Hunter Abell, Ex-Officio member
  • Jeffrey A. Beaver
  • Justice Bobbe Bridge (Ret.)
  • Jillian M. Cutler
  • Cynthia F. Delostrinos
  • Justice Mary Fairhurst (Ret.)
  • Chief Justice Steven González
  • Nancy L. Isserlis
  • Zabrina Jenkins
  • Judge Lorraine Lee
  • Rajeev Majumdar
  • Chief Judge Ricardo S. Martinez
  • Justice Raquel Montoya-Lewis
  • Kevin O’Rourke
  • Frederick (Fred) B. Rivera
  • Serena Sayani
  • Craig A. Sims
  • Kellye Y. Testy
  • Stephan M. Thomas

Read the board members’ full bios.