Charna Widby serves as the Interim Policy Director. She previously served as the Senior Policy Strategist overseeing the Family Strengthening and Health Related Systems portfolio in the Policy and Government Affairs Department of First 5 LA. Charnas years as a private sector lobbyist as well as background in nonprofit management and direct services have given her a keen eye and instinct for innovative service delivery systems and political strategy.

Prior to joining First 5 LA, Charna was a Director at The Raben Group, a D.C.-based lobbying and public affairs firm. Her clients included the Nurse Family Partnership, Seventh Generation, Compassion and Choices, the Mentor Network and the American Network for Community Options and Resources (ANCOR). She continues to serve as the Co-Owner and Chief Operating Officer of Little Ladder, an early child development and behavioral intervention company in Seattle, Washington. She has previously served as the Clinical Program Director for a Part C and Home Visiting provider in Washington State, Wonderland Developmental Center. Her prior experience also included roles as the Advocacy Manager for Nevada Advocates for Planned Parenthood Affiliates, Program Manager of California Institute for Health Systems Performance and Clinical Behaviorist for Teaching Autistic Children.

Charna earned her Bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of Chicago. She also earned her Master Certificate in Public Health from the University of Iowa as well as her Master in Public Policy and Master in Dispute Resolution from Pepperdine University. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at Pepperdine University.