Our network is managed by a Secretariat that works in close coordination with a rotating Chair. Previously under the leadership of former Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum and now under Mayor Martí Batres, Mexico City advises the Secretariat as CHANGE Chair.
The Secretariat’s organizational model draws from a history of feminist movements that have demonstrated how shared leadership can inspire better decision-making, greater diversity of thought, increased effectiveness, healthier work-life balance, heightened creativity, and more risk-taking.
Leslie (she/her) brings experience in humanitarian affairs and city diplomacy. During her time in the Communications and Advocacy division of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), she helped develop international advocacy campaigns and strategies, raising awareness about the most pressing emergencies in global fora. In 2020, she was based in WFP’s West African Regional Bureau in Dakar, where she led communications and advocacy on the Sahel crisis. Leslie has also worked in the Greater London Authority (GLA), where she developed a strong understanding of how municipal governments function, the value of city-to-city exchanges, and the pivotal role mayors play in responding to major global challenges. During her time in the GLA’s International Relations team, she led on questions related to the war in Ukraine.
Leslie holds a BA in Diplomacy and World Affairs from Occidental College in Los Angeles, and an MsC in Urban Development Planning from the Bartlett’s Development Planning Unit (DPU) at University College London. She lives in London where you might see her riding around on her tandem bike with her partner, Josh.
Holly Milburn-Smith (she/her) joined CHANGE in 2021 as a member of the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs in the City of Los Angeles. Prior to joining the Mayor’s team, Holly managed community-based development programs internationally and throughout the U.S. Some of her favorite professional experiences include working with children of incarcerated parents in New York state prisons, supporting research on gender-based violence in South Africa, developing an educational partnership serving children with disabilities in Haiti, and leading workforce development programs for young people impacted by the criminal justice system in Chicago.
Holly received a B.A. from Transylvania University in her home state of Kentucky. She earned a Master of Public Policy and a Certificate in Public Financial Management from the University of Southern California, where she completed research for the TIME’S UP Foundation and the Sol Price Center for Social Innovation. Holly is a Fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar and, in 2022, was recognized by the Aspen Institute as a Rising Leader in Foreign Policy. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Stephen, an Episcopal priest, and her son, Bruce, who hates peas but is otherwise a happy baby.
2024 CHANGE Fellow
Kelsey Carido (she/her) joined CHANGE in August 2023 to assist on everything from day-to-day operations to communications strategies. She recently interned at the White House on the Gender Policy Council, working on domestic and international gender policy issues. She also completed internships in the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, the U.S. State Department, and Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
Kelsey received her B.A. in International Relations and a minor in Human Rights from Stanford University. She graduated with honors in Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law after completing her thesis “Beyond Policy: How Migrant Families Navigate Deterrence at the U.S.-Mexico Border,” which analyzed how U.S. immigration policy affected the decision-making of migrant families, with a focus on migrant mothers. She was accepted to Harvard Law School’s Junior Deferral Program and will begin her 1L year in 2025. She currently has no permanent residence but is enjoying stints of travel to countries where CHANGE cities happen to be located and her childhood home in the suburbs of Chicago!