Whelma Cabanawan is Development Director at the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) where she is responsible for institutional and individual giving for the organization. Having worked in nonprofit administration and development since 2006, she knows first-hand how funders are cultivated to support an innovative agenda. Whelma also brings excitement and joy to both designing and implementing events based fundraising.

Whelma was drawn to mission driven work from her experience at the historic 2006 May Day march, "A Day Without Immigrants" in Los Angeles, where she witnessed the power of immigrant workers and was confronted by the injustice that prevails in our communities. Soon after that Whelma joined the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) as the organization's Administrator and Intern & Volunteer Coordinator. Most recently, prior to joining CIPC, Whelma was the Accounting Manager with Organize Now, where she supported lobbying and non-lobbying expense management for the Fight for 15 Campaign in Florida. While in graduate school in Budapest, she interned with the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, and consulted with the Hungarian Helsinki Committee.

Whelma holds an MBA in Nonprofit Management from American Jewish University. She earned an M.A. in Human Rights from Central European University and obtained her B.A. in Political Science and Legal Studies from the University of Central Florida. Whelma serves on the Board of the Filipino Migrant Center and enjoys traveling the world, exploring California with her nephew and niece, and checking out arts and music events in her neighborhood.