Deputy Director of Finance and Administration

Office: Los Angeles

Whelma Cabanawan

Whelma Cabanawan is the Deputy Director of Administration and Finance at the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC), where she provides strategic and operational responsibility to support CIPC’s short and long-term goals. Before transitioning to this position, Whelma served as CIPC’s first Development Director. More than doubling the organizational budget, she helped to strengthen CIPC’s impact and sustainability through institutional and individual giving, as well as events-based fundraising. Whelma has worked in nonprofit administration, finance, and development since 2007. Soon after witnessing the power of immigrant workers in the historic 2006 May Day March, Whelma joined the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) and served as the administrator and intern & volunteer coordinator until 2013.

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 East LA neighborhood.