Who's Who of Professional Women


Cathryn Hilliard

Initially studying at the University of California Los Angeles, she later earned an Associate of Arts from Los Angeles Pierce College in California in 1963. Ms. Hilliard began her career as a secretary for a congressman and the legislative aide for a U.S. senator between 1966 and 1969. Subsequently, she worked as a public administrator and a public affairs officer for the Association of Bay Area Governments in Oakland, California, between 1970 and 1976 enabling the first Environmental Management Plan for the San Francisco Bay Area. During this time, she received a certificate from the University of California Berkeley in 1975 and a Bachelor of Arts in political science at California State University, Hayward in 1976. Soon thereafter, Ms. Hilliard contributed as a public participation coordinator with the San Francisco Bay Region Wastewater Solid Study in Oakland, California, from 1976 to 1979 that developed a disposal and reuse plan for additional sewage sludge resulting from stiffer wastewater quality requirements.

Following these appointments, Ms. Hilliard served as a public participation coordinator in the Orange and Los Angeles Counties Water Reuse Study in Los Angeles between 1979 and 1983, resulting in a new classification of water, “reclaimed,” for watering freeway median strips. She set up a one-stop filming location permit center in Hollywood to keep the movie business in California from 1983 to 1985. She served as director of government and public affairs with the Association of Bay Area Governments from 1985 to 1996. She later found success as an executive director for the Construction Industry Force Account Council from 1997 to 2017, initiating 13 pieces of legislation and becoming an expert on California’s public contract law. In 2017, she retired from full-time professional activity and is currently consulting. Other career-related endeavors to Ms. Hilliard’s credit include serving as a guest lecturer for the Career Development Department at the University of California Berkeley and the Environmental Management Department with Solano Community College between 1977 and 1979.

Civically, Ms. Hilliard has excelled as the president of the board of directors for Southern Marin Fire District since 2009, to which she was elected in 2011. Following Nancy Pelosi, she served as president of the Bay Area Public Affairs Council in 1988. Additionally, she had maintained her involvement with the American Cancer Society and the UCSF Medical Center Auxiliary. A member of the National Association County Information Officer, Ms. Hilliard is also affiliated with the League of Women Voters, the American Society for Public Administration, the American Association of University Women, and the California Water Pollution Control Association.

In a career filled with many achievements, Ms. Hilliard was proud to have launched the San Francisco Bay Trail in 1987. Outside of her primary responsibilities, Ms. Hilliard enjoys political activities, womens’ causes, playing the guitar, traveling and theater in her spare time.


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