West Valley & Mt. Communities District Director
Tessa Charnofsky serves as District Director for Supervisor Sheila Kuehl in her Calabasas office. Just prior to joining the Supervisor’s team, Tessa worked for the National Wildlife Federation, where she helped ensure that Los Angeles and surrounding neighborhoods were habitable for our wildlife neighbors, from bees to bobcats. A trained social worker, Tessa began her career in the adoptions field in the early 1990s and later focused on child abuse prevention. She ran the youth development and gang prevention programs at a non-profit in Northeast Los Angeles from 2002 through 2006.
In 2007, Tessa joined Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s staff as West Valley Area Director where she represented the Mayor in the West San Fernando Valley. In 2009, Tessa worked as Special Assistant to then-Speaker of the State Assembly Karen Bass, supporting her critical efforts to protect safety net programs during the recession, and representing her with the non-profit, business, and environmental communities. From 2010 to 2017, Tessa served as Government Affairs Manager for First 5 LA, where she spoke on behalf of the agency with elected officials, their representatives, and community leaders about the importance of high-quality health and educational programs for children 0-5 and their families.
Tessa was born and raised in Los Angeles. She received a B.A. in politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Master’s in Social Work, with an emphasis in community organizing, from San Francisco State University. She received a second master’s degree, in Public Administration, from California State University, Northridge. She studied Spanish in Mexico and Spain, and is fluent in the language. A past board member of the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters where she supported efforts to elect pro-environment candidates to offices in LA County, Tessa is a current board member of the Theodore Payne Foundation, which promotes the ecological benefits of California native plant landscapes.