On behalf of the Board of Directors of Center for Domestic Peace (C4DP), I’m thrilled to announce that after an extensive and thoughtful search Tara Peterson has been selected as our new executive director (ED), effective April 15, 2024.

Tara brings more than 20 years of experience addressing domestic abuse, youth violence, sexual assault, and reproductive rights. For the past 7 years, she served as the CEO of YWCA Glendale and Pasadena, where she played a pivotal role in revitalizing the organization’s 95-year legacy of supporting local women and girls. This was achieved by expanding programs, stabilizing the organization, ensuring growth, and igniting culture change and conversation around ending gender-based violence and advancing racial equity.

Under Tara’s leadership of YWCA of Glendale and Pasadena, the organization’s operating budget tripled, including a historic $1 million donation from Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott for the organization’s work addressing gender-based violence and advancing racial justice.

Prior to her tenure at the YWCA, Tara spent a decade working at the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence (CPEDV), including five years as its Executive Director, leading statewide policy, legislative, and budget advocacy efforts. Peterson also served as the National Program Director for Just Detention International, advocating on behalf of incarcerated survivors and working with corrections agencies on adopting policies that keep prisoners safe from sexual abuse.

“Much of my service and advocacy career has been dedicated to advancing equity and ending gender-based violence,” said Tara. “I have committed myself to service in these areas and have witnessed first-hand the racism and institutional marginalization that often act as barriers to those who are most in need of assistance. It’s an honor to be entrusted with furthering C4DP’s purpose to help individuals find freedom from domestic violence and continue its commitment to making lasting social, systemic, and institutional change.”

Tara obtained a bachelor’s degree in Ethnic Studies from California State University, Sacramento. She also holds a master’s degree in Multi-Cultural Education, and has been personally recognized for excellence in leadership, receiving multiple awards over the course of her career.

We are grateful for Donna Garske, our current ED. As previously announced, Donna is retiring after 44 years of contributions to the community, during which time she has led with passion, dedication, and grace. Donna will assume the role of ED Emeritus from April 15th through June 15th to assist with Tara’s on-boarding, by which Donna will help C4DP continue to thrive during this time of transition.


 “This is an exciting moment in time for C4DP. So much has gone into executing a well-planned leadership transition including the care C4DP’s Board of Directors gave to ensuring that the right leader was found to carry C4DP forward. Tara is just that person and I could not be more pleased!”

C4DP’s Board:

“We are excited to welcome Tara to C4DP and are confident in her skills as a dedicated and strategic leader with a background in DV and gender-based oppression. We look forward to working together with the community and beyond to build and further advance C4DP’s essential, life-saving work. We’re grateful for Donna’s many years of contributions, including her dedication toward building an organization that is stable and sustainable. We wish her well on her next big adventure!”

Please join us in welcoming Tara and extending our best wishes to Donna for her years of leadership, dedication, integrity, and drive in guiding C4DP and contributing to the movement to end gender-based violence. You will have the chance to connect with both amazing women at our Mother’s Day Luncheon on May 10, and at a public celebratory event on June 6 at the Marin Art and Garden Center. Save the date, more details to come.

On behalf of our entire board, staff, and service users, we’re truly grateful for your support of C4DP. We are confident in Tara’s ability to lead this amazing organization well into the future.



Cynthia Murray

Board Chairwoman, Center for Domestic Peace