A graduate of San Francisco public schools herself, Emily and spouse Neal Taniguchi have two daughters who attended the district's signature Japanese Bilingual Bicultural Program (JBBP) at Rosa Parks Elementary School. Founded 40 years ago by community leaders and parents, including her own, JBBP continues to promote multiculturalism within the school district.


Effective Advocate for Public Education

Emily was a member of the Rosa Parks School Site Council, the JBBP Parent Teacher Community Council, and the Lowell Alumni Association Board of Directors. Before her election to the school board in 2010, she chaired the SFUSD Parent Advisory Council. As a school board member, Emily has focused her efforts on responding to the concerns of families on an individual basis, expanding ACCESS to world languages and the arts, emphasizing opportunities for ACHIEVEMENT, and strengthening the ACCOUNTABILITY of the school district to keep its promises to families.


Diverse Professional Background

In her professional capacity, Emily serves as Executive Director of the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, where she oversees a $7.7 million budget and a professional staff of 6 to promote the human rights of the women and girls of San Francisco. In partnership with community-based service providers and law enforcement agencies, Emily's work contributed to the unprecedented elimination of domestic violence homicides in San Francisco between 2010-2014. Previously, she served in the first Clinton White House as Director for International Economic Affairs (1993-1994), after working for AT&T Japan in Tokyo, and later worked in the International Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission.


Leader in Her Community

A Founding Sister of the Asian Pacific American Women's Leadership Institute, Emily is a graduate of the Emerge political leadership training program, Leadership San Francisco, and Leadership California. She has served on the boards of the Fort Mason Foundation, the Japanese American Citizens League (San Francisco, Tokyo, Washington, DC Chapters), and the Bryn Mawr Alumnae Association. She is currently on the boards of Democratic Women in Action and the San Francisco-Osaka Sister City Association.


Distinguished Awards

For her work championing anti-human trafficking, Emily received the 2016 Modern Day Abolitionist Award from the San Francisco Collaborative Against Human Trafficking. In 2010, Emily received the Alumni of the Year Award from her alma mater, the UC San Diego Graduate School of International Relations & Pacific Studies, as well as the Outstanding Advocate for Women's Rights from the National Council of Jewish Women San Francisco Chapter. In 2009, Emily was named Woman of the Year in her district by the California State Senate and was recognized for her contributions to the women's community by the Democratic Women's Forum.



Emily holds an AB in modern Japanese history from Bryn Mawr College, a master's from the Graduate School of International Relations & Pacific Studies at UC San Diego, and a PhD in communication from Stanford.



She resides in San Francisco with spouse Neal and their two daughters Junko Taniguchi, a student at Smith College, and Izumi Murase, a student at the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts in visual arts.