President and CEO
Jessie Kornberg became the President and CEO of the Skirball Cultural Center in July 2020.
To the Skirball’s leadership team, Kornberg brings two decades of civil rights work—a career dedicated to dismantling systemic inequality. This commitment began with frontline anti-poverty services at the largest provider of homeless family housing in New York City. Kornberg went on to work with the NAACP and NOW before founding Ms. JD, an online community dedicated to supporting and advancing the careers of women in the legal profession. Next, she co-chaired the pro bono program at the Beverly Hills litigation boutique Bird Marella, focusing the firm's resources on prison condition reform, including a groundbreaking class action on behalf of the death row inmates at Angola state penitentiary in Louisiana.
In 2014, Kornberg became the CEO of Bet Tzedek (Hebrew for "house of justice"), one of the nation's leading free legal aid providers. Under her leadership, the agency grew to address the most pressing legal issues facing low-income families, including the establishment of the nation’s first transgender medical-legal partnership and a family preparedness program to respond to growing concerns surrounding the deportation of undocumented parents.
In 2020, Kornberg co-chaired LA Represents, an unprecedented pro bono legal initiative in scope and scale, established to support residents and businesses in need during the COVID-19 crisis. She currently serves as a trustee for the Los Angeles Urban League, the Motion Picture & Television Fund, and UCLA School of Law, where she earned her JD. Kornberg lives in the Silverlake neighborhood of Los Angeles with her spouse, Aaron Lowenstein, their young son, Asa, and a rescued black spaniel mix named Laila Tov.
Leslie K. Johnson
Executive Vice President
Leslie K. Johnson brings three decades of experience in arts education, nonprofit management, and cultural leadership to her role as Executive Vice President of the Skirball Cultural Center.
Prior to joining the Skirball, Johnson served as the Director of Social Strategy, Innovation, and Impact at Center Theatre Group (CTG), one of the nation’s largest regional theaters. As CTG’s lead strategist on mission-focused initiatives, she led all aspects of its educational, community, and audience engagement programming. Johnson also held institutional-level responsibility for defining and animating CTG’s workplace culture, including operating as the theater’s chief diversity officer—a role she defined as building community both internally and externally.
During her career, Johnson also led school programming at the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County (The Music Center); served as Board Chair of the California Alliance for Arts Education, helping to set statewide policy priorities for arts education; and represented California on the John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center’s National Alliance for Arts Education Leadership Committee, chairing that body’s advocacy efforts. As the Associate Director of the Los Angeles Arts and Business Council, she fostered cross-sector collaborations, delivering essential economic, human, and informational resources to hundreds of local artists and cultural organizations.
Johnson’s early professional life included preserving rare books at UCLA Library Special Collections, cataloging works on paper for the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, and serving as a preparator and registrar at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. She was in the inaugural cohort of the Getty Foundation’s Multicultural Undergraduate Internship program (now called the Getty Marrow Undergraduate Internship program). Johnson majored in history at UCLA and holds an Executive MBA certification from the London School of Economics and Political Science.