Maria Echaveste, a senior fellow at the UC Berkeley Center for Latin American Studies, has built a distinguished career working as a public policy consultant, lecturer, a senior White House official, long-time community leader, and corporate attorney. Her current work focuses on immigration, civic engagement, labor rights and education. Additionally, she is a Senior Fellow with the Opportunity Institute, a recently formed non-profit working to accelerate improvements to our nation’s public education system. For the 2015-2016 academic year, she was also a Visiting Scholar with the Berkeley Food Institute, a multi-disciplinary center at UC Berkeley, focused on transforming our nation’s food system.
Prior to cofounding the strategic and policy consulting group NVG, LLC, in 2002, she served as Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for President Clinton from 1998 to 2001. In that position, she focused on issues relating to immigration, civil rights, education, finance, Mexico and Latin America. She also previously served as Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division at the US Department of Labor from 1993 to 1997.
Currently, Echaveste serves on the board of directors of the California Healthcare Foundation, the New World Foundation and Mi Familia Vota. In 2009, then-Secretary Hillary Clinton appointed her as a special representative to Bolivia, She subsequently joined the board of the US-Mexico Foundation to help develop its Mexican-American Leadership Initiative in 2010. In September 2014, President Obama nominated Ms Echaveste to be the US Ambassador to Mexico; on January 30, 2015, she asked President Obama not to resubmit her nomination to the Senate’s new leadership.
Ms. Echaveste received a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from Stanford University in 1976. In 1980, Ms. Echaveste received a Juris Doctor from the University of California at Berkeley.