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August 16, 2021

Healthier Generation Welcomes Maria Echaveste to Board of Directors

Former Deputy White House Chief of Staff brings expertise on education, civil rights, and food access to organization promoting whole child health

August 17, 2021 – The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a national children’s health organization, today announced the election of Maria Echaveste, president of the Opportunity Institute, to its board of directors. Echaveste joins leaders from the fields of medicine, public health, education, and business in supporting Healthier Generation’s mission to promote healthy environments so that young people can achieve lifelong good health. 

“Healthier Generation is honored to welcome Maria to our Board of Directors,” said Kathy Higgins, chief executive officer at Healthier Generation. “Her decades of experience in key areas related to equitable health outcomes will provide valuable insights and direction to our organization’s work to support every aspect of children’s health.” 

Echaveste served as Assistant to the President and Deputy White House Chief of Staff for President Clinton from 1998 to 2001. In that position, in addition to general White House management, she focused on several policy and political issues, including immigration, civil rights, education, finance, Mexico, and Latin America. She also served as Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division at the U.S. Department of Labor from 1993 to 1997.  In 2009, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appointed her as a special representative to Bolivia.  

“Maria’s visionary leadership brings incredible value to Healthier Generation,” said board chair Bill Bryant. “Her expertise in many areas related to children’s health make her a natural fit for the role. I look forward to working with Maria and the rest of the board to support and further Healthier Generation’s work to promote the health of children and families across the nation.” 

Since 2004, Echaveste has been affiliated with UC Berkeley in various capacities, including as a lecturer at the School of Law and in the undergraduate division on immigration and education; as a Senior Fellow at UC Berkeley’s Center for Latin American Studies since 2008; and with the Berkeley Food Institute, focused on transforming our nation’s food system. 

“Bringing an equity lens to every factor impacting children’s health—from nutrition to education to civil rights—is essential to providing the next generation with the tools to thrive,” says Echaveste. “I look forward to serving with my colleagues to support Healthier Generation in ensuring that every mind, every body, and every young person is healthy and ready to succeed.” 

In addition to Healthier Generation, Echaveste currently serves on the board of directors of UCSF-Benioff Oakland Children’s Hospital, Cadiz, Inc. (a publicly held natural resources company), Mi Familia Vota, and Level Playing Field Institute. Echaveste received a B.A. in anthropology from Stanford University in 1976, and a J.D. from U.C. Berkeley in 1980. As a member of the board, Echaveste will play a key role in guiding Healthier Generation’s work with schools, families, and communities across the country. 


About Alliance for a Healthier Generation

Alliance for a Healthier Generation is a leading children's health organization that advances equitable whole child health. Driven by our passion to ensure that every mind, every body, and every young person is healthy and ready to succeed, our work has reached over 30 million young people across the country. To learn more and help make a difference, visit HealthierGeneration.org and join us on Facebook and Twitter.

About The Opportunity Institute 

The Opportunity Institute is a nonprofit organization that helps address poverty and racial inequality by building cradle-to-career opportunities that break down barriers and deliver excellence in education, health, and society. Our current work focuses on education and adjacent areas of social and economic policy, including whole child equity, resource equity, equity indicators and the future of work. For more information, please visit theopportunityinstitute.org

Media Contact

Krista Washington

Vice President, Brand & Communications | Alliance for a Healthier Generation