Maria Echaveste is the President of the Opportunity Institute, a non-profit focused on increasing social and economic mobility and advancing racial equity. Before that, she built a distinguished career working as a consultant, lecturer, senior White House official, long-time community leader, and corporate attorney. Echaveste also has been a Senior Fellow at UC Berkeley’s Center for Latin American Studies 2008-2021, and affiliated with the UC Berkeley Food Institute since 2013.
Echaveste served in various capacities in President Clinton’s administration, including Assistant to the President and Deputy White House Chief of Staff (1998-2001); Director of the White House Office of Public Liaison (1997-1998) and Wage and Hour Administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor (1993-1997).
Echaveste serves on the board of directors of UCSF-Benioff Oakland Children’s Hospital; Cadiz, Inc. (a publicly held natural resources company); Mi Familia Vota (increasing Latino civic engagement), SMASH (improving STEM education for low-income and students from underrepresented communities); and Alliance for a Healthier Generation (building healthier communities to support children’s physical, social and emotional health).
Echaveste received a B.A. from Stanford University and J.D. from U.C. Berkeley School of Law.