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Boalt Hall’s Maria Echaveste to speak at UCOP

Community leader, corporate attorney, UC alumna and former senior White House official Maria Echaveste will be the featured speaker on Tuesday, March 22, 12:10 to 1 p.m., at UCOP’s celebration of César E. Chávez Day.

The event will be held in the new Franklin Lobby 1 Conference Room on the ground floor of the Franklin building.

César Chávez Day is celebrated on March 31, the birthday of the Mexican American migrant farm worker and labor leader who cofounded and served as president of the United Farm Workers of America (AFL-CIO).

The day is a state holiday in California and a few other states, and efforts are under way to make it a national holiday throughout the country. UC offices are closed system-wide on the last Friday in March to recognize the holiday.

Echaveste is a senior distinguished fellow at The Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at UC Berkeley’s Boalt School of Law and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. She cofounded the Nueva Vista Group, a policy and legislative strategy and advocacy group that works with non-profits and corporations.

Under President Bill Clinton, Echaveste served as director of public liaison, then as assistant and deputy chief of staff from 1997 to 2001. As deputy chief of staff she was responsible for domestic policy initiatives in the areas of education, civil rights, immigration and bankruptcy reform. She also coordinated federal disaster relief and focused on international issues relating to Latin America.

Her experience includes serving as administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division and membership on the boards of directors of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Alliance for Excellent Education, Mi Familia Vota and CARE, a humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. She is also on the advisory board of the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute.

Echaveste received her B.A. in anthropology from Stanford University and her J.D. from UC Berkeley. She has worked as an attorney specializing in corporate litigation for firms in Los Angeles and New York.

The event is cosponsored by the Latino Staff Association (LaSA) of the University of California and UCOP Human Resources. Nathan Brostrom, executive vice president of business operations, will introduce the speaker. Following the program, desserts will be served.

LaSA cosponsors an event each March for Cesar Chávez Day. Past speakers have included Dolores Huerta, cofounder and first vice president emeritus of the United Farm Workers Union; Malaquias Montoya, UC Davis professor emeritus; Francisco Alarcon, UC Davis poet and author; and Federico Chávez, attorney with the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board and member of the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

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