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Maria Echaveste    

Former U.S. Presidential Advisor to Bill Clinton

Maria Echaveste, co-founder of the Nueva Vista Group in San Francisco, has built a distinguished career working as a senior White House official, long-time community leader, and corporate attorney. Echaveste's background provides her with a unique understanding of how to develop and implement a successful legislative strategy and how to build new alliances to support the work of her nonprofit and corporate clients.

Prior to founding the Nueva Vista Group, she served as assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff for President Clinton, a position she held from May 1998 through January 2001. In this role, she had oversight responsibility for many of the president's domestic policy initiatives, including education, civil rights, immigration, and bankruptcy reform. Working with a team of core advisors, Echaveste developed communications, legislative, and public outreach strategies for the White House. She also coordinated federal disaster relief for both foreign and domestic disasters and focused on international issues relating to Latin America.

As a long-time community leader and assistant to the president and director of public liaison at the White House from February 1997 to May 1998, Echaveste built an extensive network of relationships and contacts with diverse organizations and communities throughout the country. Prior to working in the White House, Echaveste served as the Administrator of the US Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division, from June 1993 to early 1997. In that capacity, she deepened her knowledge of US labor laws and issues relating to labor and management relations.

Echaveste is a frequent guest on the weekly PBS television show To the Contrary, a women's political roundtable focused on issues of national interest. She is involved in politics and national policy as a member of the executive committee of the Democratic National Committee. Echaveste is also a member of the board of directors of People for the American Way, the Children's Law Center of Washington, DC, and CARE, a humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. She also serves as a member of the advisory board of the Woodrow Wilson Center's Mexico Institute.

Echaveste received a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from Stanford University in 1976. In 1980, she received a Juris Doctor from the University of California-Berkeley. She worked as an attorney specializing in corporate litigation for firms in Los Angeles and New York, becoming special counsel in 1989 with the New York firm of Rosenman & Colin.

Speech Topics

The Growing Political, Social & Economic Influence of Hispanic Americans: Myth or Reality?

Globalization: Can Consumers Make a Difference?

The Border: Are We Ready For It to Disappear?

The Intersection Among Politics, Policy & Communications


Berkeley’s Maria Echaveste nominated to become ambassador to Mexico

BERKELEY — Maria Echaveste, the policy and program development director at the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Law and Social Policy at UC Berkeley’s School of Law, has been nominated by President Obama to become the United States’ next ambassador to Mexico.

Campus law school’s Maria Echaveste withdraws name from ambassador nomination

Maria Echaveste, a program director at the UC Berkeley School of Law, withdrew her nomination to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Mexico earlier this week, according to a White House official.

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