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ULAA Panel: Careers in Civic Engagement and Social Justice

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Date and Time

Oct. 7, 6 p.m. PST






Join the UCLA Latino Alumni Association as they host a career panel featuring alumni currently working in civic engagement and social justice fields. To learn more about each of the panelists please see below:

Image of our first panelist, Elena V. Rios

Elena V. Rios, M.D., M.S.P.H., F.A.C.P. 
Dr. Rios serves as President & CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association, (NHMA), representing 50,000 Hispanic physicians in the United States. The mission of the organization is to improve the health of Hispanics. Dr. Rios also serves as President of NHMA’s National Hispanic Health Foundation to direct educational and research activities.

Dr. Rios also serves on the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda Boards of Directors, Centene Health Policy Advisory Committee, Centene Health Equity Committee, Office of Research on Women’s Health Advisory Committee, NIH, US Department of Health and Human Services, and the VA National Academic Affiliations Council. Dr. Rios has lectured, published articles and has received several leadership awards, including awards from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Congressional Black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American Caucuses, American Public Health Association Latino Caucus, Association of Hispanic Health Executives, Minority Health Month, Inc., Hispanic Magazine, Latino Leaders Maestro and Top Latina 100, Verizon’s First Pollin Community Service, and Amerigroup and National Diversity Council Top Healthcare Leaders. Dr. Rios was appointed to the Minority Alumni Hall of Fame of Stanford University in October, 2006, as a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine in 2007, the Institute of Medicine Global Forum for Health Professions Education in 2014, as a Fellow of the American College of Physicians in 2016, and as a member of the Society of Medical Administrators in 2017.

Prior to her current positions, Dr. Rios served as the Advisor for Regional and Minority Women’s Health
for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health from November 1994
to October 1998. In 1998-2004, Dr. Rios served as Executive Director, Hispanic Serving Health Professions Schools. In 1993, Dr. Rios was appointed to the National Health Care Reform Task Force as
Coordinator of Outreach Groups for the White House. From 1992-94, Dr. Rios worked for the State of
California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development as a policy researcher.

Dr. Rios has also served as President, Chicano/Latino Medical Association of California, Founder of the
National Network of Latin American Medical Students, member of the California Department of Health
Services Cultural Competency Task Force, and Stanford Alumni Association, Women’s Policy Inc., Care
First Blue Cross Blue Shield Board of Directors, Nurse Family Partnerships, Campaign Against Obesity,
Better Medicare Alliance and Partnership for Prevention Boards of Directors, PacifiCareUnitedHealthcare California Investment Committee, CDC Health Disparities Committee, ASU Health Futures Council, Cancer Treatment Centers of America Hispanic Advisory Council and the AMA’s
Disparities Commission and Minority Affairs Consortium Steering Committees.

Dr. Rios earned her BA in Human Biology/Public Administration at Stanford University in 1977, MSPH
at the UCLA School of Public Health in 1980, MD at the UCLA School of Medicine in 1987, and completed her Internal Medicine residency at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose and the
White Memorial Medical Center in East Los Angeles in 1990, and her NRSA Primary Care Research
Fellowship at UCLA Division of General Internal Medicine in 1992.

Image of Steven F. Veres, our second panelist

Steven F. Veres

Steve Veres grew up in Los Angeles as the son of immigrant working class parents. He was a student activist at UCLA, and he later worked as a public school teacher, college instructor, and as a news editor for the San Fernando Sun Newspaper. Steve served as both a Councilmember and Mayor in the City of San Fernando, where he successfully helped lead the economic, cultural and environmental renaissance of the city.

Steve currently serves as the President of the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) Board of Trustees. At LACCD, Steve was the lead sponsor of the Districts award-winning Clean Energy and Sustainability Program, and he has presided over nearly $4 billion in facility improvements, including the physical transformations of Los Angeles Mission and Los Angeles Valley Colleges. Steve also led efforts to expand job training programs and improve graduation and transfer rates throughout the district.

Steve is the Vice Chair of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and serves as a volunteer board member for the Friends of the Los Angeles River community non-profit. He is also the Los Angeles Metro representative to the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee.

Professionally, Steve has served as the District Director and Deputy Chief of Staff to State Senator Maria Elena Durazo, former State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, and former State Assemblymember Cindy Montanez.

Steve lives in the San Fernando Valley with his wife, Cynthia, and their three daughters.

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