Maria Echaveste, former White House deputy chief of staff under President Bill Clinton and special representative to Bolivia under President Barack Obama, will join UC Merced Chancellor Nathan Brostrom for a conversation on the future of American democracy at 7 p.m. Nov. 5.
The event is open to the public and will center on the state of American politics and civic discourse. A Q&A featuring questions from the audience will accompany the conversation with Chancellor Brostrom. Before the event, Echaveste will speak with UC Merced political science students on campus.
A longtime law instructor at UC Berkeley, Echaveste is the daughter of Mexican immigrants who grew up working in the fields alongside her family when they lived in Texas and then Clovis and Oxnard, before she attended Stanford University and earned her law degree at Berkeley. She worked in private practice in Los Angeles and New York before joining the Clinton administration, as administrator of the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor and then as white house deputy chief of staff.
After the Clinton administration, she founded the lobbying and advocacy firm Nueva Vista Group, and in 2009 became President Obama’s special representative to Bolivia. She was nominated to be ambassador to Mexico in 2014 but withdrew after delays in the Senate confirmation process. She is now CEO of the Berkeley-based Opportunity Institute, which works on social justice and equity issues.
The event will be held in the Arts and Computational Sciences Building, Room 120 on the UC Merced Campus.