Merced County Times Newspaper
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Former Clinton, Obama official to join dialogue on American democracy at UC Merced

Maria Echaveste
Maria Echaveste

Maria Echaveste, former White House deputy chief of staff under President Clinton and special representative to Bolivia under President Obama, will join UC Merced Chancellor Nathan Brostrom for a conversation on The Future of American Democracy.

Echaveste will speak on campus at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 5, in Room 120 of the Arts and Computational Science building. The event is free and open to the public, with free parking in Scholars Lot off Lake Road.

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.

On Nov. 5 she will speak briefly about the state of American politics and civic discourse, and then have a conversation with Chancellor Brostrom, who will take questions from the audience.

Before the event, Echaveste will speak with UC Merced political science students on campus.

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