Dear colleagues and friends,
It is an honor to reach out to you in my new capacity. My name is Sarah de Guia, and I am the new CEO of ChangeLab Solutions. I am excited to join a team that is on the cutting edge of using law and policy to create healthier communities in cities and states around the country. And I am pleased to continue partnering with many of you while getting to know others. Collectively, we can ensure a better, brighter future for our nation!
My passion for health equity is personal and deeply rooted in my familial and educational experiences. I grew up hearing my abuelos say that we should hide our identity and our language. As a student, curiosity and anger fueled my research and scholarship in ethnic studies at Berkeley. During this time, California was experiencing a wave of anti-immigrant and racist ballot initiatives. The insight I gained through my scholarship during this highly charged political time helped me understand my family’s decisions and ignited a desire to change the laws and policies that are the structural basis of an unjust system.
My leadership trajectory brought me to several organizations — including the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Latino Issues Forum, and the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network — where I have been blessed to work with some of the preeminent civil rights leaders in California. Alongside these amazing colleagues — many of whom I call friends — I worked to achieve critical successes such as expanding health care to low-income families, improving language access in health care, and integrating equity into land use and transportation planning. For nearly 20 years, I have dedicated my legal and policy career to passing, improving, and implementing laws and policies to improve health for communities of color.
I join ChangeLab Solutions at a time when our country is divided and deeply traumatized. But I begin with the tremendous foundation cemented by this organization’s staff and founder; with the support and guidance of you — my colleagues, mentors, and friends; and with my own seasoned leadership experience to guide me through the challenges and celebrate our victories.
Over the coming months, I am excited to learn, engage, and connect with you! Please connect with me on LinkedIn and let me know how we can partner and share knowledge. We have a lot of work to do, and we need each other to turn the tide of inequity.
Sarah de Guia, JD
CEO, ChangeLab Solutions