Sarah de Guia Joins ChangeLab Solutions as New CEO

She succeeds Marice Ashe, founder and first CEO of ChangeLab Solutions

September 17, 2019

Sarah de Guia

Oakland, CA – Sarah de Guia, former executive director of the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network (CPEHN), is the new chief executive officer of ChangeLab Solutions, a nonprofit organization that works across the nation to advance equitable laws and policies that ensure healthy lives for all. De Guia succeeds Marice Ashe, who led the organization for 23 years.

“Sarah has the right background and experience to lead this already thriving organization toward an exciting future,” says Leon Andrews, board chair of ChangeLab Solutions and director of the Race, Equity and Leadership (REAL) department at the National League of Cities. “Equity is at the heart of who she is and all she does. She has the right combination of integrity, creativity, and practical know-how to help us build on our momentum.”

De Guia comes to ChangeLab Solutions after spending 8 years at CPEHN, a statewide multicultural health advocacy organization. She served as executive director for 5 years, setting and implementing the organization’s advocacy, communications, policy, and fundraising goals. Under Sarah’s leadership, CPEHN has passed dozens of important policy initiatives to further health equity, supported community partners’ advocacy efforts, and expanded its presence throughout California.

Prior to joining CPEHN, de Guia was a program manager at Latino Issues Forum and a legislative analyst for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. In law school, Sarah worked as a law clerk at the Katharine and George Alexander Community Law Center, the Santa Clara County Counsel’s office, and Employment Law Center (now Legal Aid at Work). De Guia received her Bachelor of Arts degree in ethnic studies from the University of California, Berkeley, and her law degree from Santa Clara University School of Law.

“I am humbled to be chosen as the next leader of ChangeLab Solutions, an organization that has helped so many communities solve complex public health problems,” says de Guia. “I first came to know ChangeLab Solutions in the early 2000s, and I knew immediately that this was an organization I wanted to build a partnership with. That became a reality years later when we hosted convenings to bring community voices into the new state guidelines on land use planning. I am honored to work with ChangeLab Solutions’ amazing staff and community and to blend my experience and knowledge with theirs to create new opportunities. I look forward to continuing Marice’s legacy and helping to take ChangeLab Solutions to the next level as a driver of health equity, law, and policy change.”

Under Ashe’s leadership, ChangeLab Solutions has driven major successes on a range of critical public health issues. For example, its development of tobacco control policies helped California save $134 billion in health care costs and contributed to a 25% drop in tobacco-related deaths. And its model legislation on healthy kids meals is now the basis for laws in California, Delaware, and Hawaii. Ashe also helped position the organization as a resource for state and local governments seeking to implement policies that improve housing, child care, and access to healthy foods.

“This is an exciting time and transition for ChangeLab Solutions,” says Andrews. “We extend a warm welcome to Sarah and look forward to creating new opportunities and solutions that build healthier communities across the nation.”

For 23 years, ChangeLab Solutions has worked to advance equitable laws that ensure healthy lives for all by prioritizing communities whose residents are at highest risk for poor health. For more information, visit Follow ChangeLab Solutions on Twitter and Facebook. Connect with Sarah de Guia on LinkedIn.

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Media Contact:
Kim Arroyo Williamson