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Press Release · September 7, 2010

Maria Blanco Joins PPIC Board of Directors

SAN FRANCISCO, September 7, 2010 —The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) announced today that Maria Blanco has been elected to its board of directors.

Blanco is the executive director of the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity at UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law.

She brings to PPIC’s board more than 20 years’ experience as a litigator and advocate for immigrant rights, women’s rights, and racial justice. Blanco served as executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. She also has been an attorney with Equal Rights Advocates, associate director and associate professor of law at Golden Gate University School of Law, co-founder of the California Coalition for Civil Rights, and national senior counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Blanco also served on President Barack Obama’s transition team. She earned her undergraduate and law degrees at UC Berkeley.

“Maria’s distinguished record of public service and leadership on issues important to California make her a valuable addition to PPIC’s board of directors,” says Mark Baldassare, PPIC president and CEO. “We welcome her energy and her knowledge of the forces shaping the state’s future.”

Blanco has been elected to an initial three-year term on the PPIC board and is eligible for a maximum of three three-year terms.

In addition to Baldassare, the current board members are Walter B. Hewlett, PPIC board chairman and director of the Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities; Ruben Barrales, president and CEO of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce; John Bryson, retired chairman and CEO of Edison International; Gary K. Hart, former state senator and state secretary of education; Robert Hertzberg, partner at Mayer Brown, LLP; Donna Lucas, CEO of Lucas Public Affairs; David Mas Masumoto, author and farmer; Steven Merksamer, senior partner at Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Mueller & Naylor, LLP; Constance L. Rice, co-director of The Advancement Project; and Thomas Sutton, retired chairman and CEO of Pacific Life Insurance Company.

More information about the PPIC board is available at

PPIC is dedicated to informing and improving public policy in California through independent, objective, nonpartisan research on major economic, social, and political issues. The institute was established in 1994 with an endowment from William R. Hewlett. As a private operating foundation, PPIC does not take or support positions on any ballot measure or on any local, state, or federal legislation, nor does it endorse, support, or oppose any political parties or candidates for public office.