(she/her) Cecilia Chen is the Chief Strategy Officer and Vice President of Programs at Akonadi Foundation, where she oversees strategy development across Akonadi’s program areas and implementation of Akonadi’s five-year initiative, All in For Oakland.
Before joining Akonadi, Cecilia was the Public Policy Director at Northern California Grantmakers. She built the association’s policy advocacy infrastructure and led advocacy to protect immigrant rights, ensure an accurate census, and fight for equitable tax reform. Cecilia also served as a Deputy Attorney General at the California Attorney General’s Office, advancing the Attorney General’s policy priorities around criminal justice reform and childhood trauma. Cecilia was previously the Associate Director of Policy at the Center for Youth Wellness, where she led statewide efforts to prevent and address childhood adversity and the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on children’s health. She was also the 2011-2013 Thurgood Marshall Civil Rights Fellow at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. Cecilia graduated from Tufts University and received her J.D. from Boston College Law School.
A Bay Area native, Cecilia lives in San Francisco with her husband, daughter and fur baby Sherlock. In addition to being an unabashed dessert lover (especially ice cream), Cecilia enjoys exploring the Bay Area and trekking internationally.
Cecilia can be reached at Cecilia [at] akonadi.org