Lourdes Rivera

Lourdes Rivera, Senior Vice President, U.S. Programs

Lourdes RiveraLourdes joined the Center in 2017 as an executive of the Center and will provide vision and strategic guidance to its state, federal, and foreign policy programs in the U.S. This includes overseeing all aspects of program strategy and implementation, including shaping the legal and policy landscape on reproductive rights, as well as building and leveraging new strategic alliances to advance the Center’s goals.

Lourdes most recently served as Senior Program Officer at the Ford Foundation where for close to 10 years she designed and implemented the Foundation’s U.S. and global grantmaking strategy in sexual and reproductive health and rights, using a social justice and human rights approach. Before joining the Ford Foundation in 2006, Lourdes was the Managing Attorney of the Los Angeles office of the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) and specialized in issues relating to Medicaid, managed care, and women’s and children’s health. In 1996, she created and directed NHeLP’s Initiative to Promote Access to Reproductive Health Care for Low-Income Women. Previously, she worked in Washington D.C. as a Senior Associate with the Children’s Defense Fund, Health Division and as a Georgetown Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow with the National Women’s Law Center.

She is a co-founder of California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, the Groundswell Fund, as well as the funder affinity group, Philanthropy for Women’s Human Rights.  Lourdes served as a former Board chair of the National Women’s Health Network, former co-chair of the American Bar Association’s Health Rights and Bioethics Committee of the Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section (now known as Civil Rights and Justice Section) and former member of the IRR Section Council. She has served on the Action Board of the American Public Health Association (APHA), as section counselor to APHA's Population, Family Planning and Reproductive Health Section, and as a member of its Latino Caucus. She was an active member and former Board Treasurer of the Funders Network on Population Family Planning and Reproductive Health and Rights and served as the co-chair of its Women of Color Working Group. She currently serves on the Boards of the National Health Law Program and the Brush Foundation.

Lourdes has a J.D. from Yale Law School and a B.A. in Latin American studies from Yale University. She is an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, where she teaches a graduate-level course in Health and Human Rights.

Lourdes speaks conversational Spanish and has a working knowledge of Portuguese.