Media Contact:  

Jordan Baker

WASHINGTON, February 28, 2023 — The Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) announced Mayra E. Alvarez, president of The Children’s Partnership (TCP), has been named the new chair of its board of directors. She succeeds Judith H. Whittlesey, executive vice president of Susan Davis International, who served seven years in the role for the national anti-hunger organization. 

“As vice chair, Mayra has already been a tremendous benefit to our board, and we look forward to her continued leadership in her new position as chair,” said Luis Guardia, president of FRAC. “Her deep knowledge of policy, exceptional aptitude and ambition, and persistent dedication to bettering the lives of children and their families will continue to be a tremendous benefit to the board going forward, and will support FRAC’s efforts to end poverty-related hunger in America.” 

In her role at TCP, Alvarez advances the organization’s mission, goals, and annual objectives in order to improve the health and well-being of children and families across California. 

In 2021, the Biden administration appointed Alvarez to its COVID Health Equity Task Force to provide recommendations for addressing health inequities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and for preventing such inequities in the future. Alvarez has a long history of forming strategic alliances with local, national, and federal government entities as well as nonprofit organizations.

She serves on the California First 5 Children and Families Commission and the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, as well as the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights Action Fund.

Prior to assuming her current position at TCP, Alvarez served at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under President Barack Obama’s administration. She oversaw a group that assisted states in the creation of Health Insurance Marketplaces while serving as director of the State Exchange Group for the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She also served as director of Public Health Policy in the Office of Health Reform and associate director of the HHS Office of Minority Health.

Additionally, Alvarez served as a Winston Health Policy fellow for then-Sen. Barack Obama and served as a legislative assistant for then-Rep. Hilda Solis and Sen. Dick Durbin.

Alvarez earned a master’s degree in health care administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Public Health after completing her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley. 

Learn more about the FRAC Board of Directors members. 


The Food Research & Action Center improves the nutrition, health, and well-being of people struggling against poverty-related hunger in the United States through advocacy, partnerships, and by advancing bold and equitable policy solutions. To learn more, visit and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.