Maria Echaveste

Co-Founder of the Nueva Vista Group, San Francisco; former Advisor and DeputyChief of Staff to President Bill Clinton


Growing Hispanic Influence? What Happens to Immigration Reform?


Maria Echaveste, co-founder of the Nueva Vista Group in San Francisco, has built a distinguished career working as a senior White House official, long-time community leader, and corporate attorney. Echaveste’s background provides her with a unique understanding of how to develop and implement a successful legislative strategy and how to build new alliances to support the work of her nonprofit and corporate clients.

Prior to founding the Nueva Vista Group, she served as assistant to the president and deputy chief of staff for President Clinton, a position she held from May 1998 through January 2001. In this role, she had oversight responsibility for many of the president’s domestic policy initiatives, including education, civil rights, immigration, and bankruptcy reform. Working with a team of core advisors, Echaveste developed communications, legislative, and public outreach strategies for the White House. She also coordinated federal disaster relief for both foreign and domestic disasters and focused on international issues relating to Latin America.

As a long-time community leader and assistant to the president and director of public liaison at the White House from February 1997 to May 1998, Echaveste built an extensive network of relationships and contacts with diverse organizations and communities throughout the country. Prior to working in the White House, Echaveste served as the Administrator of the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, from June 1993 to early 1997.

Echaveste is a frequent guest on the weekly PBS television show To the Contrary, a women’s political roundtable focused on issues of national interest. She is a member of the executive committee of the Democratic National Committee and a member of the board of directors of People for the American Way, the Children’s Law Center of Washington, DC, and CARE. 

Echaveste received a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology from Stanford University in 1976. In 1980, she received a Juris Doctor from the University of California-Berkeley.