Arabella Martinez has over 50 years of experience providing workforce development, entrepreneurial support, early childhood education, and health services to low-income families. Ms. Martinez currently serves on the Board of Commission for the Port of Oakland. She is also Vice-Chair on the Board of Trustees for the Latino Community Foundation, a San Francisco nonprofit that invests in community programs to benefit low-income Latino children and families throughout the Bay Area. In 1969, Ms. Martinez joined The Unity Council as the Executive Director. The Unity Council is a nonprofit community development corporation devoted to improving the quality of life, economic and educational opportunity, and health and safety of low-income communities.
A historic figure, Martinez was the first Latina appointed to a sub-cabinet level position, serving as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Human Development Services in the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare under President Jimmy Carter. Ms. Martinez has also served on more than two dozen boards, including those of the Oakland Business Development Corporation, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission Advisory Committee, and UnidosUS (formally the National Council of La Raza.) Ms. Martinez earned a B.A. and a master’s degree in social welfare from the University of California at Berkeley.