Anita Maldonado, Ph.D. Assumes Top Leadership Role

New CEO to Set Course for Anti-Poverty Agency in the Next 50 Years

California Human Development (CHD), a leader in the War on Poverty serving farmworkers and others of low income for 50 years, is today operating under the leadership of its new Chief Executive Officer Anita Maldonado, Ph.D. Maldonado assumed the CEO position earlier this month following the retirement of longtime CHD leader Christopher Paige. She was formerly the Chief Operating Officer for IMPACT Community Action in Columbus, Ohio, and comes to CHD with an extensive background in social services and community action.

“It’s a thrill to be here in beautiful northern California and most importantly to be a part of making a difference for those in our communities who struggle so hard to make ends meet,” says Maldonado.  “CHD has such a rich and long history of serving people throughout the north state. It’s my honor to work with the Board and staff to create a new strategic vision that will help propel the agency to an even higher level of service in the Next 50 Years.”

Maldonado has a breadth of experience in nonprofit leadership in programmatic, operations,fundraising and executive capacities. Her experience focuses on development and successful program implementation serving people of low income, including emergency assistance, financial services, workforce development, re-entry, youth services and affordable housing, among other programs. She was selected for the CEO role following a nationwide search and joins CHD in the midst of the agency’s milestone 50th anniversary celebration. She serves as only the fourth chief executive officer in the organization’s history.

Maldonado leads CHD’s team of 200-plus staff based in Santa Rosa and with offices across northern California. The agency, which was inspired in service to migrant and seasonal farmworkers in 1967, is today a non-profit, human services provider waging the War on Poverty across 31 northern California counties. CHD creates opportunities for people from all walks of life who struggle in the grips of poverty to achieve self-sufficiency. Through training and employment, affordable housing, immigration assistance, disABILITY services and recovery from addiction, CHD gives those who labor most a hand up to the American Dream. To date, the agency has served over 500,000 people and counting.



1 reply
  1. Karl Frederick
    Karl Frederick says:

    I had not heard of California Human Development before October 2017. On October 9th, flames from the Tubbs fire drove me from Coffey Park (and incinerated my rental).

    After dealing with insurance claims, I sought assistance from local relief agencies, and was very happy to find Joan Lucero at CHD. She was positive in attitude, knowledgeable of processes and procedures, efficient, respectful of my time and circumstances, and very helpful in making sure my application was complete and correct. I felt so well cared for that the aid award itself almost became secondary to the encouragement I received. I knew Joan was working on my behalf, and that made a huge difference. Her upbeat demeanor and competence inspired me. A few weeks later, an aid check arrived; it helped me significantly with replacement lodging move-in expenses.

    In time, I may forget the exact dollar amount. I won’t forget CHD and the person who helped me.


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