Nora E Vargas
A healthcare and education advocate, Nora Vargas has spent her life working to remove barriers for underserved communities through civic engagement, public policy, and community organizing. Nora serves as President of Southwestern College’s Governing Board, the only public institution of higher education in San Diego’s South County. Most recently, Nora served as an Executive with Planned Parenthood, where she led efforts to increase access to safe, quality healthcare, and education for women and families across California. Nora has a track record of being a social and environmental justice advocate, spanning decades. At Planned Parenthood, Nora fought for clean air and water to improve community health.
In 2015, Governor Jerry Brown appointed her to serve on the 12-member California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) making her the first Latina to be appointed in the board’s history. Ms. Vargas served as Vice Chair of the Board Governance Committee, and as a member of the Investment, Audit & Risk Management and Compensation Committees. In that capacity, she was charged with securing the financial future of California’s educators, providing retirement, disability and survivor benefits for California’s 933,410 prekindergarten through community college educators and their families. As a former board member of CalSTRS, Nora made critical decisions that impacted the environment, including her motion to divest from U.S. thermal coal.
Committed to community service, Nora has served on numerous boards and commissions, locally and across the state of California. She serves as a Board member for California Women Lead, and the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) and is an Advisory Board member for Retirement Security for All, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE), and Equality California.
For the last 25 years, Nora has worked to drive positive change and serve her community through public service. She is passionate about ensuring that marginalized voices are included in the public dialogue regarding important issues such as health access, energy, technology, consumer protection, the environment, civic engagement, pensions and education. For over two decades Nora has worked to foster the next generation of young leaders by providing them the skills and resources they need to advocate for and build power in their communities.