Maria Perez

Co-Director, Democracy Rising

Born and raised in Ecuador, Maria immigrated to the United States in the 1990s to pursue her education. She has crafted a career guided by her passion to address social disparities. A seasoned non-profit leader, organizer, facilitator, advocate, educator, and coalition builder, Maria is a firm believer in the power of people coming together to address complex social problems, and that democracy is the ultimate health equity indicator. She spent over ten years as a healthcare practitioner, before turning to policy, equity, and advocacy work, which she has been doing for the past twelve years. She served as Campaign Lead and later as Interim Hub Manager for the California Endowment’s project Building Healthy Communities (East Oakland), Director of FairVote New Mexico, and Campaign Manager for Common Cause New Mexico. She and co-director Grace Ramsey launched the national organization Democracy Rising in 2020, where they ensure implementation of democracy reforms in jurisdictions around the country is inclusive and just, and where they build a new bench of diverse democracy leaders.